My poor girl is the youngest and smallest swimmer each time she is in a swim class. This makes me so proud of her! Yet, it can be difficult for someone who hates losing, and hates failing. We dont think she is failing, we think she is amazing. However, I dont hand out free compliments for nothing. If I say, "That was a lovely dive baby, it was perfect," then why would she keep trying to improve?
"Mama, watch me dive okay and tell me if its good. Give me a number." We do a scale thing in our family, 1-10. I think we have registered a zero or two also...
"Okay baby go ahead." She sort of dives, but more or less lands once again like a cat on knees and hands. She comes up and hopefully stares at me from the side with her goggles so tight her eyeballs bulge. "Honey that wasnt very good. I would give it a 5 for effort but a 1 for performance."
"Because you flopped again." She gets out and comes to me drippy wet to wrap her arms around my middle. She has tried and tried today. "You will get it baby. I will help you some more."
"I am the smallest. Will I be better when I am not the smallest?"
"You are already better. You are amazing, just need more fine tuning and as you grow yes you will be even better." She tries again and this time, its at least an 8. Myself, the lifeguards and several watching/waiting children jump, yell and clap for her. I think it was worth being honest to see the happiness in her face when she finally got it. She will continue to struggle and work on it, but will put such effort into it.