Regular readers will remember that before Christmas we were having some difficulties with Smallest and get swimming lesson. From being almost desperate to go, asking each morning if it was her turn yet, she’d had a complete reversal of attitude and completely lost her nerve. I put this down to a change of teacher and too many big capable children in the group.
Well, at the end of last week I got a call saying that her lesson slot had been cancelled, something to do with not having enough demand. I was offered a number of different times and chose the one that put her back with her original teacher, even though it meant scheduling something into my only completely free day.
Today was D day. Instead of telling her it was swimming, we told her she was going with Judy, and that if Judy wasn’t there we would come home. She kept repeating she was scared that they wouldn’t hold on tight, and I assured her Judy would.
It was Judy. She was pleased to see Smallest and I think rather shocked when she then burst into tears. I was almost crying myself as I explained the problem quickly. Judy took hold of her hand and said “I will hold onto you until you tell me I can let go.” She listened to my three year old, respected her feelings and dealt with the issue.
That was all it took. Within ten minutes Smallest was playing happily independently in the water again, trusting that she was being cared for. And I can feel confident that we are back to building skills and enjoyment instead of fear.
I’m really cross that we’ve been through this at all to be honest. But I’m so pleased that there is someone out there who thinks trust is important.