I was talking to my sister the other day and she says to me, “So what are you going to do about this swimming situation with Dylan?”
She was of course referring to Dylan’s refusal to actually get in the water during her weekly swim lessons. But in case you’re keeping tabs, her skills at sitting by the pool are coming along beautifully.
“Oh, I didn’t even blog about all of it!” I tell my sister. “Last week, she hid under the bed for 45 minutes before we left for the YMCA. She was screaming that she didn’t want to go. I told her that if she wanted to be successful at hiding, she should be A LOT more quiet.”
My sister is due with her first baby in January so she is now starting to wonder what a parent is supposed to do in these kinds of sticky, high stress situations.
“Are there any parenting books that tell you what to do?” she asks.
“Yes, absolutely! But I don’t have anytime to read them.”
I actually did buy a parenting book this summer called, “Parenting with Love and Logic” by Foster Cline and Jim Fay. A relative noticed it on my bedside table and inquired whether I might already know how to parent since I was on kid #3 and #4.
Well, I guess I do know how to parent. I just would like to know how to parent better. With less yelling. Less frustration.
This past summer, I read the first 76 pages of “Parenting with Love and Logic” and it’s all about giving children choices and letting them live with the consequences as long as it’s safe for them to do so. That way they learn how to make good decisions and we don’t spend our time constantly butting heads with them.
For example, if your kid doesn’t want to wear a coat and it’s cold outside, let him or her not wear a coat. When they complain about being cold, show sincere empathy for their situation (no “I told you so”) but don’t rescue them by pulling a jacket out of your bag. Let them shiver this one out. Next time around, they will likely grab their coat without you even having to remind them. That sort of thing.
Unfortunately, there is not a chapter on how to make your child participate in her swim class. I know I’m supposed to offer her two choices, both of which I can live with. Like maybe… “Honey, you can either get in the pool this week or mommy is going to push you in.”
That’s probably not what the authors had in mind – despite the fact that my daughter can doggy paddle very well and she loves the water. I’ll have to keep thinking.
There is another swim lesson this Thursday. I’m really beginning to hate Thursdays.