Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Tuesday Toot - 6/17/08

Why do kids often refuse to try new things? The answer is simple and same as adults - fear. Fear for any number of reasons and while sometimes the reasons seem silly to us, the fears are very real and valid to your child. I bet that one of your peers may find it silly that you are scared to do something too!

So, what am I "tooting" about on this Tuesday? My daughter!!

Allie is an interesting study in human behavior in that when she is first introduced to new situations, she is EXTREMELY HESITANT and slow to warm up. She is very cautious and she still has no interest in participating in extra-curricular activities if there is not at least one friend of hers that participates as well! But, once she is comfortable, she loves to be the center of attention. So, we are not just talking about the typical situation that a child is a little quiet in the beginning and then loosens up as time goes on; but rather polar opposite behavior in the same child based on her comfort level.

Well, as I have come to realize in the past week, my little girl is growing up!

First, she began her summer camp program last Monday and while she has never been to this camp before, I wasn't overly concerned that she would hold on to my hand for dear life at drop off (because she was not only going to be with 4 of her friends from preschool and Kindergarten, but she knew at least 4 other "big kids" [big, meaning 2nd grade!]) who were also going to camp. But, based on past behavior, I anticipated that she would be glued to the girls she knew and that she would be pretty quiet and an observer for the first few weeks. Boy -has she made me proud! She has loved camp from the get go and while she is ecstatic to be at camp with her good buddies, she is so excited to tell me all about her new friends that she has made. Every day she comes home with new stories of games she played, things she did, crafts she made and people she talked to. She is so excited about camp that when I pick her up, as soon as we get into the car, she can't wait to call her Daddy everyday to tell him about her daily camp adventures! I couldn't ask for an easier transition to a new camp!

Secondly, we spent the day at resort in Phoenix for Father's Day. One of the attractions is a 130 foot slide that is essentially a tunnel that is encased in a mountain side - not only can the participants not see the true picture of the slide you are about to go on, but when you ride the slide, you see nothing but pitch black at high speeds until the last 24" when streaks of sunlight cautiously start to appear. I knew, without question, my 5 1/2 year old daughter would not go on this slide - she would be way too scared! I didn't even have my typical feelings of hope and anticipation that she would try something new. Well guess what? SHE DID IT!! Wow, was I amazed! Was this winning a spelling bee? No. Did she skip a grade? No. Did she get 1st place in something? No. But in my book, she did something even more amazing - she faced her fear and did something new and loved it!! By the end of the day, she had not only gone on the slide gillions of times, but she was flying down the slide backwards, forwards, sitting, laying, etc. When the slide lifeguard realized I was her Mom (I'm sure he thought that no way could that chunky Mommy be that teeny-weeny athletic girl's Mom!), he was really cute as he told me that the slide lifeguards were simply amazed at her. They said she was the smallest kid they have ever seen mastering the slide with the same energy that she was! He even pointed out 2 8 year old boys to her that walked all the way to the top of the slide and chickened out.

You go girl!

And for those of you who are fortunate to have kids who just jump right into anything and everything and easily make themselves comfortable, perhaps you might not understand why I'm so proud of Alie.

Let me put it another way - self-esteem. While we can't feel it, it definitely affects how you feel. You can't see it, but it's there when you look at yourself in the mirror. You can't hear it, but it's there every time you talk about yourself. And after this week, Allie can feel a little stronger, see herself a little taller and hear 'I can do it' a little more convincing then before.

And that is why Allie gets my Tuesday Toot!

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Dominique said...

Toot Toot~! Great achievement that your daugther has. She managed to overcome her fear.

Kelly D said...

You could have been writing about my daughters - the first part anyway. So, there is hope. They've been going to preschool for 18 months and sometimes they still hang onto me for dear life. Congrats Allie.

I think I need some of her energy and attitude so I can let go of some of my fears too!