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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm sure this post will be clear as mud...<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br><br>
What would you do if your child previously chose to quit a beloved activity (that she/he had initiated on their own) at great expense (and drama) to the family...and was currently requesting to return to the same activity, at the same location?<br><br>
The activity was pre-paid, nonrefundable for a certain time period. We discussed finishing out the month and reassessing. Dd1 chose not to do this. There was a lot of friction and fighting until I just came to my senses and stepped out of it and tried to let it go.<br><br>
Now she really, really wants to go back! I asked her what has changed, and she said that she's not as tired now. We were way overbooked last year...with attending and helping to run a democratic school, mostly... I can see her point, and this year we are at home on our own, but I'm feeling nervous. I don't want to fight with her about this anymore...and I don't want to lose a bunch of money again.<br><br>
I would ask her every week if she was up to going or if we should reschedule with appropriate notice. She would say she wanted to do it...and then pitch a royal, raving fit right before it was actually time to leave.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/dizzy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Dizzy">:<br><br>
I hate chalking things up to age...but, maybe she's just too young for this kind of commitment. She'll be 7 in November.<br><br>
She says she wants it so badly, though. It's been a passion of hers for almost 4 years... I just don't know how to navigate this. Advice/thoughts, please?
 

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We had the same thing with a martial arts class. He wanted to go, loved it - but after a month he started not wanting to go, yadda yadda..so we let him back out. The fight wasn't worth it to get him there. As soon as he quit, he wanted to start up again! Er.....no, buster.<br><br>
We insisted on a year break from that activity and presented other options to him. He'll be returning to martial arts here in September, but the year off did him a world of good. He had the time to think if it was something he really wanted or if he would rather do a different activity (which, during that year he found out he was good at yoga and soccer. Who knew?).<br><br>
He's old enough now, at 8, to understand that when you start an activity you need to finish it. Before that, it was more exploring his options, but now we're striving to reinforce the commitment part and what it means to have your team count on you.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>wwisdomskr</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/8975021"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
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I asked her what has changed, and she said that she's not as tired now. We were way overbooked last year...with attending and helping to run a democratic school, mostly... I can see her point, and this year we are at home on our own,</div>
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This would be a key point, for me. If the reason she quit was because she was overbooked, and now she's not overbooked, it would seem that there's a good chance she'd have a good time this time around, yk?<br><br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">... I don't want to lose a bunch of money again.</td>
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I get this. I really do. One of my kids bailed on a non-refundable program last year, so we've btdt recently.<br><br>
The way I look at it is, the money was spent the day we signed up. It was "lost" at that point. Whether my dc had completed the program happily, if he'd been forced to complete it, or if he'd quit, it would have made no difference to the bottom line. For me, it's better to make peace with that from the beginning. It frees me up to do what's best for my child after that.<br><br>
As far as "commitment to the team" goes, I think commitment is like motivation, in that it needs to come from within.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>SagMom</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/8975420"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
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The way I look at it is, the money was spent the day we signed up. It was "lost" at that point. Whether my dc had completed the program happily, if he'd been forced to complete it, or if he'd quit, it would have made no difference to the bottom line. For me, it's better to make peace with that from the beginning. It frees me up to do what's best for my child after that.<br><br>
As far as "commitment to the team" goes, I think commitment is like motivation, in that it needs to come from within.</div>
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I really, really appreciate this insight. Thank you. Either I can part with the money or I can't...and then I just need to let go. I don't want money to be a source of anxiety and friction between my dd and I.<br><br>
This is an individual sport (horseback riding), so the commitment is to her instructor, the horse and herself...
 

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I think I would talk to her about how to better handle feeling over-booked this year. Part of that would probably be my making decisions about the time of this activity and limiting other activities so that she has a better chance of succeeding with her passion. My 6 1/2 year old is inclined to say yes to every exciting opportunity, she doesn't have the foresight to realize that it will be too much, unless I point it out.<br><br>
The fits make me wonder if the activity may have been a little too intense for her last year? If so, I might talk to the instructor/coach/teacher to see what this year is going to be like, and might research other locations and see if there's a place that's a bit more relaxed. I know your daughter wants to go back to the same location-- is it for a compelling reason, or just familiarity?<br><br>
Without knowing what the activity is, it's hard to say more than that, but she's lucky to have found her passion so young!
 

