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What do you do when your child refuses to do an activity you signed her up for?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

Ds plays hockey. Dd has been to ds's games and practices since she was a baby. She says she would like to play, as a toddler she cried to go on ice with ds.

 

This year I put her in skating lessons. She absolutely refuses to stand on the ice. At home she says she wants to learn, but when she gets there she starts crying, and I have to insist on her going on the ice. She can stand well on the ice as long as the instructor holds her hand or has her hand on dd's shoulder, but when dd realizes the instructor took her hand off, she sits down and starts sobbing. She says she's afraid of falling. I encourage her as much as I can, I point out that ALL the kids are falling down, even the adults (there are skating lessons for adults at the same time on the ice), that falling down is a GOOD thing, this is how you learn... She seems convinced, but at the next lesson we go through the same scenario again.

I want dd to know how to skate. I'm not debating whether she needs to learn or not; she will learn. But I would like to find the gentlest way to do it.

 

Should I just go with her and let stay off the ice until she's ready to join her group?

Should I withdraw her (or let her finish the course - we have a couple of lessons left) until next year when she's older?

Should I insist and register her in the next session?

 

Any BTDT stories welcome...

post #2 of 11
Does your rink have one of those support thingies (I have no idea what they're called)? If so, I'd try having her use one of those at an open skate session. If she's still reluctant, I'd wait and try again in a few months.
post #3 of 11

This happened to us with swimming. At the time dd wasn't ready and was afraid of going int he water. A year later she was begging to be taught. I know that it wasn't so much about failing as it was fear of water. But dd does have issues with failing in various activities. When we tell her we r going to pull her out of that activity she'll want to try. She didn't want me to end the swim either but I just didn't take her back and she forgot.

post #4 of 11

I might skip the lessons, but see if she will mind going with you to open-skate sessions.  That's what I did for dd's swimming.  I couldn't afford to pay for her to spend 9/10 of the lesson to "warm up" and let go of some reservations and the last 1/10 wanting to do more right when it was time to leave the pool for another session.  So, open swim it is.  If your daughter is still nervous, then perhaps she likes the idea better than the reality.  I'm not so thrilled with falling down on the ice, either, and I couldn't care less that "everybody is falling down/"

post #5 of 11

Maybe you can ask for a partial refund and then wait until she's older to try again. It sounds like she's scared and fear is a strong emotion that's hard to get past at any age.

 

The only lessons i made my kids do was a water survival/swim class. We have a lot of pools in my area and kids drown way too often. Now I work as a peds nurse in stepdown ICU and we get a lot of near drowning survivors and most will never be the same. So swimming lessons were not an option. My oldest was scared. I was convinced the instructor was good with kids, and I let her cry through the lessons while I went for a walk. When I got back she was swimming a little bit and so very proud of herself. :-) She loved the water after that.

 

Since skating is not  life or death, I would just wait and take her out. If she's old enough to care if a friend comes along, invite her and the friend to free skating time and take things slowly. Sometimes having a friend along makes them want to try something they otherwise would not want to.

post #6 of 11
We also did open swim when dd was scared of her first lessons and once she felt comfortable with support she was happy to attend lessons. I think waiting and doing open skate is the way to go. It took a year of open swim and support to get comfortable with the idea of lessons and a different lesson format, but she is eleven now and on swimteam so the year we waited didn't set her back.
Edited by One_Girl - 11/17/13 at 9:18am
post #7 of 11

I'm a bit puzzled by the 'I do want her to learn how to skate, she will learn' comment. I mean, you say in the rest of the post that she really wants to learn, and if it's a case of helping her to overcome her fears to do something she really wants to do then I think that's great. But that line sounded as though you were expecting her to learn to skate no matter how she felt about it - was that how you meant it, or did I misunderstand?

post #8 of 11

Are there any parent/child lessons available?

 

Do you know how to skate? Can you just grab her some skates, and be on the ice with her during an open ice session until she feels comfortable enough on the ice to take regular lessons?

 

Forcing her to do it won't work. See if you can get a refund.

 

I agree with others about swimming. Learning to swim is a must.

post #9 of 11
My ds1 is also a hockey player. He has been playing competetive travel hockey for 10+ years at this point. How old is your ds? Your dd? Will he take your dd around at an open skate? She might be thrilled to get on the ice with him, get some level of comfort and then really learn technique in class.
Do you have any girls only teams in the area? Our local AAA girls team is having a free try hockey day in a couple weeks, that could also be a good motivator.
Can she inline skate. When my ds was first learning he would inline skate in the house on carpet. It was easier because of the friction slowing down the movement. Then I hired a 15 year old to skate with him a couple times a week on the tennis courts. He loved the bigger boy, so it was really fun for him.
He eventually passed all ice skating levels by the time he was 8 and has done private lessons with a 2 x Olympic speed skater.
There are more than a couple ways to skin a cat ;-). Good luck; I know how frustrating it can be. Same kid just could not warm up to swim lessons and we wound up going really slow.
post #10 of 11

We've had this struggle with swimming lessons (still do :eyesroll sigh, . .).

Personally, at the height of fear in my kid, I just insisted we try to get through the rest of what we signed up for.  Then we'd skip sessions and come back to it with maybe 1-2 private lessons or the same familiar learning level (the individual attention for my dd really helped her gain more confidence in things she was fearful about - sometimes a class will be really small and that was helpful).  It's just a slow process though.  

 

If we were signed up with classes left I felt like it was important to try to be there - just watching how it was supposed to work is really helpful in learning and I was fine if she was sitting on the sidelines just watching the class sometimes (and that did just happen sometimes).    

 

Heck, I was scared of ice skating when I ended up 'needing' to learn it (required through school) as a high schooler.  Our ice rink dd1 took skating lessons at did allow for kneepads & helmets for kids/beginners - not sure whether using those would help your dd feel more secure at all? or snow pants?   But that might be another route to try to help with the fear (additional gear).    

post #11 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Good Enough Mum View Post

I'm a bit puzzled by the 'I do want her to learn how to skate, she will learn' comment. I mean, you say in the rest of the post that she really wants to learn, and if it's a case of helping her to overcome her fears to do something she really wants to do then I think that's great. But that line sounded as though you were expecting her to learn to skate no matter how she felt about it - was that how you meant it, or did I misunderstand?

Yup, that's exactly what I meant.

Thank you all for taking the time to reply.

Quick update; at this week's lesson she stood up and walked on ice with NO help from instructors! When she got off the rink she was beaming! She told me: Mom, I am amazing!
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