How much pushing is too much?

Elizabeth - posted on 06/22/2011 ( 1 mom has responded )

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My daughter is 7 and very strong-willed, which is both a blessing and a curse. Her first year of tee-ball she swore she loved it and had fun, but every practice and every game was a battle of wills, with her trying to quit every 5 minutes, whenever someone asked/told her to do something she didn't want to do. This past year she took dance classes, and I know she had fun (most of the time) but again whenever something was even the least bit difficult, or even just not done the way she wanted to do it, she would refuse to do it. I'm just about at my wit's end, so my question is: At what point is it her decision, and when do I pull the parent card and make her do something? We believe strongly that physical activity is important, and we would like our kids to each do some kind of extracurricular physical activity, but with this one it's like beating our heads against a brick wall. She signed up for Cheer Camp this summer, a 6 week, one hour a week little cheer class, went to 1 class and decided she didn't want to go back. I don't want to try and make her do something she doesn't want to do, that just leads to frustration for everyone involved. But on the other hand, I don't want her to miss out on a great opportunity. I'm learning that with activities these days, if they don't keep up with it it's almost impossible to go back later on. I really am at a loss here and would appreciate any kind of feedback you guys have! Thanks in advance!

(FYI, I'll be posting this on a couple of other groups here also)

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Jane - posted on 06/22/2011

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With my kids I made sure that they knew my rule before starting any activity: if you sign up for it and I pay for it you will finish out the class. First of all, you don't know whether you really like something unless you stick with it. Secondly, you should not waste my money. Third, especially in team sports, your team is counting on you so you need to do your best for them, not just for you.

I do encourage my kids to try new things. After all, how will you know what you like when you are a grown up if you didn't try it as a kid? And I do monitor the classes to be certain the teacher/coach is not being over the top, screaming at kids when there is no need.

I think your daughter needs to finish out cheer camp, even if she just sits to one side and sulks. But I also think she needs to understand that if she won't finish what she starts you won't sign her up for anything.

My son is ODD so I know about defiance. But he still knows he has no choice - if he wants to play football he has to finish out the season. If he wants to take SCUBA class he needs to go through the whole thing and take the certification test.

Good luck! It is better to deal with her defiance now than when she is a teen.

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