The Fabulous Fours
Looking back and reading through my posts, I realize that I have written quite a lot about the trials of parenting a young child through the various stages: the Thunderous Threes, The Tempestuous Threes, My Little Epiphany, The Art of Saying No; and though I have also written a few posts that reflect upon the joy and beauty that comes with parenting, I haven’t done it justice. Therefore, I feel a great need to take a moment to express my fascination with the fabulous fours.
This is a stage where big developments – and even bigger emotions – occur. It is the honing of fine motor skills; the easing into independence; the encouragement to try, try again; the self-confidence and pride that shines through; the search for approval; a refined understanding of social interactions; the comprehension of letters formulating words, writing, arithmetic, and patterns. It is the awareness of others, of empathy and feelings, and the environment surrounding them. It is fascinating and heart-warming to witness your child’s tenacity and determination, and watch him evolve into his own beautiful self. And it takes a village to make this happen.
In the past 4 months I have watched my child flourish under the care and guidance of his two amazing teachers. They work patiently, tirelessly, and endlessly to ensure that each child in their care is given the time, attention, and emotional nourishment needed; and I am so thankful to them. I am thankful for their gentle-but-firm approach, their direction, and their ability to work with the parent for the benefit of the child. Because they were so willing to cater to my son’s needs in the early days of Junior Kindergarten, he has grown less anxious, more confident, and a little more independent; and I am in awe.
I’m not saying that the demands of parenting are less capricious or challenging. My son still experiences emotional outbursts that are extreme and volatile. The difference is that he is learning to control the emotions, to recognize the bad behaviour, and to feel mournful of his actions. This is HUGE! Especially because only 4 short months ago his outbursts were often accompanied with acts of physical aggression, and he took the aggression out on me. Now, he is learning to connect to the emotions and to control them. It’s awesome; and it makes parenting through these moments tolerable because you can work together to ease the outbursts.
In fact, working together seems to be key at this stage of development. Liam has a voice, and he desperately wants to use it. So, we do many activities as a team, and many decisions are made together. We’re working as a family unit and it’s exciting! I love that Liam may plan our Saturday excursion; or decide what family movie we will watch; or choose the game we will play for game night. I appreciate being able to give over these small decisions to Liam, because to him, these decisions are monumental; and by allowing him to make them we are catering to his self-confidence, and encouraging him to plan, problem-solve, and apply himself (and us) to an activity.
Was it only 11 months ago that we went through the enrolment process for the 2017/18 Junior Kindergarten program? How clearly I remember the mixed emotions that raged through me that day, and the days that followed; and how I just did not feel ready to Let Go. Yet, since September, Liam has blossomed. He is spunky, mischievous, and bright. The energy, curiosity, drive, and creative play is colossal. It is quite fun to be a part of his world – his creations, his imagination, and his sincerity. I laugh more. I listen more. I instruct less. The fabulous fours is a fascinating stage. He is becoming such an amazing and delightful little person – but – he is still little and he is still so very vulnerable. It is a tender age, and a tender time. He still needs the comfort of my warm embrace, and there are moments, when I am drying his tears and hugging him close, where I never want to let him go.
But I do. I let go. And he is flourishing. I am grateful for the village we have because I know, within this village, he will receive the guidance, nurturing, and freedom he needs to navigate through these fabulous fours.
The Fabulous Fours. Published by Crystal Joy Hall