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WWYD? DD quit ballet and we had to pay for it.

post #1 of 97
Thread Starter 

DD has been going to ballet for 4 years. This was her choice completely. I never forced her or told her I wanted her to.

A dance studio opened in our area and we were walking by it one day. We went in to check it out and she wanted to go there. She started saying last year that she didnt really like ballet anymore. She said the exercises are too hard. We werent going to sign her up this year, but she wanted to.  

She started acting out at home by having tantrums, name calling, and just being really awful when it was time to get ready and go. (She does this about everything else also (only at home), so it's not that something is going on in the class- we discussed everything about it at lenght. I asked her several times if she did not want to be in ballet anymore. She was wishy washy about it. I told her it's okay if you dont want to go. She said she still wanted to do it because her friends do and sometimes it's fun.

Still, almost every week she became explosive and out of control at ballet time. There were times that she wouldnt even get into the car. I told her these classes cost a lot of money and if this happens again she will have to pay for the class out of her bank account. She went to the next class after that, no problem, and we ordered her recital costume ($50).

I asked her ahead of time if she was still sure and that the costume was a lot of money. I also told her she would be paying if she didnt go. She still wanted to go.

Well, she started wigging out and refusing to get ready last week and told me she wants to quit. I told her that the month of tuition was already paid, costume ordered and we cant get out money back.

Now I am struggling with what to do. This is basically her whole bank account.

I feel terrible, but at almost 8 years old I feel like she is old enough for this logical consequence.

post #2 of 97

I'd talk to her a bit more about it to find out if there's something deeper that you might be missing. Based on your post, it sounds to me  like she just might be frustrated. It's fun when it's easy, but not so much when the classes are too hard. Maybe she feels like she's at a lower level than the rest of her class, or that she can't keep up? It sounds like she WANTS to like it... 

 

I would definitely see if you get to the root of her upset, before deciding on a logical consequence. 

post #3 of 97
Would you make her pay for it if she did continue? The way I see it, you would have spent the money whether she quit or had a fantastic time. So I really don't see the point in punishing her monetarily for quitting.

Instead I'd have her pay for her future ballet lessons or activities that you aren't willing to pay for if she doesn't complete. I do think you can't trust that she will complete a session, and I think you can explain that to her.

Also for this class I'd try to figure out what she likes and dislikes about ballet, and help her concentrate on the good and how she feels when she completes a task.
post #4 of 97
Thread Starter 


She is frustrated. She likes the beauty of ballet and usually did have a good time once she got to class. She had a very hard time leaving the house to go. It was taking me about 1.5 hours to ease her into the fact that she had to get ready.

I have a 5 year old also and an infant. This was getting impossible.

 

 She likes to be home and was torn between losing her hour of time.

The class (I think) is at a pretty tough time. It's 6-7PM on Fri night.I think that's a tiring time for everyone, but none of the other girls had any problems going. They were all ready after school and waiting to go. I know DD is extremely sensitive and has always had a very hard time with transitions. If I wasnt empathetic to this, I would have cancelled ballet a long time ago from the way she has spoken to me. I have been so patient and I felt it was her descision to make. I didnt want to take it away because she still wanted it.

At one point I told her we could cancel the next month because I hadnt paid yet. She said okay, but then cried on the night of ballet, so I took her.

 

She has no problem performing on stage, but the room in the back the girls have to wait in is very loud and it blows her mind. Im pretty sure she has SPD and I'm working on evaluation. This post is just for this issue though.

She asked me if I could be a backstage mom again (last year I couldnt because I had a newborn). I said of course I would. She said she would feel okay in that room if I was with her. Another time she didnt want to go  because she said it's too boring and she is sick of her teacher. Another time- it's too hard, or she doesnt like it, it's stupid. This last time she concluded that it's because she is just too tired and it's too late at night. This is the only class for her level, so I cant even try another class (I dont even think that would really matter- pretty positive it wouldnt).

Anyway, I cant do this anymore with her, but she is extremely intelligent and has acted worse than a 3 year old in this situation. I feel that if I just let the whole thing go when she is capable of making choices it will just enable her to do it again.

It's not like she is 5 years old.


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sgmom View Post

I'd talk to her a bit more about it to find out if there's something deeper that you might be missing. Based on your post, it sounds to me  like she just might be frustrated. It's fun when it's easy, but not so much when the classes are too hard. Maybe she feels like she's at a lower level than the rest of her class, or that she can't keep up? It sounds like she WANTS to like it... 

 

I would definitely see if you get to the root of her upset, before deciding on a logical consequence. 

post #5 of 97
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeliMom View Post

Would you make her pay for it if she did continue? The way I see it, you would have spent the money whether she quit or had a fantastic time. So I really don't see the point in punishing her monetarily for quitting.

