Finding the right time to give in - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Valley And State

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Finding the right time to give in

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Jason P. Skoda is a reporter at the Ahwatukee Foothills News. Reach him at (480) 898-7915 or

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Posted: Friday, August 5, 2011 3:00 pm

Parenting has been a blast so far.

My daughter, Jyllian, is just 4 years old so there haven't been a whole lot of struggles to this point.

We just try and make her smile a handful of times a day and having at least one belly laugh is a requirement.

We have our rules and stick to them, but at this age it is all about enjoying our time together.

But now I have come across my first sports-related road block.

She wants to take a break from swimming class.

I really don't want her to. My wife wants to take the break as well since Jyllie has been so adamant about it.

It is something she is very adept at for her age. The swimming school, SwimKids USA in Mesa, has put her in promotional videos and requested her presence when local TV news cameras come into the building for a story.

She loves the water and asks to go swimming everyday, but after recently graduating a level - bronze to silver jr. - Jyllian has been griping about going to class, which is one day a week followed by dance class.

When asking her why, she either says she is bored or that the teacher doesn't let her play.

This is where I am struggling as to what decision to make. I was never allowed to quit anything. That doesn't mean that is the right approach, but there is some merit to it.

It is a new class so she shouldn't be bored with the technique (she's learning to freestyle) and only has four more levels to go through to complete the entire program.

And her teacher is the same guy who has taken her through the last few levels so his approach of not letting them goof off during class isn't new and I am all for it. He gives them time to play afterward.

She definitely knows what she wants - just like her mother - and doesn't have any problem telling us.

So I am inclined to give in to her. She has been in the swim class since she was 6 months old and the only time we have missed over those four years is when we're out of state for vacation.

A break might be needed. She is getting plenty of swim time at home.

Once it cools down - soon please - and we just can't go out to the backyard and jump in, maybe she will want to get back into swim class.

She will stay in dance and soccer picks up again soon. Then there is a second-season of T-ball in the spring. She will stay plenty busy.

So why I am fighting it so much?

I am sure part of it is being a proud parent. I love watching her advance so far at such a young age. I am not delusional about it. I don't think she is going to be the next Amanda Beard or anything.

It's just simply something my daughter is good at and I enjoy watching her improve and, yes, show off at pool parties where people can't believe how fluid and comfortable she is in the water.

Maybe it is because when she first started out it was a parent-tot class and I was in the pool with her.

Am I holding on to the memory of her being a baby, whereas now she has her own opinions and ideas? And I'm letting it get in the way of making the right decision.

That's probably a big part of it. She only has one more year of preschool and she will be off to kindergarten.

So much more difficult decisions are ahead, but I can't help it if this one puts a small lump in my throat.

My little fish is out of the water and all I want to do is help her back in.

Contact writer: (480) 898-7915 or

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