Skating Lessons - And the tragic lesson of realizing some things take hard work


A couple of weeks ago Soren started skating lessons. We had talked about learning to skate for a long time, and he's watched numerous hockey games on tv. I think he knows the names of all the NHL teams, along with their mascots. However, Soren is terrible about learning new things. He is completely negative - saying things like 'I'll be the worst skater.' It is beyond frustrating, as I think I am a fairly optimistic person by nature, and I just don't know how to respond to an attitude like that. Of course, I tell him that all the kids are just learning, and he'll be good, and everyone falls down... but it doesn't seem to get through to him.

Off we went for the first lesson, and he was really excited. He was most excited about grandpa coming to tie up his skate laces. He happily found the dressing room, put on his 'skating pants', and got his skated laced up. Then we headed for the ice, and he couldn't wait to get on. He told me that he didn't want any help, and wasn't interested in holding my hand. Well... obviously he got on the ice and realized he couldn't skate, and then the tears started. While these pictures look cute, in reality we had a lot of crying and lying on the ice. Then he realized he could crawl, so he spent a lot of time trying to crawl off the ice.

Afterwards, we talked about how why he felt frustrated. He explained that he wanted to be fast like the Winnipeg Jets players. We told him that it takes YEARS of hard work and practice. The good news is that we are now three lessons in, and last weekend was a marked improvement. He was much happier and barely cried. We know he can be good at anything he puts his mind to, but it's hard when he just wants to give up. We have the same arguments about food - and his side goes pretty much like this: 'No dinner for me then. I don't like that. I guess I'll just go to bed hungry...'. We know that if he would actually try a bite he'd probably like it, but he will refuse to open his mouth for hours on end.

Tyler likes to tell me 'he won't be three forever', and while I of course understand this to be true, it's still hard with day-to-day activities. Our little pessimist loves to 'just give up' as soon as he isn't perfect at something. I need to find some parenting strategies to encourage him to work hard, and explain to him that he won't be perfect at everything he does.

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