Have you ever encouraged your child to quit an activity? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 21 Old 03-09-2012, 08:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My oldest child has been in girl scouts for quite a while.  For a variety of reasons, I think the girl scout thing has run its course, and I'd like to see my DD pursue some other activities instead.

 

One of the big reasons is that the GS leader is really unpredictable with how she does things, as far as times and frequency, and it is really hard to plan around that.

 

I actually really like the leader, but don't think she'll change.

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#2 of 21 Old 03-09-2012, 09:56 PM
 
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I can't see any reason not to encourage her to quit, unless she really loves it.  


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#3 of 21 Old 03-09-2012, 11:22 PM
 
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Are there other things she'd like to do that GS is preventing her from doing? If so, I'd sign her up for that, and do GS if and when you can. If not, then it seems like an inconvenience rather than a real reason to quit.

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#4 of 21 Old 03-10-2012, 05:05 AM
 
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Generally speaking, I required my kids to fulfill their commitment. For example, if they were on a team, it was an activity I had paid for a certain amount of time for, there was an activity where there participation was important, etc. - I expected them to stick it out for that duration. And then they could move on to something else. (*)

 

Scouts tend to fall into a different category, IMO. Although it's a group they're part of, it's more of an individual activity in terms of accomplishment. If she's had enough of that activity. I really wouldn't have a problem with my child quitting.

 

(*) The one exception to this was when my son was in 6th grade and wanted to try wrestling. I paid for the Rec league, bough the gear he needed, etc. After three sessions and him walking off the floor in tears, it became clear that the new kids were nothing more than fodder for the more experienced ones to hone their skills. There was no instruction for the new kids. The coach (also the HS wrestling coach) had already pinpointed which boys he was grooming for his HS team and had neither time nor interest in the others. We left and never looked back.

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#5 of 21 Old 03-10-2012, 05:30 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Are there other things she'd like to do that GS is preventing her from doing? If so, I'd sign her up for that, and do GS if and when you can. If not, then it seems like an inconvenience rather than a real reason to quit.



This particular troop is not really and "if and when" you can thing for the most part.  Miss an activity, then you might miss working toward a given award.

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#6 of 21 Old 03-10-2012, 05:31 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by mtiger View Post

Generally speaking, I required my kids to fulfill their commitment. For example, if they were on a team, it was an activity I had paid for a certain amount of time for, there was an activity where there participation was important, etc. - I expected them to stick it out for that duration. And then they could move on to something else. (*)

 

 

(*) The one exception to this was when my son was in 6th grade and wanted to try wrestling. I paid for the Rec league, bough the gear he needed, etc. After three sessions and him walking off the floor in tears, it became clear that the new kids were nothing more than fodder for the more experienced ones to hone their skills. There was no instruction for the new kids. The coach (also the HS wrestling coach) had already pinpointed which boys he was grooming for his HS team and had neither time nor interest in the others. We left and never looked back.



I expect her to stay in the troop for the end of the year.

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#7 of 21 Old 03-10-2012, 05:34 AM - Thread Starter
 
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As far as GS preventing other things she might be doing, I think it could for the upcoming school year.

 

My husband and I agree with this.

 

It is in large part about how it is scheduled, but there are some other factors as well.

 

I've been a long time supporter of the girl scouts.  Recently though, with how our local council is run, I'm not so impressed any more.

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#8 of 21 Old 03-10-2012, 06:10 AM
 
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I expect her to stay in the troop for the end of the year.


That's quite reasonable.

 

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#9 of 21 Old 03-10-2012, 07:50 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Here is the thing perhaps I didn't add before...I'm not quite sure that she is ready to quit girl scouts.  

 

There is some side issues of why I'd like to see her quit, besides just the unpredictability.  I think in part it has sort of degenerated into something other than what I see girl scouts as being about.

...much talk about boys, boy drama infiltrating the meetings, a boy being at the meeting when I pick my DD up

...one of this year's troop activities being something outside our level of money that we'd normally spend, and quite far away, while not being certain who is actually chaperoning

...some of the other girls being quite cliquish.

 

If this is how her leader would like to run the troop, that is her choice..just not sure that it is a good fit for my DD any more.

