Lessons learned at Lo Jolla Tide Pools (part 2)

8 Aug

My son hates the beach!

Helping our kids experience new things

little boy upset

"I want to go home!"

As a mom I always struggle with how much to push my kids to try new things, especially when they claim to “hate it” and cry at the site of it. Do I let them keep hating something so wonderful as a park or beach? Or do I try to give them a better experience of it until they appreciate it? Well here is something else Rockford and I learned at the tide pools.
My three-year old son, Rockford, has for some reason grown a hate relationship with the beach, the water and the sand beach. He doesn’t like wearing sandals, walking barefoot on the sand or wearing those water shoes. He has never had a bad experience with water or beach (or sand for that matter). However, my son has always been a little particular with things…he doesn’t like being messy he says. So that’s why he freaks out when sand gets on him. My reply to him, “You’re a boy! You need to get dirty and messy that’s your job!” His reply to me, “You’re a dirty Mama.”
When my husband suggested we go to the La Jolla Tide Pool I kind of cringed knowing what Rockford was in for…and us for that matter. However, I also know how much Rocco, my one year old, enjoys the beach, so I rallied up the troops to go. As soon as we got there, Rockford started complaining that he didn’t want to wear his water shoes or sandals or go barefoot. “I want my socks and shoes!” he cried.  Well I would have just put those shoes back on him, but Daddy picked him up barefoot and carried him to the tide pools. 
boy crying

Hates the beach, can you tell?

As we are carefully walking around the slippery tide pool all I hear is Daddy consoling Rockford and reminding him that everything was going to be ok, that we were not going back home yet (like Rockford insisted we do), and that Daddy was there with him. My husband kept encouraging Rockford try to put his feet on the ground, to touch the fish and crabs he was pulling out of the pools, and kept distracting him with things to see and do every time Rockford’s lip started to quiver.  I would have thrown in the towel, but my husband kept working with him.
father consoles son

Daddy comforts and encourages Rockford

As I am watching and playing with Rocco, I couldn’t help but keep observing the interaction between Daddy and Rockford. Initially, Rockford kept looking to me to “rescue him” or concede to his requests. Eventually he quit when he realized I wasn’t going to budge and contradict Daddy.
daddy and son feet at beach

Daddy leads him

 We started making our way down to the beach and closer to the water. Getting Rockford to test the water was going to be another challenge for Daddy, I thought. However, I was pleasantly surprised that by now Rockford was not only walking barefoot on the sand, but he was actually smiling and saying, “I dont’ want to go home Daddy, I like it here.”
father and son in beach

Encouraged by his Daddy

I realized Daddy had established a strong trust with Rockford that really allowed Rockford to partake in whatever Daddy was encouraging. This probably was the first time he really gave the water, sand and beach a fair try…and was actually enjoying it. So going into the water with Daddy came natural for him.
little boy in beach

testing the waters...alone

Then Rockford did something that surprised both Daddy and me… he went inside the water by himself. Wow, I thought! I didn’t think this day would come so soon.

He did it!

He really was very proud of himself…and so was Daddy and Mommy. What lessons we learned today both Rockford and I.
Lessons Learned
While at the tide pools there were lessons learned. Rockford learned that he really could appreciate the beach, water and the sand (he did end up getting down and dirty in it). All he had to do was be open to these experiences and trust that his parent was going to be there throughout the way. He did enjoy it and I think he was even surprised.
I learned that sometimes a little more patience and assistance with my children can go a long way. I don’t always have the patience when I have both boys and one gets upset over something he doesn’t like. I usually concede and its usually because its Rockford being quirky about something. I learned not to dismiss things by thinking, ‘fine we wont do it because Rockford is my little old man”, but really work with him to see if it’s something he really could enjoy but is just a little hesitant and needs more patience and guidance with it. Just as in my last post I noted how different my son Rocco is  from Rockford, this is a reminder to me that this will be an area where I’ll have to work differently with Rockford because Rocco has no problem running face first (literally) anywhere.
How do you deal with your kids in these situations?  Please let m hear your input and suggestions. Thank you.
Have a Fantastic Week all!!! Blessings!!
Winner announced Aug. 15th

2 Responses to “Lessons learned at Lo Jolla Tide Pools (part 2)”

  1. workmomad August 8, 2011 at 2:23 pm #

    I think it also made a difference in that it was Rockford’s Dad showing him the water. I tend to pull Kayla back from situations she is really uncomfortable with, but Mark will push her a little bit. Both stands are good, and serve different purposes at different times. Way to go Mom, Dad AND Rockford!

    • Training Up My Boys August 9, 2011 at 11:11 pm #

      Thank you Nancy. We are trying to figure it out as parents as we go. I thank God he gives his His Word to use as a guide 🙂

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