15 answers

4 Year Old Giving up on Ice Skating

Hey mamas,

So my son is 4. We started ice skating lessons a few months ago after we took him to a hockey game and he got super into it. He did awesome for a while but his interest has waned and now for the past couple weeks he completely refuses to go. I'm just looking for thoughts on the right way to handle this.

I do not want to pressure him, I do not want him to be over-scheduled, I do not care for him to join a professional hockey league when he's 12. I want him to experience the satisfaction of getting good at something and to have fun, which I know he would if he kept going! I want for him to continue learning of his own volition and be proud and self-motivated :) That's not too much to ask is it??? Just kidding, I know its not that simple.

To be clear - I'm not looking for ways to force him to continue, but at the same time I want to instill the importance of not giving up and the idea that you have to practice to get good at things, etc. Plus, we are paying for his lessons and I want him to at least begin to respect that and not be wasteful - all in an age-appropriate way!

So far I've just been trying to keep the encouragement casual so that it doesn't become a power struggle or something he knows he can use to get a rise out of us :)


What can I do next?

Featured Answers

If he has gone for a few months and he really doesn't like it, I would let him give it up assuming that you did not make a committment for a certain timeframe. We did that with soccer. We did one season and my kids really didn't seem to like it all that much. We finished the season and just didn't sign up again.

2 moms found this helpful

More Answers

without reading the other responses: i was you a couple of years ago :) my son was in a gymnastics class at age 3 and HATED IT. it was supposed to be "fun" - for whatever reason, my normally biddable, happy, eager-to-please, sweet fun loving child, would NOT participate. didn't want anything to do with it. it suuucked and we stuck it out for, i think, five or six sessions. i was on here asking "what do i do?" also - and i hated wasting that money - it STILL, two years later, is a bitter pill to swallow (that's how cheap i am with money lol). BUT it was the best decision, to take him out and not force it. the next year (when he was 4) he did soccer and LOVED it. so i lived and learned. either he was too young and/or he just hated gymnastics (which at that age is just really running around doing silly things - not like they expected him to do the pommel horse or anything). i will never know which it was. but at 4, your son is still young too. either he hates ice skating, for whatever reason, or he's just not ready. either way, try to come to terms with the fact that that money is gone. he will not fail or succeed in life based on this one decision you have to make right now. i would suggest dropping it and not making him feel bad about it. but i would also suggest, trying something else next year or whenever you're ready. there is plenty of time to instill all the good lessons he can learn from this stuff. at 4 he's just so little still.

remember - your child is not giving you a hard time, your child is having a hard time. hang in there.

5 moms found this helpful

Four is way too young to understand the concept of commitment or follow through. Let this be a lesson for YOU. In the future when he tries new things, don't pay for more than four or six weeks at a time.
Continue to expose him to a variety of activities and at some point (probably closer to age 8 or 9) he'll have a longer attention span and be ready to focus on learning, improving and most of all, having fun while he does it!

5 moms found this helpful

He is 4. If he doesn't want to do it, why make him?

4 moms found this helpful

I think 4 is way too young to understand the finances of lessons paid for by parents. It's very young to continue with a passion too. Let him find something else to be motivated at -- kids at this age change focus a lot, and that's good. Let him find the joy in experimenting with different activities - that's the way to foster self-motivation. That doesn't mean to sign up him for a lot of structured (and expensive) activities. Let him fool around, perhaps put him in a small summer recreation program where he can try different things and enjoy them. If you think about preschool and kindergarten, they are set up with different activities every 30 minutes or so. That's really all you can hope for at this age. Even 8 year olds have trouble being signed up for long-term sessions.

I'm glad you aren't trying to over schedule him - that is a huge problem in this era and it actually inhibits creativity. Let your child be a child and learn to experiment with different sports, arts, books, and free play.

4 moms found this helpful

How much longer is left in the lesson session? "A few months" IS a long time for a 4 year old to stay interested in trying a new activity. I would tell him he needs to finish out the session that you're already in and then take a break or try something new.

As for refusing to go, I would insist that he GO to the lesson. Whether or not he participated is up to him, but he's part of a class and needs to attend. His choices are, go and watch your friends or go and skate. At a certain point it isn't about skating, it's about letting the adults be in charge and not letting 4 year olds control the agenda.

Hope this helps,

4 moms found this helpful

I didn't sign our son up for anything until he was at least 6.
4 was for playgrounds, county fairs, fire station open houses and petting zoos.
Don't worry, he's going to have fun.
He's got a lot of time to get good at something (and it could be anything, only one of which is skating).
It doesn't have to be right now.

3 moms found this helpful

Well, why is he going? If you signed him up to teach him a lesson in commitment you keep him goIng. If you signed him up to try putt something he might like, let him stop before he learns to hate it. At four you - and he- are stilldiscoveri g who he is and what he loves. At four he *might* find something he loves enough to stick with for years to come. But more likely he will go through many interests on his road to self discovery, and from how you speak of him I would guess you would want to let him try as man y new experiences as time and money might allow. What else might he be missing while you and he are misreably fighting your way through another ice skating lesson? He's just four- you still have time to teachc ommit ent lessons down the road (and as someone else mentioned, he's not developmentally ready for that lesson anyway).

2 moms found this helpful

While I understand those who say "It's a commitment, make him stick it out," I think four is too young to grasp that lesson. You will NOT be ruining his ability to commit to anything, ever, if you pull him from these lessons now.

How many weeks or months of lessons did you sign him up for? At his age, anything more than a few weeks is just too much. You say he's been doing it for several months already and the lessons are continuing. That's too long from the start. He's burned out and making him keep going will only create a constant battle between you. If you want to sign him up for things in the future, be certain any classes or lessons are (1) no more than a few weeks, maybe four to six week sessions and (2) are mommy-and-me or daddy-and-me classes. He is young yet to be listening to a coach etc.

As B. posted, you have plenty of time for lessons and classes. Four is for getting out and exploring.

Ice skating is also pretty exhausing even for older kids; I can only imagine how it feels for a child this young.

2 moms found this helpful

1 / 3
Required Fields

Our records show that we already have a Mamapedia or Mamasource account created for you under the email address you entered.

Please enter your Mamapedia or Mamasource password to continue signing in.

Required Fields

, you’re almost done...

Since this is the first time you are logging in to Mamapedia with Facebook Connect, please provide the following information so you can participate in the Mamapedia community.

As a member, you’ll receive optional email newsletters and community updates sent to you from Mamapedia, and your email address will never be shared with third parties.

By clicking "Continue to Mamapedia", I agree to the Mamapedia Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.