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musicboxdancer

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Reply with quote  #1 
I got my daughter into several activities over the years. Dance, gymnastics, theater.  She currently is doing a professional role in a theater performance so we cleared her schedule right now from dance and gymnastics. It was initially her idea to get involved in these things. She enjoys them. Some other parents imply that I push her too hard. They say she should have a "normal" childhood which they say consists of "running around the neighborhood, riding a bike and playing video games". She does those things sometimes but I don't want her on social media or video games all the time. The social media stuff has become disturbing. She set up snapchat & instagram accounts without us knowing. She is nine years old. A lot of kids at her school want to play with her but she has rehearsals or something else going on. She actually has about 1-2 playdates after school, every week. I think that is enough. I feel kind of torn like I'm doing something wrong, though. Most of her friends at school aren't involved in extracurricular activities. In some ways, she envies their free time. But she also enjoys dance, theater, gymnastics. Some of these kids that have free time running around the neighborhood, get into trouble. I'd rather keep her busy so she stays out of that.
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rubydancemom

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Reply with quote  #2 
If the desire is coming from her, I don't see an issue. I will say, it is an ongoing conversation. At 9, my DD loved dance just as much as she does now, but now she also has other interests and priorities. So, we are making very different decisions than we did a few years ago. 
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musicboxdancer

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Reply with quote  #3 
My child sometimes gets upset if she has to miss a birthday party. It's only then that she starts resenting her activities. I managed to get her to a birthday party late after a rehearsal last month. We showed up an hour late, but she didn't care, she wanted to go. Coordinating it all can be stressful. She is in 25 stage performances over a 4 week period. That is a lot in such a short time, for a child her age.

Most of the parents we know are heavily focused on school so they don't enroll their kids in many, or any, activities outside of school. Not even Scouts is popular here. There doesn't seem to be any kids at her school in theater or dance. Some of them do sports. But I don't find many parents to talk to who can relate. My own family disapproves of the arts and feels I should be focusing on my child learning job skills that will make her employable some day. My child is smart but she's not going to be an engineer, that's for sure.

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rdsmom

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Reply with quote  #4 
I'm not sure what you're asking for. Do you want to vent, or are you asking for opinions on whether or not you are pushing you child too much? 
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Jacaranda

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Reply with quote  #5 
I think the parents who have their kids doing nothing at all outside of the school, are the ones who should be questioning their parent strategy, not,you. Every child needs things in their life that they love and are passionate about, things outside of school,to care about, set gal about, make friends who share a common interest and so on.

These other kids are the ones being deprived one of the greatest joys of childhood.
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ballerinamom13

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Reply with quote  #6 
Who cares what they think?  Ignore them.
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prancer

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Reply with quote  #7 
Musicboxdancer - how old is your child? Play dates and job skills don’t sound like they should apply to the same child. If your child is happy and these are her ideas of fun, no worries!
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Phx115

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Reply with quote  #8 
People are always going to judge. For lack of a better term: Screw them!

As long as your daughter is happy AND the activity works for you and your family, then where is the problem?
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nicknoralove

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Reply with quote  #9 
I don’t see anything wrong with your scenario. I get flack too from some of my friends because my daughter is 5 and in 3.5 hours of dance per week. They think that’s way too much for her age and think I’m nuts for allowing comp.

You need to just do what you have to for your daughter and family. All kids have moments in any activity. My daughter has come home tired a couple times and said she didn’t want to go to dance. But the second she gets to that studio her demeanor completely changes and she struts around the place like she owns it. She is immediately excited to see her friends and teachers and can’t get to class fast enough when they call them in.

Kids have moments just like we do where they feel like just staying home and flopping/doing nothing. It doesn’t mean you’re forcing them to do something they hate. We were
doing soccer at one point and my daughter truly didn’t like being there (and she had good friends there). She finally just moped around the field and wouldn’t participate. Had I forced her to keep going anyway when she was miserable while she was there, that would have been pushing her too much.

