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#31 of 52 Old 09-03-2010, 06:32 PM
 
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I don't know what exact words I would use, but I'd discuss your concerns during the same conversation that I let her know she was off the hook for soccer. Something like "You've said you don't want to play soccer anymore, and we see that it's not doing you any good, so we're going to pull you off the team. I don't want this to be a precedent, though. It does NOT mean that you get to start whatever you want and then quit whenever you want."

Then next time she does start something, work out an agreement beforehand, and one that is reasonable for both of you. It depends on the specifics, though. For example, our YMCA does classes in 7 week sessions. 7 classes is not so huge of a commitment, so you can say "I'm paying for 7 classes and expect you to participate in all of them. When it's time for the next session, I'll ask you if you want to sign up again, and if the answer is no, that's fine." Sports, where there is a longer season, I might say "I am willing to take you to ONE practice, and then you can decide from there if you want to continue for the whole season or drop out right away. If you go to the second practice, that means you're committed for the whole season."

If she wants to sign up for something that requires even more of an upfront commitment (like a musical instrument where you have to buy or rent an instrument) I might even be inclined to say "let's talk about it next year" rather than get myself and DD into what could be a tough spot. I think at this age, don't take on more commitment than you feel comfortable with.

Homeschooling mama to 6 year old DD.

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#32 of 52 Old 09-03-2010, 06:44 PM
 
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But, she's ruining the experience for everybody. I really think that since she's ruining it for the other kids,
If you were coaching my kid, I wouldn't want you.
That's not mean at all. I would not want my time and my child's time wasted and taken away from the job of coaching. How many other children and parents are turned off by seeing you have to deal with your child each week?

if there is no enjoyment there for the child/children, why do it?

You and your child have an issue, I can't think that it is not effecting the others.
If you coach, as the others have said, leave her home.

If you are doing this for the community, than you should put that first.

as you stated, it's not what you want to hear, but I don''t see how you can force her to change to meet your goals

 

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#33 of 52 Old 09-03-2010, 07:08 PM
 
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forgive me if this angle's been mentioned, already, but...

It sounds to me like she's jealous of the attention the other kids are getting from you.

My mom was the long-term sub for my first (or was it second?) grade class. I was HORRIBLE to her. I remember one time she carried me kicking and screaming down to the office because I wouldn't do anything she was saying and I was throwing a total fit. If you knew me at the time, you would be shocked, because I was always one of the "good" kids in school... but not for her. I was jealous that the other kids were getting all her attention and I was getting only an equal share, though she was my mom. After school, she was always busy grading papers or planning for the next day, so I got very little attention at home too (not saying that's the case here, but still). Anyway, that was my immediate impression from your post, but of course, it could be just projecting myself onto your DD.

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#34 of 52 Old 09-03-2010, 07:27 PM
 
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If one of the other kids was acting like this what would you think? And what would you do? Would you suggest to the other parent that maybe their kid wasn't happy and should drop soccer for now? Try giving yourself the advice you would give to the parents of another child doing what this kid is doing.

My DD is only 4, and so far all she has tried is dance class. She quit it, after 2 sessions, because she missed me. We are together all the time (i missed her too, though obviously that's irrelevant!) and the separation was painful for her. I have seen her do other things without talking to me for longer than the dance class was, even though she knows i am theoretically available, and she is KEEN to do further things which she knows i can't be there for, but the difference is that for those things the pain of being away from me is obliterated by the enjoyment of participation. She simply didn't like dance more than she missed me. Skiing however, i can see will probably be a different matter (of course the more expensive things are what she wants to go to! ). I basically told DD she could quit - i WANT her to understand that these things are leisure activities, and leisure activities we do because we WANT to do them. Sure, i might go out and train for rugby in the hail and freezingness in order to not let the team down, but i wouldn't do it for netball, because i hate netball. Kwim? I think it's a great thing to learn about teamwork and practice and incremental acquisition of skills, BUT i think that an activity one loves is a better place to learn those things than an activity one hates or is totally bored by. It's easier to read a book you love, and it's easier to learn to love reading through books you love, kwim?

