Where do we learn to parent? I know I learned a lot of great things from my parents about how to discipline, how to love, how to encourage…and maybe there are a few things I would do differently..I think we all want to make our own path. I find myself often times doing what “feels right” and not always paying close attention to how I parent. I love to see other parents discipline and guide their children as I still have SO MUCH to learn. I am a new parent and I know this stage of parenting is a lot easier than some of my friends with older kids have it. But there are times I just don’t know what to do. Yesterday, I had one of those moments.
Gressett has been going to swimming lessons twice a week for the month of March and I have only gone with him a few times as usually Rad is the one to brave the range of emotions Gress often shows. The first weeks he was excited and had fun, that was until they asked him to jump off the wall and go under water. Gress was not having that. The other 3 kids in the class can swim underwater and Gress was still trying to convince the teacher that he was ok in the water as long as he didn’t have to go under. Every week Rad would give me the update of how it went (or didn’t go). This week was my week to go with Gress alone. Rad has tried everything from encouragement, to modeling, to being hard, to explaining why we need to learn to swim (so we don’t die! ) 🙂 I thought on the car ride there I had talked Gress into going underwater. NOPE! The second he had to jump off the side he started crying, making a scene, and acting out. This is the moment as a parent that you have to assess what you are going to do. I let him be for a minute, then stood by trying to encourage him, then told him he was being crazy, then I finally told him I was going to push him if he didn’t jump. That was the moment I put up my hands as a parent and really didn’t know what to do. I KNOW he is scared but he has done it and can do it again. But I didn’t want to scar him emotionally. In my mind I thought, if I want to teach my child, why am I leaving this up to someone else? Do I get in the water and help him to learn? Luckily, another swim teacher came over and said, let me take him for a few minutes while you go for a walk. Gladly I went (as she has helped him before). He was screaming for me (which made it even harder to leave) but then she jumped in the water over and over with him and got him to put his face in the water. Yes, we will be having private lessons with this lady and I think I will soon be in the water more.
I know I will face this “moment” many times in my parenting life. I will be at the place where I just don’t know what to do. No book will tell me. It will just be a moment where I get on my knees and God reminds me this is his child, and I am just lucky enough to have him to love while I am here on this earth.
I just went back to check on Gress as he was screaming for me. When I got there he told me he saw a big shadow with sharp claws and teeth and it was moving. He was too scared to go back to sleep so he asked me to rub his back. Was that a ploy? I don’t know but he is now laying in our bed until he falls asleep. I am glad that I still have that soft side of me that gives in to those moments.