How would you handle this quitting issue with a 3.5 yr old? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 13 Old 04-01-2011, 01:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We have a horse,I ride, I spend lots of time at the barn with my whole family in tow.  DS has been at the barn since 3 months old.  DD is now 9 mo old and same thing.   

 

Last fall, DS asked if he could ride and I of course said yes.  So he began weekly riding lessons on a pony with mytrainer who he is very friendly with.  After a month of two she suggested suspend the lessons becasue he seemedto be bored with it (asked to get off, or onlytalkedabout what he was going to do AFTER the lesson)  I agreed with her- if he wasn't into it, why bother?  So wetook a break.

 

3 weeks ago his little friend who will be 5 in a few weeks wanted to ride, and DS said he wanted to ride and the boys began lessons together- one after the other.  DS got on happily, remembered everything, and had a nice lesson.  Last week, DS wasthe only one there, he got on happily, rode, but askedto get off after 20 minutes.  Today he asked to get off after15 minutes because he "wanted to go home and watch a movie."    (I should mention tht DS is VERY verbal- talks and gossips like a 65 yr old knitting grannny sometimes and I haveto talk with him about not just chatting during his lessons and to pay attention and listen to his trainer.  I also madethe mistake today of saying IF he did excellent listening he could watch a movie when we got home...a big treat as we are mostly TV free)

 

I told him that quitting his riding because he wanted to watch a movie was NOT OK.  That he happily said he wanted to go today, mommy got him and his baby sister dressed and ready for cold 40 degree rainy weather, that his trainer set time aside for him, that grooms had to ready the pony for him, and therefore that quitting because he wanted to watch TV was not an OK reason to quit.

 

I asked him if he wanted to stop riding again and he protested big time.  So I said fine, but he has to LISTEN not chat and stick it out for his whole 30 minute lesson. 

 

But I'm fearful next week it's going to be the same thing....him gabbing away and refusing to DOanything and then asking to get off after15 minutes. 

 

 These lessons are not cheap.  If he tells me he doesn't want to ride- fine.  But he insists, asks, begs,  to ride and then craps out in the middle.

 

What would you do??       

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#2 of 13 Old 04-01-2011, 01:35 PM
 
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he's 3.5?  How long are these lessons?

 

ETA never mind, just saw they are 30 minutes.

 

Mostly, I think a kid that age should have an attention span that long.  But, there are plenty of kids that don't.  Perhaps these lessons are just too long for him and 15 to 20 minutes is all he's got.

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#3 of 13 Old 04-01-2011, 01:41 PM
 
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I'd stop the lessons and just find a time for him to ride.  I'm not sure you're doing while you're there, but can you take him on a ride with you?  I'm kind of guessing that he's using a horse from the barn for the lessons since you said you had "a horse"?  If possible, I'd just let him ride and not focus on lessons at this point.

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#4 of 13 Old 04-01-2011, 01:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I wish I could claim his attention span is limited but this is a child who will get into a project for an hour or two when he wants to.  I'm feeling more he doesn't wish to LEARN how to ride- he prefers his little "pony ride" and then wants off.  But I'm stumped because he really says he wants to; he has a goal of riding with mommy on his own.  So where do I draw the line?  I feellike maybe we should quit, and if he really wants to try again in the summer but he HAS to stick to his 30 minutes.  I'm not goingto force riding on him.  But I'm not going to throw money and time away either.

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#5 of 13 Old 04-01-2011, 01:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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If you don't own the horse, you can't just ride.  It's a liability issue.  If you don't own the horse, you have to lesson on the barn's animals if you want to ride.  And it's 100% unsafe to let a kid that age just crawl up onto a horse.  MY horse is far too advanced for him.  Not safe.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alyantavid View Post

I'd stop the lessons and just find a time for him to ride.  I'm not sure you're doing while you're there, but can you take him on a ride with you?  I'm kind of guessing that he's using a horse from the barn for the lessons since you said you had "a horse"?  If possible, I'd just let him ride and not focus on lessons at this point.



 

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#6 of 13 Old 04-01-2011, 02:05 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BarnMomma View Post

If you don't own the horse, you can't just ride.  It's a liability issue.  If you don't own the horse, you have to lesson on the barn's animals if you want to ride.  And it's 100% unsafe to let a kid that age just crawl up onto a horse.  MY horse is far too advanced for him.  Not safe.

 



 


That's why I was questioning.  It sounds like the lessons are a waste of money and a point of frustration right now. 
 

 

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#7 of 13 Old 04-01-2011, 06:33 PM
 
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He's three and a half. Still a baby, no matter how verbal he is. Stick to pony rides for now and save the lessons for when he's older and able to sustain the interest.

