Last semester I did everything I knew to do to get her to go in. I tried EVERY. SINGLE. WEEK. Emerson would run into class like it was the funnest thing in the world. She loved it. Every week I kept thinking Avery would see how much fun her sister was having and want to join in. Nope. This class is the 3 yr old class where they go in and the parents wait outside. Every week Emerson would run in and Avery would say she did not want to go and she would wait outside with me. For a while there I thought it was that she just wanted some alone time. Nope.
This semester started a few weeks ago and the first class neither of them wanted to go in. I thought I was gonna go bananas. Then the following week Emerson was back to going in happily and Avery was back to refusing to go. Last week I even resorted to just putting her into the class and walking away. About half way into the class I looked in and she was still lying in the same place still upset. BAD MOMMY!!! I felt horrible. The only reason I even tried this is that she had went into the YMCA play area so willingly and had not cried.
Last Thursday she was watching a Sesame Street and there were gymnast doing flips and cool stuff. Avery yelled, "I wanna do that!" I said, "well honey, to do that you have to actually go into gymnastics class." Then they had a birthday party Saturday that was at the Y and they did gymnastics. When we all went into the gymnastics area she was happily with the class then she ran over and sat by me. I reminded her of the gymnasts on TV and she ran back to the circle to participate. After the party I took them to Target to buy leotards for class. As I was talking to them about the leotards and gymnastics I asked Avery if she would go into class this coming week and she said, "Yes." Cut to today....
I tell them what we are doing today, "going to gymnastics." and immediately Avery tells me she doesn't want to go. I get out the leotards and get them dressed and she is still telling me she doesn't want to go. We get there and she tells me she wants to stay outside with me. Suddenly it dawns on me, "Avery, if I tell the teachers not to touch you without your permission will you go into class?" "YES!" She ran in like a flash never looking back. I grabbed a teacher and reminded her that Avery does not like to be touched, so please ask her before touching her.
The teachers were AWESOME! One of them said she kept telling Avery, "Don't touch me!!! Don't you touch me" and Avery would laugh.I know she just needs to feel like she trusts you before you can touch her. I don't think it's that much to ask. How would you like it if someone picked you up and moved you without saying a word?
I started really noticing this when we were going to the toddler transitional gymnastics classes. It is a little more structured then the tot/mom gymnastics, but mom is still there to help. Whenever the instructor would tell Avery what to do and then try to spot her Avery would say, "NO, I do it." Then if she needed help she would say, "NO, Mama help me." and I would spot her. Then one day at this same class I was on the other side of the room and Avery had picked up a toy the teacher wanted to put up. Instead of taking the toy from Avery she picked Avery up and carried her across the room to put the toy away. Avery FREAKED she was crying and I could see she was VERY upset, and it had nothing to do with the toy she was carrying. I was trying to tell the teacher that Avery was freaking out about her holding her not the toy, but I was across the room and she was not paying attention. After she put Avery down she ran to me and was in desperate need of recovery. I had to hold her for what seemed like forever for her to feel ok again.
So why did I not put the two together before? She assumed that if I was not going to be in there the teachers were going to grab at her willy nilly....
Yes, she will eventually need to be touched by the gym couches if she is going to learn to do any of the gymnastics, but they can at least ask first!