topiary cats

topiary cats

Sunday, October 25, 2015

A Lesson in Jealousy

There is a new girl in Daya's Acro 3 class.  (That's level 3 acrobatics)
Acro is Daya's favorite class, and she is extremely good.  She is very strong and very flexible, which her teacher says is the ideal combination.  Most people are one or the other.

So anyhow, there is a new girl in Daya's class.  She is new to the studio.  She is 2 or 3 years older than Daya, and has been doing gymnastics since she was 3 or 4- which is when Daya started dance.

Anyhow, this new girl is really, really good in Acro.  She can already do a few things Daya has been working hard on.

Daya was very jealous.  The kind of jealous that makes you cry.  So we had a talk about jealousy, and I let Daya have her cry. I said jealousy is just one of those normal but unpleasant things about being human, that it is normal and natural. so allow it to be, acknowledge it, and let it go.  We talked about how this girl is older than Daya and has been doing gymnastics for a long time, so of course she is good.  The same way Daya has been doing dance for a long time and she is very good. I told her that maybe she might want to make friends with this girl and learn from her.  Daya said she wasn't there yet. I told Daya that was fine.

I told Daya there are ALWAYS going to be people who are better at things that we are, that's just life. And we are better at some things than others.  That is just the way of life, and what matters is that she is working hard and doing her best.  She shouldn't compare herself to others.

As the days went on, I asked Daya how she was feeling about the jealousy.  She said fine, better, but still a little jealous.  But she was thinking about our talk.

Yesterday morning as we went to dance, Daya told me she had a little speech.  I listened.  She said she realizes that if she is working and doing her best, that's what matters. She said that being jealous should make her want to work harder, and still see the positive in people instead of focusing on the negative.  She no longer feels jealous. She is ready to make a new friend. She feels good.

She did this all on her own. We haven't talked about the new girl for several days.

What Daya did is a deeply mature thing that many people never figure out.
We talked about giving those unpleasant feelings space, feeling them, allowing them, so they can run their course.  It is like opening the door for them to go out and leave.  And this is exactly what happened.

I am so very proud of her. I can't even express how deeply proud I am of her.

And this is just one of the many things she learns from dance. It is not just about dance technique.
It is very expensive and I am really truly completely BROKE but it is so worth it.


  1. Sounds like you handled that really well and that your point really came across with Daya!

  2. You are right to be proud, it was a very mature way to handle the situation. And you did great when you explained all that stuff to her.

    Linda, Libra, Loca: Beauty, Baby and Backpacking

  3. What a wonderful story! Days will grow up to be (actually already is) a wonderful person. But don't forget a huge amount of credit must go to her mom!! This is really a story about great parenting!

  4. I think more parents need to let their children feel it and work their emotions instead of 'fixing' it for them... which many parents try to do. Daya seems like such a well rounded girl:-)

  5. Way to go Jess. Way to go Daya. This is one of the hardest lessons to learn especially if you are in competitions etc. I think you said the best things to her. Life is difficult.


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