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#8 of 13 Old 04-01-2011, 06:49 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by happysmileylady View Post

Mostly, I think a kid that age should have an attention span that long.  But, there are plenty of kids that don't.  Perhaps these lessons are just too long for him and 15 to 20 minutes is all he's got.

Have you watched a lot of 3YOs at soccer or t-ball practice? Very, very few of them can make it through 30 minutes of an activity requiring sustained focus. I would say maybe 1 out of 20. The other kids are stubbing the ground with their toe, running to their mom for water, entertaining/being entertained by other kids. I don't find it odd at all that the OP's son can't do 30 minutes straight on horseback. OP, it really just sounds like he's not ready for a 1/2 hour lesson. I'd let it go for now.
 

 


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#9 of 13 Old 04-02-2011, 06:58 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VisionaryMom View Post



Have you watched a lot of 3YOs at soccer or t-ball practice? Very, very few of them can make it through 30 minutes of an activity requiring sustained focus. I would say maybe 1 out of 20. The other kids are stubbing the ground with their toe, running to their mom for water, entertaining/being entertained by other kids. I don't find it odd at all that the OP's son can't do 30 minutes straight on horseback. OP, it really just sounds like he's not ready for a 1/2 hour lesson. I'd let it go for now.
 

 


I am not saying it's odd at all.  Really.  Yeah, I have watched 3 yr olds at soccer practice.  And watched 5 yr olds at softball games out in the outfield picking flowers as the ball flys right at them.  I totally get that there are PLENTY of kids without the attention span.  Which is why I suggested that perhaps he just didn't have the attention span.  I wasn't in any way suggesting it was odd.

 


 

 

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#10 of 13 Old 04-02-2011, 04:14 PM
 
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I wouldn't stay with a teacher who gave him the option of stopping the lessons personally, I don't like the expectation that sets and it will make it harder in the future to get him to stick with the lessons on days he is bored.  When I pay for a 30 minute lesson I expect that my child will be taught something for 30 minutes unless I pull her out early.  If the teacher ends the lessons early (even if my child says they want to stop) I would expect my money back or the lesson to be rescheduled for a different day so I get what I am paying for.  There are many ways to change up activities during a thirty minute lesson in order to keep even three year old children engaged and happy.  I suggest telling the teacher you expect them to stick with the lesson for the thirty minutes, change up the activity frequently, and not set a precedent of stopping in the middle.  Also ask them to let you know if they think that he is not ready for lessons yet.  If he is just not ready for the lessons then I think that you should consider stopping the lessons and starting up again when he is a little older.  There may be someone more used to working with very young kids and keeping them engaged in the lessons that your son would enjoy more.

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#11 of 13 Old 04-02-2011, 04:44 PM
 
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do you have any friends with a pony that he can ride? or would you consider getting a pony for him?

 

we had horses my entire life, and i had a shetland pony that was bombproof from the time i was two until about eighteen. i never took lessons until i was in my early teens. and that was when i'd made a committment to doing it (and cleaned stalls to earn them!). it was also on a friend's arabian, not the shetland.

 

i mean, you can learn how to ride without lessons too. we did lots of trail rides and my brother and i spent a lot of time just hanging out on the pony while it was grazing. it was really low-key and fun.

 

i think the lessons are too big of a committment for such a little guy.

 

 


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#12 of 13 Old 04-02-2011, 04:50 PM
 
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i am not exactly sure i understand what's going on.

 

so he is in 30 mins lessons right?

 

he spends 15 mins talking and then the next 15 mins riding lesson and then asks to be let down.

 

he happily does those 15 mins right? 

 

and he is always enthusiastic to be there right?

 

i think this is a great combination. 15 mins fun and 15 mins lesson - perfect for a 3 1/2 year old. 

 

what is happening with the talking? what kind of talk? horse talk?

 

if it is horse talk then i dont find anything wrong with what is going on. i think you are definitely getting your money's worth for a 3 1/2 year old. 

 

i would not change a THING. esp. if he is enthusiastic about it. 


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#13 of 13 Old 04-07-2011, 08:09 AM
 
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My boys are 4 and 6 now - and I don't think I could ever have expected them to stick with a lesson for 30 minutes at 3.5yo.  If the pp's plan of 15 mins. of lesson, 15 mins. of freer fun is workable, that sounds great.  But otherwise I would probably not ask him anymore if he wants to do lessons right now, I'd just say that lessons are out until he's older, that he might like them more when he's 4 or 5 or whatever.

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