Should I Force My Daughter to Continue Going to Ballet?

Updated on December 16, 2013
B.C. asks from Hialeah, FL
33 answers

My daughter is 6 years old. She used to love ballet when she first started and is very good at it. But lately, she cries everytime she needs to get ready for ballet. She says she hates ballet, that it's boring and doesn't want to go anymore! I sat down and had a talk with her and asked her "do you truly hate ballet or do you just not want to go because it takes away from you play time" and she said it was because she rather be playing. Now honestly in my opinion, most kids rather be playing than doing HW or any other activity, unless they happen to very passionate about something. And my kids are really just passionate about playing- lol. But it's gotten to the point that I just can't stand the arguing, crying, etc. at ballet time and wonder if it's worth to continue doing this! However, I always think of their future and I know that the more they are better prepared and the more skills they have the easier and more opportunities they would have in the future. I don't necessarily think she will become a professional ballerina, nor do I want her to honestly! But for example, I did ballet my whole life and I remember that while I attended college and got my degree, instead of having to work at Mc Donalds, I was able to teach ballet and made better money doing it than if I did work at McDonalds. So those are the kind of things I think about when I push my children to do things! So,would you just let your daughter quit ballet at this point or would you have her continue? and any suggestions on helping with the drama and complaining?

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So What Happened?

So finally after a long talk with my daughter the decision was to switch ballet to jazz. She's done a few classes and seems happier. No more tears or tantrums, at least not yet! I did make her finish of the month of ballet before she switched to jazz because that's until the classes were paid for. So it wasn't too bad- it was only 2 classes- but I have to say they were hell to go through! However, I am glad I atleast stuck to that to teach her that she needed to finish what was paid for. we'll see how it goes with the jazz now. Thanks to all for your great advice.

Featured Answers



answers from Anchorage on

If she hates ballet what makes you think she would want to become a ballet teacher? I am all for my kids being in activities as long as they are enjoying them. The moment they stop having fun then we stop going, unless it is a team of some kind they made a commitment too and then they have to finish the season. If they change their minds later they can always start back up.

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answers from Los Angeles on

Let her stop. Let her be a kid and have some fun.
It may not be "her" great love like it sounds like it was for you.
She will find another interest that is fortuitous.
Let her decide.
Everyone is different.
We all have things as an adult to "have" to do things we don't like so she'll
have plenty of time for that.
I say let her be, let her quit. She's done it for long enough.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

I am a former dancer and dance instructor and I have a couple of thoughts. I wonder if you could try to work on the transition time before leaving for class, so she's not going from playing to jumping in the car. Maybe you could have snack time as the buffer or picking up the house, or something less fun than playtime.

If that doesn't seem to work, I would pull her out for a break and put her in when she is a little older. Or, I would look at the other classes at the studio and see if she would like a different style of dance. Sometimes hip hop, jazz or tap are more fun for little ones. I would also suggest trying another studio or teacher if you really want her to continue ballet. There might be a better fit elsewhere.

If you take a break, she can pick up at age 7 or 8 and be fine as far as skills. Before that age, it's really about playing and running around anyway.

She might not really like dance, and that's okay too. My daughter danced a bit, but definitely doesn't have the interest that I did. She likes other activities much better. Sniff. Haha.

3 moms found this helpful

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answers from San Francisco on

I read your first two sentences and didn't bother to read the rest. She's six, she cries every time she goes to ballet, NO, Don't force her.

I'm not trying to be mean, just trying to make you empathize, when I ask: How would you like it if someone forced you to do something you really didn't like to do?

Pushing kids to try things is a good thing, but forcing them to stay when they discover that it's not their thing is a bad thing.

Let her quit and try something else. Gymnastics, soccer, art, piano, for example. But if it turns out she doesn't like any of those, she shouldn't be forced to do them either.

As far as her "future" goes -- she isn't going to be able to teach something she hates. Just because it worked for you, doesn't mean it will be her thing.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Let the poor kid play. She is only 6. Let her decide when she wants to pursue HER passion. Once she decides her passion then she will beg you for lessons for this that or the other.

