Slides are one of the most fun activities in the playground, but not all kids enjoy it. A 5-year-old child in our program was fearful of slides. As parents, we often have the temptation of feeling agitated when our child fears something that everyone else seems to enjoy, which in turn would make the child feel unaccepted.
We took this opportunity to coach the parents on the importance of acceptance. We asked the parents to encourage the child to try every once in a while, but also allow the child to say "no" if he didn't feel ready for it. For the child, we encouraged him to freely express his fear of slides.
It took more than a year, but the child finally overcame his fear of slides and they celebrated the child's success by affirming his efforts. Through this process, the parents learned to resist the temptation of comparing their child to other children. At the same time, the child felt the parents' acceptance. They were able to communicate more effectively as a result.