Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Psalm 127:1

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Parenting 101

Do you ever have days where you feel like you missed the parenting boat? I mean really, like they should have some kind of class for you to run to and ask some amazing parent who does everything perfectly what choice you should make in the moment you are in so as to require the least amount of therapy for your little ones in the future. I had a night like that last night. I was batteling between my "I want to rescue my three year old from everything fearful" & "I know she has to try new things and often be pushed a little" mode. It's a very hard place to be. A few months ago Dan and I decided to put Ryanne in this program that Morgan's swim club does called the Starfish. It is to teach little kids how to swim using the strokes correctly in hopes that when they turn 5 they will try out for the swim team. If you are a younger sibling of a kid on the team you get to swim at the same time which worked out great for us. Kill two birds with one stone. Morgans team is practcing, Ryanne learns to swim. We told her from the start she had to learn to swim but didnt have to ever try out for the team if it wasnt her thing. But because we are always on or near the water learning to swim is not an option. So we took her & let her pick out her goggles and bathing suit and primed her all week. This is her "I'm ready" stance. Below you will see the full panic "I'm NOT getting in that pool" stance. I was so stressed out that when Dan wasnt looking I did what any good mother would do and ran. Seriously, I took off. I told the coaches do whatever it takes to get her in I just can't watch. So I stood as far as my zoom lense would allow and snapped away. I was so close to letting her quit. I guess the crying thing still works on me sometimes. I want to push them enough to encourage them so they try things and grow but its so hard sometimes.
To the "fine, I'm in the pool but now I will scream the entire time" stance.
Actually she warmed up to her coach Alexis and was even going under water for her by the end. Here she is climbing out saying,"shoot daddy, I wasn't even scared"

This may seem silly to most but I have to share it anyway. I really have been struggling with the thought of Ryanne starting pre-k next year because she is so random and does these off the wall things constantly that often land her in trouble. She refuses to walk to the beat of anyone elses drum and will push beyond anyone's human limits. So I have been trying to teach her to take pride in the things she does. Complimenting her often, letting her help me with things around the house. etc. So here is where God blessed my heart to overflowing last night. Ryanne got out of the pool beaming last night like I have never seen. She was so proud of herself for completing the class and going under water and swimming a short distance to the side all by herself. She was grinning and laughing and dancing. Morgan ran to hug her and tell her how proud she was of her. Ryanne was so happy she talked about swimming and the other kids in the group all through dinner. I asked her if she was proud of herself and she said, "oh yes mama I am!" :) She slept better, woke up happier and has been a joy all day. Sometimes I think its important for us to be pushed or nudged out of our comfort zone so we grow. I hope that is what my girls learn when we gently nudge them forward in life.

Of course this morning she said,"mommy, I really think I am done with swimming ok?" No, Ryanne I KNOW you can learn to do this and even though you may be fearful in the beginning mommy will pray with you and you will be A-OKAY!


Kathy said...

Oh man that IS a tough one. My girls have a similar fear and I think I would have told her she didn't have to do it until she feels she's ready. I can't believe the run away and do what you gotta do strategy worked...makes me second guess my own techniques. And what a great way to build confidence. I love it. Now I want to sign my girls up for lessons!

The Keilers said...

I love this motherly insight.

Leslie said...

awesome lesson for her to learn, and good for you for not giving in. So so hard though, I can't imagine.... we signed Ry up yesterday, yeah for maternity swimsuits for mommy & me huh... ughhh..

Eileen said...

Oh, it was so much fun checking out your blog! The kids are so precious!!! I have a blog now, finally: Maybe we can keep in better touch! Love you and miss you, Eileen

Rhonda said...

I love this post Christy. When Merritt took swim lessons, parents were banned from the area, probably for this reason. Way to be strong. I love the picture of Ryanne's ready stance. She is just soooo cute.

christy p said...

I swear that Ryanne and Emily are twins some how. I love the photo of her all dressed up and ready to go! You are a great mommy....and I would have run too!!!