Friday, August 29, 2008

Stretching Without Pushing

I'm a big believer in letting children grow at their own pace. I don't mean physically grow, but emotionally. I don't let my babies cry in someone else's arms just so they will get used to others. I don't put my kids in the church nursery when they are more comfortable being with me. I don't make my kids slide down the slide if they feel it is too scary. It is important to me to let my kids outgrow their fears on their own without being pushed. However, now that the kids are getting older, I'm not afraid to help them stretch beyond their comfort zone.

Gavin recently had the opportunity to join a just-for-fun soccer team for homeschoolers. The idea was intriguing to him, but he was extremely uncomfortable with the fact that Daddy and Mama would not be on the field with him. Brian and I decided that we thought soccer would be good for him, and since we knew the people running the program and we would be on the sidelines the entire time, this could be an opportunity of growth for him.

The activity is running for seven weeks, but we told him he had to try it for three before he could make the decision to not go back. The first week was hard. He was the youngest on the team and he didn't feel comfortable running through the warm-ups and drills alone or even telling the coach his name. Brian was able to step in and assist when needed, and we stayed close by as promised. By week two, Gavin ran onto the field hesitantly, but a few smiles eeked out eventually and he participated in all the drills and talked to the coach. Now there is no doubt that he will complete the whole seven weeks.

On his own, Gavin would not have participated in soccer, but with gentle prodding, he is finding a new love.

3 comments:

  1. Great thoughts! Yeah Gavin!

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  2. That's great! I was never good at sports but in a few years I want Suzi to try things and find out what she likes. (She already likes dancing--we know that!) It's good to know there are opportunities out there for homeschooled kids to be part of a team.

    I gave your blog an award on my blog--here's the link if you haven't seen it yet: http://babyfingers.blogspot.com/2008/08/bloggy-award.html

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  3. I totally agree with you. Everyone seems to think my 3 year old should be out of diapers, but he is actually pretty afraid of undies. I know that easing him into the process will be better for him in the long run, but man oh man, do I have critics! AND...he cant do toddle AWANA because hes not potty trained. Oh well world.

    Great post!
    Amanda

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