Kailey is both adventurous and cautious -- and, often gets hung up on something that she is more then capable of doing just because she has decided (for whatever reason... often because she is being stubborn) that she cannot do something. Like swimming. She LOVES the water. Loves it. When we have taken her to the pool by herself, she practices swimming by herself, spending so much time under water that it makes a (already nervous) parent anxious. She is not afraid of water. But, swim lessons have been a barrier. We had a breakthrough this summer with a two week class -- but, it wasn't enough to get her really swimming on her own. And so, we enrolled her in swim lessons this winter. She said she wanted nothing to do with swim lessons that were indoors and that she only likes to swim outside. Sigh. We made her go to the class anyway, and she acted like she had never seen water before and clung to the teacher as though her life depended on it. Sigh. Her teacher downgraded her a level to the "nervous beginner" class.
We talked to Kai about it and, at this point, her stubborn nature kicked in and she told us she HATED swimming lessons and would NEVER do it. I bribed her the next time we went with the ice cream of her choice if she would "just STOP whining about swim lessons and try what her teacher told her to do." As it turns out, she enjoyed the class but still decided that she could only do any activities while bear hugging her teacher. She had to be able to hold onto a floatation device with her face in the water for 3 seconds to get beyond "nervous beginner".
But, we had one breakthrough -- she decided swim lessons were fine, but holding floatation devices by herself was out. One thing at a time.
Several lessons later, and she was doing the same drill. Having fun. Clinging to her teacher. Spending the entire class when it was not her turn submerged under the water blowing bubbles (because, really, she is not afraid of water. Just floatation devices, apparently).
This last weekend, she had another breakthrough. She tried it. She held the flotation device. She put her face under water. She did it! And then she did it over and over again. And she got her green ribbon and was advanced to the next class.
I've never seen her more proud of herself. Every day this week she has asked if she can go to swimming again so she can get the next ribbon! Yea!!