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Thursday, October 28, 2010


Pride has completely changed my daughter. We go to the pool daily and every day she pushes herself to do more and more things learning how to swim. Other than the one day on Sunday when Michael watched Christian while it was just her and I at the pool, I basically just watch Christian and keep my eye on her. I am not involved with what she is pushing herself to do- the ideas are hers and the execution is done out of my reach. (although I am ready at every moment to pounce if she ever did go under.)
The last 3-4 days have totally changed her. She is so proud of herself. I consider myself to be a positive mom. I give positive reinforcement to her regulary during the day (even hourly)... you know, "way to listen first time", "oooo, nice letters you are writing", "wow! I didn't know you could..."...but this is so different. She would be just as proud of herself if I wasn't even commending her for her bravery and skills in the water. This is a pride that no one would be able to take from her if they tried. It is a true experiance for her. I can see her process her fear before she jumps, her focus, her concentration with how far she is from the wall or the steps in relation to how far she was the last time, I can even hear her talk herself through it at times...and she triumphantly does it! She jumps, her face goes under water and she keeps it under water intentionally (to push herself as this is a new skill) and kicks and paddles to the step before bringing her face up with a conquering smile.

It absoluetly affects our entire day. That hour in the pool changes her. She is obediant, doesn't argue or try and debate me, she isn't just happy, she's joyful. Her confidance gained carries her through things that otherwise would be difficult for her or "worth the battle". The way she is able to CONTROL her fear while jumping and going under water, makes controling everything else (where we are going, what she is eating, what tone of voice she should use, how she is dressed, etc...) no longer as important to her. It is a truly remarkable transformation.

So...therefore, I am sold. Children need this kind of pride and confidence. They need to be given the opportunity to become successful at something difficult (even if it's just difficult in their minds) and feel like they did it themselves.  I'm not saying I 'had' a bratty child, or even a disobediant one, or anything like that. I actually think we have always had her trained well (certainly with failing moments...but overall...) and she's always been a very happy girl (except for maybe the hours between 8pm and 8am for the first 3 years of her life)...but it is just different now.  So FIND IT, find what your child wants to learn (something that would be challengeing) and figure out how to enable them to learn it on their own or with you "behind the scenes" as much as possible.
 I can't express how much easier my day is because of this transformation. There are no longer those petty battles with her, or "control" battles, she doesn't get jealous of attention given to Christian anymore and is just all around a more confident person, happy to do what we have taught her is right.

Also, I know this is the "right" kind of pride because she immediately wants to share the joy of it with others. She anxiously tries to teach Christian to do it too "come on, it is so much fun", or "you can do it!" and tells me that she can now give me "swim lessons" if I want, because "she is ready". =) She wants to help others to be good at what she is good at and that's how I know it is a pride/confidance that I want to encourage.
On a lighter note, she did tell me this evening that maybe she still needed swim lessons so she could "learn how to breath underwater"...  ;)

1 comment:

  1. I love this! I think you should send this to the Pearls - they would love it too! :)