Instead I'd have her pay for her future ballet lessons or activities that you aren't willing to pay for if she doesn't complete. I do think you can't trust that she will complete a session, and I think you can explain that to her.

Also for this class I'd try to figure out what she likes and dislikes about ballet, and help her concentrate on the good and how she feels when she completes a task.



The point is, she did kind of quit, but then cried that she wanted another chance. When I brought the check for the month of ballet and the money for her recital costume, I told her how much it was and asked her if she was positive she wanted to be in ballet. She said she did. I told her it was her last chance and that I was finished losing money for the times she refused to go.

post #6 of 97

In your case, I would have her pay. You told her in advance that if she wanted to continue with ballet (even though she had already said she didn't want to) that she'd be responsible for either doing the ballet or refunding the costs.

 

 

It'd be one thing if she had never done ballet before and was just trying it out, or if she realized it wasn't as good part way into a session, or something. For instance, quitting last year without finishing it out. But telling you to sign her up anyway even though she didn't like it last year, especially after you told her how much it was and how she didn't have to do it, that's just not cool. Mind you I'd pro-rate it for the time she did spend and I'd only have her pay half, because it was your responsibility as a parent to say "no" to her asking for something she'd already made clear she didn't want. I'd also accept partial payment in sweat equity and get a really clean basement or nice vegetable garden.

 

Also, don't take the money all at once. Work with her to set up a plan.

post #7 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by mom2happy View Post


At one point I told her we could cancel the next month because I hadnt paid yet. She said okay, but then cried on the night of ballet, so I took her.

See, and at that point you should've treated her like a 3 year old and just held her while she cried and let her get out her frustrations and conflicting feelings. Then you could've talked to her about why she wants to go and maybe worked out some substitute that fulfills whatever need the ballet class was meeting. (For instance, does she just miss taking the class with her friends?)
post #8 of 97

This jumped out at me:

 

"It was taking me about 1.5 hours to ease her into the fact that she had to get ready."

 

My ds would have had a hard time with that much lead time for anything when he was 8. It worked better to remind him once early in the day that we had X that day, and then tell him to gather up his stuff 10 minutes before we had to leave the house. Less time for him to get worked up over something he might not want to do. And he was (still is) a kid whose mood is affected by hunger, whether he notices it or not, so I made sure he had a good snack before it was time to tell him to get ready to go.

 

post #9 of 97

Have you observed a class? My parents put me in indian dance class when I was around that age and it was a nightmare. Corrections and praise are done in front of the whole class, and it sucks when you are the worst. It was also hard on me physically. It was definitely a different atmosphere than my sisters class (3 years younger). Has a similar change happened for your daughter?

post #10 of 97
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sapphire_chan View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by mom2happy View Post


At one point I told her we could cancel the next month because I hadnt paid yet. She said okay, but then cried on the night of ballet, so I took her.

See, and at that point you should've treated her like a 3 year old and just held her while she cried and let her get out her frustrations and conflicting feelings. Then you could've talked to her about why she wants to go and maybe worked out some substitute that fulfills whatever need the ballet class was meeting. (For instance, does she just miss taking the class with her friends?)


 Maybe you are right. She was just really upset and it was a huge descision, so I wanted to give her another shot.

post #11 of 97
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by its_betty View Post

This jumped out at me:

 

"It was taking me about 1.5 hours to ease her into the fact that she had to get ready."

 

My ds would have had a hard time with that much lead time for anything when he was 8. It worked better to remind him once early in the day that we had X that day, and then tell him to gather up his stuff 10 minutes before we had to leave the house. Less time for him to get worked up over something he might not want to do. And he was (still is) a kid whose mood is affected by hunger, whether he notices it or not, so I made sure he had a good snack before it was time to tell him to get ready to go.

 


That is how my DS is.

DD is very very different. She cant handle anything being sprung on her. She likes to be prepared for things or she feels very betrayed. Telling her 15 mintutes before we had to go wasnt working either. She was having the same behavior and then it was just too late to go.
 

post #12 of 97
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by texmati View Post

Have you observed a class? My parents put me in indian dance class when I was around that age and it was a nightmare. Corrections and praise are done in front of the whole class, and it sucks when you are the worst. It was also hard on me physically. It was definitely a different atmosphere than my sisters class (3 years younger). Has a similar change happened for your daughter?



 Oh yes I've watched almost every class. The teacher is a very young sweet girl. She only praises them all and if they make a mistake she says with a silly face with her hand on her hip, "you come back and lets do that again." It is a fun class as far as dance goes; not strict, free style dance involved. There is a lot of laughter.