Let her be the best at making mud pies and having tea parties. It will build her confidence and her little personality. It will also allow you and her to have a good relationship...and more peace in your home.

Our rule is our kids have to finish out the season and then they can quit.

Don't knock McDonalds. Maybe she would be happier building burgers than teaching ballet. Please don't transfer your goals, dreams or fears upon her. Also, don't worry about everyone around you and their kids being involved in every sport/lesson known to man and getting ahead of your kid.

I know you are a concerned loving M.. I know you are doing this all out of wanting the best for your little girl. But there are so many kids nowadays stressed out, over scheduled, unhappy, depressed and drowning in anxiety due the pressures that well meaning parents put upon them to keep up with the pressure of their future college application.

Make ballet fun. Teach her at home. Let her get all dressed up in a princess outfit or a Bob the Builder get up(whatever it is she likes) and "play" ballet with her. In time she will find what she loves. You might be surprised, she might just choose ballet...or maybe wrestling. But please, support and nurture whatever it is SHE chooses.

Good luck M.!!

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Salinas on

I can honestly say my kids have never preferred playing over an athletic or artistic activity they are involved in. This stuff is supposed to be fun. Of course there are the days when they wish they didn't have practice/rehearsal or they are bummed they have to miss a party because of a game or show but I've never heard "I want to quit". If I did, we'd honor the commitment and complete the season or class and then QUIT.

Nothing wrong with that, especially at six. Maybe she wants to try something else. At her age she should be trying lots of new activities and experiences. Be careful not to project your own past onto her future. I took ballet for years when I was little, quit around fourth grade and have never worked at McDonalds.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

If you've been a ballet teacher then you know what's going on. She's at that point where there's a lot of other stuff going on. YOU know you need to just pick her up and take her to class.

If she drops now she'll be behind all her dance class friends and next month or next fall she'll want to take it again and she won't be in the same class anymore, she'll be with younger less skilled kids.

So yes, you need to pick her up and take her to dance. She's fine 5 minutes after you get her there anyway. She just wants to play instead of focus and learn.

You know that ballet changes the body, it strengthens the core and makes her grow stronger. You know the long term benefits of staying with dance. You know she'll thank you at some point in the future for not letting her quit, most likely when she does her first solo or when she gets a scholarship to college.

You are the parent and know what's what. You know she needs to stay in it.

When my girl starts this phase, it's usually in January or February every year, I tell her that it's my choice she take dance and that we'll talk about her dropping something when fall enrollment comes around. That right now she just has to keep going.

There may even be a couple of weeks where she goes to class and lays on the floor watching. But she's still learning a valuable lesson.

Take her to class, she's old enough to understand that even if she throws a on the floor kicking and screaming temper tantrum that she has to mind and go to class. She'll only do that a couple of times then she'll go to class and have fun.

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answers from Seattle on

My rule for activities is that we finish what I have paid for, but I am not going to pay a good amount of money for activities if I have to yell, plead and beg for DD to go every time. So if it was our family we would finish out the session and then not re-enroll.

We just had the same thing with gymnastics a while ago. To be honest it was just too late in the day and too much for DD.
In a few months I will sign her back up at another gym closer to our home. She is a bit klutzy, so she really benefits from the gross motor skills it teaches.

Maybe your DD just needs a little break and will actually miss it once you sit out for a session.
Good luck.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

Ballet might have been part of your college path, but it was not responsible for you doing the work through college (nor was it responsible for you having the resources to go to college.) It was great that you had a good job through college, teaching ballet, but three are also many other job opportunities, teaching young people in Sunday School, doing child care, working on campus and so much more. YOU had a good experience with dance, and that is great. I just wanted to point out why I think this part of your perspective should be set to the side for now.

But if your kid is really needing down time, I would listen to this. Think about it-- she is being directed for at least six hours a day in school instruction. She NEEDS time to not be told what to do. By the time my son gets home, gets his snack and then does his homework, he has maybe one hour of free time (maximum) to pursue his own interests, to watch one PBS show, etc.

