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My daughter will practice but not perform

Help, we are at our wit's end. Our daughter just turned six. She is extremely well behaved, she loves school, she obeys us, she has lots of friends, she's smart she's healthy BUT she will NOT perform in front of a group. We have had this happen on several occassions and at least two of them have ended up in family arguments. Today was the last day of her ballet/tap class and all the parents are invited to watch the kids perform. She did the tap part very well and then became upset when it was time to do the ballet portion. She performed that outside of the room where all of the other kids were performing. By the time we got to gymnastics she would do basically nothing and she refused to get her medal when they called her at the end. When she tries she succeeds, but she has an impossible time trying in front of a group. At pre-K graduation she ended up taking off her gown and embarrasing mom terribly. Any thoughts appreciated.

 
Darcy1234

Asked by Darcy1234 at 11:23 PM on Jun. 3, 2009 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

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Answers (10)
  • So I guess graduation has already happened, how did it go?

    Maybe this will embarrass her later- but please don't let it embarrass you. That's our job, right? To get these kids through this stuff and make them stronger for it.
    If she wants lessons, let her learn, if she wants to perform, let her perform. If she freaks, get up, go get her, and remove her from the situation (even if she doesn't want to leave).
    Tell her that she is welcome to perform like everyone else and you would love her to do that, but if she can't and if she can't sit quietly to the side (no tears, no beating up on herself, it's destracting to others) then she has to leave the room.
    She has the desire, and I think it's shows wonderful character that she wants to try again, that's a driven kid. Just be matter of fact. If she wants to fine, if she tries and can't- okay, but freaking out will not be allowed.
    pat7879

    Answer by pat7879 at 12:59 AM on Jun. 5, 2009

  • let it go and stop putting so much pressure on her to "perform" for you. If the performance part doesn't make her happy, you forcing the issue will only make it worse. Tap, ballet, and gymnastics at this age should be fun for her. If she enjoys the practice, let her enjoy it and stop starting fights over her not wanting to get up and perform for a crowd.

    VeronicaLee

    Answer by VeronicaLee at 11:51 PM on Jun. 3, 2009

  • Sounds like she just isnt ready for performance. NOthing wrong with that. Perhaps play groups and age appropriate activities for now. Sometimes as parents we live out our own wants and needs threw our children. Slow down and let her tell you what she wants to do................good luck.
    mistynights234

    Answer by mistynights234 at 12:22 AM on Jun. 4, 2009

  • Well, these two answers are patently unhelpful. Graduation from pre-school was not some optional activity we forced her into. She ended up taking off her gown and sitting in the corner crying simply because she didn't want to walk up and get her diploma. She loves going to ballet and tap and gymnastics. She performs well when there isn't a crowd. We are NOT living vicariously through our child. These are all things SHE wanted to do. When we asked her if she wanted to leave the performance she said no and instead sat there and cried and looked miserable. Kindergarten graduation is tomorrow and we are both living in fear of how she is going to react. We seriously do not need the stress right now with the other things in our lives. Not taking her will prove even more of an embarassement for her in the long run. I don't need any more advice about how we are pushing her too hard, this is her choice.
    Darcy1234

    Answer by Darcy1234 at 12:57 AM on Jun. 4, 2009

  • Why would it cause more embarrassment for her in the long run? No one really remembers their kindergarten graduation.

    Its apparent she's uncomfortable performing for a crowd. I wouldnt push it, just do a small crowd at home, mom dad siblings grandma grandpa ect, and work your way up from there.
    summerm

    Answer by summerm at 2:47 AM on Jun. 4, 2009

  • Performing in the comfort of your home or to a small group of loved ones (friends or family) is a lot different than getting up on stage in front of a lot of people you don't know would you agree?

    Heck, lots of adults freak out at the thought of getting up in front of a room full of people so why would a child be any different? PRACTICING around people she's familiar with is comfortable to her - PERFORMING, apparently, is not.

    And sure, SHE wanted to do them - she had some concept in her mind and it's not what she thought it would be. That sure happens to me!

    All of these things are optional and you CAN choose to participate or not - all depends on you and how much stress you want for YOU and for your daughter. Decide what lesson you want her to get from all of this then choose how to approach it.

    I have to agree that I don't understand what "embarassment" there will be for her if she doesn't participate.
    auroragold

    Answer by auroragold at 6:56 AM on Jun. 4, 2009

  • Darcy what kind of answer are you looking for. We can only give simple advice really. We dont know you or your child. All children are different. Some like the spotlight and some dont.

    Why dont you walk up the isle with your daughter when she gets her little diploma? Mabey that would help her confidence.

    If you think your little girl is not confident enough talk with her doctor and see where she should be at for her age. Perhaps a counselor for her to help with her confidence?

    Is that more along the lines of what your looking for? I hope she was able to graduate without to much mental agony.
    mistynights234

    Answer by mistynights234 at 12:03 PM on Jun. 4, 2009

  • What's wrong with her NOT performing? I like playing music, and used to play in a band, but I HATED to play in the concerts. I chose not to. You see her dance/do the stuff in the classes don't you? Why must she perform?

    To the person who said, "nobody remembers the kindergarten graduation" - I totally remember mine and how my dad laughed at me beause I shook the teacher's hand with my left instead of my right hand.

    Don't torment your poor kid. If she doesn't want to go, don't force her to.
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 5:35 PM on Jun. 4, 2009

  • Next time,just let her have her way and don't get upset.Let her miss out and act that way,it maybe she's shy around strangers or it could be she's a spoiled brat like my daughter,she acts like that too and she's shy.By her making a decision for herself she learns independence skills, she learns cause and effect and that's needed to be a responsible adult.She needs to learn for herself what makes her happy and sad.
    countingsparows

    Answer by countingsparows at 9:35 PM on Jun. 4, 2009

  • Now I am getting a lot of good different feedback. Regarding her graduation, she did wonderful. I had suspected that some of the stress she was feeling was due to my expectations (I expect way too much from myself too) so only her mother went. She did very well and did everything that was asked of her and without hesitation. I think we will experiment a bit more with my presence to see if that is the key factor. If it's the case then I will examine more closely myself. Unfortunately I suspect that there is a lot more work for me to do than my daughter. Everyone's feedback was much appreciated, even those that I said were patently unhelpful. When I spoke of it being more difficult for her later in life I was not referring to her graduation experience but rather that more and more public performances would be expected of her in school and the sooner she feels more comfortable the easier those times will be.
    Thanks again!
    Darcy1234

    Answer by Darcy1234 at 5:58 PM on Jun. 5, 2009