When you just have to nudge them to stay committed to an activity that they clearly love while they actually do it, that’s just teaching them how to stay driven and not give up every time things get challenging. If you ask me, that’s also a pretty dang good skill for the workplace someday.
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hopefuldancer17

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Reply with quote  #10 
Either they're way off base, in which case who cares what they think, or something about what they're saying has struck a nerve in you, in which case, reflect on that and make sure her choices really have been hers and that you're not pushing. If she's happy doing what she's doing, then don't worry about what others say.
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classydance

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Reply with quote  #11 
Practice saying this,

" I know I am making mistakes but I believe that, as ____
s parents my spouse and I are the most qualified to make decisions about her."

Don't engage.  By engaging you validate their concern and appear defensive. 

If you are concerned about your decisions then talk to your spouse or other highly trusted persons who can offer you advice and support rather than judgement. It's very difficult to know the motivations of people offering unsolicited "advice."
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AnnaBeav

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Reply with quote  #12 
I can relate about not having time for play dates after school. My 8 year old DD is definitely suffering from not having time outside of school to play with her friends but we only have one day during the week where she doesn't have something in the afternoon. When I suggest she give something up she she pushes back and wants to continue with her activities. She also complains she doesn't have any downtime and I agree but again she doesn't want to give anything up. Once in a while another parent will comment about the hours and I usually reply, "Since she loves it so much I am letting her pursue her interests. I am fully prepared that at some point she may quit dancing and then we will have fun finding her next passion." 

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nicknoralove

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Reply with quote  #13 
Quote:
Originally Posted by hopefuldancer17
Either they're way off base, in which case who cares what they think, or something about what they're saying has struck a nerve in you, in which case, reflect on that and make sure her choices really have been hers and that you're not pushing. If she's happy doing what she's doing, then don't worry about what others say.


I agree with this also. I think it's natural to want to vent about this sometimes and sometimes people might question themselves though. It's because many sports don't get the stigma that dance does for some reason - especially comp dance. 

I have friends whose kids spend hours upon hours on baseball each week and play on 3-4 different teams throughout the year. They LIVE for baseball and brag about it all the time and aim to have their kids in the MLB. Their kids are practicing and playing 7 days a week. Some of these same people rag on comp dance and the time/money we spend (which is sometimes less than they spend on baseball). 

Maybe it's because of "Dance Moms" giving it a bad reputation for people who don't actually live in the dance world and understand that it isn't like that (I mean hey, there are always going to be some rogue moms who WANT it to be like that but most of us aren't jerky). I had a post a long way back about why comp dance gets such a poor reputation over other sports and someone kindly pointed this out to me. 
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Mamala

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Reply with quote  #14 
Nobody else should judge because you have to decide what's right for your family. Every family is different, and every child is different. If your DD is happy doing what she's doing, then there is your answer. If you're hearing her consistently say she wishes she wasnt dancing or whatever all the time, then you should rethink it. Life does not offer any of us enough time to do everything we wish we could do all the time. That's why even as adults we have to prioritize and make choices. If she's choosing her activities then that's her choice. All you can do is try to balance as much as possible for her. Try to find some time to do a playdate or two (you said she already does that anyway). Also, some kids dont need a ton of down time or relaxation. My DD could go go go all day without losing steam. She's not one of those kids that likes to sit around the house too much. And if she is sitting around the house, she's sitting in front of the TV or her ipad. I'd much prefer she be in the dance studio if you ask me.
Bottom line is, people will judge no matter what. Try to ignore it and just do what you know is right for your child.
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my2miracles

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Reply with quote  #15 
I love how other people always seem to know what's best for your family.  My funniest one is 1 friend of mine is concerned that my 11 year old son doesn't do an activity.  It's really funny because her 16 year old son NEVER has done an activity.  I'm like.... who are you to judge.

Do what's best for you and your children and don't worry what other people say.  Because in these cases it's always "damned if you do, damned if you don't" anyway.
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Mom2Girls

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Reply with quote  #16 
If it is driven by your daughter, don't worry about it. However, the fact that it worries you makes me suspect that maybe they are saying things that kind of hit home for you. Just step back, evaluate your situation. If what they're saying is total b.s., then don't let it get to you. You can't please everyone so just do what you feel is right for your family.

