Ava is 3 years old this summer and old enough to be in the preschool class for swimming lessons. She loves the water and loves to swim so I thought it would be a fun summer activity for her. The first day of lessons she was amazing. More than half of the kids in her class were crying when it was time for the mom's to leave but Ava did great. She gave me a hug and a kiss and said bye. I was so proud of her.
When we showed up for day #2 it was a different story. She wasn't happy about the shower she had to take (which they require of all kids who are getting in the pool) but once she was in the pool she was fine. Then half way through she started crying hysterically. Through the fence I was tying to talk to her and calm her down only to find out she had to go to the bathroom. My guess is she was cying because she didn't know what to do or who to tell. So we took care of that and she was fine.
Day #3 She started crying before we even left the house and cried a large portion of the class. What I came to find out in trying to talk to her and calm her down is that she is scared of the shower. She takes baths at home because she doesn't like showers and apparently the first day of class the teachers took them to the showers and they just shoved her in and got her face all wet and basically just scared her. she hated it. The teachers eventually got her calmed down but when day #4 came she was hysterical when I said it was time for simming lessons. For some reason I felt especially bad so I decided to let her stay home.
Today was day #5. As of this morning I was undecided whether or not I would make her go so I asked Chris. At first he hemmed and hawed but decided that yes we should make her go. So I did. When we got there we rinsed off in the sink instead of the shower which eliminated most of the crying. There was a little bit of whimpering when I dropped her off but then she was fine for the rest of class.
So my question is, do you make your children face their fears? Was it wrong of me to force her to go even though she said she didn't want to? Would you have let your child stay home?