Monday, October 8, 2012

Updated Swinging Style & High Expectations

Down Syndrome Awareness Month continues with a quick post about setting high expectations...

I am constantly pushing people that interact with Sweet Pea to have high expectations for her as she will more often than not, rise to the occasion.  It may take a little longer, but she gets there.  As good as I am about pushing other people to believe in her, I'm guilty of babying her as well.  This is a perfect example...

Just a few days ago I posted a video of Sweet Pea "Swinging with Style".  I posted it because it was a cute video of her having a blast and being her quirky little self.  What I didn't realize is that I was not pushing her to be the best that she could be.  Every time we would go to the park, I'd automatically put her in the baby swings...the ones that you can put a 6 month old baby in without worrying that they will fall out.  All typical 3 year olds are in the big kid swings that require them to hold on in order to avoid injury.  I had tried the big swings a couple of times, but without any expectation that she would be able to do it.  I would set her on it, hover over her and when she would immediately say "all done" I would move her to the baby swing.

We were at a park the other day and it only had one baby swing which was being used by another child and someone else was already waiting in line for it.  I had both girls with me and there were two big kid swings available so I figured why not try.  It was sand below so if they fell it wouldn't hurt too terribly bad...hopefully.  I put both girls on their swings and pushed them lightly and they had a blast!  They even performed a safer (thankfully) rendition of their swinging with style kicking!  I was so proud of both of them!  (Video link)

I happened to volunteer at Sweet Pea's school a few days after that park experience and I asked the aides who assist Sweet Pea on the playground if they had worked on that with her.  They readily admitted that they had, but that it was Sweet Pea who had requested it and that she now asks them to push her higher!  To hear that Sweet Pea is advocating for herself and is asking others to both figuratively and literally push her higher makes me such a proud Mommy! 

I need to take a lesson from her (again) and not let myself get stuck in the routine and continue to take the safe path.  I need to keep pushing the envelope with her as even I don't know where she can go and what she can do.  I do know that she can do a heck of a lot more than I ever imagined when we were first handed her diagnosis and I need to keep that in mind every minute of every day.  If I want others to see her as the capable individual that she is, I need to also!

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