 

As a side note, I am totally over GS cookies

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#10 of 21 Old 03-10-2012, 07:56 AM
 
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If the activities are scattered all over the place instead of every Tuesday night from 4-5:30 and Saturday here and there then I'd have no problem pulling my kid out. A Monday followed by a Thursday and then who knows what is how I am guessing the leader has it. That doesn't work for me and the rest of my family. I consider it reasonable to finish out the year and then go on to something else that is more properly scheduled. 

 

 

DD1 is finishing up this dance season and then will be done. She loves it but it doesn't work for our life and schedule anymore, the commitment required is insane. She dances on a competitive team. She has other sports that she does and that we can do easier even competitively then this type of dance. It was a decision that I brought up with her and she agreed. 


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#11 of 21 Old 03-10-2012, 09:07 AM
 
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If you/she likes the activity but not this particular group why not try finding a different group. I am a girl guide leader (canada) & the groups vary greatly depending on the leaders - it's just the nature of the set up.

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#12 of 21 Old 03-10-2012, 09:34 AM
 
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Why would you feel like you should continue with an activity that isn't what you want?  I can see wanting to model and encourage being committed to things that are important and worthwhile, or to things where someone is counting on you, but it seems like here the rule would just be "if you signed up you need to finish."  I think I'd rather teach my kids that its okay to bail on hollow commitments to worthless activities because their time and energy is valuable and could be dedicated to something that's more fun/meaningful/educational.  Maybe there's something I don't understand about girl scouts?

 

Of course, this is kind of an odd situation because its you, not your DD who wants to quit.  

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#13 of 21 Old 03-10-2012, 09:49 AM
 
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I was also nder the impression that this was something your daughtere wanted to quit. How does SHE feel about it?

 

At her age, there is going to be more talk about boys no matter what the activity is. There is going to be some drama. It's the age.

 

The boy who was present when you picked her up... could he have been there for reasons completely apart from GSs? I've had mothers object to "a boy" being at a sleep over my daughter her had, and indicate that their daughter(s) could not stay if he was present. Uuuummm... He's her brother. He lives here. I'm not sending him away due to another parent's discomfort. Sorry. (Yes, that was a real situation.)

 

The expensive trip... Have you talked to the leader about fundraising, as well as who would be chaperoning?

 

Yes, girls can get cliquey.

 

Having said all of that, several of those are reasons why my daughter quit GSs. But... it was HER choice. Not mine.

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#14 of 21 Old 03-10-2012, 10:22 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I think my daughter isn't at the point where she wants to quit.

 

If it wasn't for the unpredictability part, we might have different feelings.

 

As far as the cliqueiness stuff....my daughter switched troops(not recently)  into a troop that had been together  for a very long time.  The leader and her daughter were very welcoming, but I'm not sure that some of the other girls have been welcoming...nothing I can do about it.  There has been some really weird carpooling situations where parents aren't willing to carpool...or occasions where we have carpooled and the girls we were driving made no effort at all to talk to my daughter..despite her efforts.

 

 

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#15 of 21 Old 03-10-2012, 11:04 AM - Thread Starter
 
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As far as the boy stuff..no he was not someone's brother, and he was not there is an incidental way as he might have been at someone's house.  The boy being there had changed the dynamic of the meeting for some of the girls.

 

Of course you can't avoid some boy drama.  Per my daughter though, there was one meeting where it seemed to take over and the leader seemed to be participating in it.  So nothing got done...thus another unpredictable meeting.  The leader has a choice though to steer things a certain way.

 

I really really like the leader...but her way of doing things doesn't mesh with ours.  One Saturday she decided to have a meeting at the last minute(literally) and then went on to change plans three more times in that same day.  There is also an issue of not knowing when things will be done......I've sort of resolved that with my daughter...but sometimes it means she has to leave before things are finished..

 

It is one thing for us to sign one of the kids up for an activity knowing it will take  x hours a week on the following days.  Even though it might take up a big chunk of time we can plan ahead and do some maneuvering if we need to.  In this situation I just sort of feel that we are subject to this person's whims...and sometimes that doesn't always work...especially when trying to meet the needs of other people in the family.