And i really don't think you should beat yourself up about any of this. I too have a kid who can do anything but behave well for me when she doesn't want to! I really think that she's showing me, when she can't tell me, that what is happening is all wrong for her. This doesn't mean i don't want to strangle her at times, only that i don't strangle her, instead i sit with her and try to figure out how i can help
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#35 of 52 Old 09-03-2010, 07:33 PM
 
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i WANT her to understand that these things are leisure activities, and leisure activities we do because we WANT to do them.
that's the KEY-----too many parents forget this!!! SAD

 

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#36 of 52 Old 09-03-2010, 07:37 PM
 
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I would respond differently if my child on her own asked to be in an activity and wanted to quit than if I suggested an activity and she wanted to quit. What I've learned is to only sign her up for activities she has decided on her own to do. She hasn't wanted to quit any of those. She wanted to quit soccer too, and I learned not to sign her up for things unless she came up with the idea, and I let her quit.
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#37 of 52 Old 09-03-2010, 08:19 PM
 
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Well, it sounds like you have the soccer thing figured out, but I've been formulating my response while I read through the whole thread, so I'm going to leave it here anyway.

FWIW- DD (5) had her first soccer practice yesterday and between the 2 teams that were practicing side by side (husband was coaching 1 team, wife coaching the other), every single kid who was wandering off/disrupting practice/completely not into it was the child of a coach (there were also 2 other parents there coaching). I'm sure that it was for all the reasons that PP have mentioned- kids not as enthusiastic as their parents, kids not listening as well because it IS their parents, etc. The fact is...it happens. And from what I see, it happens to A LOT of people.

From your post, your DH sound a lot like mine. Not quite forcing the child into doing something, but being really enthusiastic and convincing when talking them into it. (Right now, we're dealing with earring drama because DH was a little overzealous and convinced DD that she NEEDED her ears pierced while I was waiting for her to come to the conclusion on her own ). I get it, they want to encourage their kids, but I was the kid who was pushed into a lot of activities because I thought that it was really important to my dad that I did them. I think that if this is the case, you DH NEEDS to be there to help out at practice (although I understand that things came up yesterday).

Like others have said, forcing your DD to continue soccer is not only a disservice to her, but a disservice to the entire team. At 6 years old, the lack of a sub is not a big deal at all (compared to having someone there who doesn't want to be there and it laying in the middle of the field). Also, I think it's so honorable for you to continue coaching because you love the game and you want to contribute to the community.

Again, I know you've already made your decision. I think that waiting a year and letting DD approach YOU about wanting to do something will make a world of difference.

Good luck mama!

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#38 of 52 Old 09-04-2010, 12:19 AM
 
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If she had come to you and told you she wanted to do soccer then I would say she should finish the season. We have a rule that if you start something you say you want to do then you finish it to the end of the season. I remind dd of this before signing her up. Since you are pulling her out I suggest telling her that you are letting her quit this because you and her father pushed her to take soccer, but that this is an exception that you are only making this time.

I think you should finish the season coaching because it is something that is important to you, but don't bring your dd with you if she is acting like that. Use this as a learning experience to and volunteer to coach a different team, not the one your dd is on, next time around. I personally hate working with my child in a group setting or bringing her to work with me. She behaves hideously, not to the point of trying to hit me but very naughty and immature still.
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#39 of 52 Old 09-04-2010, 05:00 AM
 
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i noticed you said she's tried several activities and "She wants to quit, just like she wants to quit everything else she tries, ballet, tae kwon do, even swimming." having had 3 step-kids and a foster child plus my own kidlet, she sounds like a normal 6-yr-old to me. it's like they're in a clothing store and want to try on one of everything! then they eventually settle into doing what makes them feel most confident and happy.

edited to add: you also say "I give her the option to sit out" and my first thought was that phrasing it as "sitting out (of the game)" would feel exclusionary to your daughter, so she'd battle for your attention. whereas if you draw her into it by saying "i need help coaching this team" and letting her carry things for you or making up fun little activities like "draw one of the teams" she'd feel she's a big part of your coaching. you could even call her the co-coach

my girl wanted to do martial arts at just under age 3, and she's still doing it. people assume i pushed her into it, but i just took her around town to watch other kids doing stuff, and she showed a strong interest right away. the dojo gave out a book that discusses the consequences of having a child finish what they started, or to let them drop out and move on. for a 6-yr-old, the general advice is to tell them, "you need to finish this activity (to a mutually chosen ending point), then we can find something else you'd like to do." that includes her perhaps choosing simply to have down-time - kids actually develop a huge amount of skills in down-time, i was surprised to learn that!

since you love to coach, i think you could have a lot of fun being a coach and even a cheerleader for *anything* your daughter does, whether it's collecting rocks or riding her bike, coloring or doing puzzles. i'm my girls' #1 cheerleader, she loves it!

