A Slice of Life is a weekly blog hosted byTwo Writing Teachers, Ruth Ayers and Stacey Shubitz. Click on Two Writing Teachers to be taken to their website to learn more about this week's Slice of Life.
My daughter, Madeline, is 3.5 years old. The greatest blessing in my life, but also my greatest challenge. At 3.5 years old, she seems to be the textbook preschooler with fears that come out of nowhere. One fear that seems to be hanging on for dear life is a fear of the bath tub-more specifically, the drain.
During the summer months, our schedule is pretty lax. I'm not in a rush to get anywhere so it wasn't uncommon for me to just throw her in the shower with me in the morning. Or, we were known to take a bubble bath together at night.
I returned to work this week so the joint shower or bath came to a screeching halt. Trying to get us back on a schedule meant I needed get our house organized for the back to school routine. There wasn't time any more for the joint bathing sessions. In my silly brain, I thought reassuring her I would remain BY the tub while she took a quick bath would suffice. Ummm...no.
Tonight, Maddie cried before her bath, during her "ledge" bath (I accepted her approximation of sitting on the ledge with her feet in as taking a bath), & after. She did stop crying for a short time while I read Bounce by Doreen Cronin & sang her the little Disney Jr, songs from her Mickey book. But, as you can see from our nightly #bookpic , she picked up with crying where she left off. (Btw, I offered to take the #bookpic alone but she wanted to remain in the picture.)
As I cuddled my crying kiddo, all the while validating her fear but letting her know I needed her help with taking a bath time, she informed me that I "really hurt (her) feelings".
Next came the "I scared of the dark."
I. Sigh. More.
In the end, I left the room reassuring her that I was leaving the door open, that I was just across the hall working (I have new teacher induction tomorrow.), & I would be in to check on her. She continued to cry some but got herself to sleep.
In the classroom, I seem to know the right balance of support, rescue, nurturing, & "hands off". When it comes to my own daughter, I find myself constantly questioning whether or not I am doing too much. Am I giving her enough room to grow & be independent but be there enough to help her gain confidence?
Why is it that teaching comes so easily but parenting is so doggone hard?
There was a time I would completely stress myself out reading parenting articles online (the Internet...a blessing & a curse) about sleep training, baby gas, bowel movements, etc. It was insane.
I realized tonight that part of the problem for Maddie is that I didn't ease into her new schedule. I just kind of dumped the schedule change on her without warning. I didn't provide her a transition.
In the past, before I was a parent, I participated in parenting classes because I saw the impact that good parenting skills could have on the classroom environment (think Love & Logic). I guess I need to put some of my educational background to use at home & do a better job of supporting my daughter through a transition. Lesson learned.