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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2013

    Encouraging Extra Curricular Activities.

    My eldest daughter is 5 and I'm having a very hard time getting her to follow through with any groups I sign her up for.

    I am adamant that she needs to have a hobby, I honestly don't mind what, so long as she takes part in some sort of after school activity. I think its good to learn teamwork, an acquired skill and social interaction.

    So far she has tried soccer, girl scouts, painting, tap dancing and drama, and after the first two weeks, has pretty much refused to go to the classes. The problem is, there's lots of tears and "I don't want to go!", but as soon as she gets there she has a blast and says she can't wait for next week. Her problem is that she's incredibly lazy (I think she gets it from me), she hates the idea of going but as soon as she gets there she enjoys herself.

    She has quit all previous activities because I just couldn't deal with the weekly drama of forcing her to go. One activity I refuse to let her give up on is swimming lessons - its a necessary life skill so no amount of crying is going to get her out of it.

    Last month she asked me to sign her up for ballet, so I did. The last two weeks were great, lots of excitement but lo and behold, this evening, when it came to class time, she cried for an hour solid, and cried the whole way there in the car. As soon as she got there and saw her friends she was happy as a peach and had great fun. She completely ignored me for the duration of the class and gave her instructor a cuddle before we left. However, I'm dreading the drama that's bound to ensue next week.

    My DH and I are at loggerheads over this. He thinks she shouldn't have to go if she doesn't want to. I think that seeing as we paid for 8 weeks tuition she SHOULD go, plus she enjoys it when she gets there. I think its a lesson that you can't always do what you want and sometimes, mama knows what's best. Sometimes, you can't be a quitter.

    What do the Momberries think? I'm at a loss on this one, I don't want to purposely upset my child but she really does love it when she gets there! Do I force her to go, or let her stay at home if she cries?

    Thanks in advance for any replies

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  2. #3
    My little brother used to do that all the time, started when he hated football, so my mother let him quit, then there was Judo, which he did like, but also threw a tantrum over, but we thought he just hated it, so then we tried Scouts, and we knew he was happy there because my Mother and me helped out with the group. But the tantrums and crying when we tried to get him to go.

    My mother dragged him there anyway, and eventually he got out of the habit and even asked to go back to Judo because he did like it.

    I think he just trying to exercise some power, in a weird self-sabotaging way.

    Anyway, stick with it. If you know she enjoys it and you keep taking her to the lesson hopefully she'll grow out of it.
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  3. #5
    Join Date
    May 2012
    east of the sun, west of the moon
    I don't have any suggestions, I'm not a parent yet. I do think you need to make her stick with it. I was like that growing up, wandering in and out of a million different clubs and activities and never following through, and it's been difficult as an adult to find the drive and discipline to finish what I start. I have half finished projects everywhere. My mum did eventually find things I stuck with. I was in a mystery writing group I loved, started a story and art magazine when I was about 10, and eventually became the editor of the yearbook and the school paper when I was 16-18. So part of it may be she's just finding what she loves. Learning to follow through with your commitments is so important. Do you think she's enjoying the social aspect of it or the activities themselves? Heh. Honestly, I have to laugh. She sounds just like me. I still fight SO tooth and nail when we have to go do something, and as soon as we're there I'm singing and dancing and saying "wheee how fun." I'm so sorry you have to raise a miniature me!
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  4. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    I totally understand what you are saying about having paid the tuition and wanting her to see it through. And I get what you are saying about not being a quitter and doing stuff that you don't necessarily want to do.

    BUT at age five, after a full day of school (which is full of social interaction and teamwork and stuff she probably doesn't want to do) it might be good to just let her have some unscheduled free time. Just let her run around in the backyard or the park or color on the living room floor or play dress ups or whatever. There is plenty of time for her to develop hobbies and interests in more formal activities.

    I have been reading a lot lately about young children being over scheduled and not having a chance to develop their imaginations in free play, so this is why I am thinking this. I just read a book called Simplicity Parenting, which was wonderful and talked about this a lot. My son is only two, so I am definitely not speaking out of real world wisdom here! Just some thoughts from the opposite side here!

  5. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    My son sometimes drags his feet for activities or preschool (he's 3.5) but we also force him to go since we've paid the money and teaching him to follow though with stuff. He's also always super happy once he arrives. However it sounds like you're dealing with a lot more then just a "I don't want to go" attitude. Perhaps it might be a good time once she finishes her current commitments to take a break from all lessons for awhile. Stopping them will save you some money and you won't have to deal with the battle of getting her to go to them.
    Mother to: Patrick Werner (3/10) , Mary Claire (06/12) and Margaret Rose (05/15)

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