Taking the plunge

It is so easy as a parent of very young children to always see yourself as the one in the know. It is logical, after all, that with years of experience under our belts, we should be the ones who are right. We must, by virtue of our age, size, or something like that, be the ones calling the shots. Yet Jasmin reminded me of something so important recently, and in doing so she taught me a valuable lesson.

On the first day of our holiday in Kos, I tried to take Jasmin swimming. Our hotel had a choice of three children’s pools as well as two adult pools. Milin was immediately paddling away, playing with inflatable toys and plastic beach ware. He loved it.

And so, with ten-month-old Jasmin on my hip, I walked into the pool where Milin was playing. Jasmin screamed. Loudly. I tired to splash water over her toes. I tried to sing and play games. Nothing worked. Jasmin clung to me with all her might and sobbed. I walked her out of the water in defeat.

For the next few days, Jasmin sat on a lounger near the pool and watched. She watched Milin play. She watched the other children play. She watched people swim and throw frisbees and splash each other and laugh and enjoy. She took it all in.

A couple of days before we left, I took notice of Jasmin’s joy at watching her brother in the water. She kicked her feet and waved her arms. She wanted, I realised, to join in.

I sat her on the edge of the pool and let her splash. There were no tears. Jasmin loved the water.

For the last two days of our holiday, we took Jasmin in the water as much as we could. She kicked her feet in the waves at the beach and her face lit up. We took her into the deep water of the adults pools and played games with her. It made her so happy, and I loved watching her have so much fun.

Yet I hope I remember this lesson from Jasmin. She taught me not to push her. She taught me that she will do things in her own time. She taught me to listen to her. She taught me that the pace I expect her to move at, might not be the one that is right for her.

Jasmin needed time to take in new surroundings and new experiences. She needed time to settle and feel at ease. She didn’t let me push her. She took the time she needed to get comfortable in her new environment. She watched the other children swimming, splashing and paddling. Only when she was ready, did she take the plunge.

I might be older and bigger and supposedly wiser, but I also need to remember to listen to my baby. She will do things her way and in her time. I don’t want to push her away from a pace that is right for her. I’m going to continue to parent by listening to my instincts, but I’m also going to ensure I’m listening to my baby more too. She might learn things and approach life in a different way to me. That’s fine – but it’s my job to notice and help her along her way.

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17 Comments on Taking the plunge

  1. mummyhargreaves
    June 2, 2014 at 7:22 am (3 years ago)

    You’re so right Kiran, it’s easy sometimes to push on at your pace. I’m glad she enjoyed the water eventually. We’ve always taken Lil G to Water Babies lessons, found them to be wonderful x

    Reply
  2. susankmann
    June 2, 2014 at 9:39 am (3 years ago)

    Aww this is lovely and you are so right xx

    Reply
  3. sarahmo3w
    June 2, 2014 at 10:54 am (3 years ago)

    Lovely post and very true. I think it’s harder second (and third) time around, because you assume all children are the same and will do the same things at the same times as your eldest. My boys were never shy, but I had to learn from my daughter that she was shy (when she was little, not now) and do things differently with her for that reason.

    Reply
  4. Honest Mum
    June 2, 2014 at 11:02 am (3 years ago)

    A beautiful post and photo, you do have to trust your instincts and take your cues from her, Oliver is scared of the sea, even just walking by the side so I respect this and try not to make it a huge deal we walk on the sand from wherever he feels comfortable. He enjoys the pool but due to glue ear, last summer was the first year he could swim so we too are taking things slowly. It’s a big world out there for little people isn’t it! #whatsthestory

    Reply
  5. sophieblovett
    June 2, 2014 at 12:19 pm (3 years ago)

    Ah bless her! I’m glad she was ready to give the water a go before the end of your holiday and ended up enjoying it so much – if only for the gorgeous pic of the two of you in the pool :) I think it’s such an important lesson to learn to really listen and take the lead from our kids whenever we can. I always had most success as a teacher when I was able to approach things that way rather than presuming that I knew best so it’s something I’ve been aware of with Arthur from the start – doesn’t mean I always remember to do it though! x

