Sammy is a very shy child. She has a tendency to not participate in things because of her shyness. She hangs back at birthday parties and doesn’t play the games, she decided not to take dance lessons again because it meant she had to stay later at school, and I could hardly get her onto the soccer field last summer the whole season.
I was the same way and I know I missed out on a lot of fun. I don’t want that for her, so I’m always trying to find ways to get her to join in.
You can imagine my excitement when she asked to join basketball at school. It’s Thursday afternoons at school so she has to stay late. She said she wanted to. I said okay, thinking it was because her favorite teacher was teaching basketball and because a lot of her classmates were taking it. Her dad was happy because basketball is his thing and he thought she wanted to be like him.
The first morning of basketball she woke up and jumped around saying it was basketball day. She was so excited. When I kissed her goodbye at school, instead of clinging to me like she always does, she told me she’d see me after basketball and skipped away.
I breathed a sigh of relief. She was getting over her shyness and having fun.
I picked her up and asked her if she had fun at basketball. She bounced all over, smiling, and said yes. I asked if she made some baskets. She said she did. Then she volunteered her favorite part of basketball.
“We got a popsicle after basketball and got to eat it on the playground and if you didn’t play you didn’t get one.”
The light bulb turned on for me. She wanted a popsicle.
That’s okay. As long as she’s doing something willingly, a little bribery isn’t so bad.
*Photo via Flickr by Yamanize