So the other day I was walking in the park with Jake my dog (don’t tell my husband I’m calling him a dog as he thinks he’s human ). It was a beautiful day, and Jake was happy as usual, walking and running alongside me and playing with his ball.
I decided to walk down to the lake which was very busy with the Swans and ducks. I saw that Jake had dropped his ball and it started to roll down the slope and fell into the lake.
Now, normally I have a spare ball in my pocket, but on this occasion, I didn’t.
You see Jake loves his ball, and because he could see his ball floating in the water, he started to become quite distressed. He started to bark and yelp, and he was trying to get into the lake, but he was frightened as he didn’t have the confidence to jump into the lake. His yelping echoed across the big lake and sounded so much louder than it really was. And yes, heads were turning from the other side of the Lake.
So, the first thing that I did was go to him to try and help him, but this just made him, even more, stressed. It was almost like me trying to help him was just putting more pressure on him to get the ball. I knelt down and used my tennis racket. I tried to sweep the ball closer to the bank of the lake without falling in, but the more I did this, the further away the ball was floating. So, in the end, I decided that Jake was just getting too stressed and that we weren’t going to get the ball so I started to walk away. But Jake wouldn’t come he just wouldn’t leave his ball. As I moved away he became less stressed he was still trying to get the ball and was deciding whether or not he could get into the lake. He wasn’t barking or yelping as much, and he was a lot calmer.
Because I let go of needing to fix the situation so Jake would feel better and I just let him sort it himself while supervising, of course, I started to notice the nature all around us. Infront of Jake behind the floating ball were two swans, and those two swans were dipping their heads into the lake, and each time they came back their heads joined in the middle to form a heart shape which was beautiful. Every time I took a photo, they moved the heads away. Typical hey!
I brought my attention back to Jake again and noticed he wasn’t making a sound, he was just sat looking at his ball, he waited and waited and waited, and guess what? His ball just started to float towards him and floated to the edge of the Lake in front of him. I walked across and knelt down and picked it out of the water so easily. Jake was so happy that he had got his ball back, and I was happy that I hadn’t ended up in the Lake.
So, there are two things that I took away with me from this. Firstly, trust yourself and never give up. Jake didn’t give up, he just waited and trusted that he would get his ball back no matter how long that took.
Second of all, it got me thinking of how we are with our children and how when we see our children struggling with something we immediately want to step in and help fix it so they will feel better or stop crying which could stop heads turning and staring. And yet sometimes when we do that we can be creating more stress within the child as they could feel under more pressure, the situation can then feel so much worse for that child with us intervening. Now don’t get me wrong if there is something serious or dangerous going on then obviously we’re going to step in there and help them.
The key word for me was “Allow”. I allowed Jake to get his learnings from this, I allowed for whatever to happen, happen.
So maybe it’s more about letting your children work things out for themselves then jumping in and trying to sort it for them or fix it for them or help them.
The whole experience with Jake and his ball was a great Metaphor for me. And yes, from now on I will make sure I always have a spare ball.
The Emoji Coach