This is a repost of a post earlier this year...
When my son was learning how to swim, it seemed like the hardest parenting thing ever for me. Living in South Florida, it is a necessity to teach kids as early as possible.
From age one and a half on, he took swimming lessons each spring. I put him in group lessons at the community center. I put him in private lessons at the community center. I had a swim teacher come and teach him at our house. My husband tried to teach him. Year after year, he would cry, puke, almost drown and then finally start to swim just a little bit and only in the shallow end.
Native Floridians like me think anything between the end of September and April as "too cold to swim months" so we would stop swimming and by May, pretty much be at square one all over again. I watched his friends start swimming and become little fish. It was not until he was 7, when we were on a cruise, that he jumped in and never stopped swimming. He is now a strong swimmer and has no fear of water at all so I guess it all worked out fine.
My point is that I thought that teaching him how to swim was really important for his safety and independence AND really, really hard. What could be harder to teach than swimming to a kid who did not want to swim? Maybe potty training but that was accomplished way before the swimming was.
We are now at the driving stage. Well, the learner's permit stage. It is totally terrifying. I know why it is biologically very difficult to get pregnant after a certain age. It is because you should not be sitting in the passenger seat of your car with your 15 year old driving if you are older than 55. I can't even imagine if I was 10 years older trying to sit in traffic with a child learning how to drive without having some type of coronary event.
As it is, I am trying to yoga breathe and not scream while he is behind the wheel. I've considered offering a cash incentive to forget the whole driving thing and eventually apply to colleges in cities with great public transportation options like NYC. He is now almost 16 and it has not become any easier.
In my "mommy career", I've always found that having mom- friends a year or two ahead of me, has always been valuable. "Don't worry about fifth grade math, they will get it" or "they will stop that biting thing when they are 3" was always much needed and wise advice.
Unfortunately, my friends that have kids who are now in the beginning stages of driving on their own are terrifying me. One friend's son has already been in 2 fender benders after only having his license for a couple of months. Another says that she is terrified whenever her 16 year old pulls out of the driveway and only calms down after he returns home. I often see another friend's sweet little daughter speeding around town in her new convertible like hell on wheels. None of this is comforting.
Is there anything harder than this? Please let me know because I could use a heads up.