Recently, we went for the 2nd time to Xocomil water park here in Guatemala.
The first time, Atlas (2) was a little somber and hesitant to fully enjoy the water.
This time, he was down right resistant...
As we walked into the park, he started crying. Then he started pulling on me and saying, "Go. Go." He wanted to leave and go back to the truck.
I realized that he was afraid of the water. Convincing him to stay and sit with me by the pool, we talked about the kids playing in the water, watched the big bucket filling up and dumping water on them, and how much fun they were having. I walked over and waded in myself, but he didn't like that. He wanted me to sit right by him.
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But then sitting by him wasn't enough. He wanted to leave. I couldn't go anywhere, because I was watching everyone's stuff while they were sliding. I couldn't bribe him with food, because we'd left it in the truck (food usually works with him 😉 ).
I was frustrated, but also determined that I would help him get into the water (and enjoy it) before we left the park.
Eventually, we changed locations to a calmer, more inviting kiddie pool. I tried to set the example of fun by wading in, but he would just scream and cry and create a scene. He also complained of being hot (it was getting really warm, which is why I really wanted to get in the water.)
Finally he was very upset, crying and saying, "Hot. Go. Hot. Go." I knew I needed to get him into a happier mindset, or he'd never even consider getting into the water.
So I bought him a popsicle.
Now that he was happily sucking away on his quickly melting treat, I tried getting into the water again. He screamed once more, but this time I had leverage.
"If you scream again, I'm going to have to take your popsicle away. I'm hot so I'm going to get in the water. You can watch me while you eat your popsicle."
It worked. He watched while I waded. Then I sat on a raft at the waters edge and waited to see what he would do.
Slowly, he started walking my way with popsicle dripping down his arm. By the time he reached me, he held only a stick with his syrupy hands.
"Why don't you rinse them off in the water."
He did. The first time he touched it all day.
That was so much fun that a few minutes later he waded in (shoes still on, of course.)
Within the hour, he was wading, splashing, lying down and putting his face into the water (still fully clothed).
But I had obtained success! The rest of the afternoon, he had a fantastic time, and even went down a water slide with Greg and I!
Below are the principles I follow to help my children try new things:
Please let me know if you like this new style of video and way of presenting information -- leave a comment below telling me what you think. Should I do more of these, or get a day job? 🙂
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