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"Teaching" kids that life does not revolve around them

post #1 of 45
Thread Starter 

Have you even thought about this?

 

5 was a really hard age for dd. with going to K she had to discover that she couldnt always have her way. i mean yeah she couldnt have all the candy or every toy she wanted. being a single mom she was used to me asking for something so its wasnt all about her needs.

 

she started her first stage of puberty at 5. so was very emotional and to throw life is hard was really really hard on her.

 

how do you teach them, that sometimes even if you dont like something you have to do it?

 

do you do it organically - as it comes up? like doing the chores? dd is 10. she hates doing her chores but still does them without too much protest. in other words she does them more willingly now than she did before.

 

are there any other things you insist on.

 

the reason why i bring this up is because i am insisting on dd taking a class she does not really want to take. the thing is she is very good at it (according to her teacher) but she doesnt much care for it. if it isnt about manga or cooking she really doesnt want to participate in it. dd is a mature 10 year old and i am trying to figure out if i am doing the right thing. dd is clearly doing it for me and she doesnt really hate it, but doesnt really care for it very much.

 

would you kinda insist on your 10 year old stick to an activity they are ambivalent on?  

post #2 of 45

My kids are younger, so I haven't encountered that yet, but I think at 10, it's ok to try to keep a child in an activity they don't hate.  Ambivalence is ok.  Maybe talk to her about how staying in that activity can benefit her later on?

 

For my son, having a younger sibling was very helpful at showing him that he's not the center of the universe, but it's still an ongoing lesson.  Don't like the activity we have planned for the weekend?  Well, it's for the family, not just one member.  Or it's for one member, just not you, LOL.  I'm sure it's harder to teach that with an only child, but obviously not impossible or only children would be psychopaths! 

 

It sounds like your DD is pretty typical about not wanting to do chores or take a class in something she doesn't love.  She's probably close to puberty but she's still a child and needs parental guidance.  She's lucky to have such a thoughtful and considerate parent!  I remember my parents forcing me to do activities that I hated but letting me quit things I mostly liked for one reason or another, and their lack of consistency was troublesome for me and still puzzles me now.  Like my mom made me quit gymnastics, which I loved, because she didn't want to keep taking me (it wasn't a money issue, it was driving, even though she had put me in gymnastics to begin with) but let me quit soccer even though I was good at it and enjoyed it, but got to that dicey puberty age where I just felt like giving it up.

post #3 of 45

If it is an activity that she wanted to try and now finds she doesn't like? I would make her stick it out. If it is an activity that you wanted her to try? I'd let her give it up. At 10, she should be allowed to pick activities that she enjoys.
 

post #4 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by mtiger View Post

If it is an activity that she wanted to try and now finds she doesn't like? I would make her stick it out. If it is an activity that you wanted her to try? I'd let her give it up. At 10, she should be allowed to pick activities that she enjoys.

I agree with this.

I think there is a lot to say for sticking out something you've committed to. But if she didn't commit to it -- if she never wanted to do it but tried it just for you -- then it doesn't really seem fair to force her to continue to do it.

I think there may be exceptions though. Obviously if she is in school there are some classes she needs to take whether she likes it or not. And an extension of that might include the occasional 'necessary' extracurricular class (maybe first aid/CPR, for ex., something that is a necessary life skill). Sometimes these things serve a higher purpose. If the class was just supposed to be fun, or expose her to something new/different, then I'd ask yourself whether it's really meeting that goal (or maybe it has already met the goal and you can drop it now).

As far as the larger question... I think this is an ongoing process. DS is just 3.5 (and an only child) so we're really at the very beginning of this. An example of how I handled a situation recently: We went to a birthday party. DS wanted to go off & play in another area of the venue, and didn't want to participate in the party activities. I talked to him about it & reminded him something like, "We are here to celebrate Jane's birthday, and we are going to stay with the group & join in the activities she has planned." He is capable of being with the group in this setting, and I knew he'd have a good time if I could help him channel his energy, so it was important to me that he learn this was about the birthday girl, not him. On the other hand -- chores: There are things I require him to do whether he likes it or not. But I keep those things to a minimum, because he doesn't seem psychologically capable of handling the pressure sometimes. Most of his chores are voluntary at this point, and I'd rather he enjoy his jobs than grow to resent them. It's all a careful balancing act, I think, of our needs, his needs, his developmental readiness, his mental state, etc. Pushing their limits just a bit, but not so much that you cause them excessive stress/anxiety/unhappiness.

