When our 6-year-old son first came home from camp asking that we write him a note exempting him from swimming, we sort of blew it off, thinking it would pass. By the second day, we probed a little further. Was someone making him feel badly? Was he tired? We didn’t really get a clear answer, other than that the chlorine hurt his eyes–this from the kid who stays in a pool for hours on end on the weekend. We stuck to our guns and told him we wouldn’t write the note. As the days went on and the complaints mounted (“I don’t like changing in front of the other kids”) we started to question our insistence that he swim. It stands to reason that you can’t give in on these little things, unless there is a serious problem, lest you fall down a slippery slope of accommodating your child’s every like and dislike. My sister, who is a therapist, says “It’s important that the child experiences the satisfaction of having survived a moderately uncomfortable situation.” It is this resilience that allows them to tackle both little and big issues in life with confidence. This makes a lot of sense to me, and yet, you can’t help but wonder if pushing them to do something they really don’t want to do when your child is pleading with you. I’d love to know how you all handle a situation like this.
- Parenting Advice