 

As far as the fundraising...that would primarily be through cookies...and the cookie season is almost done where I live.  It'd practically be a full time job attempting to sell enough cookies though to cover the cost.

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#16 of 21 Old 03-10-2012, 11:06 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by lifeguard View Post

If you/she likes the activity but not this particular group why not try finding a different group. I am a girl guide leader (canada) & the groups vary greatly depending on the leaders - it's just the nature of the set up.



There are fewer troops willing to accept girls in her age range.   I've also been a leader in the past, and I have no desire to do so again.  I thought the girl scouts were fantastic for  many years, but seeing how our council is run by the paid staff members not sure I have the same love for the GS organization I once did.

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#17 of 21 Old 03-10-2012, 11:10 AM
 
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double post

 

 

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#18 of 21 Old 03-10-2012, 11:27 AM
 
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It seems like you want your daughter to quit but she does not want to quit.

 

Given that, I would try to fix the situation.

 

The easiest way, if she is up for it and another troop is available , is to switch troops.

 

The second is to take a deep breath and talk to the leader.  I would bring up certain things - such as the program switching from day to day and time to time dizzy.gif as being incompatible  with scheduling.  I am a girl guide leader and would not be offended by that sort of concern at all.  If it were anything more, I would expect someone who was complaining to offer or be willing to step up to the plate and try and fix things.  I am a volunteer, I run things a certain way as i am the person in charge…if you do not like it,  join me and you can have an equal say in how things go. wink1.gif

 

 

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#19 of 21 Old 03-10-2012, 11:58 AM - Thread Starter
 
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It seems like you want your daughter to quit but she does not want to quit.

 

Given that, I would try to fix the situation.

 

The easiest way, if she is up for it and another troop is available , is to switch troops.

 

The second is to take a deep breath and talk to the leader.  I would bring up certain things - such as the program switching from day to day and time to time dizzy.gif as being incompatible  with scheduling.  I am a girl guide leader and would not be offended by that sort of concern at all.  If it were anything more, I would expect someone who was complaining to offer or be willing to step up to the plate and try and fix things.  I am a volunteer, I run things a certain way as i am the person in charge…if you do not like it,  join me and you can have an equal say in how things go. wink1.gif

 

 

 

I  have no intention of complaining, but I don't really see things changing if I did.  I was a girl scout leader, and have no desire to do it again.  It really isn't about me wanting the leader to change at all, just more of a situation that doesn't work for us.

 

I might look into finding another troop, but given her age group, and utter lack of organization by our council and service unit...it is hard to get that information.

 

I think there are some parents that opt out with some of the craziness from time to time.  With my daughter though, when the leader calls she just expects that we are always willing and able to take her here or there at a moment's notice, and is really hurt if she perceives any sort of barrier to her participating.

 

 



 

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#20 of 21 Old 03-12-2012, 10:00 PM
 
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I would consider talking to her more generally if there are other things she would like to do, and talk to her honestly about how valuable her time at GS is to her. I was a competitive gymnast as a child, and it was very difficult for my parents to approach the idea of quitting, because I was very good and I loved it, very, very much. But as I got into Jr. High, I also wished I had friends I could spend time with from school, I wondered what other not-so-extreme sports were like, I thought student government was interesting, I wanted to go to Church youth group. My parents encouraged me to try to do some new things and work out one thing at a time with my gymnastics schedule, if it was very important to me. And sure enough, as I got more involved with other things, gymnastics became less important. I knew I didn't want to be an elite or compete in college, so what was the point of missing out on everything else to spend all my time there? They had me finish out the season, but then I quit. I doubt I would have quit if I'd have felt pressured to do it, but I just felt my parents wanted me to really consider what I wanted and what was valuable for me to do with my time.


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#21 of 21 Old 05-23-2012, 12:00 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Update to the thread...after more continued oddness, we've decided that the best decision was to have her quit.  One of the big reasons is so that my daughter will have her schedule free to pursue other opportunities.

 

It didn't go well.  I think my daughter has blinders on as to how the lack of organization affects our family.

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