As Luke has been approaching his 3rd birthday I had been thinking about moving him up to the next class at The Little Gym…without parents. I’ve known he was ready but didn’t take that next step until his teacher, Miss Cassie, mentioned that we should try the new class the following week and she agreed that he was definitely ready.
I talked to Luke after class and throughout the following week about how he would be taking a new class, without Mommy, and he seemed really excited about it. When the day rolled around, he jumped right into class without any problems and as Julian and I watched him from behind the glass window we couldn’t believe just how grown up he looked all of a sudden!
10 minutes roll by and as he was running around (kicking a soccer ball) he accidentally knocked into another little boy and he was SO upset he immediately ran to the door for me. (It’s worth noting that this kid falls ALOT and not much usually phases him! This was out of the ordinary!) The teacher tried to talk to him but he wasn’t calming down so I did go over to him thinking he just needed a hug. He continued to spend the next 45 minutes of class crying and wouldn’t let go of me like his life depended on it. He kept telling me was scared. It was really hard…really….really hard for me to see him so upset and I was surprised he suddenly turned into a Momma’s Boy! Luke is so outgoing, so this completely threw me!
I learned a lot that day, two weeks ago. I learned that by my being there absolutely made him more upset. I learned that by Julian being there probably threw him off in addition to a new class since he usually doesn’t come. I learned that once again the The Little Gym staff is invaluable during this transition and I have been blown away by their support, encouragement and building not only Luke’s confidence but mine too! I learned that if your kid(s) are telling you they are scared – listen to them. Acknowledge their feelings and help them through it. During a quiet moment later, tell them about when you were in a scary situation and how you got through – he’s only 3 but they understand! (Also try playing role reversal with them – tell them you’re scared of something and ask them to help you through it!) I learned that he suddenly needed a little more support from Mom and when given, his confidence soared. Try not to get angry or show your frustration when your kids are doing something irrational – this usually only makes it worse! Instead of saying “why are you crying? there’s no reason for you to be scared” try saying “Wow! I loved watching you kick the soccer ball!” If kids are really upset, try giving them a crayon and a piece of paper and ask them to show you how angry/scared/upset they are. It’s important they learn how to express their emotions and how to work through them. More on this in another post…
When I left that day I knew I had to come up with a plan because I couldn’t go through a repeat of the previous week. I did question if he was ready for the new class but after seeing what they were doing in there I knew this was the class he needed to be in, without a doubt. So I decided to tell Luke that while he was at his class, I would pop next door to Kroger and find a special snack for him to eat after his gym class. I don’t like the idea of bribing kids so it was important for me to find an excuse not to be there that he would understand. It’s more like “while you’re doing that, I’m going to be doing this” rather than “IF you do that THEN I’ll give you this”. He would get the snack no matter the outcome.
The good news is that he did great going the second time that week and I know it made a huge difference with me not being there because he knew not to look for me and it helped him focus on the class. I did RUN through Kroger getting the requested orange juice and granola bar and was so relieved to see him still happy and doing great when I returned. I was worried that if he saw me he would get upset so I spent the rest of class watching him crouched behind the other parents, practically sitting in the floor! He did get upset briefly during class but he was able to self soothe and re-join class which is a HUGE step for young kids! Our third class was a success, even after a few tears at the start – Miss Natalie came over to Luke with a tennis racket and a balloon and as soon as she put that racket in his hand he ran off and joined class and I left for a quick Kroger run! Within just three classes he has grown leaps and bounds and is starting to listen to the teachers and understand how his new class works!
Learning to separate is not always easy – for kids and parents but it’s something we ALL have to deal with! Even if kids have been in daycare since they were 3 months old, I’ve seen some who have some tears leaving Mom or Dad as they are older. It’s all apart of the age and they will learn to separate, in time. I’ve been thinking about preschool for Luke and I’m so thankful I have The Little Gym to build Luke’s confidence!
The next thing I will do with Luke is one of the fun camps they have at The Little Gym! They are currently gearing up for
their Winter Camp and for TODAY ONLY they are having a great deal!!
This Friday only, reserve your Winter Camp with a $10 deposit, and we will WAIVE your balance! All you need to do is show up on your camp day with laundry detergent (preferably Tide)! Tide Dry Cleaners is donating a case of detergent as well!
Why detergent you might ask? Food stamps do not cover detergent. Can you believe that! Also, canned food drives that schools host, ban detergent due to school regulations.
- Today, Friday December 9th, reserve your Winter Camp day with a $10 deposit per day. ****Limit of 3 per family****For those who have booked any camps, feel free to book a few more to participate!
- One camp day = one detergent, two camp days = two detergents, and three camp days = three detergents.
- Click here to view our camp schedule!
- Upon the day of your scheduled camp, or anytime before hand, drop off a family sized bottle or box of detergent, and we will erase your balance!
- This special promotion will benefit The Mason Food Pantry!