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What do I do if DD refuses to go to a club she normally goes to?

(60 Posts)
EustaciaVye Sat 28-Jun-14 10:48:44

DD is 7. In the last 6 months she has tried and given up brownies, stopped her swimming lessons due to continued sobbing in the pool and a refusal to join in ( she always used to love them).

She has just refused to go to gymnastics and sobbed again. She got what she wanted as dh brought her home. She spent the time she would have been at the lesson sitting quietly to think about her behaviour. We asked her to help tidy up and she refused. We didn't want to send her to her bedroom as she loves reading and would happily go and read up there.

I am concerned she is learning that crying can get her out of stuff. when she stopped swimming she agreed that she would stick at gym as we all think some kind of outside school activity is important. She is a little shy so needs to be encouraged to do new things.

where do we go from here?

BeanyIsPregnant Sat 28-Jun-14 10:51:01

I might be totally off the mark here (dd 18mo!) but is it the leotard thing maybe? Both activities she's thrown a fuss over have involved tight leotards.... Is her body changing/ developing? :/ just another idea if you hadent already thought of it!

fluffycow Sat 28-Jun-14 10:54:23

Some children just don't want to do activities outside of school. All of the things you've tried to get her to do are quite 'girly' and similar: swimming, brownies, gymnastics... Maybe she'd prefer to do team sports? Football, hockey, netball or perhaps tennis?

EustaciaVye Sat 28-Jun-14 10:59:08

The clubs have all been her choice except swimming which she has done since a baby.

She is the most girly girl I know and is not keen on team sports.

She has developed Breast buds but hasn't shown any embarrassment. I will give that some thought.

WowOoo Sat 28-Jun-14 11:06:45

Can you try to find out the real reason why she doesn't want to go?

It's the end of term, maybe she's really tired and would just like a break.

We've stopped swimming lessons for ds until Sept. He had a meltdown about it at 8 o'clock and told us he hasn't got the energy and asked if he could sit on the sofa and watch a film instead. He went swimming, but missed his lesson- we've said he can just have fun. His smile said it all.

Could she choose some other things to do? I know the feeling as Ds stopped Beavers a few months ago.
I thought it was fab for him socially. There was one boy who he said was horrible (I know him and he is a bit of a bossy, know it all type)...Are there any horrid girls in these clubs that she doesn't like?

BeanyIsPregnant Sat 28-Jun-14 11:08:15

I grew up in Scotland (so no idea if there's a similar thing here!) but I went to a craft club, it was a bit like brownies but less 'team cooperation' and more 'create something, here's some stuff, here's some examples if you want to give them a go.. Be creative!' Style thing..... Not sure how you would go about finding one?

DocDaneeka Sat 28-Jun-14 11:10:35

Second the body changing thing

She might not be able to articulate it, or might be too embarrassed to say but I remember it bothering me quite early.

Vintagebeads Sat 28-Jun-14 11:13:17

Do you think it might be the amount of them?
Could you cut down the amount of activities?
With summer hols almost here maybe she is tired.I know mine get shattered near the end of term.

EustaciaVye Sat 28-Jun-14 11:14:56

gym is the only club she does now as she has dropped the others.

EustaciaVye Sat 28-Jun-14 11:16:32

craft would be perfect. She loved that at Rainbows. brownies was too lively and full on.

The main problem is how do I teach her that you can't just give stuff up if it is slightly challenging.

fluffycow Sat 28-Jun-14 11:17:17

does she want to do any?

Fukeit Sat 28-Jun-14 11:17:44

I wouldn't worry about her learning that crying gets her what she wants. I think she's just learned that her parents listen to her when she's upset which is a great thing.

I'd leave it for now and try some new fun things over the summer and see what she enjoys. School is a lot of pressure without making clubs a stress too.

hamptoncourt Sat 28-Jun-14 12:12:34

I think there is too much pressure on children to do numerous after school activities and I never made mine do any they didn't want to do.

I am not sure what the message is supposed to be here. So long as they are going to school then I just would let her do only the activities she wants to do.

As adults we only do leisure activities we really want to.

Pick your battles.

Mutley77 Sat 28-Jun-14 12:20:32

It is really tricky. Both of my children (DS age 5 and DD age 9) often say they don't want to go to their clubs/activities but then equally often they really enjoy them. I also think it's really important for them to do outside school activities, particularly sport. I have said to both that swimming is non-negotiable until they have finished the lessons so it stops a lot of the general "can't be bothered - don't want to go" type conversations.

If it is a really upset (crying) I make sure I find out why - personally I don't think they would cry and refuse unless they really had an issue. DD had a spell of this with swimming and it turned out to be misunderstanding what the teacher had said so I spoke to the teacher and it turned around that week. DS refused to do his martial arts a few times but was lacking confidence (it was just after he started it) and having daddy come to watch seemed to help this - luckily it was the weekend so we could easily manage that!

TimeForAnotherNameChange Sat 28-Jun-14 12:58:59

But it's perfectly okay to give stuff up if it makes you miserable and no one is relying on you because of it! It's only after school clubs, it's not as if she's competing in a swim gala for her country, or is due to meet the queen through brownies fgs. Give her a break - she's quite clearly telling you she just isn't up to doing what was at one time at least three activities a week. Honestly I sometimes think the MN angst about extra curricular stuff is just ridicuous.

