I am very proud of myself for not losing it today. In the car on our way home from school my 7 year old was in tears because she doesn't want to go to swimming anymore, because her new teacher is too strict. This after she begged me to do swimming lessons again, even though it is winter here in South Africa.
I told her calmly that she will have to do the lessons because they are already paid for. It was so bad she didn't even want to get out of the car. She sat there sobbing. I was seething, because I paid the whole term in advance, and there is a no money back policy. Also she usually loves swimming, but it seems that part of the problems we've been having lately is her inability to deal with authority. BECAUSE we usually have a more positive approach with her. According to my psychologist she has no buffer for anyone who is a bit strict.
So I walked into the house angry out of my mind, ready to MAKE her go even if she doesn't. Then I took a step back, and took a deep breath, and realised that would get us no where. I had visions of me having to drag her upstairs and force her into her swimsuit, and drag her to the car, and I realised that's never gonna happen and if I don't think of a better plan then we're not gonna go to swimming.
So I took my breath. Went out to the car. Told her calmly, lets not talk about the swimming right now, lets just get out of the car. So we did that, then we just focused on going upstairs. Then while I dressed her ( which I usually do in the mornings, but rarely in the afternoons) I talked with her about her day and the good things that happened. We focused on happy things, and she calmed down.
When it got to putting on her swimsuit we started talking about the fact that the swim teacher is very strict and that doesn't make her feel good. BUT swimming is fun, and we she needs to focus on just doing her best, and enjoying her swimming, no matter what the teacher says.
I managed to get her to swim class without any major fuss, and for a change she actually enjoyed the lesson and felt good about herself, for the things she managed to do.
The teacher is strict. But I can't protect her from strict teachers for the rest of her life. I had a revelation today. Instead of trying to wrap her in tissue, I'm rather going to have to teach her to cope when things are tough. Even if I don't agree with the teaching style, it's gonna happen.
I'm just proud of myself for not freaking out, when I wanted to, and for being able to make it a teaching moment.
How do you prepare your kids for people who are not that nice?
On a positive note, we have started ADD medication for her, and today we had the best homework day ever. For the first time ever we finished homework in 20 min instead of an hour.