Allika has been petrified of jumping off the diving board for the duration of her swimming lessons. All her fellow-swimmers conquered the board, but Allika had too many fears associated with attempting a jump.
"The board wobbles when I walk out onto it, and it scares me."
"I'm afraid it will hurt when I hit the water."
"What if I hit my head on the way down and pass out. Will you come rescue me?"
And on and on and on.
We tried to be very patient and did not put a lot of pressure on her, but all throughout her swimming classes she showed no intention of trying to dive. She also isn't prone to peer pressure, which is a good thing, I suppose. Even when those in lower level classes were jumping, she was not. She seemed perfectly content to jump off the side and swim like a fish in the deep end, but for some reason, she couldn't bring herself to jump off the diving board.
Over the last few days, though, we started encouraging her to at least give it a try. We told her that we didn't care if she didn't actually jump, but we wanted her to walk out on the board and make somewhat of an effort.
Then, we pulled out the big guns. We told her that if she jumped off the diving board by the last day of class, we would take her to eat at one of her favorite restaurants. We took the bribery a step further and told her she could pick a prize out of her prize basket, also.
Well, it's been a slow and steady progression over the last several days, but here is the final result.
Oh yeah. I forgot to mention she insisted on wearing a life jacket, which was completely unnecessary.
Kind of reminds me of someone else I know who is afraid to take a few leaps she is perfectly capable of taking.