If your child has been involved in and commited to an activity but suddenly wants to quit, do you let them?
My daughter has decided she wants to quit dance. She takes 3 classes a week (her choice) and all of her recital costumes are already paid for. She has about 10 classes to go to finish the season and perform, but she doesn't want to continue. I have been dragging her to class for about a month now, and I am not sure it is worth torturing her, just to make her follow through.
I'm not a parent but I am a dancer and I have seen a lot of kids getting into dance. I am guessing from your description that you are talking about ballet or jazz or some similar style. You're saying she has 3 weeks to go (10 classes)? Is she terrified of performing in the show? Having fun in class is not the same as wanting to do it front of people . Coincidentally I took my first jazz class last night - it was hilarious - I couldn't do the splits when I was 16 - now I am (today) 46! I had fun in the class and I think it will be useful cross training for my passion - ballroom dancing - but my partner (he did it too so I wasn't the oldest in the class) we agreed that we would do it but that we would NEVER be involved in any demonstations - we love performing but we know that we will always look fat, slow and inflexible compared to the others! For a kid the expectation is often to do the show but she may believe that she isn't good enough for the show - why don't you ask her? That way she finishes off the the term and hopefully doesnt loose her joy of dance - remember there is a whole lot of different types of dance - I always wanted to dance as a kid but thought that meant ballet -which fortunately my mother couldnt afford - I say fortunately because was physically ill-suited to it and it probably would have broken my heart being bad at it! Try her on some other types of dance (tap, jazz, ballroom, latin american, flaminco, irish, scottish, round dancing, line dancing, rock & roll, aerobics, martial arts , ice dancing )
The other option of course is that the kids are just picking on her - there is nothing meaner than some ballet kids - they become hypercritical of themselves and everyone else around them.
I would just let her quit a month ago - but talked to the guys over there to try and secure her place if she decided to return shortly... There were good chances she just needed a break.
After a month of forceful attendance it is much more complicated I think. I still would let her have her way, but the chances she returns are slim now...
Thanks Misha, I agree with you! I did let her take a break for a week in there somewhere. I kept hoping she would change her mind, because she has put in so much time. I would like to let her quit now, but my husband doesn't want quiting to become a habit for her. And then there is they money issue - quite costly...
I too, like too let her have her way as much as possible and don't think activities like this should be forced upon a child. She begged to take these classes 6months ago, and loved them for awhile.
Well, reaching an agreement with your husband is altogether different issue I personally don't agree to his approach - but frankly I'm one of the least authoritative persons in relation to your family internal matters. Whatever works for your family is fine I think
And money - yeah, kids are expensive - but after all they are the only worthwhile reason to earn and spend
I think you have to challenge your kids and their abilities otherwise they just get comfortable in the fun of it all. Kids are born great, instinctively loving, generous, trusting, but it's our job to give them discipline, and an ache/desire to grow.
Misha, are you a fan of John Holt? If not, I think you would appreciate his work!
I agree that children should have lots of freedom and love to fuel their natural desire to learn. But I have also learned that some children need some rules or guidelines to help them learn to control themselves.
Obviously, I am not strict parent
As you can guess I'm not a strict parent either
While I read quite a few books on parenting, both Russian and English, I don't remember anything by John Holt. I might give it a try some time, but I already have a long list of required reading from Mark, so it can take a while
Thank you, Lissie. You were right! It is actually a combination of reasons - some of the girls in the classes are less than kind to her and she is convinced that the teacher picks on her. Her teacher this year has very little teaching experience and a good amount of attitude, so I am not surprised. I don't think she should have to put up with that.
She really loves to perform, so I hope that this one bad experience doesn't ruin it for her forever. She would have to get through 9 more weeks of classes and she doesn't want to even try one more class, so I should let it go. She takes ballet, jazz and tap. Ballet is her favorite.
I completely agree with what you said - ballet girls (and teachers) can be really nasty! I had a teacher when I was about 10 that would walk around and "tap" our muscles (with her cane!) to see if they were properly flexed at the barre. That was the end of my ballet career
Although, I do think that once you develop a love of dance, it never really goes away. I dance around the house on my toes quite often. Someday, my husband will take ballroom dancing lessons with me!
Well, I have 4 kids and it's tough deciding when something is right or wrong. I think it's ok to let it go. Kids don't always know if something will be their "thing" until they've tried it, however, I would not let them make a habit of it. For example, my 13 year old daughter hated her new junior high school and wanted to change. I let her make that decision, however, 3/4 of the way through, she wanted to switch again. This time I did not let her decide, because she was just running away from the same problems she had before. I told her she had to accept the choice she made and find a way to work with it and she did.
I am a strong believer of "change what you don't like and stop making excuses". If she really hates it, it's a good thing to recognize it and move on and concentrate on bigger and better things. I don't think it will adversely affect being responsible. i would rather my child quit want she hates and finds something she is happy with. As long as you talk to her and support her, she will be responsible. As far as the money goes, it's frustrating for sure, but they say, you can;t buy happiness.
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