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 Post subject: as the mom
PostPosted: Sat Aug 11, 2001 6:21 am 
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Joined: Thu Jan 11, 2001 12:01 am
Posts: 71
Location: California
I need some advise from all of you. My daughter has been in dance since she was 3, and is now 12. She has mostly taken ballet, although she has lately broadened into jazz and some hip hop. She has also done the Nutcracker. She is a very active and fidgety, social girl and I know ballet is hard, especially for these challenges. She is very good though, graceful strong and flexible. She says she wants to quit ballet, she has said this before but I have encouraged her to continue, she loves to perform. I know it's easier to quit than to work hard, but working is how you reap results. I think she really does love dance, especially as she gets better and better.But now she is worried about being "cool" and there is not many boys there either. She is rebellious in many areas of our lives now. What should I do, let her quit? Will she regret it later if she quit at 12 just because it is hard? Shall I let her change just to jazz? Right now she is saying she doesn't want to take dance at all, then she changes her mind the next day. Am I being one of those overbearing Mothers? I truly want to look out for her best interests, and feel dance is good for her in many ways, and would like to see her continue and be able to be really good at something and proud of her hard work.I would love to hear from some of you Moms of older kids, or if anyone of you teens went through this. Thank you in advance!

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 Post subject: Re: as the mom
PostPosted: Sat Aug 11, 2001 6:50 am 
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Location: California
I should clarify that we have been doing the Nutcracker together for many years, and I wonder if she is not liking ballet just because I do like ballet, and is rebelling as such because of this connection. Most of the kids I know that love dance, their parents have nothing to do with dance.That is until the essence of dancing itself grabs the heart and nothing else matters.

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 Post subject: Re: as the mom
PostPosted: Sat Aug 11, 2001 7:24 am 
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Location: San Diego, California, USA
Well, Rachel, 12 is certainly the age of discontent, exploration and rebelliousness. However, rather than the word "rebelliousness" I think I prefer "exploration". They are beginning to explore who they are and what they like, independent of parental guidelines. But of course they still need parental guidelines. Allowing for their explorations while still incorporating parental guidelines - is the problem.<P>Would it help if you danced at a different studio that she does? Would it help if you did not participate in the Nutcracker? Then it could become her own thing. Maybe just fewer classes per week. And, perhaps she just needs a break. <P>Children do have the right to say "no" too. As much as we want them to continue to progress - they do have the right to some choice, as long as the choice isn't actually harmful.<P>Perhaps she wants to learn something else. Nothing wrong with that. Ask her what she wants to do with her time. You could strike up a bargain with her....allow her a choice, if she will choose something else, and then stick to that choice. That would give her some feeling of control.<P>And wanting control is part of the exploration of growing up. Children at that age are "designed" to begin to want to make choices. Creating distance between themselves and us as parents, is part of that design.<P>


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 Post subject: Re: as the mom
PostPosted: Sat Aug 11, 2001 11:12 am 
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I agree with Basheva's advice. It must be hard for your daughter to dance at the same studio as you. She needs her own space. She needs no comparisons to her mother. She needs to think of herself as being separate from her mother which is awfully hard to do if her mom is around the studio. Especially in an art such as dance, where self-expression is an integral part of the process, she needs to be able to try things out without someone as close to her as her own mother always around. <P>My daughter is 16 and dances in a pre-pro school. When she was much younger, I worked at the studio in exchange for tuition for a few years. I made a vow to myself at the time that I'd stop once she turned 12. I saw how the moms of the older dancers were far too emotionally attached to their daughters' fortunes at the studio. It's too easy a rut to fall into since of course we all love our children and want them to shine. But I don't think it's healthy for parent or child and when my daughter was 12, I stopped although it was a financial hardship at the time. The studio is her place. I help out in other ways now, working at the boutique for a performance or two and making an annual donation to the studio (now that we're out of our extreme financial woes years). How much harder it must be to have a mother who dances at the same studio!<P>I also agree with Basheva that it's OK for your daughter to quit dance if she truly wishes it. Twelve IS an age where kids often realize that they have other interests which they'd like to pursue and the dance studio is too constricting for them. That's OK. They ought to be able to explore their interests. <P>But first, I'd find a way for her dancing to be hers entirely, without her mom around. I hope that's something you can work out. (I understand how hard it might be to arrange politically, LOL). Good luck.<p>[This message has been edited by JM (edited August 11, 2001).]


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 Post subject: Re: as the mom
PostPosted: Sat Aug 11, 2001 11:30 am 
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Can I just say that I went through a similar thing during adolescence?<BR>I lost interest in ballet, as it had a nerdy image at my school, and I actively avoided saying I did ballet, to anyone, and wouldn't have anything to do with the school shows (day school, not ballet school).<BR>There followed a not very positive period of a few years, when I was getting very rebellious. But through the not-too-sober parties and experimentation I continued with the ballet. Not brilliantly, but OK.<BR>The interest came back, I got back on track, and later became a reasonable ballet teacher.<P>I'm glad I carried on, even though at the time I was a bit of a pain (well, a lot, actually). My parents didn't actually force me to continue, but ballet was just something I did, like brushing my teeth or whatever. It didn't occur to me to stop, silly as that may sound.<BR>Could be your daughter needs a break, or could be the ballet could provide some kind of anchor through adolescence, as I believe it did for me.<BR>Let her read this, if you think it might help?<P>Can't give a better answer, I'm afraid, much as I'd like to. Just that I'm glad I carried on when I did, and she might be too, one day.


