Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Guest Blogger...Cara Putnam


We’re at one of those crossroads. Decision time.

No, we’re not considering moving. Eric’s not choosing between jobs. I’m past choosing an agent.

Nope, this involves our kids. Abigail in particular. You see, the kid likes gymnastics. She started about 10 months ago and has steadily moved up in the classes and difficulty level. But she just advanced to what’s called level 2 about 4 weeks ago. I figured we were there for a long time. Our friends kids were. And it seemed pretty standard. Nope. My girl decides to figure out the skills in the last week. She’s flipping all over the house.

And flipping into level 3.

I. Am. Not. Ready. For. This.

The mom in me has watched the level 3 girls. They’ve been there awhile. They look pretty good. They do hard skills.

Abigail’s going to be creamed.

But she’s ready. And my husband has talked me out of protecting her. Oh, I want to. One more session in Level 2 and she’d be better able to compete. At least that’s what I tell myself.

Honestly, I’m concerned that she may get discouraged. Start comparing herself to the other kids and see that she’s not there yet. And these girls are older. Not overly excited about that either. I’m also not ready to confront what comes after this level. I really can’t see us doing team gymnastics. We’re not ready as a family to make that kind of commitment, and frankly I don’t want so much of our energy going in one direction unless God clearly shows us it’s okay.

But she’s worked hard. And we’re not there yet. So I’m grateful that God has given me a husband who’s ready to let her be pushed.

And I learned today that she’s getting the teacher I want. An encourager and pusher. Great combination for Abigail.

So how do you balance decisions like this? Any wisdom to share?


Cara C. Putman
Canteen Dreams -- coming October 2007 (Heartsong Presents)
Sandhill Dreams and Captive Dreams -- 2008 (Heartsong Presents)
The Law, Life & Books: http://carasmusings.blogspot.com
Original Writer for Jake Tremaine at Scenes & Beans:
http://kannerlake.blogspot.com

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4 Comments:

At Tuesday, 05 June, 2007, Blogger Tricia Goyer said...

That is hard! There are times I've pushed my kids because I know they can do better. Other times I worry, because I don't want them to be left behind.

I usually pray and ask God about my motives. I consider my kids' talents and what they would enjoy ... and I guess. We'll never make perfect decisions, but I know each parent wants to do our best. And we have to trust that it will all work out whether we chose right or have to make a different choice later.

 
At Wednesday, 06 June, 2007, Blogger Jen's Journey said...

I know the decision to keep my youngest child in preschool an extra year is a leap in comparisons. But, I struggled between pushing him to become ready for kindergarten and keeping him as my baby for another year. He turns 5 this Saturday and technically he is the right age for kindergarten. But, I looked at how he interacts with his classmates and realized he is not there emotionally. He gets along fine, but he is much less mature. Being the baby of the family and the baby of the classroom has made him vulnerable to the outside influences of others. He is gullible and will do something he is not supposed to do when another child suggests it. So, we are giving him another year to mature even though academically he is ready to move on.

I guess my point is to evaluate your child's readiness on all levels. Though the child might be ready to learn more, can the child excel emotionally? People are multi-faceted. And, if you feel the teacher will do what is right for the child's well-being, great.

My son has a wonderful preschool teacher with whom I discussed his progress at length. And, we agreed we would like Danny to be more of a leader than a follower. We hope the additional year of preschool will help him to do just that.

 
At Wednesday, 06 June, 2007, Blogger Gina said...

My ten year old has been doing gymnastics since he was 18 months old. Our biggest decision has been which gym to go to next. We were at one gym that wasn't pushing him so we went to another one for powertumbling and in a year's time he went from doing one backhandspring to doing eight in a row. We also did a year of competition, but decided it wasn't for us. It was ridiculolusly espensive and because he was a boy and there weren't many boys competing, sometimes he wouldn't compete against anyone and then he'd still get a metal. I wished he competed against someone even if he lost.

Now we're back a traditional gymnastic gym and his tumbling skills are higher than his other skills, and the young teacher is not pushing him and he's discouraged because he isn't advancing.

I would say go for the level 3. I'm not sure how old she is, but she should only be competing with herself. I still think it's a waste of time and money to have such little ones in competition and maybe she can be in the level without competing. Our kids shouldn't need a metal to validate themselves. Just encourage her and show her how far she's come compared to girls her own age and I think she'll be fine. So will you!!

 
At Thursday, 07 June, 2007, Blogger Cara Putman said...

Thanks for all the advice, ladies. It's hard. I'm a closet perfectionist, and I don't want to push Abigail into that. But I also don't want to swing to the other extreme. She's only 6, so I want it to still be fun. We'll see how tonight goes. She's going to have a great teacher, and that makes all the difference in my book. Now to let her enjoy this, and me not stress about decisions that aren't ours to make now anyway. That whole what if game!

 

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