Abigail has been SO excited to participate in her "Princess Ballet Camp." She has been asking to do ballet for over a year, and we, honestly, would not have put her in in yet had it not been for her adamant requests. We think she's a tad young, and we just really aren't into kids being pushed into activities so young. But we found a Christian ballet studio, and they had this camp for little girls, and we decided to do it for Abigail's birthday.
The whole morning before we left for ballet, Abigail was just giddy. She even asked me to put some ballet youtube videos on so she could "practice." Here she is practicing before we left: Ballet at home
But then we got there, and she slipped into her shy shell. She just could not overcome the intense feelings. I asked her if she wanted to go home. I am not going to push a four year old to do something that is causing her real stress, and she shook her head vehemently. She wanted to do this so badly but just could not get through it.
As I have mentioned on my blog before, my outlook on emotions in children was revolutionized when I read the book: The Highly Sensitive Child. In the past, I might have tried to push her through this, but I knew, from reading this book, that this was simply how she was taking in the world. And I had to acknowledge how intense this world felt to her. These feelings are very real.
I compare it to if I went to a big dance party and was being pushed out on the dance floor. That would seem really overwhelming to me. While another friend might have no issue rushing right out. We all have situations that if pushed into them, we'd start to freak out a bit! Kids are no different, but because their situation seems so mild, we, as adults, don't allow them the space to work through it on their own.
This is how Abigail was taking in the situation. She wanted to be there, but it felt like more then she could handle.
I decided to just let her do this on her own. I sat behind her in the ballet circle for a few minutes and then made sure she knew I was sitting across the room and moved over there. It was SO difficult to watch as a mom. To see your child wanting something that she just could not push through hurt my heart so much.
But my mom and I just sat there, watching, and giving her some thumbs up to let her know she wasn't alone.
What was so great was that ... she worked through it! She did it!
She had a great teacher who paired herself up with Abigail, and to our great delight, Abigail slowly started pulling away from the shyness and started participating! The teacher told me later that she purposefully skipped some of the "ice breaker" activities to help Abigail just start moving instead of talking.
By the start of class two, take a look at my little girl! Ballet class (Abigail is in purple).
And here she is during class two! I really couldn't believe it! Ballet class
It was so amazingly wonderful to watch your child conquer a fear. I'm so proud of my little lady!