At six, it is really hard for a kid to know how rigid and highly directed a ballet class is. I don't think every kid is cut out for it. She may actually do better in a less-structured type of dance class which might allow more freedom of expression than the strictness of ballet. (I took a ballet class at 16 which left me in tears-- the teacher was very rigid and demanded perfection. My mom and sis stuck with it and I'm so thankful Mom respected my desire to drop out. It was NOT for me, I wasn't happy-- just not a good match. Other disciplines, I WAS able to stick with and grow in.)

I think it's easy to buy into the idea that 'we don't quit', and there are times that I would encourage that--- perhaps in summertime, when she had more time to use at her own discretion. My feeling is that, in our current age, we don't guard or honor our children's down time enough. For some kids, who thrive on lots of structured activity, they enjoy the extra classes-- but not all kids fit into that mold.

So, for me, I'd let her drop the class with the caveat that the next time she signs up, she understands that she *does* need to complete the course. You might consider making the course a 'present', so if she does or doesn't complete it, it's a more emotionally-neutral experience for you. Another consequence of her wanting to drop out is to wait until spring or summer before enrolling her in another class-- and to stand firm with this. "You said you needed more playtime and so we let you out of ballet, but I'm not willing to spend this kind of money again. So, we'll think about classes again in the summer, when it won't be such an issue and you'll have lots more playtime." this is a natural consequence of the situation. Good luck.

ETA: It's been very interesting to read some of the other comments. My son did complete a one-week soccer camp this summer which he really didn't like, and we honored his request for 'no more soccer'. I should say that we do like the enrichment offerings, but we only choose things my son is already showing interest in. At 6.5, I'm not sure he needs so much discipline in his personal development to continue on with something he doesn't care for; he's already doing 6 hours a day at school, plus chores at home... he's already doing what we ask of him beautifully. Perhaps that's why I see this situation as a place to allow more wiggle-room... but I really appreciated seeing others opinions.

Please re-read Julie S.'s excellent answer. Her daughter was older, but she knew that having your kid excited and motivated to learn something new that they deeply cared about-- it produced an equally beneficial outcome than if she had insisted her girl stay in soccer. What's more, something that has occurred to me~ the bottom line, in the biggest picture~ isn't about the money spent, but about how our children experience being allowed some choice in how they spend their time as they grow into being adults. It's important not to let our fears as parents get in the way of letting them make choices which will allow them to become the people we would like them to be as adults.

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answers from Jacksonville on

What is she like after class? My son is almost 5 and used to put up a fuss about going to gymnastics every once in awhile, but after class I would ask him if he liked and he would tell me it was 'awesome'. I think of it this way, sometimes I really don't want to go to the gym and workout either, but I like it after I make myself go. As long as he's improving and tells me he likes it after class, I'm going to keep making him go. It seems like it was a phase too. He hasn't put up a fuss in awhile.

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answers from Chicago on

I'd listen to your daughter. She doesn't want to go, so stop taking her. I really don't see a dilemma. When she finds her thing, she won't fight leaving.

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answers from New York on

No reason to make her continue if she really doesn't enjoy it. The fun thing about being a kid is trying a million different things to see what you really like. How about letting her know that you've made a commitment to the class for this year so she'll need to do it until the end of the dance year. After that she can quit or go back with it being her choice.

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answers from Chicago on

I'm a gymnastics coach, and plenty of kids fight their parents about coming but then LOVE it 5-10 minutes into class. What is your daughter like? Do you fight with her to go and then she's loving it a few minutes into class or does she continue to look like she's not enjoying herself? What is she like after class? Is she happy when she leaves or is she bored or upset?

As parents we have to be the "conscience" for our kids, but an impartial judge. We have to know if our kids are really not enjoying something, or if an activity has gotten too difficult and they want to quit rather than push themselves through. We have to know if they are truly happy doing it, or if they need to try something else.

I don't believe in letting your child quit unless they actually don't enjoy the activity, rather than they've hit a barrier and are unwilling to put the effort forth to push though.

Can your re-structure your day so that she doesn't have to leave something she enjoys to go to ballet? Six year olds only think in terms of present time, so having to leave playtime to go somewhere doesn't sound like fun AT THAT MOMENT.

