Thursday, December 02, 2010

I think I screwed up my kid ... again

There's a fine line between instilling a reasonable sense of caution in our kids, and outright scaring the shit out of them. I think I may have inadvertently jumped right over that line.

You see, Little Boo has been doing swim lessons at a new pool. With a private company instead of the city. And the pool is deep.  Now, the ratio was 2 to 1, so I was pretty cool with the big pool. He's got good supervision. But at the very first lesson, Little Boo got it in his head that instead of sitting quietly on the edge while his teacher worked with the other little guy, he would start jumping in.

Jumping into the deep end. More like a cannonball really. With no water wings.

Not such a smart move there little man.

The parents all jumped a mile. The teacher went into a panic. My heart stopped. And even though I could see the teacher talking to him about it and placing him back on the wall, Little Boo did it again. And again.

The kid has zero fear.  Which isn't entirely a bad thing, but in this circumstance it could have gone terribly wrong. So what does Mommy do? She takes it upon herself to talk to him about the safety issues involved.

Next week he does it again. So Mommy brings out the big guns.

Now guess what? Yup, that's right. He's terrified to swim in that pool. It is the pool of death. Actually, that's not quite true, as he is content to swim there. But, his lessons require him to jump in and swim to his teacher. Which he will no longer do. But the teacher insists. But Little Boo is terrified.

What a mess.  He cried so hard before his last lesson, running away and hiding in a corner when we tried to get him dressed, that I just couldn't make him go. He has been in swimming lessons since he was 6 months old. He loves the water and has always looked forward to pool time. He's also been doing great with his water wings, swimming, jumping in, splashing around, all with a sense of independence (not that I'm more than a couple feet away mind you).  And now Mommy, in an attempt to get him to understand that he has to be more careful in and around water, has gone and scared the joy right out of him. I missed that balance I was going for, apparently.

At least he is asking to go back to his old pool.  Wish me luck on Saturday trying to sign him up for city lessons.  That pool is designed for little kids and he can jump in to his heart's content.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed ...

5 comments:

  1. Aww...don't worry you'll have plenty of more opportunities to screw him up. :) It will give him something to talk about in therapy.

    Just think of how our parents screwed us up. I still don't leave a limb hanging off the bed when I'm sleeping because my dad told me it would fall off. Then all the Irish superstitions I follow just because my mom did and now I can't stop because what if it really is bad luck!?!

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  2. Hee hee...
    I have my son in swimming lessons too. He's only 2 but he has zero fear or little knowledge of consequences. In the summer, we were at my friends house in the pool and he took it upon himself to jump in. I rescued him and scolded him for doing so...but he did it again and again. The last time I thought...I should teach him a lesson and NOT rescue him. Lets just say he wont be doing that again.
    I know, I'm horrible.

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  3. Hello...visiting from Canadian Moms.

    What a tough situation. Finding balance is such a hard thing to do!

    My daughter, who is 3, is in swimming lessons too. So far she's like a fish but seems to have a healthy amount of caution. Let's hope this sticks!

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  4. I feel like I've been on a vacation from my blog - life has been too busy.

    Thank you ladies for your comments and I am so sorry I haven't responded!

    Kimberly, I don't think you're horrible at all. Sometimes they need a good (controlled) scare to teach them an important safety lesson (so long as you were right there and ready to intervene).

    City Mom - good luck with the lessons. I hope she maintains this great attitude!

    I didn't get into the city lessons on the first try, but managed to get into another program a few days later. Please heaven he'll do ok in this new pool!

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