I hear you on the social media. When dd14 has downtime after school, it's spent on social media or netflix. I hate it. I prefer her busy. 
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jazzminesun81

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Reply with quote  #17 
1-2 playdates after school per week is a lot. Most of my kids' friends do not have playdates after school, probably because we are all working parents. As long as your kid is happy, who cares? DD9 sees her friends at dance every day. They often eat dinner and do homework together at the studio, and she loves it. She manages to grab pizza or a movie or hang out a couple times a month with her friends as well. She has no interest in riding a bike or playing video games, so I cannot fathom why I would force her to do so.
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tappinmom

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Reply with quote  #18 
I have to agree that if your DD is the one driving the bus then that's fine.  If you are unconsciously pushing that could be a problem.  I know over the years as days and hours ramped up I felt like I was leaving it up to DS how many classes he committed to.  Every year in August we would discuss the new year's schedule and whether or not DS wanted all the hours.  Every year he said yes.  He later admitted that sometimes he did it not because he necessarily felt pressured by me but didn't want to disappoint me.  I wish I had known that at the time.
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Lampens777

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Reply with quote  #19 
Since kids don't come with instruction manuals, I think we all just do the best we can. We're all going to have different interests and perspectives. Clearly we all love our kids and are trying to do our best for them. Not judging the people around us for having their own perspective may be a good example to set for them.
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ElleWood2

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Reply with quote  #20 
Quote:
Originally Posted by nicknoralove


I agree with this also. I think it's natural to want to vent about this sometimes and sometimes people might question themselves though. It's because many sports don't get the stigma that dance does for some reason - especially comp dance. 

I have friends whose kids spend hours upon hours on baseball each week and play on 3-4 different teams throughout the year. They LIVE for baseball and brag about it all the time and aim to have their kids in the MLB. Their kids are practicing and playing 7 days a week. Some of these same people rag on comp dance and the time/money we spend (which is sometimes less than they spend on baseball). 

Maybe it's because of "Dance Moms" giving it a bad reputation for people who don't actually live in the dance world and understand that it isn't like that (I mean hey, there are always going to be some rogue moms who WANT it to be like that but most of us aren't jerky). I had a post a long way back about why comp dance gets such a poor reputation over other sports and someone kindly pointed this out to me. 


Why is there a stigma about competitive dance?

I have nothing against sports but where we live it's 110 degrees heat in the summer, so soccer is not something we're going to do. Occasionally, a child has a heatstroke outdoors. To me, competitive dance is much safer than many sports. Just my opinion.

Also, had a close relative of mine who almost lost an eye....playing basketball, believe it or not. 

I probably will let my other 2 kids tell me what they want to do when they're older. I did choose my oldest daughter's activities but she enjoys them. But to be more sure I think I'll let my kids tell me if they want to take dance. That includes my son, if he wants to dance, great; if not, won't have him in lessons. 
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nicknoralove

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Reply with quote  #21 
I don't think there should be a stigma at all. I just notice there is one. I find that if people proudly say they're a baseball, soccer or hockey mom people are all about it, but if you say you're a dance mom people kind of just laugh and make derogatory comments. 

I have a close friend whose son is in baseball and she spends tons of time on it, which I applaud her for - she supports her son who is about to graduate from HS. Her other son is 9 and daughter is 6 and they both take dance - one of our DTs is also a friend of hers and wants her kids to come to our studio. She's like "I could never deal with all that dance mom stuff and all the time you spend there, the makeup you all put on your kids. Your kids don't need all that makeup to be beautiful". SO many things in that statement that just show a misunderstanding. She's not the only one, just one example. 

I don't know, it's just not given the same respect that many other sports/arts are in many communities. 
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ElleWood2

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Reply with quote  #22 
I wonder if people's perceptions of competitive dance are influenced by television shows like the one with Abby Lee (is that her name?) and I think it's called Dance Moms. It's a reality tv show where the moms get all competitive with each other and drive the kids pretty hard in their dance performances. It's just a tv show of course, but some people think reality shows are real, when many things on those shows are fake or dramatized. 


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