    Reply
  6. suzanne3childrenandit
    June 2, 2014 at 2:17 pm (3 years ago)

    This is such an important lesson to learn for us mummies and not one that I heeded really :( I have always been one to push my children, sometimes probably too early. Some children are just not ready for things that others are and it turns out to our detriment. As you say, we should take their lead, although sometimes giving them that extra little push does help. Looks like you had a fabulous time :)

    Reply
  7. Little White Dinosaur
    June 2, 2014 at 4:01 pm (3 years ago)

    How sweet and such a valuable lesson and something I need reminding of too. Sometimes I just need to remember to slow down!

    Reply
  8. Merlinda Little (@pixiedusk)
    June 2, 2014 at 4:04 pm (3 years ago)

    Before I would force my son with out potty training and I got frustrated on how he wont follow me and do what I want. I waited. Mostly I am scared to start again and I would fail. Then one half term time I just put the potty there and he just did it. No forcing, him sitting there and using it. Babyled =) #whatsthestory

    Reply
  9. PinkOddy
    June 2, 2014 at 5:20 pm (3 years ago)

    Beautiful photo and lovely story. You are right I find parenting much easier since I started listening to my children as opposed to other adults.

    Reply
  10. Sara (@mumturnedmom)
    June 2, 2014 at 10:00 pm (3 years ago)

    This is a lovely post, and you are absolutely right. Every so often one of mine will teach me something new, the trick is noticing and understanding what they are trying to tell us x #WhatstheStory

    Reply
  11. Coombe Mill (Fiona) (@coombemill)
    June 2, 2014 at 10:12 pm (3 years ago)

    Sounds like your holiday was such a success and so good to get little ones in the water from an early age #MagicMoments

    Reply
  12. Lifeblooming
    June 3, 2014 at 1:26 am (3 years ago)

    Lovely post! I find with 4 kids that sometimes everyone’s individual needs get missed on occasion but not too often. My youngest (10mths now) was the same with water, sand, grass etc – each new sensory experience we approached a little slower for her.

    Reply
  13. marilialauria
    June 3, 2014 at 4:04 am (3 years ago)

    Loved your post. So so true. Sometimes we are so eager for them to experience something that we forget they have their own pace. Glad that she did have time to enjoy the pool at the end. : )

    Reply
  14. Jude
    June 3, 2014 at 11:22 pm (3 years ago)

    Aw, lovely post. I am right there with you in the water. My son is only just getting over this at 3 years old. I’ve tried tough love, I’ve tried playing games in the water, trying to intice him. This year we finally made progress when we let him join in his own time. Bless them. They’ll get there in the end. x

    Reply
  15. Jenny
    June 4, 2014 at 8:51 am (3 years ago)

    It’s hard to remember they know what they wnt and how they want to go about it but can’t communicate it to us. Fantastic post so sweet. Love the photos too! glad you had a great holiday. Glad she loved the water eventually, on her terms. I am bad at listening to my children but I really should sometimes it would be easier. They can teach us just as much as we teach them. #whatsthestory

    Reply
  16. Charly Dove
    June 4, 2014 at 5:28 pm (3 years ago)

    What a beautifully written post Kiran and I love the photo, hope you all had a wonderful time. We had a similar experience with POD although she loved water than hated it. We’ve taken it slowly and she’s starting to love it again now. Great post, thank you for sharing #whatsthestory

    Reply
  17. Misplaced Brit (@Misplaced_Brit)
    June 8, 2014 at 9:27 pm (3 years ago)

    Ooh sweetie! So fantastic you were there long enough for her to have the time she needed :-) & I love that you let her take that time, and saw what was happening. A beautiful post #Whatsthestory

    Reply

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