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Your 4-year-old now
Four-year-olds are perpetual motion machines — running, jumping, hopping, wriggling, climbing. But this natural inclination to be active won't necessarily last forever. Take advantage of it while you've got it to develop healthy lifelong habits as a family. Join in the fun, stay active with your kids, and they're more likely to keep moving as they grow up.
When you have family time, choose something that gets you all moving rather than sitting whenever possible. Think walks or impromptu soccer matches instead of movies. An evening family stroll through the neighborhood is better than TV or computer games. Even doing chores together like raking leaves or washing windows can get your blood pumping. The key is to keep it fun for your child. On walks, for example, keep him engaged by playing "I Spy" or letting him choose which way to go when you come to a corner.
Also, try to avoid using food as a reward. Use something fun but physical as an incentive — a trip to the bowling alley if she keeps the floor of her room clear of toys for a week, say.
You've got a lot going for you right now: Your child loves bouncing around and the chance to spend time with you. And that adds up to even more than good health.
Your life now
How long has it been since you made a mark in your child's baby book? Most parents abandon even trying to keep it up as daily life gets busier and milestones space out — or if they do it for the first child, the second and third go undocumented. Tonight, when your child asks for a book, pull out her baby book or infant photo album or visit the web page you created about her so long ago. Four-year-olds are fascinated to see what they were like as babies or toddlers. It makes them feel proud at how big and accomplished they are now. You might find yourself motivated to jot a few lines about her recent changes or funny things she says.
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