My daughter that is into dance, cheer and gymnastics was the same way. She didn't want to leave playing to go to class (but I knew she loved it!)

I would make your daughter get ready for ballet as SOON as she gets home from school, and before she starts anything else. I wouldn't even let her have any playtime before ballet since that seems to be the issue. Instead, get her involved in something else structured that has a beginning and an end, hopefully something that will get her all excited for ballet class. Some parents have a routine of something fun before or after class that is something to look forward too. In the summer, I'd always take my daughter out for an ice cream cone after class. It gave her something to look forward too after class--especially if it was a difficult class.

I also agree, try to get her to finish out what you paid for, and then see if something else might be more exciting for her to try--maybe an art class, a different type of dance, gymnastics, soccer, etc. She could also be bored as well.

Good luck!

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answers from Honolulu on

Ditto AKmom below.

She is her. She is not you. You are not her.
What are her own, proclivities/talents/interests?
She is only 6.

If your daughter really wanted to do it, she would.
I have 2 kids that are 7 and 11. But since they were younger, they have their activities/lessons they do, and they do NOT... just give it up, even if they are playing or want to play. They like, what they are doing.
THEY chose it. And it is never a drama or a hassle to take them to their lessons. And they are eager, to go. In fact, they get bummed if their Coach/Teacher has to reschedule a lesson.

I have a friend who's daughter takes ballet.
Since she was real young. She's 11 now.
She still, despite ALL the time for it, she does it. Because, she likes it. And she wants to.
She has never wanted to quit.

Kids or adults, should do what they are interested in, per their own talents/interests etc.
They are individuals. Not the same as their parent, per interests.

When I was a kid, I HAD to take piano.
I HATED taking piano.
I did not like it.
For 2 years I had to take it, before my parents let me quit. Finally.
It was lots of time and money wasted. I still don't want to take piano as an adult. I do NOT regret it.
Oh but my Mom, always thought taking piano was so great and she wanted to as a child but couldn't.
But the thing is, if a parent... so wants to take those lessons, then why don't THEY do it... instead of forcing their kid to do it?

A kid should do, what they have an interest in.
No matter, HOW much, my Mom tried to convince me of how taking piano lessons was so GREAT.... I HATED IT.
A kid, if allowed to do, what their own talents are, per 'lessons' and extracurricular activities, they will blossom more and learn a lot.
Kids do NOT only learn.... from doing things they hate.

Working at McDonalds: well one of my kids' Teacher, had her 1st job ever, as a Teenager, at McDonalds. The experience was immeasurable. And she went on to learn hard work and became an outstanding Teacher, even winning "Teacher of The Year" once in our State. She tells her students of the experience, and what it means, for learning.

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answers from Detroit on

She finishes until the end of the session you paid for. Then maybe try a new style like jazz.

If she truly wants to play, well, maybe. But if she'd be exposed to any screen, then dance class it is. So many kids would rather be listless lumps in front of a screen.

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answers from Washington DC on

Hi, B.. I'm a mom to a ballet dancer (nearly 13) who has danced since she was about three -- that's just so you know where I'm coming from.

I think that your daughter was pretty honest and self-aware to be able to express that she really is upset about missing play time, more than she is disliking ballet itself. Did you talk to her about "What DO you like in ballet class?" See if you can draw her out to talk about whatever positives she finds there -- maybe she likes the teacher, has friends there, likes certain things they do even if she doesn't like other things (for instance, she might really like the result once they learn a full dance but doesn't really enjoy barre work). That might give her a little perspective that ballet isn't really as bad as she thinks; she would miss her friends there if she quits, etc. But don't force it -- let her be the one to think through the positives.

Also, is she in class only once a week? That actually is not that much time. How much play time would she really gain if she gave it up? Maybe two hours total if you include getting there and back? Something else to talk to her about.

Is it a formal and strict sort of class or is there at least some fun? A lot of this depends on the teacher and how "serious" the studio is. Any decent class of course has to teach the basics but a class for kids her age should have some elements of fun in it. Have you observed it a lot?

