June 2, 2012

Conquering her Fears.

So my daughter was afraid of slides.  I don't know why or how it happened.  But the kid was terrified.  It was baffling.  I tried to reason with her, to help her, to show her how to do it.  All to no avail.  I even took her to the park with a crew of her friends hoping the peer pressure would get to her.  All it did was make her extra embarrassed.  Her friends would go down the slides and she would run to the steps for the I'm Afraid of the Slide Walk of Shame.
Morning at the park w friends.

Then I went to a resale and saw a small, plastic backyard slide.  I bought it without thinking twice (or knowing how I was going to get it into the car).  My kid was NOT pleased when I showed it to her.  She said something along the lines of "I don't want that.  Take it back"  but I'm pretty sure she was thinking "Gee thanks mom.  Bring the thing I'm terrified of and embarrassed about into my backyard.  Awesome."

But I know my girl.  And I know that when she's unsure of something she needs to study it.  To work out the problem.  To figure it out.  To do it herself.  She's been that way since birth.  So I sat her down and told her this:

"The slide I bought you is a practice slide.  It's so that you can get really good at sliding before we go to the park.  You can work on your sliding skills at home all by yourself.  Then when you're ready we'll try out a slide at the park.  But we'll go when there aren't any other kids there.  You can do it all yourself.   I'll only help you if you ask me."

Then I left her alone outside with the slide.  A little while later she asked me to hold her hand while she went down.  And by the end of that day this was happening:

I love summer. See also: clover necklaces and slides.
The Dude (aka Sir Edmond Hillary) is decidedly NOT afraid of slides.  Or of climbing anything, OMFG.
The next time we went to the park I let her run ahead to the playground while I got her brother out of the car.  I took my time.  Let her play there alone for a little while.  Gave her the space to figure it out herself:

She owned these slides.  (was afraid of them a week ago) #happyincle #park
I would also like to point out that she was left alone to dress herself that day as well.
And once again we see Sir Edmond trying to climb something, OMFG.
Since then she's been getting more and more confident.  Small slides don't cause her to pause at all anymore:

A good friend brings wine to the park and then plays w your kids. @mrssobek
Especially not when she has her brother and her friend with her.
And every time we go to a different park her confidence grows.  Sometime she wants me to hold her hand.  Sometimes she tells me to leave her alone.  But either way she's not afraid to try anymore.

Twisty slide.  Conquered:

Photo Collage
Tube slide.  Conquered: 

Fun at the park
The dude would also like to conquer this slide, OMFG.

Daddy.  Conquered:
Photo Collage
Then she encountered her biggest fear of all.  The extra tall, metal, twisty slide:

Fun at the park
She took awhile to get up the courage.  She wanted me to hold her hand but it was too tall for me to reach.  And she sat at the top thinking about it for so long I didn't think she'd actually do it.
Photo Collage
The slide was so fast her ears were knocked askew.

"That wasn't scary that was fun!"

And after a few more times down it she said the best thing of all:

"I'm not afraid of ANYTHING!"

I would have guessed that based solely on her fashion choices.
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