I'm curious what the class is!
post #5 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by mtiger View Post

If it is an activity that she wanted to try and now finds she doesn't like? I would make her stick it out. If it is an activity that you wanted her to try? I'd let her give it up. At 10, she should be allowed to pick activities that she enjoys.
 

 

I agree. 

post #6 of 45
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mtiger View Post

If it is an activity that she wanted to try and now finds she doesn't like? I would make her stick it out. If it is an activity that you wanted her to try? I'd let her give it up. At 10, she should be allowed to pick activities that she enjoys.

it IS an activity she wanted to try - not very enthusiastically but she did want to try it. i told her to do it till christmas time and then drop. and i am holding her to that promise. 

post #7 of 45

My kids would be expected to finish the session (if it was an 8 week course or whatever) or finish the month (if we paid by the month). They would not need to continue past that.

 

Depending on their total schedule, we would have conversations about what they wanted to do/try next.

 

I'm all for agreeing for an amount of time to try something before a child/teen decides it isn't for them, but I question when this class started and how long of a total commitment it was, and if that was a reasonable committee for her at this point in her life.

 

This is an area with a middle ground:

 

  • let them quit everything when they find out work is involved, and they fail to develop the ability to stick things out until they become fun

 

OR

 

  • make them stick with things they try until they hate them so much that the fear trying new things because they know they will be forced to stick with it FOREVER. (remembering that forever is a very different length of time to a child than it is to an adult).

 

There really is an area in the middle there where we can aim. thumb.gif

post #8 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by meemee View Post

it IS an activity she wanted to try - not very enthusiastically but she did want to try it. i told her to do it till christmas time and then drop. and i am holding her to that promise. 

 

Sounds fine to me.

post #9 of 45
Thread Starter 

yup yup linda. no wont make her go FOREVER which could be next week if it was HORRIBLE. i would not let her go if she was already at this place. nobody should ever have to go through an experience like that - promise or no promise. 

 

i did already communicate to the teacher dd is losing interest. a few of the kids have already dropped. teacher did say initially it can be boring. 

 

this is a speech and debate class. dd has a hard time with organizational skill and writing. i think this might help her with it. 

 

i spoke to her yesterday over the phone, and she said she enjoyed it. however i couldnt read her expression over the phone so i dont know if she meant it or was saying it to please me. i'll find out today. 

post #10 of 45
Quote:
i dont know if she meant it or was saying it to please me

 

I would not hold her to it and I would let her quit- with reason.

There is NO way that anyone (even a child) should be forced to continue in a program like you are describing if it is not for them. There is one thing to taking a class/program that is a requirement but this seems like an elective and yes one can find it is clearly not for them and they should not (as in this case with your DD) made to feel they must finish for mom. She doesn't seem to be doing it for herself, but for you. Where is the respect for her feelings? Why is it not OK to have tried and seen this is not for you and be allowed to quit? As with a speech and debate that is really asking a lot of a child and clearly not all are cut out for it- sure it can be boring in the start but it can escalate to stress, maybe not as you see it but as your DD could feel it. If she can give you a reason let her be the decider, with the option that if she wants to try it another time she could. 

 

Seeing your post I don's see the connection with this class and the world revolving around them things-I see that as two separate issues not at all related. Giving a child endless material goods and doing almost everything for them, rewards for everything they do, etc is a great way to make them think they are the center of the world-keeping them in a class will not, it will keep it in their mind that they are doing things for you and that stays a long, long time---it causes resentment. 

post #11 of 45
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by serenbat View Post

 

 She doesn't seem to be doing it for herself, but for you. Where is the respect for her feelings? Why is it not OK to have tried and seen this is not for you and be allowed to quit? As with a speech and debate that is really asking a lot of a child and clearly not all are cut out for it- sure it can be boring in the start but it can escalate to stress.

serenbat I dont know who she is doing it for. i want to figure that out. the ONLY reason why i am insisting is coz her teacher was v. impressed with her out of the box thinking, of bringing up ethical issues that other kids dont think of. now that is normal for dd. she is a thinker and morality is her forte. before she drops out, or continues - i want dd to know others find her unique. 

 

respect for her feelings? really should i respect all her feelings now? i dont think so. yes some feelings are to be respected. but at 10 no you just dont buy into all her feelings. 

