Teaching Frustration

by Tracee Sioux

In my quest to lower my 5-year-old daughter Ainsley’s BMI and add more exercise I said yes to her request to attend yoga class with me this morning.

I am also teaching her to swim myself.

When I teach my daughter things I usually feel impatient and frustrated if it doesn’t go exactly the way I want it to. In swimming she really just wants to goof off and won’t ever listen to my instructions or follow them. In yoga she was fidgety and loud and disrupting the other ladies who were trying to get into their quiet place.

The worst part is that she is exactly like me as a learner. Difficult to teach. I learn through experimentation and trial and error and taking shortcuts. It’s only in my 30s that I’m realizing the little details are important steps that are there for a good reason.

When I’m attempting to teach my daughter yoga, money or swimming I get frustrated, which is accompanied by a strange guilt.

It’s a wonder my mother could teach me anything, I catch myself thinking. I’ve even caught my own self throwing up my arms in frustration and surrender, forget it, I’ve had enough.

It’s like a mirror-image going two directions – one to the past with empathy for what my mother went through trying to mother me and one to the present with frustration while trying to deal with my headstrong daughter who just wants to learn through exploration.

I am really dedicated to overcoming the frustration. I realize, having been the daughter, that there is nothing wrong in learning through exploration. After all, I seem to have learned quite a lot.

I think the key is taking a step back during our lessons and following her. I need to accept that a person generally doesn’t change the way they process information and certainly they never change the way they learn through exasperated sighs. But, hopefully, I can change my frustration level.

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