"The 4 year old lies and often the more convincing the child is, the greater intellectual aptitude"
In the past month I finished NutureShock and Your 4 Year Old, Wild and Wonderful. Both dedicate a section to preschool lying. I had a hard time believing that lying is actually a measure of cognitive development until I read the explanation. This is not to say that the whoppers uttered of late by Ben are indicative of future academic success.
Instead it makes me realize that his innocence is fading into burgeoning boyhood. At this point he lies to avoid punishment or to gain something he wants. Luckily he's not very good at it and usually his grin gives up his true intentions.
Both books have given me much food for thought about parenting at this age. In light of family dynamic changes and frankly some of the worst behavior has occurred in the last six months. In part this is due his changing position with the new baby, household stress of the last months adjusting to life as a 2 kid family, and the dreaded 3.5-4 year old time frame.
But as hard as this is to admit, one of the reasons the last 6-9 months in discipline hell is due to bad parenting. Among the casualties include differing disciplinary styles giving mixed signals to Ben and not being as strict and following through when the situation calls for some hard core parenting.
One of my major goals this summer being home most of the day with Ben and identify what triggers bad behavior. I totally acknowledge that I have to sleep in the bed I made because I took the easier road of giving in because I was tired, pregnant, stressed and ready to phone in some parenting. This summer is prime time to turn around certain behaviors before we return this fall to a new school.
Since Bill and I have identified that to Ben, any attention even negative attention was part of the ongoing issue we are trying some new tactics. I am looking for individual time with him throughout the day and opportunities to give him chances to show he is a big brother that can do things babies can't. Bill is also doing a once a week dinner out with dad. We are also going to do a Sat class for Bill/Ben this fall. At this point we are looking at a gymnastics or beginning karate.
The final chapter of Your 4 Year talks about Year 5 being about control and compliance. Really? While I can't imagine an orderly, compliant Ben V it's something to hope for in anticipation.