Persistence

It’s so hard to see my little guy disappointed in himself and giving up on trying to master a skill. I’ll wonder if I am pushing him too hard but I think he lacks persistence especially when it comes to physical activities. I just want to get him to have small successes so that he will have the confidence to believe that if he puts in effort, he will be able to do it. All those skills like dribbling, climbing a tree and jumping from high places are not important individually. It’s fine even if he’s not good at it though I’d rather he has a basic level of competency so he can keep up with his friends if he wants to. My job is to keep challenging him and move him out of his comfort zone, try new experiences.

I guess I’m pretty sedentary too so we are both happy to just sit at home and read. I’m motivated to get out and get some exercise though. Spare tires are not nice….. But I guess the most important thing is that we both have fun in the process. Especially when I’m tired or frustrated, I have a tendency to focus only on the outcome and stubbornly insist that he keep trying. He can definitely sense our frustration and feel upset that he has disappointed us. Except, I am more frustrated with my lack of teaching skills and how helpless I am at guiding him.

Yesterday, we went to the park and practiced his dribbling again and it has improved greatly compared to Sunday when he was worn out and feeling down. So hopefully the small success will fuel him on and help him master this new skill and then next time I can use it and say “Remember when you were learning to dribble …..”. Now I have to quote “Remember when you climbed up that tree…”, in which I bullied him into persisting to climb up by refusing to leave until we tried it out a few times. He stopped on the first try when he slid and got a scratch on his belly. Eventually, I climbed up myself and then told him which hand and foot holds to use.

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Sometimes, I worry that I’m motivated by my comparisons of him and other kids who seem better at XXXX or YYYY. I forget my original plan of getting him to improve incrementally and in an enjoyable manner. He has so much more to learn that I’d hate to stress him out at the beginning of his learning journey. And I remember too that when he was born and still in the ICU, all I hoped for was that he would be healthy and I am really grateful that he is.

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