Living with Littles presented by The Dance Academy: The end of summer milestones.

by Nicole Loughan


thedanceacademylogoLiving with Littles is presented by The Dance Academy. Since 1987, The Dance Academy in Holland, PA has been offering professional dance training with a personal touch, instilling the love of dance to students and families throughout Bucks County. Under the direction of Miss Donnajean Kline (BFA in Dance, Temple University) and staffed by a group of highly-trained instructors, The Dance Academy has acquired countless awards and accolades each year at local, national, and international competitions. Through recitals, competitions, advertising publications, professional companies, and tours; Dance Academy students are spreading their passion for dance both here in the States as well as on international stages. Register now for the fall season!

I started the summer with a list of goals in mind. There were two physical ones for the kids that I was really honing in on, riding bikes without training wheels and swimming without any flotation devices. The good news is The American Academy of Pediatrics essentially says the date to ride a bike and swim on their own is so different with each child that the right age to do it is whenever they want to do it and can do it. So, while we aren’t necessarily behind, I felt like some nudges were needed. I think my kids would keep training the training wheels into their teen years if I allowed it.

The goals were set back at the in June, by fall we were going to ditch the wheels and floats, and for good measure, I was going to clean out the basement/play room.

We only have a few days left of summer and here’s where we stand, neither child will ride their bikes without training wheels. I’ve taken them off, I even let them use the wrench to take them off themselves thinking this would give them a sense of control over the situation. However, after only a few seconds on the bikes without the special wheels, they both screamed and ran, refusing to get back on. We went for rides with their friends who had them off thinking peer pressure would help. It did not. I took the wheels off a week ago and declared “no more rides until we give it a real try.” The result, nobody has asked to go for a bike ride in a week. I think I can call that goal a solid fail, but they both know what a ¾ inch wrench is all about, so I have a small win.

For swimming, we took daily swim lessons, called accelerated swim lessons, at our local pool. Those lessons, in small groups, are meant to get kids swimming in a hurry. Both kids started at the same level, they call it an Eel, which means swimming with one floaty bubble. It’s the last class before real swimming. One kid graduated up to the swimming with no bubble class. The other child was issued a repeat. I’m going to call that a win. Because it’s all downhill from there.

I started to clean out the basement. I realized I have a whole lot of fish tank down there. I spent about half a day, moving one very large fish tank out of the utility room, cleaning it and posting it on Craigslist. Then I boxed the last of the baby toys, destined for the curb. They were the ones not worth donating or selling. As soon as the kids saw them they panicked, immediately begging for their once dearly loved glow worms and four piece Melissa and Doug puzzles and wooden IKEA stackers. Those toys had been neglected for at least two years and suddenly they were the hottest thing in the house. So, for basement progress, I have a cardboard box full of baby toys sitting in the middle of the playroom in the basement and a very large unsold fish tank in front of my t.v. The basement looks worse than it did before I started cleaning it.

With the end of summer closing in I’ve got to kick it into high gear if I’m going to tick anything off my list. But now a new list is before me. The school supply lists have dropped, check your school district web page if nobody has told you about this yet. The lists mean it’s time to get shopping for supplies, buy bags, lunch boxes, clean and organize homework spots and get clothes washed and sorted for school. It looks like I’m going into fall with a no training wheels, swimming and clean basement goal. Let’s hope those goals don’t follow me to winter.

Should your kid be swimming or out of training wheels? Here’s the word from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)

In case you’re wondering if your kids are on track they have great news, when you’re kids are ready to ride and swim, that’s the right time:

Swimming – In the past, AAP had discouraged swim lessons for children younger than 4 years old. Now they say starting swim lessons at younger ages can be beneficial to prevent drowning, but they say not to push children to stress when attempting to swim. Parents are to let them swim at their own pace.

Bicycling – The recommendation is not to push a child to ride a 2-wheeled bike without training wheels until he or she is ready. They say, “Consider your child’s coordination and desire to learn to ride. Stick with coaster (foot) brakes until your child is older and more experienced for hand brakes. Consider a balance bike with no pedals for young children to learn riding skills.”

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