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#1 of 97 Old 01-18-2011, 09:22 AM - Thread Starter
 
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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.

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#2 of 97 Old 01-18-2011, 09:27 AM
 
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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. 

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#3 of 97 Old 01-18-2011, 09:39 AM
 
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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.
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#4 of 97 Old 01-18-2011, 11:13 AM - Thread Starter
 
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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.


 

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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. 



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#5 of 97 Old 01-18-2011, 11:17 AM - Thread Starter
 
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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.

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#6 of 97 Old 01-18-2011, 11:42 AM
 
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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.

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#7 of 97 Old 01-18-2011, 11:44 AM
 
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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?)
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#8 of 97 Old 01-18-2011, 11:53 AM
 
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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.

 

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#9 of 97 Old 01-18-2011, 12:06 PM
 
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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?

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#10 of 97 Old 01-18-2011, 01:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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.

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#11 of 97 Old 01-18-2011, 01:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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.
 

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#12 of 97 Old 01-18-2011, 01:41 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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.

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#13 of 97 Old 01-18-2011, 06:58 PM
 
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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.

 

 

 

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#14 of 97 Old 01-18-2011, 08:49 PM
 
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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.
 

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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.




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#15 of 97 Old 01-18-2011, 11:55 PM
 
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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.


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#16 of 97 Old 01-19-2011, 06:01 AM - Thread Starter
 
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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.
 

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#17 of 97 Old 01-19-2011, 06:27 AM
 
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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. 

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#18 of 97 Old 01-19-2011, 06:38 AM
 
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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. 

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#19 of 97 Old 01-19-2011, 07:28 AM
 
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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.


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#20 of 97 Old 01-19-2011, 07:57 AM - Thread Starter
 
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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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#21 of 97 Old 01-19-2011, 08:00 AM - Thread Starter
 
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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. 


I think you are right, that 8 is old enough to understand. That is why I realize there HAS to be some type of consequence for this.

I can't let her think her choices and behavior don't count. That wouldn't do her any good in the long run.
 

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#22 of 97 Old 01-19-2011, 08:09 AM - Thread Starter
 
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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.



Totally missed this post.

This is pretty much the way I think too.

I think the partial payment by working it off is an awesome idea.

The only problem with that is; I dont like to correlate payment for family work. When I give jobs, they never expect payment. Im afraid if I started something like that, they would feel entitled. How do you get away from that?

This is just an example:

Last night I was putting the baby for a nap. I said to both kids that I would like to come out of my room and see the living room cleaned up (all baby toys, not their toys) and the kitchen table clear (plates, condiments, markers). When I came out, it was all done. The only expectation they had, was that they and I had extra time to spend together.

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#23 of 97 Old 01-19-2011, 08:32 AM
 
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I would let her quit.  But, then i'd take her to the recital so she sees what it is she missed out on.  But, I wouldn't make her pay for it.    (just me... I don't mean this is what YOU should do)

 

Or i'd say "Finish out the month, and then you can quit... but, no complaining at all".

 

Ballet is hard.  Ballet teachers are hard.  Other dance classes are more fun, so when my daughter was dancing, they HAD to do ballet, they all hated it, but the other classes were fun, so they sucked it up for that one hour twice a week.  She told me every week how much she hated ballet.  She cried, she said she hated miss Brittany.  (and any other ballet teacher) So, I think that's just part of ballet for a while.  

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#24 of 97 Old 01-19-2011, 10:22 AM
 
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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.



Totally missed this post.

This is pretty much the way I think too.

I think the partial payment by working it off is an awesome idea.

The only problem with that is; I dont like to correlate payment for family work. When I give jobs, they never expect payment. Im afraid if I started something like that, they would feel entitled. How do you get away from that?

This is just an example:

Last night I was putting the baby for a nap. I said to both kids that I would like to come out of my room and see the living room cleaned up (all baby toys, not their toys) and the kitchen table clear (plates, condiments, markers). When I came out, it was all done. The only expectation they had, was that they and I had extra time to spend together.

Make it something out of the ordinary. Things that would be nice to have happen but aren't really a fundamental part of happy home life. E.g. a new garden bed (dug up in warmer weather since she's old enough to understand that the work she's doing in April was because of her actions in January) isn't a necessity, but it would be nice to have. Having spotless corners in every room of the house isn't a necessity (depending on your standards of housekeeping =D), but would be nice to have. It isn't actually necessary for family pets to be combed and brushed every day to reduce shedding, but it'd make life more pleasant if that did happen.


