Water WorksJuly 19, 2010 at 12:29 am | Posted in Lollipop | 27 Comments
Tags: Challenges, Children, Creativity, Growing Up, Kids, Parenting, Personality, Swimming
It’s been my distinct privilege this past week to drag my daughter to a swim class she doesn’t want to attend.
I mean, she likes the water. She likes splashing, especially if her brother is nearby. And she likes the variety of swimsuits she owns.
That’s where it ends.
The instructor asked that the kiddos wear goggles. Lollipop will not. Even though she picked out her own special purple pair for this exact occasion.
He gently encourages them to blow bubbles and put their faces in the water. She deflects with statements like, “I can’t because my eyes will get wet” and “But I forgot my Nemo floatie.”
He gets them to work on their arm movements by having them chase him in the pool. In her zeal to win, she speeds through the water after him. With her arms tucked deftly at her sides.
He catches them as they jump off the pool edge. She cackles at the two boys in her class when they are hesitant. But has yet to actually jump herself.
The water is always too cold. The activity the instructor suggests is always the one “I already practiced yesterday with my Daddy.” And it’s always someone else’s turn.
But the best part? About 15 minutes in, she bombards the teacher with one question repeated at one-minute intervals: “Is it time to go yet??”
We’ve got two more weeks of this. (And so does the poor instructor.)
We’ve talked with her about manners. About respecting teachers. About being empathetic and trying new things. We’ve taken her to the pool on our own to practice what she’s learning. We’ve purchased a bribe prize for when she puts her face in the water 10 times.
Like so many other things about parenting, we’re figuring this out as we go. And I know that in her own way, so is she. But as I’ve watched her this week, I’ve come to one conclusion.
My daughter prefers to swim upstream. You know, figuratively speaking.
How do you nudge your children to try things they find scary or unpleasant? What personality traits surprise you about them? And should I get the instructor a lovely parting gift??