Then there is the commitment. If you are signed up for a class that runs Sept. to June, it would be a natural break to pull her out after the holidays; the studio is probably going to have other kids who quit then, and it won't be a big deal on their end or yours - unless you have pre-paid for a whole year, in which case you need to talk to the studio. I am NOT in favor of kids grinding along doing any activity that they truly hate, IF they have at least given it a real chance first; if she has been taking ballet since school started, she has been doing it long enough to know what's up, so....

Have you considered if she would like another dance form better? Does the studio offer other types of dance? I would really try to find a shorter-term class in jazz or modern or lyrical or whatever -- not a full-year class but a six- or 10-week class, possibly at a recreation center if not a studio. That way she gets a taste but is not locked in for many months, and you can end it naturally when the class period is done, or continue, or find a longer-term class at a studio.

One very important thing, B. -- you mention late in the post that you "did ballet my whole life." I think you know what I"m about to say, right? You loved it but she might not, and please don't let your own desire to see her dance, like you did, influence you if she really is not right for ballet and it's not right for her. She may quit now and then want to try again later. Or she may quit now but want to do a summer-only class in ballet (or, again, another dance form). Be careful that your own passions and past don't influence you too much. I know that's hard but you can do it.

Do you take her to ballets (including performances by other schools and studios)? Does she like to watch dance and ballet videos and dance along at home? If she does not -- that may be a sign she's just not into dance right now. Don't force it, whatever you do. If you were the one suggesting ballet, and she stops, tell her that she gets to pick the next activity (with you having veto power of course!) and work with her to try something utterly diffferent -- kids' drama, art, an individual sport (we know a girl who's been fencing since she was six) or whatever. Just do shorter-term classes, enough to get a good taste but not a nine-month commitment.

Some of her resistance may be just normal six-year-old resistance to "having" to do anything other than hang out and play. I do believe in activities for kids, within reason, and dance has been huge for us, but your daughter might like to try several things. She's still young -- yes, many dancers start very young but others start much older and do fine. I know kids who started at eight or nine or 10 and they "caught up" well because they were mature enough to deal with the repetition of ballet and see the end goal.

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answers from Richland on

When my daughter was a child she loved soccer, she was a goalie. This meant on top of the five days a week with her team she had two more days of goalie training. Nothing came before her soccer.

Her junior year of high school her school made a rule that anyone in student government could not play a sport as well. She chose student government, I did not try to stop her. Sure she lost a full scholarship to college and had to settle for almost full academic scholarship but if I had forced her she would not be the same goalie she was before because she had chosen something else.

I am sure she would have still got a full scholarship, I am sure she would still be better than most but she would not have been what she could have been and I will not make my children resent what they love.

She is 23 now and still play recreational soccer, still loves it, probably could teach it. I am sure I did the right thing not forcing her.

Just want to add my daughter has never regretted her decision to quit and has never told me I should have made her continue.

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answers from Washington DC on

Let her quit...I doubt she'll end up teaching ballet or dancing professionally. My dd did ballet for a while, but it was too slow paced. She is a level 8 gymnast now and that sport keeps her moving. She has tons of energy...
Her old gym had ballet for gymnasts, but she's actually one of the more graceful ones. Ballet is a nice thing to do, but quitting probably won't affect her life one way or the other. It sounds like you dd prefers more action.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Hartford on

Your daughter is not you. YOU enjoyed ballet your whole life. YOU were willing to give up play time and everything else in your life in order to work at it. Is your daughter in ballet in the first place because SHE wanted to be in ballet or is she in it because you pushed her into it? It started as play time for her, but in addition to being work it should still be fun for her at six years old. It should still be enjoyable.

She's not enjoying it. She told you straight out she would rather play. My suggestion is to offer her a break. Give her three months or whatever a semester session would be, and see how she feels after not doing it for that long. If she misses it, she can go back to it.

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answers from Seattle on

She's not having fun anymore. Why would you force her to continue? I would have her finish out the session, and let her quit.

