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Would you sign up your daughter for an activity she didn't want to do?

Posted by on Jul. 16, 2013 at 4:46 PM
  • 13 Replies

We have certain activities that we've done each year in my home. In spring we play soccer, fall, cheerleading, etc. This year comes time for pee wee cheer sign ups and she says "no thank you". Last year she really enjoyed it and loved the girls on her squad. We went back and forth on it and she was insisting that she didn't want to do it. Finally one day there was a website she discovered and she really wanted the paid membership. I struck a deal with her: she does cheer and gets a membership. She immediately agreed and then cheerfully asked "so what team am I going to be cheering for?" I told her and she said "Oh, I really like that team!"

So that was that!

I had a few reasons I thought she should do it. I want her to get some exercise and I think sports are important. She really does enjoy it and I worry that we won't sign up and then she'll regret it (this happened with another activity. We didn't sign up and then she was sad). And it's just a fun family activity to get into. We all meet so many people, etc.

Anyway, I mentioned this to other moms and got a mix of reactions. Some thought it should be entirely her decision. Some thought it should be entirely the parents decision. I don't have a strong feeling either way.

If it makes a difference, this isn't a big pressure sport or big time commitment.

But my question pertains to all activities, not just this particular one. Does the activity matter? (in other words, is it wrong to make your kids do pageants but not soccer?)

My daughter is 6 if anyone is wondering :-)

by on Jul. 16, 2013 at 4:46 PM
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Replies (1-10):
by on Jul. 16, 2013 at 4:52 PM
Yes, If I thought it was very beneficial to her at her age.
by Member on Jul. 16, 2013 at 5:07 PM

It would depend. Some things yes (she wanted a 200 dollar sewing machine for Christmas, got it, and now doesn't want lessons...she is getting lessons!) Other things I expect her to at least try once before deciding.

by on Jul. 16, 2013 at 5:13 PM

Sometimes kids that are older than the toddler age feel they need to do everything they can and some kids could care less about doing anything. It depends on the child. Every child is different. I allowed my daughter to get involved in everything she wanted to because as a small child she always finished all of her activities from day one to the last day. So I agred she could do basketball, volleyball, band, cheerleader for three years etc. She always finished from start to finish so I encouraged it all. Some children don't finish for whatever reason and may have good reasons not to finish. My daughter had a BITCH of a basketball coach. I mean this lady screamed at all the girls, i have it on video still. She never shut up this coach. One day after the game was over, I pulled her aside and addressed her way of delegating and told her there are other ways to get off your chest besides belittling the girls on the team and she piped right down too. She realized she wasn't doing right. My daughter told me she was sick of the coach's crap, I agreed BUT I also told her that in life we come across angry people like this and in college how would she cope? I talked to her and let her decide whether she wanted to quit, but she stayed in there, dealt with the coach and realizes now as an adult that the coach's behavior actually has helped her overcome in college. Life's lesson I suppose.

by on Jul. 16, 2013 at 5:36 PM

Did the coach improve her behavior after you talked to her?

I would not tolerate that! No one yells at my kid. Fortunately the coaches she's had at her age have all been nice.

by on Jul. 16, 2013 at 7:09 PM
3 moms liked this

Personally, and you wanted opinions, I don't agree with the way you did it. It sounds like the activity is more for you, than for her. You like the people you met, and the friends you made, you bribed & brought her to do it. That I don't agree with at all. 

There are many other activities in life, and while I am not totally against sports at a young age ( my son was in a lot of sports at younger years ), there are many other ways to get exercise or be active. At older ages, I am not thrilled with sports, so for sure don't want it to be a habit you push on her. Cheer, especially becomes very competative, and is a big commitment, a long with big pressure. Other sports, the same. But, whether it was sports or not wouldn't matter. No matter the activity, I would feel the same. 

I could see if she had talked YOU into it, and she needed to finish that year. Sure. But she said no from moment one, and you kept going & going talking her into it, so much as to say, if you want this, you have to do that. If she wanted to do it & couldn't, then she needs to learn that too. You say yes at sign up time. 

Now, it seems it worked out in this case, she is young, but not something I would continue with as she gets older. 

Michelle, Body Combat Addict 
Proud Mom of Jonathan, Army Soldier and Eagle & Vigil Scout
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by on Jul. 16, 2013 at 8:27 PM
My kids get to pick. My daughter just quit dance after 4 years. She started when she was 3. It was her decision. I don't want to make her do something she's not having fun with. She plays softball, has Girl Scouts. This fall she'll start tumbling classes and maybe voice lessons.

We so have a rule though that she must finish the season if she starts something but she doesn't have to do it after that season is over.

She misses dance, what she really misses is having something to do.
by Sarah on Jul. 16, 2013 at 11:23 PM

I wouldn't force my child to do it for my own reasons. If I thought it was something they would really enjoy I would encourage them to do it. But I still wouldn't force it or bribe them to do it.

I think I would feel the same no matter the activity. 

by on Jul. 16, 2013 at 11:35 PM
No, I wouldn't.
by New Member on Jul. 16, 2013 at 11:44 PM

The only activity I would make my daughter do if she didn't want to is swimming lessons.  We live near the ocean plus there are many ponds and pools around us so, in my opiinion, swimming is a life skill that is necessary to learn and not optional.

by Bronze Member on Jul. 17, 2013 at 12:39 AM

Does this apply to daughters only? Because I can see how the same situation could apply to sons as well.

For me, I would have to listen to my child's wants, and if ultimtely he didn't want to do it, I would neither try to force him, nor would I try to bribe him (a bribe wouldn't work anyway). My son is special needs and sports are always going to be of great difficulty for him because of the coordination (as well as other things that are difficult for him) needed. But if he told me "Mom, I want to try this" I would let him. But I would also listen if he said "Mom, I don't want to do this." 

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