R. does not watch a lot of television. She is allowed to mostly watch Sesame Street or Mickey Mouse Clubhouse (in Spanish). However, we have introduced her to the Olympics, specifically gymnastics and swimming. The reasons for her watching specifically these is that she is currently taking her first gymnastics class, and we're trying to get her more comfortable and confident in the pool.
She has been exclaiming, "Wow! Look at that! So high," with the gymnastics vaults, and "Balance beam!"
She has been especially enthralled with the swimming, requesting, "More splash day."
Last night I got dressed in my workout clothes before bathing Rose and heading to the gym after she was put in bed. I didn't mind my inexpensive workout clothes getting wet while bathing a toddler. She asked about my clothes. I replied, "Mama's going to the gym. I'm going to exercise to help me be strong." My hubby later told me that she was telling him all about Mama going to gym to exercise and get strong when he was kissing her goodnight.
I took R. swimming this afternoon. She was still clinging to me and a bit apprehensive. We're working on developing a deeper sense of comfort and joy in the pool for her.
Whether or not R. decides to pursue gymnastics or swimming, these Olympics have allowed her to have some pretty awesome role models. Despite the criticism NBC has received for their sexist comments attributing the success of their female athletes to their male coaches and support, R. has been seen examples of strength, confidence, and passion through the work of female athletes such as Housszu, Simone Manuel, Katie Ledecky, and Simone Biles.
I want my daughter to not be afraid of failure in her pursuit for success. I feel that J.K. Rowling says it quite well here:
I want my daughter to learn the feeling of accomplishment. That can only be attained through experiencing failure as well. Especially the American culture now tries to save their chldren from experiencing any heartache, loss, or failure. I want nothing more than to protect my daughter. But I am not protecting her by jumping in and solving every situation. Through my doing that, she will not at all learn to be self-sufficient or responsible.
Thank you to these Olympics and female athletes for showing my daughter what it means to pursue your passion with determination, strength, and failure as well as success. I want to emphasize that not winning a medal does not mean failure. Thank you for modeling what it means to be a strong individual (male or female)!