I have ALWAYS believed that as a parent, I, along with the hubs, are Tre’s first ‘teachers.’ We were created to teach him things first and ‘show him the way.’ Right?! Pretty recently that whole theory has again been thrown out of my theoretical window and I’m not even mad about it!
The Background: Since he was a newborn, Tre has never been a big fan of water; baby baths,
rain, even the fun flick of water from the faucet. Basically no H2O. When he discovered how much fun a bath full of toys and time to play could be, he aptly named it a “play bath!” With his love for play baths I thought it would translate into a love for play time in the pool. Boy was I wrong. BIG TIME! The first time Tre was introduced to the pool at 4 months old, he screamed bloody murder and was completely unimpressed. This trend continued at age 1, age 2, age 3, and age 4. It got so bad that last summer when we attended his god brother’s swim themed birthday party he went completely nuts about even putting his pinky toe in the heated indoor pool. I was soooo pissed that my girlfriend had to talk me down from just hurling him into the water to get over it. This summer he graduated to putting his feet in the water, but would quickly shoot down the offer to get his body wet. The hubs and I talked to lots of people who suggested that we enroll him in swimming classes and just give him time. Humph. Give him time huh?! Yup. Well time is what we gave him along with the freedom to be taught by someone else.
The Big Lesson for Tre: Labor Day weekend 2016…yes just a few days ago…Tre decided enough time has passed and he spent hours…yes, HOURS in a pool!!!!! For real! What started out as an innocent foot in the pool became my once frightful child fully submerged in the water for hours. What changed you ask? His father and I were not his teachers!
The Big Lesson for Me: I take a certain amount of mommy pride in teaching him things for the first time, but when I realized my methods were not working for breaking his fear of the pool I had to be humble enough to allow him to be taught by someone else. It wasn’t hard for me either. What helped? I didn’t make it about me. That’s right- I made his lesson about him and not me or my pride in teaching him. Tre will learn how to do things I nor his father will be able to teach him and we have to be alright with that. As a matter of fact I welcomed another ‘teacher’ to help us. Other people will be able to say the same things we say and it will be received totally different just because it’s not us. So what! So here are my top 3 take-aways from my big lesson.
- Be patient- sometimes your child may not grasp onto the ‘lesson’ the first, second, tenth, or twentith time. At some point they will get it. In the meantime don’t try to toss them into the lesson like I wanted to toss Tre into the pool.
- Be open to another ‘teacher’- realize that your way might not be the best way and someone else can explain it better. Accept the help and put your ego aside.
- Reflect and get ready to teach others- now that someone helped you, expect the opportunity to be a fill in ‘teacher’ for someone else. Your story will be helpful to someone else…share it.
So just remember- sometimes you are NOT your kid’s best teacher and that is ok. Big shouts out to Tre’s awesome swim coaches (Andrea and Allison) – You both ROCK! 🙂 –Krystal