DD did have a good time when she got into the room. It seems that it was too much for her to get ready, and maybe not worth it. I guess she just wants to be home.

post #13 of 97

It sounds like getting into the car is the hard part, but once she's there she actually likes it? I went through a long period like that as a kid. Never to the point of taking 1.5 to get ready to go or crying about it, but I was older and I did get grumpy and my parents did have to be the ones to watch the clock and such.

 

If that's the case, could she get ready at the studio? maybe you could help her out and get all her ballet stuff ready in a bag and drive her there to arrive 10-15 minutes early? (for one of my classes, I'd actually comb my hair and braid it in the car)

 

Or maybe there's something away from home that you could all do as a family? Make that your library time or something? 6pm is an awkward time to take an afterschool class if you don't do transitions well. It's enough time to get deeply involved in something else, but not enough time to really come to a good stopping point.

 

Or, if staying out of the house from her getting out of school to going to the class won't work, could you do something where it's easy for you to be in charge of the timing? Like family chores or watching a movie (or alternating). So instead of her doing her own project and then having to sort out how to end it and keep track of where she is, she just goes along with the family activity and (fingers crossed!) then just continues going along until she's at ballet class?

 

Just some ideas for talking with her.

 

 

 

post #14 of 97

It sounds like the class is fine-- you gave her fair warning as well. I think this is an important lesson in using family resources.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mom2happy View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by texmati View Post

Have you observed a class? My parents put me in indian dance class when I was around that age and it was a nightmare. Corrections and praise are done in front of the whole class, and it sucks when you are the worst. It was also hard on me physically. It was definitely a different atmosphere than my sisters class (3 years younger). Has a similar change happened for your daughter?



 Oh yes I've watched almost every class. The teacher is a very young sweet girl. She only praises them all and if they make a mistake she says with a silly face with her hand on her hip, "you come back and lets do that again." It is a fun class as far as dance goes; not strict, free style dance involved. There is a lot of laughter.

DD did have a good time when she got into the room. It seems that it was too much for her to get ready, and maybe not worth it. I guess she just wants to be home.

post #15 of 97

How about splitting the cost with her?

 

She backed out after you warned her, and she's old enough to experience the consequences of her action. At the same time, you probably should have simply not signed her up, even when she cried the night of ballet. So, if you both take part of the 'blame' you're both out some.

post #16 of 97
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LynnS6 View Post

How about splitting the cost with her?

 

She backed out after you warned her, and she's old enough to experience the consequences of her action. At the same time, you probably should have simply not signed her up, even when she cried the night of ballet. So, if you both take part of the 'blame' you're both out some.


This is exactly what I was looking for. It's what I was going to do before I posted, but I wanted some feedback before I made the final descision.

All of the advice for this has been wonderful.

It's so nice to have other moms just a click away who can really help.
 

post #17 of 97

I would force her to go. If that really does not work, I would make her pay for it. I would also make sure that during what would have been class time, I would have her do something she does not like, most likely extra chores. But no "fun time" during that time. 

 

When my 6 yr old (just turned 5 at the time) suddenly decided he did not want to do swim lessons, after the first day, and refused to go the 2nd day, he had to clean and do stuff the entire time I was gone with his older brother. He wanted to play computer games. By the 3rd day, he wanted to go back. Luckily, I was able to get our money back and had already done that, so it was too late. And I kept up the rule of no TV or computer games when he should have been in lessons. This was at the beginning of the summer. At the end, he had a second chance at lessons and he actually went and did not complain so all was well. 

post #18 of 97

My daughter did that over t-ball last summer. She was 6 at the time and even though I reminded her how much she hated it the previous summer she begged to join.  I told her if I pay for it she's doing it no matter what.  She agreed but almost immediately after it started she wanted to quit.  I made her stick it out, but pretty much put a ban on her joining sports teams until she is quite a bit older.  If I were in your situation I would make her finish because you have already committed money to the recital costume and by now the teacher is probably counting on all the girls to remain and dance in the recital.  If she absolutely flips out than I would offer her some repayment terms.  I think 8 is old enough to understand that when you pay for a lesson you commit to going, and dropping out is letting her team/class down. 

post #19 of 97

Your story sounds similar to mine.  My daughter took ballet for 4 years and stopped going when she turned 8(she's 9 now).  I just didn't sign her up when she said she didn't want to do it though.  I figured if she changed her mind she could join in throughout the year sometime.  She loved dancing and loved being on stage but just didn't want to put in the time after school, she wants time to play.

post #20 of 97
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lisa1970 View Post

I would force her to go. If that really does not work, I would make her pay for it. I would also make sure that during what would have been class time, I would have her do something she does not like, most likely extra chores. But no "fun time" during that time. 

 

 Of course I wanted to do this, but its physically impossible. It's also impossible to "force" her to do anything. She becomes violent and rages.

This consequence would probably work for my DS, but my DD.

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