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What level of commitment should you expect from a child?

We have a 6 yr old daughter who has been begging us for dance classes since age 4. We finally enrolled her this fall and she loved it. We talked to her about commitment and told her that if she decided she didn't like it, she did not have to continue into next year, but had to stick it out for the remainder of this year. Everything seemed fine at first. She started to not be so enthusiastic about it at her christmas recital because of putting in the extra practice and effort. She has a recital coming up this summer that they have been practicing for. She goes in for 1 hour once a week in a tap/jazz class and is begging us to take her out. We finally are debating if it's worth it to have her perform at all. Her costumes are $80 a piece (there's two) plus $25/ticket. It's a lot of money. I believe she has to stick out her classes once a week, but should we make her perform? What would you do? Are we expecting too much?


Asked by midnightshadow2 at 3:42 PM on Feb. 21, 2010 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

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Answers (12)
  • I'd make her stick with the lessons. Things cost money. She needs to understand that . I'd make her do the recital thing too. If she doesn't like it, fine, then you can pull her when classes are done for the time period you've determined. But there are things one has to do in life that we commit to and/or don't like and that's just how it is, and even at 6 she can learn that. If you keep signing up for things and letting her quit she'll just learn that she can get whatever she wants and that quitting is okay. Too many kids are allowed to do this, and that's why they're all spoiled brats.

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:44 PM on Feb. 21, 2010

  • I wouldn't / didn't make my child do anything they didn't want to do. If it's not fun then why do it?

    Answer by Gailll at 3:46 PM on Feb. 21, 2010

  • Both of my daughters were in dance. And they liked it always and enjoyed the practices and recitals.

    What does your daughter want to do instead of lessons, practices? If the dancing is taking away from her schoolwork, I'd take her out. Is she as comfortable about her own body dancing and as skilled as the others in her own class? Maybe she feels inferior.

    It's physically hard work and emotionally hard, if you haven't paid for lessons yet I'd take her out. She's not going to be a failure in life for taking her out of six year old dance lessons.

    She probably feels pushed into it because schoolmates, neighborhood girls are doing it.

    Answer by lfl at 3:52 PM on Feb. 21, 2010

  • If my daughter wouldnt like it, i definately wouldnt make her do it. Thats the last thing i would do. Everybody knows that children lose interest in things very quickly, thats just normal. So if you think that you cant afford all of that in case she doesnt like it anymore, then you might want to say "no" to the whole thing in the first place. :-/

    my daughter wanted a stroller for her dolls, and i let her pick it out. it was a LOT of money for it. she played with it for 1 week and then lost interest in it. i made her happy for 1 week, its worth a lot ;)
    if she comes to me and says she wants to go to danceclass, ill let her go ... but only for as long as she wants to. no matter the cost.

    Answer by maja2007 at 3:55 PM on Feb. 21, 2010

  • ...if you have paid for lessons yet -I meant if you haven't paid for costumes yet then take her out.

    Is her best friend in dance class? Maybe gymnastics or karate when dd is older would be more for her. My daughters and my son are teens into midtwenties. Trust me mommy, this is only the beginning of changing her mind for major things. sigh there's more to come.

    Answer by lfl at 3:55 PM on Feb. 21, 2010

  • She's young, and exploring hobbies, likes, and dislikes. If she doesn't like it I wouldn't make her do it, unless she had team mates that were literally relying on her, then I'd try to have her help her team to be responsible for what she enlisted in. I'd never force though.

    Activities outside of school are great and fun. As a kid or an adult, you don't really know what you like until you've tried it. If you found you didn't like sushi, why keep eating it? I guess it's kind of similar to your situation.

    It sucks though if you spent the $ on the classes, however you're not getting your moneys worth if she's not into it anymore anyway.

    Next time see if the activity has any kind of a trial period for children? Or if they'll let her go in and watch what they do daily to see if she's interested still?

    good luck

    Answer by Skepticchick at 3:59 PM on Feb. 21, 2010

  • She is too young to understand the long term commitment lesson you want her to learn. Their attention span is too short. Those places know that and that's how they get you. It should be a shorter season but then they'd lose the money. They care about that, not about what's best for your child. I always took my children out when they lost interest. I didn't force anything on them. They are grown now and have no commitment issues so it all worked well for us.

    Answer by admckenzie at 4:18 PM on Feb. 21, 2010

  • ya with our 5 year old she was in gymnastics and got very uninterested even though she said she was she wouldn't pay attention and participate and such. So we just finished out the end of it and she tried soccer....yep we found out we have a hard core soccer girl! Never thought I'd be a soccer mom!

    Answer by hotrodmomma at 4:21 PM on Feb. 21, 2010

  • If it were my child, I would make her stick it out for the rest of the season. If she just isn't liking it because she has to practice a little more than usual, than in my opinion, letting her quit just because she has to work a little harder for a special performance coming up, is not teaching her any valueable lessons. Now if she didn't like it right for the get go, then I would've let her quit because maybe it just wasn't her thing...but since it sounds like she liked it up until she had to practice a little more, than I would make her stay in it.

    Answer by Anonymous at 5:34 PM on Feb. 21, 2010

  • i'm with anon :34. You set it up from the beg. too... that you expected her to follow thru on her choices... maybe not the recital b/c it is costing you a lot of money but still go to classes etc. just not perform if she doesn't want to.... she prob. will when she sees the costumes.
    I agree that we do want to teach our kids to commit and stick to it .... even if its just for ____ time to really check it out.
    I made my kids do it for soccer... and if they didn't want to play at the game ... fine... but you will be there to support your team mates and if you don't want to do it next season... that's okay but you made a commitment to this season (4 and 5 at the time)

    Answer by MamiJaAyla at 9:33 PM on Feb. 21, 2010