Patience in Parenting: Lessons from the Pool and Potty-Training

Patience in Parenting: Lessons from the Pool and Potty-Training

Summer means big milestones for both of our girls this year.

Kate, at nearly 3 years old, is two weeks into potty-training. Things are going pretty well, but she’s starting to figure out that she has a LOT of control in this scenario. Two-year-olds and control can be a tricky thing, so I have to remind myself hourly, “Choose your battles, choose your battles!” I hardly remember potty-training Addie, so it must be like labor and the memories fade away once it’s over. (I can hope, right?)

Addie, who just turned six, is learning to swim this summer under the gentle teaching style of her daddy. She’s a tiny little thing who worries, so this is actually the third year of lessons. Saturday afternoon, I was sitting by the pool and planning math lessons while the rest of my family splashed and played in the water. I looked up to see Addie floating on her back (with her water wings on)–she was relaxed and smiling, watching a bird play on the branch of the tree above her. And it hit me…how awesome this parenting gig is!

I struggle so much with wanting to get things right the first time, I really need to be careful with how I present my attitude to my girls. Will it matter in the long run if Addie learns to swim when she’s four or six? Probably not! Does Kate have a deadline to be in underwear full-time by her third birthday? Not really–she’s home with me during the day.

Over and over again, I’ve been amazed by the CLICK that happens when one of my girls figures something out in her own time.

Addie took tumbling lessons for a few months when she was in preK. She did great with the forward rolls, the bear crawls, and doing the work on the rings. But she could not master the balance beam. Each class, she would struggle to make it across the beam and all during the week between lessons, we would practice at the park and on the curb at home. She just wasn’t developmentally ready, and it turned into a frustration/self-esteem issue as all of her classmates advanced to the next level and got to ring the bell.

As we work on our big milestones this summer, I want to remember the incredible SMILE on Addie’s face when she finally did make it across the beam on her own. As a mom, it’s important to me that my girls hear encouragement from me rather than pressure–I’m thankful that my husband is such an excellent example for me to learn from!

Which of your child’s milestones required a little extra patience from you?

This post was originally shared on my previous blog (lonestarsigners.com) on June 30, 2014.

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