Tuesday, April 03, 2012

No pushing

I've learned a lot from my years as a parent... mostly I've learned from the many mistakes I've made over the years.  Here are two important things I've learned that I wish I knew way back when:

(1) kids will figure out how to do things on their own time
(2) don't apply (1) to every situation

Which further feeds into something else I've learned: you'll be faced with a lot of different situations.  Even if you're dealing with the same kid, the same rules may not apply.  For example, I totally pushed Emily into toilet training before she was ready.  MAJOR mistake and thus ensued months of pain and torture and poop.  That did not often land in the toilet.

Next example, I did push Emily to learn to tie her shoes during the summer between SK and Grade 1.  I knew she could do it if she just practised.  I was right and she was tying like a pro before the first day of Grade 1.  Goodbye velcro loser shoes.

Next example, riding a two-wheeler.  Emily is a scaredy-cat cautious kid to put it mildly.  She can't watch movies.  Period.  Because there might be something scary.  Or emotional.  She has trouble with change.  She doesn't like loud noises or crowds.  She's generally just sensitive.  So when faced with getting rid of her training wheels, she loved the idea but was scared of even trying.  I knew that if pushed, this could be really bad.  But I also knew that it really didn't matter when she got off her training wheels.  I don't care when she rides a two-wheeler.  However, she'd become embarrassed by her training wheels and was refusing to ride a bike at all last summer.  So a little research by me discovered that a bike too small can yield great results by acting like a push bike and feel stable because the child doesn't pedal until she has the balance figured out.  So Emily tried it a couple of days ago on a neighbour's bike.  She realized that she might actually be able to do this.  So, when Anna pulled her bike out again today, Emily got on and WITH NO INVOLVEMENT OR PUSHING (literally) BY ME AT ALL (in fact, I was on the phone while all this happened), this was the result:

Score one for this lazy yet seasoned parent! (Oh, and score one for Emily too.)


Cathy said...

yea for you both!! :)
and thanks for the "parenting life lesson" included in today's post, too, karen! from what i have seen with my nieces, yes - you cannot apply logic or practice from one circumstance to another, from one child to another, and there are times when staying out of it is best.
so glad emily had an a-ha moment and that you could see it happen!

Isobel said...

Yay, Emily! Wow! I'm sorry I missed this neighbourhood event. Congratulations! Yes, kids are always breaking the rules of parenting. You think you've kinda got things figured out and WHAM...they come at ya from a completely different angle! Loved this post. It's so nice to know you're not alone! :)

Julie said...

awesome emily! this is something that i really need to learn to do. maybe i need a "gentle" reminder every once in a while.

Karen said...

Cathy: Good thing I got off the phone in time to catch her second run!