silver lining feature

Every cloud has a silver lining -even for a 5 year old little girl

Every cloud has a silver lining -even for a 5 year old little girl. We’ve been wanting to tell you this story for a while, but as time went by we didn’t seem to find the right moment. It is something we want to share with all of you though, because we hope that if your children or yourselves go through something similar you will be able to find some answers on this post.

silver lining feature

We need to give you a bit of background before getting into it. You know we already learnt our lesson and decided to accept our children as they are, and never push them to do something they don’t want only for our own parents’ pride. We understand that more important than what other people think is what they feel and what message they receive from us.

So since a very young age, around 2.5 years old, we initiated our little J on swimming lessons. I’ve always taken swimming lessons myself during my childhood and one of my goals  as a mum was to make sure that my children would be good independent swimmers. She loves the water and has always been keen on some water fun. Now, let me just brag a little bit here and say to you all that she has quite a good aptitude and when she is in the right mood does it quite well. She’s progressed in such a good pace that despite being only 5 years old she’s in Stage 3 already. OK, enough boosting myself!

j-swimsuit

She was only 3 years old on this picture! 😀

Then she started complaining about the lessons…

Around 3 or 4 months ago she started complaining about the lessons. First she kind of drown herself a little bit and swallowed too much water. She got a bit scared but she was fine. Then, she started saying that her instructor yelled too much. We explained to her it was the only way everyone could hear him well in the pool but had nothing personal against her. Then, it was more things like “I don’t like it anymore! I don’t want to do it!” In the beginning she would get upset but with a little bit of encouragement went through the lessons. We thought that was going to last for a short period of time. We were so wrong. The situation got worse and worse.

She would cry every time she had a lesson. She would cry in the lesson. One day, she almost got paralysed and was trembling in a corner. We didn’t understand what was going on. We were there watching the class so we knew it didn’t have to do with the instructor himself. But our hearts would break every week seeing her suffer so much. We didn’t want her to quit though. In the beginning our approach was more “causal -effect”. -If you take swimming lessons, you will be able to swim on your own at yayu’s home in Barcelona! , or – If you are not going to do it, we will take you out of the course then” None of these things really worked. They only put more pressure on her.

One day, I saw her there, crying, looking up right at me

One day, I saw her there, crying, looking up right at me, like begging me to rescue her from that hell she felt she was on. I said a prayer in my mind cause I didn’t know what else to do. I should have probably done it before. I made up my mind and decided that changing group would be a possible solution. We told her and she seemed pleased with that idea. We chose a day where the swimming instructor was the same person she had when she was in the initial stage. So we knew she would remember her and maybe things would change for the better.

The following week she started on this new group. New instructor and new swimming friends. We thought that was going to be it but during her first lesson she cried all the way through. This time though I had told the teacher before and therefore made a few arrangements to help her be as comfortable as possible. When the lesson was over and we were in the changing rooms she and I had a little chat. On this occasion instead of focusing on the aspect that she had cried throughout the whole lesson I tried to focus on all the positives. You know what they say, every cloud has a silver lining, oh well, that was true, even for our 5 year old little girl. I felt inspired to just focus on how brave she was, that despite not feeling like it, and crying she was able to finish the lesson and follow every instruction her teacher gave to the group. She looked at me quite surprised, like she hadn’t thought about it that way.

When we were in the car she was telling Sam all the time “Daddy! today I’ve been so brave! even though I’ve cried I still finished the lesson! next time, I won’t cry that much!” I can tell you now, the change didn’t come instantly but I know that the path we took was definitely the right one. Last week it was her third week on a row where she kept asking about her swimming lessons and was more than eager to go! She says she loves it now! She’s making good friends with her new group and loves her Instructor. If we had continue using the “causal-effect” approach she would probably had quit swimming by now.

We chose to see the silver lining

We didn’t. We chose to see the silver lining. We chose to focus on what she was doing good already and encouraging her to keep it up, the rest would come. She’s not only taking swimming lessons now she is also doing taekwon-do and will be going to her very first tournament next week. Oh you’d have to see her with all the safe guards on and jumping and kicking around! She looks so adorable. The best part? She’s loving it! She’s overcoming her fears and growing in confidence little by little.

Wouldn’t we all feel much better if we focused on the silver lining? Life will make sure to bring you down in many diverse ways but if we look at our challenges, whether it be our own or our children’s, from the right angle, the right perspective, we will be able to overcome our biggest stumbling blocks. We will be able to help our children see things as they really are. We are so happy that our 5 year old got to open her eyes and realised that she was much stronger than she thought. She realised that she could climb the highest mountains and overcome her scariest fears. Now, we are ready for the next chapter in parenting, the school where every day you take a test for something that you have never studied before! 🙂

first day school

After her first week of school we’ve learnt that…

Life with kids is HARD work

tired

Not that we didn’t know this but now, going through a tight schedule from Monday to Friday we realize it can be very exhausting. I thought having a few mornings to myself would be great…I was so naive! it is great, indeed, but it’s also time consuming and I need to be very careful to use my time wisely. (by the way, while writing this I still have all the dirty dishes to wash…see, my priorities there..LOL)

Waking up early every day helps 

Since our four year old has started school we are all waking up early enough to have time for having breakfast together, a shower (myself) and even watching some videos or playing some games. It’s nice to feel you’re following a routine and it’s working well.

Short goodbyes, happier faces.

school first day

When dropping her at the school gate is better to give her a quick kiss and hug than extending it for too long. If we don’t do it, she gets clingier and starts thinking that she’s going to miss us too much and so on..

2 laundries better than 1

before after school

I just learnt that today when I noticed that tomorrow she won’t have any white polo shirts to wear on! oh! and laundry related, think I will have to use some product to keep them bright white otherwise by the end of the year she will be wearing “grey shirts” LOL

Don’t bomb her with questions right after school

So I’ve noticed that she’s more willing to openly share with me how her day went if I bring up the questions while having a conversation, doing something that amuses her. For example, while being at the park, just say so “what games did you play?, who did you play them with?” Then she will start telling me even other stories without me interrogating her like a police officer!

school uniform

Always encourage her to see the bright side

Not every day of her first week has been perfect. She had a couple of days that she didn’t want to go anymore and cried, but we’ve been talking to her a lot about how good is for her to go to school, make new friends and learn loads of “important stuff” as she says it. It’s working, so we will keep up doing it.

As you can see LIFE is complicated, whether you’re 4, 33, or 7 months…the good thing about it it is that we have one another, and can help each other out so we all keep learning and growing.

How did it go for you all? Hope you all had an amazing start of school, work, or whatever! 🙂