Tuesday, April 20, 2010

More on Gymnastics...

I got so sad for Brooke at gymnastics today. There's a small group of regulars that come but in this particular class there were several random new kids that showed up. Besides Brooke, there were 5 girls and 2 boys. They girls were really bubbly and outgoing and they all kind of seemed to click instantaneously. Then there was my sweet Brooke. She just kind of sat off by herself, timid and quiet. It broke my heart. All the kids, despite being her age (many of them younger than her) towered over her, making her look so, so tiny!

The other kids seem to be naturals at actvities that they were doing and Brooke was so afraid. She was giving it a good effort but I could tell that she was really having a hard time putting her fears aside. I know my girl and I can tell when she's struggling with something simply by looking at her.

Then, there's that teacher again... The one who yelled at her for being "disobedient" when she was scared of the highbars. Anyways, I was nursing Adrienne and I saw Brooke walking out of the gymnastics area to come find me. When she opened the door I heard the teacher yelling, "Then GO, Brooke! Don't just stand there. GO!" It wasn't a sweet, reassuring voice, either. Poor Brooke had tears in here eyes so I obviously asked the teacher what the problem was. The teacher said, "She has to go to the bathroom but she just stands there. I don't get it." Think about it... She's 3, she doesn't really know anyone in the class, she needs to go potty, can't find her mommy, and the teacher's yelling at her. UGH. I just cringe thinking of how she must have felt at that moment:-(

I talked to the teacher after class and she gave me this whole song and dance about how Brooke's showing improvement and how she's fine. I, of course, didn't buy much of it because I know when people are being fake. This is what gets me, though... If I ask Brooke if she likes gymnastics she says she does and she never complains about the teacher. In fact, she even asks to go back to class during the week. It seems like MY feelings are more hurt here than hers!

I feel kind of anxious about sending her back next week. No mommy wants THEIR child to be the "odd man out" and of course I want my child to succeed and feel included. Then again, Brooke has a completely different temperament than me. Maybe she's fine sitting on the sidelines and keeping it to herself? I just don't know! Or maybe I'm a mother hen who's taking this whole thing way too far?


Anonymous said...

awww thats tough I would be feeling the same why towards the teacher. I think I would always wonder. If she likes it and seems to want to go back I would just go with it. Eventually she will get more involved and get over her fears etc.

Maybe she just needs more time to warm up ya know?

rccalyn said...

Poor Brooke - although she sounds fine! That's hard though, especially on you! I wanted to point out something though - I bet most of those other girls are probably not firstborns. I have found that birth order makes a HUGE difference in how certain kids act. There are some kids at church in Marissa's class that are the same age - but you'd never know it. Marissa is soooo timid and cautious compared to them. On the other hand, Marissa has a friend that is still an only child, and she is still "babied" and even more cautious than Marissa is. So that may be a part of it.

Otherwise, I think that teacher is way out of line! Have you told Brooke that it's ok to feel upset with how the teacher talks to her? Maybe if she realized you were hurt by it, she'd understand it a little more...But if you don't want her to realize it, then clearly she can still keep going and enjoy it! That's a hard situation either way!

MrsMonicaLB said...

give her time I'm sure she will bloom once she's not feeling so new.
as for the teacher,thats a fine line,some cant handle being told anything and end up taking it out on the kids.
I am a mean momma bear and would say something,I dont like anyone raising there voice to my kids.Maybe thats just how the teacher talks,in a stern voice to all the kids??
Maybe see how the next one goes,if if isnt bothering Brooke.Just keep an ear out in case.

Jillian said...

Thanks for your insights, girls!

Stacy, I haven't really brought it up to Brooke because I figured that wouldn't help her, it would just pollute her mind. I figure that if she's not frustrated or upset by it then I certainly don't want to plant that seed for her. I ask her lots and lots of questions about the class and open the door for her to share if the teacher's mean or if she doesn't like it but she never says anything negative. She doesn't seem to like the teacher when I'm there but she's shy. I'm not sure how they're dialogue is throughout class. We've been going there since last summer so you would think that she would have warmed up to her by now???

And you're right.. The other kids (with the exception of one) are NOT the firstborns. I'm starting to see that that makes quite the difference for a lot of kids. I didn't realize that Marissa was cautious like Brooke. I'm kind of happy to see that it's not just MY kid!