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What am I supposed to be doin now????

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
Okay, I have been in a bizarre panic of sorts this week, although completely irrational. My dd turned 4 on Sunday. Before I had her I read every book about infant developement, toddler stages, how to rationalize with my 3 year old. I have a library of books on creative play from ages, 0-1, 1-2, 2-3, and 3-4. But it was like my mind never thought she would get past that age. So now for some reason I am in panic and feel like I don't know what I am supposed to be doing now. I know that sounds crazy. I feel like I suddenly have a "kid" instead of a "baby". She just weaned totally a month ago, so I am sure that contributes. But suddenly I am feeling like I need to assign her chores, give her allowance and responsibility, teach her to read and ride a bike and so on.

So I guess I am wondering if anyone else has experienced this? Also, does anyone have a good book recommmendation about developement at this age, appropriate behavior and reactions, what types of play and learning are natural now? Finally, what chores or house help do you have your 4 (or 3 or 5) year olds do? What is appropriate for this age?

I know this is a bit nutty of a panic, but I feel like it is time to do all the parenting things I have been slacking on.

TIA,
Joanna
post #2 of 3
Even though they are a bit out-of-date, I love the series by Ames and Ilg, the ones titled "Your Four year Old, "Your Five Year Old" and so on.

My dd is four and I have definitely noticed that she has turned into a big kid in the past year. She doesn't get an allowance, and I'm not teaching her to read, but she does have some responsilbilities around the house - cleaning up her own toys, bringing her dishes to the sink, helping me with the laundry or shopping, etc. I wouldn't worry too much about this, but i do beleive that helping with the day to day stuff teaches children how to be contributing members of the family, and it also makes them feel good!

The most significant change I have seen over the past year is the importance of friendships. At three, she enjoyed the company of other kids, but at four, she NEEDS other kids to play with, so they can make up their stories and act them out, or be silly together, or whatever else they do. I don't know if you plan on sending your child to preschool, but if you do not, then arranging play dates and joining some classes or just going to playgrounds and encouraging her to make new friends is a good idea.

Don't panic, by the way!
post #3 of 3
You Are Your Child's First Teacher is an excellent book and covers through year 7.
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