As Emy says, "4 is not a baby. 4 is a big kid number." But it also means that now she is a full-blown kid, she needs to be doing full-blown kid stuff. Stuff my husband and I may have let slide during the last 3 years. It's not that we are lazy or "bad" parents, we just often take the path of least resistance and choose our battles carefully. And if you have ever met our daughter, you understand that we are constantly choosing battles. Emy is fierce, ferociously independent, imaginative, headstrong, innovative, and opinionated. These character traits will serve her well as an adult, but man, do they suck at times. There are certainly things we are sticklers for - interacting with politeness and respect, saying please and thank-you, but some behaviors we don't prefer have certainly let slide.
For some reason, four has been our magical age. Maybe because it's the year before kindergarten, and once she begins elementary school she will be spending the majority of her days with peers and teachers who are not us. Maybe because shrugging an annoying behavior off with the words, "Well, she's only four." don't have the same effect on me as "Well, she's only three, (or two)." Or maybe it's because a child of four is more able to handle rational thought than a child of two or three - I'm keeping my fingers crossed that this is true.
Regardless, we are about to put the smack down.
Behaviors/Habits we wish to target:
Using silverware appropriately, at EVERY meal.
Sleeping in own bed for the entire night. (More on this topic to come)
Dressing self in a timely manner.
Being responsible for toys/games/personal belongings
If I'm truly honest, they're behaviors I struggled with as child and even at different points as an adult. While not necessarily life threatening in their lack of consistency - it's not like the world will end if my kid goes to bed without brushing her teeth or stays in her pajamas all day, they are important life skills and habits to develop that will lead to Emy being a more responsible and healthier individual. Consistency will be the key to make improvements in these areas but we're ready.
Let Four Year Old Boot Camp begin.