Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Baby Steps, but Not in Tap Shoes

So dance class has been done away with. We tried to send her back, but every time we tried, she'd cry to the point of vomiting within minutes, and the teacher would ask her to leave. So, rather than endure another 7 months of weekly vomit-stained leotards, we opted out. It's left me feeling quite defeated, not to mention wondering what Emma has learned from all of this. My psychology trained mind is inclined to believe that she has now been reinforced twice for the crying/vomiting episode by getting exactly what she desired - the chance to go home with mommy. I suppose down the line we'll have to try again, but in a venue where her vomiting and hysterics won't be so disruptive.

The only saving grace to what seems like my bumbling job of parenting her through this anxiety is that we have stuck to our guns with preschool, and it seems to be working out. The first day back she cried and vomited, but the teacher agreed to let her stay. The next day, she cried off and on all morning, but made it through the day without my having to come and stay with her. And apparently the third time's a charm because the next time we went, she cried at drop off for 2 minutes and was fine. This behavior went on for 2 more classes, and this last class.....not a tear. Thank God or Allah or the Force, or whomever. I'm finally starting to feel like my persistence is paying off, and she is re-learning how to feel comfortable and confident away from me. Maybe we'll try again for dance class next year. In the meantime, know anyone who needs some size 9, BARELY used tap shoes?


Amanda said...

I'll let you know, we are toying with signing Briar up for dance with the same instructor Sean had as a kid. I think you did the right thingl, but I know as parents the grey area hurts quite a bit.

KHS said...

Sounds like you found some reasonable middle grounds, sticking out preschool and letting go of dance. Even though it may feel a little bit like you gave in, but you don't want her to hate dance for the rest of her life because she associates it with vomitting. And, truth be told, it's not bad for a preschooler to have a little control over her own life and her own destiny.

Hang in there.
Karen in San Diego