Learning to Separate 1

May 26, 2015

Every week during the last few years either my husband or I drove Robert to the pool for his swimming lesson. When Robert came with me, he usually went to the family locker to shower and change clothes.  When Jan brought Robert to the pool, they used men’s locker room.  Over the time, I tried to stay outside while Robert was changing clothes and only peaked if it took him too long to get ready for swimming or for a trip back home.

When Jan was taking Robert to the men’s changing room, he worked on similar skills and more. He wanted Robert to do everything independently beginning from entering the room to entering the pool’s deck and waiting for his lesson.  Under Jan’s directions Robert could not only to do that but also upon finishing lesson he was able to go back to the locker, take a shower, get dresses, and go upstairs to the parents’ waiting area to meet Jan.

Just last Thursday, instead of using the family changing room, I directed Robert toward men’s locker.  I told him to meet me on the other side in the swimming pool.  Robert hesitated but went inside.  I rushed to the pool and waited there. But after a few minutes I decided to wait by the door I left Robert.  I went there and minute later, Robert already in his swimming pants came out.

I think he tried to reconcile two different experiences – going to the pool with me and using different entrance and going to the pool with dad and using men’s locker.  He was not really sure what that change of rules meant for him.  I asked him to go back to the pool by passing again through the men’s changing area. He hesitated, but went there.  I rushed through other door to the pool.  Soon Robert appeared.

It was less confusing for Robert to change after the lesson.  His teacher, Lucinda, pointed to the glass above the pool to show Robert that I was waiting in the same place where dad waited for him last time. Robert accepted that change without any hesitation. He entered the men’s locker and 10 minutes later he met me waiting by the other door. No, I didn’t wait upstairs.  I was too anxious. I went down and waited by the door.  I am not sure how uneasy is separation for Robert.  I know it is still hard for me.


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