Marrow Sat 28-Jun-14 13:03:15

When I've had this with Dimm

Marrow Sat 28-Jun-14 13:09:35

Oops! When I've had this with Dd we've always encouraged her to try for a few weeks with a date to review whether she wants to continue or not. She has then gone happily for the next few weeks knowing that at the end of term, or whenever, she can stop if she wants. There have been a few occasions when she's carried on as she's realised she enjoys it.

The only thing I won't allow her to give up is swimming lessons. I have told her she can stop when she can swim at least 15 lengths as it is so important she can swim.

BravePotato Sat 28-Jun-14 13:11:31

I think she just sounds tired.

My 9yr old was sobbing, I did not force him to go.

Not everything is a battle of wills. At 7 she has long days at school, then clubs which is fun, but can be just too much.

I think your DH did the right thing.

Give her a break, she is only little

EustaciaVye Sat 28-Jun-14 13:45:37

At one point she was doing swimming, rainbows and gym. She loved them and begged to keep going. Don't assume I have made her do anything.

This has obviously changed, which as I said, has meant she has given up swimming and brownies which she didn't settle in to.

This morning she woke at 7 am, came downstairs in her leotard really excited about going to gym. 5 minutes before the lesson she decided she didn't want to go. I am just trying to work out what to do for the best and, timeforanotherchange , i don't find your comment about how ridiculous I am particularly helpful.

Thank you everyone else for your responses. Within half an hour of big sister being back from the same gym lesson, DD is all smiles, so we will enjoy our weekend.

EvilTwins Sat 28-Jun-14 13:58:06

I totally get where you're coming from OP, and I agree it's a tricky thing to deal with. I'm obviously an evil mother from hell because I do strongly encourage my 7 yr old DTDs to go to the clubs they go to. They have chosen their activities (drama, choir & gym, then one does piano and the other does flute) and I do think it's important that they understand that activities are often about getting out what you put in. Last week, one of them decided that choir isn't her "thing" any more, but we're paid up til the end of term and there was no particular reason not to to go, so she went. Within seconds of being there, she was loving it.

Two other thought on this.... As children, Dsis and I both learned piano. Dsis gave up when doing her GCSEs and now regrets it. The other thing is that I am a drama teacher and was giving a student a lift home from rehearsal the other day. He's 15 and is talented but has never learned an instrument. He told me that when he's a dad he's going to make sure his kids get the chance to learn stuff. At 15 he's already wishing his parent had given him the opportunity.

I say encourage kids to commit to these things. Who knows how much enjoyment they'll get out of them as they get older.

TimeForAnotherNameChange Sat 28-Jun-14 15:33:19

Try reading properly - I didn't say you were ridiculous, I said the MN angst is ridiculous, in general. I also never assumed you made her do any of the activities initially. I simply don't think its an issue letting her give something up if she clearly hates it. Hth.

lljkk Sat 28-Jun-14 16:08:17

When I was 5yo I really wanted to do ballet. I begged my mother for ages. Finally she got me into a class.

I quit after 3 lessons. My mother was furious.

I was ashamed to admit I was being bullied. blush I didn't even know what bullying was just that I was afraid to face those girls again. t cried & cried because I wanted ballet so bad but I was afraid too.

So if I were OP I would try very hard to (gently & sensitively & with no pressure) pin her down to a reason why she didn't want to go. It may be a misunderstanding, a failed expectation, who knows. It maybe something that can be fixed or it may not, but important thing is to tease out what's going on. Really happy to go until 5 minutes before & then tonnes of tears means something's going on, she's conflicted. I'd want to know what.

Last year I had DS running hot & cold about attending a party & not until the day of the party could he explain why.

EustaciaVye Sat 28-Jun-14 17:03:42

Fair enough timeforachange. I took the inference as an insult because I am tired.

Older DD goes to the same gym and says the girls are nice, there are no nasty teachers, and normally younger DD enjoys it. She is unable to articulate why she changed her mind which doesn't really help.

Thanks everyone for your input. much appreciated.

misssmapp Sat 28-Jun-14 17:11:02

Ds2 ( 6) can be like this. As his mum I know that sometimes I have to force him through the door and , when in, he does enjoy it. I know other parents judge me for this, but I know my son.

He is very shy ( as I was as a child) and , despite really looking forward to the club, becomes overwhelmed at the last minute. A well meaning shove through the door is all he needs. Then he spends the journey home asking when he can go again.

wizzler Sat 28-Jun-14 17:19:12

I have a DD (7), she does swimming, Irish dancing and Karate. DH takes her swimming and there is never an issue. I take her to karate and Irish dancing and often she drags her feet and wails about not wanting to go. I usually say " well lets see how it goes this week and talk about it later. ". She always enjoys it when she gets going.

I put her reluctance down to :-
a) tired by 6pm
b) I work ft, and often away, so by kicking up a fuss she may think she gets to be with me ( DH is SAHD) or get attention

When DS stopped swimming, it was after he achieved a certain standard... we agreed with him that once he got through Stage 5 he could stop if he wanted to , but not until them as I needed to know he was safe in the water.

( to summarise... I agree with Marrow

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