Devin told me last week that he wanted to take a gymnastics class. I found one and signed him up. Yesterday was his first class. He was so excited!
When we got there he walked right up to the teacher stuck out his arm for a handshake and said, "Hi, My name is Devin Martin" The teacher looked so suprised. She intriduced herself and Devin said, "Nice to meet you." I laughed to myself when I saw the teachers smile and was in awe at the same time, that he was so confident and so sure of himself in new situations.
The class started with stretches and led into forward and backwards rolls, then handstands, then balance-beam work. It looked so amazing and so fun! When we were walking to the car I asked, "So... how'd you like your first class babe?" he said, "I hated it! It was lame and boring and not at all what I thought".
Now, the beauty of living a respectful, connected life with our kids means also living in non-judgement. It was fine with me that he didn't want to go back. We don't live by the belief that we need to "finish what we start" by someone else's standards or ideas. We do finish what we start, but it is by our own time-table and schedule. We are finished when we are done. Period. Also, I hear so often that parents make their kids stay in classes where they are not happy because of the money. Well, there is usually always a way to get refunded or to roll the money over into another class. Money would never be a reason why I would make my child stay in a class where they weren't happy. My kids feelings are way more important than money.
I saw this as such a great thing! Devin tried something new and learned that he didn't want to do it again. But the cooler thing still was that on the way in to gymnastics class Devin saw a ginormous climbing wall and said, "I want to do that!" as he saw some kids climbing.
We never would have known about that wonderful new hook for him had we not taken the gymnastics class.
So, I called the Recreation center and told them politely that I wanted a full refund for the gymnastics class series and asked if they would take that money and put it toward climbing lessons for Devin. He is thrilled and can't wait to take on his new adventure next week!
To me, this life is about offering our children a rich buffet or options and activities in life. They Joyfully take what appeals to them and leave the rest at the door. There is no retribution for stopping classes or projects. There is only pure, authentic freedom without guilt, coercion, or shame. There is just choices, with no strings attached.
As Devin and I hung out in bed last night talking I asked him if he wished he never went to gymnastics class and he said, "No. it was boring, but I learned how to do a handstand and a backward roll. I learned what I wanted, now time to learn how to climb!"
It wasn't this huge drama. It was simple and positive and he did learn so much. It wasn't a negative to us because he didn't want to do it again. We all looked at the many positives of the experience and noticed how it led to another cool interest! Joe is taking the climbing class with Devin next week. It is something Joe has always wanted to try also.
We are off on another adventure and it feels so good to all of us! Life is what you create and choose to see in any given situation. We choose to create happiness, understanding and connection in all that we do and I am so grateful for that!