When a person loves something as passionately as I love my kids, then it can’t help seep into my writing life. For the first time today, I realized the opposite is also true. The organization skills I learned in managing my writing, specifically goal setting, is helping me in my parenting.
My six-year-old is painfully shy. I’m her security blanket when we’re out and she has to talk to anyone, literally. You know that sinking-into-the-floor feeling of anxiety? She really does it. She slips down to the floor and tries to disappear.
Recently, she had to appear onstage in front of the half the school for a spelling bee. It was torture for both of us getting her on stage and into her seat. She did the melting-into-the-floor trick and wouldn’t move, not even for the teacher running the event. I had to go up onto stage, take her hand and walk her to her seat. She was nervous still after that, but she did participate through round five, beating out several kids older than her.
We praised her up and down for being brave. And then inspiration struck. If she could do this, even with the earlier trouble, she can get past being shy. The proper motivation is absolutely required.
Both kids are in a karate school that encourages family participation. She’s been wanting me to join her class, I’ve been delaying. That’s the carrot. Now here’s the stick: that spelling bee is the first of 5 BRAVE THINGS she has to do. As a reward, when she’s done, I’ll join her class. We’ve even talked to her karate teacher and he’s agreed to provide her opportunities in class to complete a BRAVE THING.
Just like writing, change comes a little at a time and needs the proper motivation and reward system. I hope I’ve stumbled onto the right solution for her.