 

and this is where i am having trouble. i remember from my childhood i hated my parents insisting on certain things. i hated doing it at that time. but it wasnt all that bad even then. i wasnt down and depressed because of it. and in hindsight as an adult i was so grateful they forced me into it. 

 

serenbat at 10 or 11 i think the situation is different than say at 4 or 5. the other day i dragged dd to the opera. the company was introducing new stars so they were short pieces from many productions. well dd would have prefered playing with her friends. she was mad as hell at that moment that i stopped her from doing that and took her to the opera. she got over her anger so that by the time we were on the road we were having fun. that monday she wrote in her school journal what an adventurous life she has because she went to the opera. while she didnt like all of the pieces - were quite boring - she loved a couple of their voices and the pieces they chose. she loved the place we went to and she loved to see how everyone dressed up for the opera. the whole experience and including the rest room. her favourite. to see members of the orchestra nonchalantly throw their cellos on their back and ride off on their bicycle in their suits. 

 

and that is why many a time, i dont let her feelings define our actions every single time. 

 

i think with all these experiences it IS the world revolving around them. with the opera issue i specifically told her her feelings in that situation did not matter. i wasnt giving her a choice. she was going to go. however i could do that because we have a place of trust between us. she didnt throw a fit and i didnt have to load her in the car kicking and crying. once she knew she had to go, she got dressed up and went. i talked to her why it was important for me that she goes. and she accepted my thinking. 

post #12 of 45
Quote:

Originally Posted by meemee View Post

 

respect for her feelings? really should i respect all her feelings now? i dont think so. yes some feelings are to be respected. but at 10 no you just dont buy into all her feelings. 

 

 

One of my children's feelings is that things that require effort aren't as  fun as things like playing computer games or watching television. winky.gif

 

I also think that as kids approach adolescence, they are more likely to whine about things just to whine. It can be difficult to sort out their real feelings from their need to act like they no longer see the point of anything.  A lot of kids really do go through a phase of seeming to decide they are miserable and then looking for various things to focus their negativity on, and sadly AP and GD and all the rest didn't make my own children immune from it. (this phase does pass)

 

I can also think of one instance where one of my kids seem to be whining and wanting out of something, but I later realized it was her was of bragging about how great she was doing with something she found challenging. She didn't want to be rescued, she wanted to me know she was awesome. shrug.gif

 

So while I do think we should take our children's feeling seriously, the actual practice of doing so, especially during puberty, is tough. Deep down, they really don't want or need us to buy into all their adolescence angst.

 

How often and and for long does the program meet? Does it assign homework?

post #13 of 45

I never sat down and thought up ways to teach dd that she can't always have her way. It just happens.

 

Dd has to do lots of things that she doesn't want to do.

We do consider her feelings and opinions a lot of the time but sometimes she just has to do something that isn't her choice so that we can all function and be fair.

 

Dd sometimes will not want to do an activity that only really impacts her. I have asked her to try the thing for a period of time before deciding to give it up. If she still dislikes it we will try something else. I wouldn't make her keep on with an extracurricular activity that she truly hated. If she didn't hate it but didn't love it then I'd probably have her continue until the end of the activity. I wouldn't make her do it again.

post #14 of 45
Quote:

serenbat I dont know who she is doing it for. i want to figure that out. the ONLY reason why i am insisting is coz her teacher was v. impressed with her out of the box thinking, of bringing up ethical issues that other kids dont think of. now that is normal for dd. she is a thinker and morality is her forte. before she drops out, or continues - i want dd to know others find her unique. 

 

respect for her feelings? really should i respect all her feelings now? i dont think so. yes some feelings are to be respected. but at 10 no you just dont buy into all her feelings. 

 

and this is where i am having trouble. i remember from my childhood i hated my parents insisting on certain things. i hated doing it at that time. but it wasnt all that bad even then. i wasnt down and depressed because of it. and in hindsight as an adult i was so grateful they forced me into it. 

 

serenbat at 10 or 11 i think the situation is different than say at 4 or 5. the other day i dragged dd to the opera. the company was introducing new stars so they were short pieces from many productions. well dd would have prefered playing with her friends. she was mad as hell at that moment that i stopped her from doing that and took her to the opera. she got over her anger so that by the time we were on the road we were having fun. that monday she wrote in her school journal what an adventurous life she has because she went to the opera. while she didnt like all of the pieces - were quite boring - she loved a couple of their voices and the pieces they chose. she loved the place we went to and she loved to see how everyone dressed up for the opera. the whole experience and including the rest room. her favourite. to see members of the orchestra nonchalantly throw their cellos on their back and ride off on their bicycle in their suits. 