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#40 of 52 Old 09-04-2010, 10:32 AM
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Was there any correlation between your daughter starting soccer and her chewing on things?

I agree that it is good for kids to learn to finish what they begin, but it doesn't sound like your daughter of her own free will and volition chose soccer.

Furthermore, I think kids should be able to try things out and be able to decide if they want to change their minds later. Good grief. This is supposed to be a fun activity. Nobody's livelihood is dependent on it.

This reminds me of a conversation I had with another woman who was complaining that the book which she was reading, about 1/3 the way through, was a really bad book. To which I replied very curiously: why don't you stop reading it? Her answer was that she "always finished" something. My reply was: there are too many good books in the world, and already not enough time to read them all. If I find a book is bad (for me).... that's it/ it's over. I move onto another book. Even if I already read 200 pages? Yes, b/c there are still tens of thousands of really good pages out there.
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#41 of 52 Old 09-04-2010, 10:48 AM
 
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Well...she's six. Not every six year old needs or wants a lot of (or even one) structured activities. School is enough. Extras are great if a kid wants to try them, but what is the point if everyone is miserable? If she is active otherwise, she has PLENTY of time to decide if she's interested in team sports.
I hear this line a lot - let your kids "be bored". Avoid scheduling too many activities, etc.

Thing is, when my 6-year old is at home, she inevitably says, "mommy, I'm boooooored.' She has toys, crafts, games, all of which I am willing to do with her, and all she wants to do is..... you guessed it, watch TV. She would watch TV all day if she was allowed.

So I think just saying ok, no activities, is too simplistic an answer.

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#42 of 52 Old 09-05-2010, 12:42 AM
 
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I guess my next question is, how do I prevent this from being the norm in the future. If I let her quit soccer, she will never forget. Then everytime she is doing something and it is hard, or uncomfortable in some way, she will say..."well remember the time I stopped doing soccer..."
How do I make that distinction with her in the future?
Obviously I won't sign her up for anything structured for a long while, and I will only sign her up for things that she wholeheartedly wants to do. But chances are, knowing her, when it gets a little boring or difficult she will come home and say..."I hate it mom, I want to quit, you let me before..."
Well I don't let my son drive the car but when he's 16 I will. And he used to pee on the change table but if he peed on a table now we'd have a serious chat...

...if you get my drift. I don't think wild inconsistency is great parenting, but I also think that keeping a situation that is not working intact just because in the future you may need to have a different rule is a little bit over the top.

You can always say "you were 6 then. Now you are 8 and I expect..." Or you could discuss the difference between an exception and a pattern.

I'd take a break from activities and then have a good talk with her about commitment and pick one that's pretty brief and have her stick with it and then build it up from there. I'd also not talk UP activities. I'd talk them DOWN and see if her enthusiasm continues and that's when I'd sign her up.

I agree with many of the PPs that this situation sounds like it is just not working for anyone and it is just plain old not worth the hassle.

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#43 of 52 Old 09-06-2010, 04:01 AM
 
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I didn't read the whole thread, but would it work to make her a coach's helper instead of a team member? I just gather that since your DH didn't even show up for the practice when you expected him, childcare might be an issue. She'd also be keeping her commitment in one way, but have some responsibilities and might actually step up and behave better because of them (although I wouldn't tell HER that was the idea ).

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#44 of 52 Old 09-07-2010, 06:03 AM
 
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Maybe she is overscheduled?

My advice is to listen to what she is trying to tell you. She is having emotional difficulty with something. Since she can't quit school, maybe pare down all her activities except for that. And let her have downtime to do as she pleases outside of school, and lots of attention from you if she needs it. Starting school is already a huge undertaking for little kids, and the "structure" and expectations can be overwhelming.