Larger projects are probably better in terms of having set limits on completion, but I'd talk with her about it.

 

(ETA: and it's fine for the task to be something she finds fun.)

 

Oh! And I wouldn't assign dollar values, instead I'd put in terms of she wasted family resources, so she's going to improve family life by doing tasks, thus and such list of tasks will compensate the family for the resources she caused to be wasted.

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#25 of 97 Old 01-19-2011, 11:58 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Oh! And I wouldn't assign dollar values, instead I'd put in terms of she wasted family resources, so she's going to improve family life by doing tasks, thus and such list of tasks will compensate the family for the resources she caused to be wasted.



That is a great way of getting around that problem.

Recources!

 

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#26 of 97 Old 01-19-2011, 12:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I would let her quit.  But, then i'd take her to the recital so she sees what it is she missed out on.  But, I wouldn't make her pay for it.    (just me... I don't mean this is what YOU should do)

 

Or i'd say "Finish out the month, and then you can quit... but, no complaining at all".

 

Ballet is hard.  Ballet teachers are hard.  Other dance classes are more fun, so when my daughter was dancing, they HAD to do ballet, they all hated it, but the other classes were fun, so they sucked it up for that one hour twice a week.  She told me every week how much she hated ballet.  She cried, she said she hated miss Brittany.  (and any other ballet teacher) So, I think that's just part of ballet for a while.  


Taking her to the recital is an interesting idea. The things is; she likes dance and seeing the recital would probably just spur her on to begging to go back next year.

It's pretty much something she is not capable of mentally at this point. She has some some anger/ impulse issues that we are doing our best to deal with.

She cant rationalize and move past things or transition well. Things are hard for her. Basically she seriously CAN"T suck ANYTHING up, can't get past things.

 She has a really hard time coping. She has other areas that she excels in, so it's off balance.

While I dont treat her like she is 3, I see that in some areas- she is 3.

She does very well in school and I know it's exhausting for her.

I really have to pick my battles with her. The more options she has, the harder it is.


 

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#27 of 97 Old 01-19-2011, 03:34 PM
 
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I would take every single priviledge away, including time with friends, until she complies. I would be dead serious on this. I have a tantrum thrower too. But I know with persistence (which is hard for mom, I know) that this will be channeled for good some day. 
 

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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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#28 of 97 Old 01-19-2011, 04:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I would take every single priviledge away, including time with friends, until she complies. I would be dead serious on this. I have a tantrum thrower too. But I know with persistence (which is hard for mom, I know) that this will be channeled for good some day. 
 

 

Things is, she could care less about time with friends. She is a very introverted. Also, when she rages, she honestly cares less about what she loses.

At wits end from dealing with her rage and tantrums, I have resorted to this approach and I can honestly say it makes things so much worse.

She realizes when she has nothing to lose it's a free for all. She has even told me clearly "I don't CARE what you could ever take- take it ALL". I know she means it. Things come and go and she knows it. She has control over things. It's her feelings at the time that she has no control over.

With my D'S, most discipline tactics work. He understands and cares to avoid any consequence at all. He likes to have a good time in life.

 DD is a very "different" type of a person. She doesn't respond to things that most kids (even hot tempered ones) would understand and get. She just doesn't "get" a lot of things. Its actually worth it to her to do the crime, serve the time. There is no privilege or thing I could take away.

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I think the punishment of having a young child pay for a class (a child that can't legally work for $), is inappropriate. Maybe if she was 16, and had steady income, or if she was babysitting regularly and had earned money. I think to understand the concept of working for a dollar, there has to be a job outside the home that produces income. Otherwise, it's not going to resonate with her. To be honest, I would try to switch her class to an earlier class. That time of night, at the end of the week doesn't work w/ some kids. By making her pay for the class, I would fear that it may result in her not wanting to try another class/sport... Ugh, I think it's better to just give her a hug and sit and chat over a tea party to find out what's really going on and what other classes she'd like better. Just my 2 cents.

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I think you should talk to her about exactly how much money it is, remind her that the recital is the last thing then she can be totally done, then let her decide and go with it.  When my dd is in a tantrum cycle I find that she pulls out of it faster when I stick to what I saw 100% even if it is a hard decision to stick by once she starts the tantrums and pouting.  You were very clear about it, she believed you and went without fuss when you told her she would have to pay for missed lessons, so I think she understands and made her choice fully knowing that you would follow through.

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