 

and that is why many a time, i dont let her feelings define our actions every single time. 

 

i think with all these experiences it IS the world revolving around them. with the opera issue i specifically told her her feelings in that situation did not matter. i wasnt giving her a choice. she was going to go. however i could do that because we have a place of trust between us. she didnt throw a fit and i didnt have to load her in the car kicking and crying. once she knew she had to go, she got dressed up and went. i talked to her why it was important for me that she goes. and she accepted my thinking. 

When exactly do you plan or respecting her choices/feelings? No place did you post she pushed to be in this and begged-that would make it different.

 

Personally I think you are going have a difficult time when she is a teenage and just wait for her to go to college and change her major two years into itbiggrinbounce.gif

 

If you want to make this a "contest" with her you certainly are on the right track- if this is the hill you die on over an elective go for it! 

 

If you think things will turn out like the did for you on how your parents did things- again go for it............what happens (JUST say this really does happen) the teacher comes back to you and tells you it not a good fit- aren't you going to look the fool for having pushed her into it? And some how this is teaching her the teacher thinks she is unique----HOW??

The teacher can say she would be good for it, doesn't mean she will or will desire to do good at it and that is what you are missing- BIG time-IMO

 

one can be GREAT at something yet have no desire and the doing so just for someone else (be it a teacher or a parent) is just wrong way to go about it-it needs to come from within, you don't seem to be fostering that aspect 

 

 

ETA-

 

Quote:

serenbat at 10 or 11 i think the situation is different than say at 4 or 5. the other day i dragged dd to the opera. the company was introducing new stars so they were short pieces from many productions. well dd would have prefered playing with her friends. she was mad as hell at that moment that i stopped her from doing that and took her to the opera. she got over her anger so that by the time we were on the road we were having fun. that monday she wrote in her school journal what an adventurous life she has because she went to the opera. while she didnt like all of the pieces - were quite boring - she loved a couple of their voices and the pieces they chose. she loved the place we went to and she loved to see how everyone dressed up for the opera. the whole experience and including the rest room. her favourite. to see members of the orchestra nonchalantly throw their cellos on their back and ride off on their bicycle in their suits. 

 

and that is why many a time, i dont let her feelings define our actions every single time. 

 

i think with all these experiences it IS the world revolving around them. with the opera issue i specifically told her her feelings in that situation did not matter. i wasnt giving her a choice. she was going to go. however i could do that because we have a place of trust between us. she didnt throw a fit and i didnt have to load her in the car kicking and crying. once she knew she had to go, she got dressed up and went. i talked to her why it was important for me that she goes. and she accepted my thinking. 

I'm really perplexed by this example 

Why would you do this? If you had plans to go why didn't she? Who let's their child play with other when you want them to go away?!

 

This really confuses me, when we make plans, we talk about it prior and plan for it, not plan to do something else (like playing with others). Sure she was mad- rightful so! And this is the world revolving around her? How do you not take her feelings into consideration? You can dislike something and that is fine but you acknowledge it and deal with it, and learn respect, not the world revolves around how mommy feels.....this just seems so wrong on so many levels with me. You say "trust" but it doesn't come off as that at all-more like fear to me.

The more I think about this the more I feel very sorry for you DD.


Edited by serenbat - 10/16/12 at 12:08pm
post #15 of 45
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by serenbat View Post

When exactly do you plan or respecting her choices/feelings? No place did you post she pushed to be in this and begged-that would make it different.

if i respect her all her feelings all she will want to do is read and play games and chat on the computer.

 

no she did not push into it, nor begged for it. that child only begs for icecream and sushi. she is not the begging kinda girl. just saying she wants to try it is her way of begging.

 

i did warn her it will be boring initially, and she can wait till she actually starts participating before she can really assess. i think they started practise debates in class last time. then they will be going to some tournaments. dd will see the whole gamut of what its like to be on the debate team and then she can drop it if she still doesnt like it. 

 

serenbat dd is ambivalent. THAT is the key. why are so against this. this is the point i dont get. i kinda feel attacked. i feel this issue is more about you - that it has triggered something for you - and you are using me to get back at someone. this may not be true. but this is what i am feeling. 