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 Post subject: Re: as the mom
PostPosted: Sat Aug 11, 2001 6:36 pm 
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I truly hope she stays in ballet, for I've had a similar experience with piano. (lately I'm noticing how closely related piano and ballet are) When I was six, the only thing I wanted in the whole wide world was to play piamo. my Mom told me if I started I couldn't quit until I moved out of the house. I didn't pay attention ,adn started lessons. When I was about 8 or 10, I wanted to quit. My mom had also started takeing lessons, although that didn't bug me. (we moved six months later, and she had to quit) What bugged me was the social world. I was just starting to form one and an hour- 2 hours of practice a day, really cuts into your schedule. Not only that, but I was in that inbetween stage, where I was playing hard stuff, it just wasn't interesting. My mother made me stick to it, and now I'm so glad I did. I'm now in an advanced levle and can play beautiful pieces like I dreamed of doing when I was six. *absolutly loves pachabel's cannon in D major* Even now at 13 I still want to quit sometimes, but I just remind myself of all the hard work i've put into it, and what a waste it would be to just drop it. I think that your daughter should stick to it, but don't force her into anything she absolutly doesn not want to do.<P>~Athena<P>Yes,yes, this messege was quit pointless...

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 Post subject: Re: as the mom
PostPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2001 1:04 am 
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Yes when I was about 12 I considered quitting dance completely. Why? - a number of reasons. It was getting harder and when you get to the awkward growth stage of twelve all movement seems harder. Yes it wasn't such a cool thing to admit that you are doing. But I grew through this and steps do become attainable and things do dtart to click into place. I remeber a wonderful moment at around about age 15 where I suddenly started to realise how all dance styles interconnected , how each helped each other and how if I could perform the basic steps well then there was no reason that I couldn't go on and do the more advanced stuff. I had to find that out for myself in that glorious moment and so will your daughter. I'm so glad I continued - it is my life now.<P>It is a tricky one - maybe suggest a trial break from ballet of say a term. Many when they are away from it realise they miss it and want to come back. Leave the door open in that way. However, and I'm sure you would, make sure your child realises that you have to give the teacher notice, at least a term, that she can't just drop out like that. The teacher has done nothing wrong and doesn't deserve that, it can be upsetting when a pupil you have had for a while drops out but given time to get used to it most teachers will understand. It will also teach your child an important lesson about commitment and seeing commitments through. I'm sure you will do this but it is an important point. Perhaps given a term to reflect everyone will see things differently and a happy solution will be found.


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 Post subject: Re: as the mom
PostPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2001 5:50 am 
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Basheva, I thankyou many times over for yourinsight and wisdom, I can always count on a thoughtful reply from you and actually all the replies are insightful. Joanne,It is the end of the term, and time to sign up for next year, which is why this is coming up.That's what I usually tell her, wait until the show and see how you feel, until the end of the year, next show. She is in the middle of a month long break. And Nutcracker auditions are coming up, I agree that she needs an independant dance experience and will look elsewhere for classes for me.(oh the sacrifices we moms make, that is a tough one, especially the nutcracker if I need to do that) I have given her a option, as someone mentioned, of choosing another activity, like take up an instrument or art classes or something like that, so she knows she isn't going to replace the time spent dancing with TV and telephone and IMs.<BR>I have heard from many people how they did appreciate their parents not letting them quit, like you Athena,and have gone on to master the art, be it music, or dance, and appreciated it as an adult.But actually forcing her seems wrong also, like you say. One teacher once told me that she "made" her daughter do dance, that kids don't know what they want. Her daughter is now 20 and appreciative of all the "neet things" she can do.<BR>Thank you for sharing your story Red Shoes.Yes, unfortunately ballet does have a "nerdy" image at school, and that is what she is experiencing also. That is what I am hoping for her, is a sort of anchor with dance for her, during those rocky years to come. Any more experience with this, as a teen, teacher, or mom?

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 Post subject: Re: as the mom
PostPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2001 7:23 am 
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This may make things worse - but do you think showing your daughter this thread would help or not? Sometimes seeing the lengths a parent has gone to help their child make the right decision can be a real eye opener, and also seeing the opinions of others.<P>Just a suggestion - I'm sure you'll know what is best.


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 Post subject: Re: as the mom
PostPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2001 1:00 pm 
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Teeheehee! Trust me, while I'm advanced, I'm no where NEAR mastering piano! Plus I'm only 13, so you see how much perspective you can gain in a year? I do think showing her this thread would be a good idea.

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Smooches and Pooches!<P>~Athena<BR>


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 Post subject: Re: as the mom
PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2001 7:12 am 
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Just to let you all know, we compromised with two jazz classes a week. Unfortunately they fall on the same day of the week, so I hope this will be enough. She will have regular PE in school every day also.She wouldn't read the thread, but it has helped me a lot.I am going to try to get less emotionally involved with her dance, and let her concentrate on school (she's changing schools this year) and find other ways of separating from me, and growing up. Thank you so much everyone!!

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 Post subject: Re: as the mom
PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2001 7:20 am 
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Rachel - let us know how this progresses. It is always fascinating to watch as a youngster begins to find the world for herself.<P>I also think sometimes, what we see as "perverse" behavior, is their attempt at assuming some control over their lives. And that perversity can manifest itself in them purposely affecting to dislike what we as parents find important. So becoming less involved with her dancing, I think, is a good idea.<P>Isn't it strange that when we reach adulthood we conveniently forget our own searchings and perversity? LOL


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 Post subject: Re: as the mom
PostPosted: Sat Aug 18, 2001 5:07 am 
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So true, so true! We think we are immune.LOL I'll keep you posted. Thanks, Rachael

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