3/31/11

Dare I hope?

Tonight my Sweetpea and I were out running errands. One of the jobs we aimed to do was drop off a book at a friends' house. By the time I was ready to make my way to her house, it was too close to when she had to take her daughter to gymnastics. My Little One surprised me by saying she wanted to see her friend take her class. I decided to take the opportunity to let her watch a class in a nonthreatening way. You see, we have tried to get my daughter to try gymnastics and she refuses. We tried dance classes. I think we made it to 3 classes, all of which she cried through and refused to participate. That was the end of dance. 

I DO NOT want to be one of those moms who push their kiddos into one activity or another. So here is the tricky part. She would love gymnastics. She already loves to forward roll, climb, walk the balance beam and swing from any type of bar she can find.  What she does not like is trying new things. 

One time, we stopped by this very same gymnastics center and watched for a few minutes.  She was intrigued but still didn't want to try it.  Eventually she said she would try but before we could even go once, she made it very clear she wasn't going to participate.  So, we moved on.

I realize she is four and there is no law requiring that children participate in any activity outside of the home.  I didn't and I think I turned out OK.  My son is crazy about sports which makes it very easy to get him involved in an outside activity that also provides some exercise.  Maybe we should wait and ask her again when she is older?  My fear at that approach is based on a few memories of my own.  Once, I took a tumbling class for a session.  I have no idea how old I was but I do remember I was older than everyone else.  It was a strange feeling.  I didn't care for it.  Then later, much later, I took piano lessons.  That lasted two years.  And while my lack of practice led to me giving up this instrument, a big part of me was so embarrassed to be in high school playing songs about a bug in a rug.  All of that to say, if we wait too long to get her to try, she may miss "the boat" because she will be older than the other beginners. 

Not only do my husband and I feel she would love gymnastics, but I personally believe this is a way she will gain self confidence.  One of the biggest concerns her preschool teacher and I have talked about is that she is plenty ready to enter the world of "big kid school", she just really needs to have confidence in herself.  This is why I think gymnastics may be a good fit.  I am not thinking long term, as in for the next 15 years of her life.  Just one class, if she likes it, one session.  If she likes it another...you get it.  This is not a team sport.  Eventually if she wants to stick with it, there would be competition but by then I hope she will have more faith in herself. 

On our way home, she said she wanted to try the class and see if she likes it.  I don't want to make too big a deal about this.  I don't want her to feel pressured or that she is doing it for me.  I did ask her if I took her, would she actually participate.  She said yes.  Then she said if she likes it, she could sign up for the class.  Then she asked if she needed to get a special suit to wear.  I think these are all good signs.  I will call tomorrow and see if I can arrange for her take the class next week with her friend.  It's always nice to have a friendly face around when trying something you are unsure of.  Then I guess we will see how it goes. 

Anyone have any good advice to share?  Leave a comment and let me know what ideas you may have.  Thanks!

1 comment :

  1. I don't have any good advice or ideas but I am interested in hearing how it goes.

    ReplyDelete

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