Saturday, 5 December 2009

Captain Kid Swims Like a Fish

How time flies! I remember clearly when Captain Kid was born (five and half years ago). That half-decade has flown by. There are times when I reckon I have learned as much from her as she has from her mother and I.

There are loads of things she has had to learn in that time - all to do with her development but which would come 'naturally'. I am thinking of gross motor skills and social skills. But there are the 'big five' abstract skills I want/wanted her to learn:
  1. Swimming
  2. Cycling
  3. Reading
  4. Writing
  5. Arithmetic

Sure there are other important skills, but the above are quite significant skills that many adults never master. (The last three are more academic and I see no need to emphasise them just yet - there is plenty of time for that. Also, her simple love of books and stories is her gateway to academia. She is something of a bibliophile and her love of "Calvin & Hobbes" - which she occasionally reads on her own, seems to be encouraging her to pursue these skills further.)

Last July, CK nailed cycling. It was a big day for me. Now, five months later, I am proud to report that she has nailed swimming ("he wrote all misty eyed and weeping"). She completed a width of the pool (all five meters of it), totally unassisted.

She is heavily motivated my the reward of the certificate which underlines this achievement - but for me it is her realisation that a willingness to try, enthusiasm, focus, persistence, challenging and overcoming fear - these are the real skills needed in life.

I try to praise the effort rather than the achievement - she can never repeat the achievement, but if she repeats the effort, greater achievements will come.

Hmmm - I wonder if she is ready to join me on my annual festive 'wild swim'/paleo-dip in the Irish Sea?

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