My daughter started gymnastics at 3, and took to it like a fish to water. She started out in the Rec side of it, but then decided that she wanted to do the Competitive side. At 5 non of us were having any fun any more, so we finished the session, and that was that.

We, as a family, have now been doing Taekwondo for a year and we all LOVE it.



answers from Baton Rouge on

Extra-curricular activities should be fun. If she's no longer having fun dancing, it's time to quit.


answers from Lakeland on

My daughter gets an attitude about going to ballet too but once she is there she loves it. IMO, I would have your daughter finish this year and then decide if she wants to do it again next year. I always tell my daughter to finish what she starts because there will be times in life when she will not be able to quit.

As far as jobs for college she will cross that bridge when she gets to it, there are plenty of other options for college work and an internship would make more sense during those years.



answers from San Francisco on

She's six, she'll be fine if she quits. Though I would make her keep going until your paid sessions are up. My sister got into ballet when she was 9 and was so passionate about it that my mom and dad sent her to a ballet school for high school. She did well, but when it came down to it, the ballet companies didn't want her because her back was too long (seriously - that's the ballet world for you). Anyway, she ended up teaching, like you do, then acting, etc. - all good skills, but nothing she couldn't have learned later in life. As long as it's genuinely because she's not interested anymore, I would let her quit. But I would also make it clear that I wouldn't be paying for anymore extracurricular activities unless she was really serious about them! That's my two cents. :-)



answers from Green Bay on

I have been a dancer my whole life too. It sounds like its not important for you that she is involved in ballet, specifically, but that she is involved in SOMETHING structured. If she doesn't want to continue ballet, help her find something ELSE she would rather try instead. Swimming? Gymnastics? Soccer? Piano lessons? Be open to other things that might interest her.

Also being a dancer, I know that sometimes you are committed, at this point in the year. Encourage her to finish out the year through the recital and then if she wants to find something else to try that is okay.

I don't think I would let my child quit something that cut into their "play time" simply for that reason. If they didn't enjoy the activity, I would help them find another activity. But, also look at how much ballet involves - is she in one class, one night a week like most 6 year olds? Or is it more of an intensive school that she is part of where it IS cutting into her time to be a kid? Try another studio that is less involved, perhaps?

It might also warrant another conversation with her to find out if something happened that all of a sudden turned her off to going.
Good luck!



answers from Atlanta on

My rule is that once I pay for something my children will go until the end of that time period. So I would make her go for as long as you have paid for and then give her an option.

If you think it is really important for her to have a structured activity than tell her she will have to pick something different if she doesn't want to continue ballet. She may surprise you and find something she loves and you won't have to argue with her about going!



answers from Washington DC on

For me it would depend on your answers to two questions (which may have been asked by earlier posters I didn't get through all the responses):

1) Why did she START ballet lessons? If this was YOUR idea, and she went along with it to please you, but now hates it, let her stop. You danced all those years because you enjoyed it... she doesn't. If it was HER request and you obliged, I'm more inclined to make her stick it out. We don't have to love everything we do. If she doesn't like it anymore, she doesn't have to stick with it beyond the current term. Which brings me to...

2) How much longer is the CURRENT term? If the session is ending and your considering making her continue for ANOTHER session, don't! Consider finishing the session, and then letting it go. If it's a full school year commitment (which we have at our school) consider question #1 and make your decision).

Either way. End the drama. If you decide to have her continue, explain that it is a decision you are making for her and she is required to attend. You understand that she doesn't love it and won't make her continue after whatever date the session ends, but you will not entertain these tantrums every week. 6 year olds do not get their way by throwing tantrums, if she decides she must behave that way before ballet, she has decided not to have playtime after ballet.



answers from San Francisco on

I think trying things is important. At age 6, playing is THE most important activity kids can do and I'll bet that even if she quite ballet she will continue to weave all she's learned there into her playtime.
How about going for a hike or going somewhere special outside during the times she'd usually have ballet?
Your daughter's future will be revealed to the both of you in time.