Stopping all extracurricular activities will NOT make her a "quitter" for life. It will show her that you're listening, that you care & want to understand what she is going through. This kid needs a break.
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#45 of 52 Old 09-07-2010, 06:09 AM
 
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Sounds like I am in a minority here thinking she should finish what she started! Maybe I wrong.
I feel like people are really coming down on me here though for even coaching her team. I am not coaching her because I am really intensely wanting her to be this awesome soccer player and I have really high expectations for her. I simply wanted to do something to help out in the community. I wanted to teach kids about good sportsmanship, teamwork, and maybe some skills. I am not some crazy hardcore coach pressuring my child to play!
Maybe I am going about dealing with my child all wrong in general. She is really tough. I am the first to admit that I still don't understand her. The thought of homeschooling her terrifies me. She is so stubborn. She won't do a thing that she doesn't want do. So everything would center around her wants, needs, and desires. She dominates every conversation, and demands constant interaction and attention(I know most children do, but she is even more intense about it).
I just feel really frustrated right now with her, with myself, with the situations we are in and the lack of options...
And I guess I was hoping for some support because I don't have any here.
People are supporting you by telling you a truth that you don't want to hear.

Home schooling would be a bad idea for at least two reasons: 1) you need a break from her company (as do all parents from their children), and, 2) she will probably exhibit different behaviors for teachers & other adults, and may need their influence. But since school is a priority, keep it & cut back on everything else for a while (at least a year). See if that changes anything for you.
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#46 of 52 Old 09-07-2010, 06:13 AM
 
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Kids do that to the ones they love the best.
So true.
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#47 of 52 Old 09-07-2010, 11:07 AM
 
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Home schooling would be a bad idea for at least two reasons: 1) you need a break from her company (as do all parents from their children)
You effectively wrote that homeschooling IS (and not even just that you believe it is) a bad idea for ALL families. Is that what you meant to write?

Homeschooling mama to 6 year old DD.

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#48 of 52 Old 09-07-2010, 12:49 PM
 
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You effectively wrote that homeschooling IS (and not even just that you believe it is) a bad idea for ALL families. Is that what you meant to write?
That's not what she's saying. She's saying it's a bad idea for the OP to homeschool. OP needs that break from her daughter... which is OK to need a break from her daughter, because we all need breaks from our kids. She's not saying Homeschooling is bad for everyone because everybody needs a break.

Homeschooling would have been bad for my family too. My daughter is motivated, but only for someone else. If I were her teacher, she would be sitting in her room right now watching Bones on Hulu, and she'd never even lift a pencil, or read a required reading book.

Plus I need a break from her.
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#49 of 52 Old 09-07-2010, 01:03 PM
 
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I just wanted to point out that the way she wrote it, which may not have been the way she intended it (hence my open question), she said it's categorically a bad idea for all families. All parents need a break, homeschool doesn't give a break, thus homeschool is a bad idea. Different from saying "it doesn't seem like homeschooling would work for your family."

Homeschooling mama to 6 year old DD.

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#50 of 52 Old 09-07-2010, 09:40 PM
 
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You effectively wrote that homeschooling IS (and not even just that you believe it is) a bad idea for ALL families. Is that what you meant to write?
Absolutely not. I meant for her (the OP) since she is obviously stressed in her daughter's company. She needs breathing room. Why would you think I'm making a blanket statement about HS? Jeez.
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#51 of 52 Old 09-07-2010, 09:42 PM
 
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I just wanted to point out that the way she wrote it, which may not have been the way she intended it (hence my open question), she said it's categorically a bad idea for all families. All parents need a break, homeschool doesn't give a break, thus homeschool is a bad idea. Different from saying "it doesn't seem like homeschooling would work for your family."
Lord. I was talking to the OP (who obviously didn't want to HS, but felt pressured by her daughter). The OP wrote: "the thought of homeschooling her terrifies me"...
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#52 of 52 Old 09-07-2010, 10:06 PM
 
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I don't think what I wrote called for a "Jeez." I asked if that's what you meant to write. I thought there was a good chance you meant something else and just didn't see how it was worded. I assumed the best of you, I would hope that would go both ways.

Homeschooling mama to 6 year old DD.

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