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Am I a bad mother?

1045 Views 12 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  4females
I took my dd to try out some ballet lessons.

I had received an email asking if we mothers preferred structured ballet lessons or something more like a movement/play class. I replied that I preferred movement/play. My dd is, after all, only 3 1/2. When the time came to start, I hadn't heard that the other mothers had opted for the structured ballet (the girls range from 3 1/2 [only two of them] to 6.

I took Iris to one session at the school and one private lesson with a friend's dd. Iris did not appreciate the lessons. I'm not sure if she ever followed any directions because the teacher made us stay outside.

My friend's 3 1/2 bawled her eyes during her first lesson because the teacher pushed her knees down to straighten her legs down to the floor.

The teacher speaks Russian - only a few of the kids understand.

So, the next week when it was time again for the lesson at the school, my dd said she didn't want to go. Fine. We stayed home.

I got tons and tons of questions about why we weren't there - as well as question, again, about what my dd will be doing this year (staying home and learning about life with me). I know they all think I'm crazy because I actually listen to my dd (When she wanted to leave her preschool last spring, I let her).

Today I asked again and she said "no ballet." So we didn't go.

Am I a bad mother because the only social occasion my dd has during the week is a 2-hour playgroup?

We do all sorts of things like visit farms and go to the mountains - and she has an ex-teacher babysitter every day for 3 hours.

I feel so judged all the time!

Sorry! This got long!
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One more thing:

My friend with the 3 1/2 yo (the one who cried) said that her dd watches on the sideline and then goes home to do all these ballet moves. She made me feel like I was being silly. So now I feel like I should push Iris "for her own good."
no your not a bad mom at all. Not only are you doing what's best for her, she is being raised to know that her opinion matters. People thought I was nuts too for asking dd what she wanted. Guess what, at almost 14 she is able to stand up for herself to her friends and knows who she is and what she wants. She is not easily manipulated and I believe she is safer from those who don't have her best interests at heart because she has never been expected to be a people pleaser. She is considerate of others but not if it means sacrificing herself.


we didn't do alot of organized stuff either BTW.
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Sounds to me like you are doing a great job!
Follow what feels right for your dd and you. If only more parents treated their children with such respect and consideration............

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I think it is great that you are doing what is right for your daughter! My daughter is 6 and is in a creative play/pre-ballet class once a week...she loves it. She would not be ready for a formal ballet class at this point. At 3 she would have hated it and we would not have gotten anything out of it! I think our children tell us what they need--and we just have to be open to listening...just as you are doing.

Good job
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Thanks so much for the warm encouragement!

Why do I continue to allow these people to affect me?

Quotation from one of these women: "We've been lucky in the sleep dept. When our girls were 6 months old we just let 'em scream. Ever since then they know when it's bedtime and just go by themselves."

Now, that didn't affect me. Don't worry! But you see what I'm dealing with!
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I think you def made the right decision. When my child tells me that they don't like something, unless it is truly necessary, I allow them to make their own choices. You should be proud of yourself for allowing your daughter to set her own limits on things that affect her.

I for one don't understand why ppl have to pass judgement on families that have different ways of doing things. My youngest needs to be spoken to very quietly when he is having a hard time with something, and everyone tells me that I baby him, however he is much more willing to cooperate when I speak to him this way and he is much happier. I tell ppl, well this is his personality and I am not going to force him to be someone he is not, I love him the way he is and I respect that everyone needs to be treated the way that makes them feel best. That usually shuts ppl up.

As for your friend, did she ask her dd if she wanted to go and just watch or is she forcing her? If going was the dd choice maybe your dd would like to do that. As long as she knows there is no pressure to perform she might like to do that. Good luck and don't worry she will get plenty of socialization once she goes to school
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This is tough. My ds's initial reaction to most new things is "no". We wouldn't leave the house if I always listened to him. If it's an organised activity, I will push gently. If he still says no after attending say twice, then I will drop it. We will probably be dropping playschool if he doesn't want to go again tomorrow. So I listen to him but do try to push him a little bit. Otherwise I get cabin fever.

editted to add: Just so you know I'm sometimes right in pushing him a little: he got over some intial trepidation and loved a gymnastics class we took.

This is just what works for us.
I think a highly structured class is a little much for 3-1/2. Depends on the kid though. Maybe these mother's who are making you feel bad have little robot kids ;-) ... My daughter, who is extremely imaginative/creative but also usually extremely helpful/cooperative, had problems with a class that was very regimented, so I took her out. She was 4.

BTW, I would be very offended by a teacher that pushed a child's knees down to the floor to straighten their legs to the point that the child bawled. She could damage someone!
Hey Liz! Thanks! Sometimes, around here - and in my own heart - there is an almost knee-jerk reaction, "No, don't push!" But I'm often questioning myself, "Do I listen TOO much?"

Tausborn - It's highly structured in the sense that the teacher wants the girls to listen. But the girls end up doing exactly as they please. I don't know how hard the teacher pushed. We just heard the bawling and mommy went running! Her dd told her later what had happened.
As soon as I saw the thread title I wanted to get on plane and shake some sense into you!
Go to your room.

Write out "I am a good mother and I put my child's needs above social pressure." 100 times.
My first reaction was like Kama'aina Mama's: "What?"

My second reaction, after reading your post is, "What?"

No, you aren't a bad mother! Your daughter is 3 1/2 years old! Unless you were planning for her to be a prima ballerina or something!
You are right and they are silly.

In my neighborhood there is a ballet school where I got to see three and four year olds have a class. They put on tutus and ran around in circles. Maybe it won't make them great dancers but they had a great time! (By the way, their teacher is also Russian. Interesting. )
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You are not a bad mommy for listening to your child... In my opinion, I think you are a better mommy for listening to your child instead of forcing her to do something she obviously didnt want to do.
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