Music is big in my family and so my Mom started me on piano lessons when I was 8 and starting to seriously pick out tunes. I hated it so we stopped (not quit, just paused) and I started again when I was 9 almost 10. I was ready then and it became such a gift in my life, something I still really enjoy today. I identify myself as a visual artist, but most everything I do originates from music and piano.



answers from Las Vegas on

I believe in keeping them busy, if you can. She is 6, so it is early. I would explain that she is very good, ballet is beautiful, and she may be a teacher someday to share her skills like mommy. But, if she would like to try a different sport she may.

Give her the opportunity to pick something else if she would like, especially if she is crying. If she chooses, she can get back in to ballet. She will be fine.

My daughter figure skates and plays hockey, but she has recently begun to participate in triathlons. She is not a wonderful swimmer, so about every other Friday she goes and works on her swimming. She doesn't place, but she has fun trying. My daughter is switching from a goalie to a skater this season in hockey. I think it is a mistake, but I have to let her make that choice. At least she is keeping busy and staying out of trouble.


answers from Washington DC on

My kids have only ever quit one thing, and it was when they hated it, like your daughter. They did Tae Kwon Do for a little less than two years and it got to be too much. Honestly, we are very big about making them not quit things, BUT TKD is kind of year round, so there's no "two more months" or anything, it's always. When I was literally dragging the then 4 year old into class kicking and screaming, I asked what we needed to do to quit.

I wouldn't push my kids to do anything they don't want to if I knew it would make them miserable. My 6 year old didn't want to do basketball this winter, but he is going to be tall and I want him to know the basics...his first practice was Saturday and he loved it! YAY!

All 3 of my kids are very athletic (competitive dancer daughter, and both boys do football, basketball, and baseball). But if they hate something, they can find something else to do. My only thing is that I want them doing SOMETHING.


answers from Houston on

I was a Dance major and love dance still today. At age 55, I still am asked to perform.

Don't let her quit. Do something fun after ballet class and only after ballet class: 30 minutes at a park, 30 minutes in the McDonald's playpen while you drink coffee and get on the Internet, a 30 minute stop in Toys R Us to window shop.



answers from Colorado Springs on

Sit her down and let her know that the drama and the crying aren't going to work. She needs to know that when she fusses, she's NOT going to get her way... about anything! And stick to it.

Then you might tell her that she is committed for *this much longer* (as long as you've paid), and then you'll take her out if she wants it (note: that wording makes it your decision and not hers). She can take it up again, maybe, if she finds she would like to go back.

She's only six, and while that seems old (it's certainly older than she's ever been before!), she's still very young. I agree with you about learning lots of skills! But it might be a good thing to cut her some slack on this. She may discover she really does enjoy dancing. Or she may find an interest in something else that's good for her to know.

While she's playing right now, she's learning people skills with her playmates and siblings, and she is exercising her body. So it's not a total loss.

P.S. I like what Leigh R. says, too.



answers from Seattle on

My son hates changing clothes.

It's that simple. But it created / still so,e times creates a huge drama filled mess of a time getting ready.

Once he changes, sulks there, and arrives?

Giant. Huge. Face Splitting. Grins.

I've learned, that whenever possible, to have him dress in what he needs to be wearing first thing in the morning. Sometimes it's not possible. There, I've learned to NOT go home OR have him change at home. He transitions better when we either head somewhere else (park, store, whatever) and then to lessons... Or if we are at home, to change once we get there instead of changing at home (where he still has hope of not changing).

Or, ideally, for lessons to be first thing in the morning after showers.


Not saying your daughter has trouble transitioning (ADHD house, here, with sensory issues), nor hates changing.

My question is what is she like once she's there?

If she loves it once she gets there... It would be worth it (to me) to figure out tricks to get her there with the least amount of drama...and deal with what drama is leftover.



answers from Philadelphia on

After reading this I thought... yes let her quit. It is not fun for her or you to hear her complaining. Then I realized I won't let my 10 year old quit playing piano. In all fairness though, she has never told me she wants to quit. She actually likes her lessons she just doesn't like to practice.
Could you tell your daughter she can quit ballet but must replace it with some other activity. (Jazz, cheer, swimming etc)

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