Kor Kor has completed three out of eight sessions of the rockclimbing course at Rock School, and I am quite taken aback by the flood of emotions that I have felt as a result of the lessons.
In short, the situation isn’t looking too rosy. I thought that he had proven at the trial class that he didn’t inherit my phobia of heights and that the following sessions would just get easier, though I did expect it would not be exactly smooth-sailing. (Which was why I signed him up anyway, no point if there was zero challenge, right?)
Kor Kor is very unwilling to climb the outdoor walls. He’s ok with the indoor walls, where they spend about half of the two-hour lesson. I do see his progress there – he’s now faster and more confident and quite his usual atheletic self. But those walls are only the height of a regular room, not exactly a challenge or worth the money and time and effort to attend the lesson, I think.
Then when they go outside, the problem starts. I see the other kids (all boys between five and seven years old) zooming up the walls. But Kor Kor has only gone up to half the wall and refuses to climb anymore. Worse, he flat out refuses to try again, while the other kids go up 2-3 times.
Basically, only two types of people can go up that wall – the ones who find it easy-peasy, and the ones who have some difficulties but continue trying until they succeed. No need to be humble here, I believe Kor Kor is fully capable of scaling the walls with a bit of effort. So, the problem must be he’s just not trying!! And that really pisses me off big time. I really cannot cannot CANNOT stand my children being lazy or giving up easily. No polite modesty again here, I think I am diligent and I definitely don’t give up easily. So my kids have a good role model (for these two traits at least) and the genes! Then it must be his ATTITUDE problem!
I get very upset and angry. Been giving him tongue-lashings after every lesson. Frankly speaking, I can’t even bring myself to look at him every time he whines and tells the instructor he doesn’t want to try anymore. While the class is still outside, I go back into the school. I feel so unhappy seeing the other boys going up the walls happily and easily, while mine is being so useless.
When I ask why, Kor Kor says he is really very tired. But what has he done to be tired?? On rockclimbing days, I don’t set up any play activities. He spends the whole day playing with his trains, reading books, fooling around with the siblings, resting, eating, watching some television… WHAT is he tired about???
Hubby says it’s because the other students are older. OK, it’s true that the next youngest boy is nine months older than Kor Kor. But hey, I am sure all of them go to school before the rockclimbing!!! While Kor Kor is basically doing nothing much at home.
Anyway, if Kor Kor obediently tries everytime, I am ok with him not reaching the peak. If he tries and fails, I will be disappointed but not frustrated. As long as he tries, I am quite sure I won’t be angry and so pissed off. But fact is, every lesson I have to deal with his unwillingness to try. I am really not liking myself much because of all the nasty emotions I feel and the nasty things I say to him. Sigh.
But neither does it mean I am hoping or going to try to be nice and sweet and understanding when he refuses to try. Nope, I definitely still want him to go up that wall. Because there are certain work ethics and values I want him to learn – perseverence, determination, never say die, try and try, tired also must do, cannot also must try, obedience towards teachers (instructors).
Actually, that’s why I signed him up for rockclimbing – for character building. I want to prepare him to have the correct attitude when he starts primary school. Unlike academic lessons, it doesn’t really matter if he hates rockclimbing for the rest of his life. I don’t want to scold him or force him with regards to academic learning, because I am scared of killing his inborn passion for learning. But with rockclimbing as the focal point here, I can impress on him the same values that are important for school.
The unexpected part is the learning which mummy also has to do – to curb my own sense of competitiveness, for one, but I think that is the easiest (yes, easiest despite how very competitive I do feel). The difficult parts – how to support my son when he fails. How to keep smiling and suppress my disappointment when he does try and still fails. How to encourage him to keep trying – encourage, not scold or force. How to react when he simply refuses to try and there’s no excuse for his poor attitude, because even if he is behaving badly, I still love him and I want him to know that. In a way, I am glad I am feeling all these unpleasant and undesirable emotions now, instead of finding out only when he starts primary school.
I am glad I have 1.5 years more, for both of us to learn together. *deep breaths*