Today, I nearly burst with pride.
Braeden walked on the mat, not once, but twice.
This is the same mat that he told me he was scared of, that he had nightmares about.
Today, he conquered his own fears.
I am so so proud of him.
He is still really clingy with some of the swimming bits in the deep end, but he did much better today. I tried really hard not to get stressed, because I think he was starting to feed off that a bit.
I am very much a fan of gentle parenting, which means not yelling much (well ok, you aren't meant to yell at all, but no one is perfect!), encouraging your child with positive reinforcement, and teaching them at their own pace. It's not that I don't believe in punishment, because I am a strong believer in setting up boundaries for kids, but I prefer to show the boys that there are always consequences to behaviour. Imagine acting like a toddler when you are a teenager! I shudder at the thought, therefore am starting by teaching the kids now that there are other ways to express their anger and frustration and that sometimes in life things are hard, and you can't always get your own way! Plus your childhood is meant to mostly be fun and filled with lots of wonderful experiences. We are going ok with that bit I think!
I can hear you say "Let me know how you go with that" and I can see that sarcastic tone.
I am saying it to myself don't worry.
You can really only take each situation as it comes. You never really know what the challenges will be, but sometimes you just need to stop and listen to your child. Encourage, comfort and guide them through the challenges. All I ever did with Braeden was tell him it was ok to be scared. Tell him that he didn't have to go on the mat if he didn't want to. We talked it all through a million times. Then it was him who decided he would walk on the mat. Pretty good for a not-yet-3 year old.
Let's hope all the parenting challenges I come across will be this easily solved.
Somehow I think not!!!