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I'd just believe her. She's only 6. You said you were overbooked last year.<br><br>
Judging by your description of how it went, it DOES sound like she was just overbooked.<br><br>
If she felt sure she wanted to re-enroll, I'd allow it, with the new circumstances.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I really appreciate this forum. Thanks for your support.<br><br>
Things always seem so muddled and confusing inside of my own head...<br><br>
It's amazing how helpful it is to write it out and hear some fresh perspectives.
 

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We're sort of at the same point. My dd will be 7 at the end of Sept and she wants to add a couple extra curricular activities and I'm concerned she'll be overwhelmed. But sounds like your daughter knows her own mind and her reason for quitting certainly seems reasonable to me. I think also that she is old enough to understand that she needs to stick with it for a certain amount of time. Perhaps if you talk to the instructor you can do a trial basis -- instead of paying for the whole semester (or however they do it) see if you can do just a quarter first.<br><br>
Crystal
 

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Her reasoning makes sense to me too. She chose to drop an activity because she was doing too much. Now that she's not doing too much, she wants to do the activity again. It sounds like something I would do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>phathui5</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/8978966"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Her reasoning makes sense to me too. She chose to drop an activity because she was doing too much. Now that she's not doing too much, she wants to do the activity again. It sounds like something I would do.</div>
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Yeah...I guess it just didn't feel that clear to me because her quitting was such a long, dramatic, drawn-out process. --Involving a whole lot of screaming at me!<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br><br>
Now, I'm better able to see that this was a symptom of just being overwhelmed to the max. She couldn't control her daddy and I's working such long hours on the school, all the meetings, etc, but she could control her participating in horse-back riding.
 

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We consider the cost of activities as paying for the *option* of going. For instance, we are members at the YMCA, we pay for a family membership, but we certainly don't try to maximize the use of all the facilities which are open 14 hours a day! We go when we want to and don't when we don't. If I joined a karate/drama/yoga class, and found that I didn't like something about it, or were too tired to continue, I'd quit. I have. Maybe, I'd want to try it again. But, if I were expected to "not quit", I'd be afraid to TRY anything new, with the expectation of HAVE TO hanging over my head.<br><br>
So, I agree, it is a 'sunk cost' of signing up. I'd discuss the amount of discretionary money available for activities and get her input related to where that money could be allocated based upon all other interests, not isolated to each choice.<br><br>
But, I am awed at her ability to listen to her body last year about being too tired to continue, at that time. Which was at age 6? She sounds amazingly insightful! I am still learning not to overbook myself. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"><br><br>
Pat
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>tallanvor</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/8978638"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">We're sort of at the same point. My dd will be 7 at the end of Sept and she wants to add a couple extra curricular activities and I'm concerned she'll be overwhelmed. But sounds like your daughter knows her own mind and her reason for quitting certainly seems reasonable to me. I think also that she is old enough to understand that she needs to stick with it for a certain amount of time. Perhaps if you talk to the instructor you can do a trial basis -- instead of paying for the whole semester (or however they do it) see if you can do just a quarter first.<br><br>
Crystal</div>
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Thanks.<br><br>
I wish we could do the trial thing...but her instructor is no longer independent. She's now the stable manager at a big spread and has to abide by their policies of paying in advance.<br><br>
Hey, maybe I'll ask the grandparents to pay for it! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> I wish...
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>wwisdomskr</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/8975593"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">This is an individual sport (horseback riding), so the commitment is to her instructor, the horse and herself...</div>
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I'd check around for a different stable. My kids ride off and on, and we go for lessons that you pay for individually and can re-schedule with a 24 hour notice. It might be that someplace would be a better fight for her anyway since she wanted to quit those lessons half way through. There are always other options, and every place we've lived we've found "pay as you go" stables.<br><br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>WuWei</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/8979026"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">We consider the cost of activities as paying for the *option* of going.</div>
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Although that makes sense for somethings, I'll be paying $100 on Saturday for my kids to spend the day at the stable (riding lessons, practice ride, game time, etc) and there's just no way that I would lay down that kind of money "so they have the option of going." They've already made that decision.<br><br>
On the other hand, my kids are on a swim team that practices 5 days a week. We don't require they go all 5 days, but if we are going to pay for the month then they are expected to go at least 2-3 days per week for the entire month. If they decide they want to stop, they need to finish out the current month.<br><br>
We are VERY clear with out kids what they are obligated to when they sign up for something, and they don't have to be in anything they don't want to. But we spend big bucks on our kids activities and not going because they just aren't in the mood isn't an option.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>LilyGrace</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/8975089"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">We insisted on a year break from that activity and presented other options to him. He'll be returning to martial arts here in September, but the year off did him a world of good.</div>
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I think that is an excellant policy!
 
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