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Should I force my 4 year old to finish dance class?

My 4 year old started dance class in September by January she mentioned she didn't like it anymore. I had already put a $35 non refundable deposit down on her recital costume so I convinced her to stick it out, plus I don't want her to be a quitter. She was fine with going for a couple weeks then she got bored with it again, by then I put the remaining $30 down on the costume. Now it's 7 weeks away from the recital and she HATES dance class. We got to watch through the window (we only get to watch once a month) last week and she was so bored and miserable looking, I felt so bad. Tomorrow is dance class day and she was just crying about not wanting to go. My husband and I are kind of conflicted about letting her drop it and not making her follow through, on one hand she is four and maybe she just wasn't ready for this type of organized activity on the other hand I don't want her to think it's okay to just quit something. I also don't want to force her to finish then have her never want to do another activity because she is afraid she might not like and we will force her to finish. What would you do?


Asked by lilysmom2607 at 9:40 PM on Apr. 10, 2011 in General Parenting

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Answers (9)
  • My daughter takes a dance class. Last year there was a little girl who hated coming to class each week. She cried all the time. Her mom told her that she had to continue because she had already paid for the recital. The litttle girl spent the whole time on stage crying her eyes out. The dance teacher tried to get the parents to come get her but they made her stay. We all felt bad for the girl.

    I think at four it is a little young to force her to stay.

    Answer by Shaken1976 at 9:48 PM on Apr. 10, 2011

  • Umm WHY cant a parent watch when they want? Id be very suspicious of that! If the kid is that miserable and it's not the teacher molesting them or being mean when you ARNT allowed to watch then let her stop. Kid's get bored easily when things arnt a challenge or they are harder than they thought they would be.

    Answer by vbruno at 9:43 PM on Apr. 10, 2011

  • never force a child to do dance/sports if they dont want to.. so what if you wasted 35 on the costume.. why put her through that.

    Answer by 3HappylKidds at 9:43 PM on Apr. 10, 2011

  • i will also add my 3 year old is in dance class and it is 50 a month plus her costume was 70.. i told her at any point if she didnt like it she could stop. as well with my son playing baseball.. if he didnt like it he could stop.

    Answer by 3HappylKidds at 9:45 PM on Apr. 10, 2011

  • I think i would make her finish... she is only 4, I am suuurrre she will want to do more activities.. Only if you don't let her quit she will know next time she wants to do something that she has to stick it out. If you let her quit once the next activity she wants to do she will think she has a chance of getting out of it. I don't know your child but mine would surely use that to his advantage next time he wanted to quit! I hope you figure out what is best for your family!! GL :)

    Answer by Ethans_Ma at 9:46 PM on Apr. 10, 2011

  • The people who say " I would never make my child do anything they didn't want" did they ASK to sign up?? did they understand it was a commitment?? I understand not making your kids start something they don't care about or don't want to do but if THEY wanted to start it then that's a different story!

    Answer by Ethans_Ma at 9:48 PM on Apr. 10, 2011

  • She is four years old. Do not force her to finish dance classes.

    Answer by Glo402813 at 9:59 PM on Apr. 10, 2011

  • Thanks for the comments. To Vbruno, we trust the dance teacher or we would not let her go, I am literally right outside the door and can hear everything that is going on. We are not allowed to watch because it is a distraction, that is a common practice at a lot of dance classes.

    Shaken 1976 that story broke our hearts and I think we decided to let her drop out. I think we are going to have along talk about finishing things once we start and then let her drop out.


    Comment by lilysmom2607 (original poster) at 9:59 PM on Apr. 10, 2011

  • I am glad you are going to let her drop out. Its never good to force a child to do anything . she might be too young at this point and change her mind when she is a few years older. Or not.
    But I think you did the right thing! :-)

    Answer by minnesotanice at 10:16 PM on Apr. 10, 2011