This is the sum of a conversation I had with my 5 year old this week. She is a very active little girl that gets anxious about hard things, about new things, about anything out of her comfort zone. Once we can get her to the activity or event she is good to go. The school bus is a daily example of this, we are constantly talking her into taking the bus. Once we get to the bus stop and the bus pulls up she runs off and jumps right on.
It would have been easier to tell my little one that she didn't have to go if she didn't want to. It would have been easier to just agree that it is hard and leave it at that. But the reality is she has to learn that things are going to be hard and that is ok. And, I don't want to miss out on those smiles she has when she is done with her lesson and telling you about what she did.
The discussion mentioned above came on the way to horseback riding lessons. After missing a lesson earlier in the week I was able to get it rescheduled to try again. We spent some time after school talking about why she didn't want to go on Monday and talking about doing hard things.
As she went through her lessons her instructor, JoDee kept reinforcing how great she was doing. She would prep my little one for some the things that were coming up, and would cheer every time it got nailed on the first or second try. At the end JoDee explained to me how great Autumn does with it all because once she gets on the horse she is fearless. She accomplishes tasks that other kids spend multiple lessons trying to get the courage to even try.
As we leave my little one tells me, with a huge smile, that it was easy and tells me again how much she likes it.