 

heck i dont even want dd to go to college. if she is going to go just coz she wants to earn money, no. i want her to go because she is fascinated with something and wants to pursue it. or she just wants to check out what all those things are. and if she goes heck i wouldnt mind her changing her major a few times. isnt that the name of the game?

 

dd is going to do something next summer she does not want to do. swim team. she loves swimming but hates competition. but guess what she wants to join swim team so she can travel for swim meets. 

 

my dd is a tween. yes she has hit that phase no matter what her age says. i no longer will parent her the way i parented her when she was younger. 

 

there is a huge leap here for me. 

 

linda its an hour a week after school, twice a week. no homework. its an afterschool class she takes. 

post #16 of 45
This is not personal on me and shouldn't be turned around. I feel very bad for your dd and how you are choosing to treat her.
post #17 of 45
I personally wouldn't sign my dd up for an activity unless she were pretty enthusiastic about it, or unless it didn't cost much and I was OK with quitting early on. I wouldn't make a kid go to an activity. They're something to try out IMO, and once they try it, they might not want to continue. I would also not force a non-competiitive child into a competitive environment. I'm interested in hearing why you're insisting she go on a swim team? My older dd is very non-competitive and she would become very anxious in an environment like that, so I'm speaking just from my experience.

If she is interested in magna, then art classes might be something to look into? I would try to find something she can get enthusiastic about that surrounds her interests, not something she isn't interested in but happens to be good at. I have a niece who has the same interests as your dd and now, at 16, has become a really good artist.
post #18 of 45
Also, I want to speak to your subject line. Certainly, life in general doesn't revolve around your dd, and she needs to understand that, but OTOH it is reasonable for one's specific life to revolve around herself, particularly a child. My life is as much about my family as me now, but at 10 I hope my life did at least generally revolve around me. I wouldn't expect everyone else's life to revolve around a specific child, but her interests should probably determine what she does.
post #19 of 45

If this were my child? I would let him/her quit. Just because she's good at it, her teacher likes it, you want her to do it? None of that matters if she's not interested. Sorry - JMO.

 

Sure, the experience of going to the opera was good, and turned out well. I'll admit that I am also perplexed as to the whole playing with friends prior to going. Was she aware that you were both going? Or was it a surprise to her? As a side note, my parents dragged me to the opera, ballet and philharmonic religiously - and I hated every minute of it. To this day, I really don't enjoy those activities and only go when my son is either performing or having one of his pieces performed. BUT... when they offered to take my kids, I had no problem with that - as long as they understood that if one or the other didn't enjoy it, they were allowed to decline future invitations. The *kids* knew that they were expected to give the initial time a fair shot. And both enjoyed it. Actually, I think my daughter just enjoyed the time with her Grandpa, while my son really loved the music.

 

Other activities that THEY chose, I did make them hang with it through the session, whether it was a class, sport, whatever. (there was only one exception - wrestling that was advertised in a very different manner than it was run.) If it was something that they tried at my suggestion? They were allowed to quit after giving it a fair shot.

 

I just don't see the benefit of her suffering through an activity that she isn't interested in, simply because you think she should do it.
 

ETA - I also do not see how she is behaving as though the world revolves around her...

post #20 of 45
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by serenbat View Post

This is not personal on me and shouldn't be turned around. I feel very bad for your dd and how you are choosing to treat her.

you are choosing to turn this into a personal battle. you have no idea what my relationship with my dd is. she does not need you to feel sorry for her. and you are making a judgement call on how i treat her after THIS post. do you have older kids? i would consider your post if you had said you have read some of my other posts and feel i have a history of treating my dd badly. but u dont. u make up a story in your head of how it is - pick and choose my words and BAM attack me. 

 

mamazee dd is changing. her anxiety levels are not the same as they have been before. dd challenges herself to do things and finds she can deal with it without getting freaked out. while in K and first she'd freak out if she thought she was late, now she doesnt even care if she gets late for school. however she has new freakouts. but in general i will say now she is a child who freaks out easily - not a child with anxiety.

 

why swim meets? she got that out of a book. she loves travelling. i can afford only so much. in one of her books, a father advices his son to join the swim team mainly to travel. dd will have to see if it is worth it just to travel. she did NOT want to do gymnastics. her friend is in the state levels and she doesnt want to be a part of a place like that. 

 

in debate they have started speaking in front of the class. they have started participating. she now enjoys it. and wants to go. 

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