View Full Version : 6Yrs Old, Dance-Class Recital and Sat on the Side and Cried


Stevuke79
05-15-14, 06:29 PM
Wet-eyed and red-faced on the steps to the classroom before her recital. "Do you want to talk about it? .. You don't have to, that's ok. But you might be sad later you know we were going to video tape it for mommy, she's so excited.. "no" We inherited some party-poppers from friends yesterday: "after you do this we can go outside and pop the poppers to celebrate..", "no"

Music is on and I'm terrified and a little desperate that she'll be lost and miserable like her dad as a kid so I'm encouraging her to join the next act with the worst parent cliches: "You know at your age I also sat out .. I missed out on so much. You really don't want that." (bad parenting day, I know.).. and then I feel myself mentally suppressing the painful distorted sound of a tiny speaker cranked up ALL THE WAY. Usually I don't realize how hard it is to function like that but as I'm thinking of pushing DD I realize that's what I'm asking of her. Kids feet thumping, parents fidgeting and grinding the tiles against metal feet on their classroom chairs, and through it all every other kid can follow instructions. I couldn't do this at 6. I couldn't do it at 12.

"Dad, why aren't you taping it? Mom will want to see it!!" "Mom will be fine." And in my head: Think you're the only one who can throw a stubborn temper tantrum, .. payback's a ***** sweetie!! (****y parenting day) After the recital my daughter is hiding behind me with her hands on my hips so she doesn't get exposed and someone stands right in front of me and asks "Is she always that shy?" I don't know.. "Are you always this ****ing stupid?

I ask her how she felt? angry. At what? you. How do you feel about sitting out the recital? "I'm so happy I didn't dance. I hate dancing." "Ok, well I'm really glad you're thinking about how you feel. It's important to know how you feel after you make a decision because sometimes when you see how you feel it can help you decide what to do next time.I don't care if she really knows how she feels - I just want her to know that's the question we ask. We popped some poppers .. then she said she was a little sad she didn't dance. I told her I was so proud of her and I know how hard it is to think about that and realize it.

At parent teacher conferences I ask how she's doing. She's fine,.. she likes to sit stuff out but she does well when she wants to. I explain it might be ADHD. "No, definitely not .. so smart and the absolute last kid I would think had ADHD." :doh: Her dad was also a genius who "did well when he wants to". Sports, assemblies, class activities, I never understood what was going on. I would ask and I felt like the answers were in greek. They would correct me and get frustrated because I wasn't "listening". And at 6 the only thing that worked was throwing a tantrum and forcing them to let me sit it all out... just like my poor kid.

It's not even like I think she should do it.. or get over it. The things she sits out - some of it is asking the impossible. So what does she do?

Stevuke79
05-15-14, 06:48 PM
I have no idea what I'm asking or sharing here.

dvdnvwls
05-15-14, 07:00 PM
An eloquent description of a too-common parenting dilemma, as seen by a self-aware (and daughter-aware) father with ADHD. That's what.

And asking (more or less rhetorically) what your daughter is supposed to do now - which includes recognizing that this is about her more than about you.

Thank you for posting it, Steve.

Fuzzy12
05-15-14, 07:04 PM
((((( st and daughter))))) :grouphug:

I remember sitting out on quite a few things. Always with mixed feelings. on the one hand I really didn't want to take part but on the other hand I always wondered what i might be missing and if i shOuldn't just be a part of it, of something.

I still do that. And I still hate dancing.

:grouphug::grouphug::grouphug:

Lunacie
05-15-14, 07:40 PM
What your daughter's teacher said is what we heard about my granddaughter in 3rd grade, in 4th grade, in 5th grade ...
finally one teacher said "Well, maybe ..." and we asked him to fill out a Connor's report for us.
She was able to start 6th grade with Concerta each morning.

Nicksgonefishin
05-15-14, 08:24 PM
I did this. 3rd grade. Spelling bee. I didn't go up to the stage. I just sat and cried.

Good post Steve.

tryn-optmsm
05-16-14, 06:51 PM
((((( st and daughter))))) :grouphug:

I remember sitting out on quite a few things. Always with mixed feelings. on the one hand I really didn't want to take part but on the other hand I always wondered what i might be missing and if i shOuldn't just be a part of it, of something.

I still do that. And I still hate dancing.

:grouphug::grouphug::grouphug:


Fuzz' totally with you on the above --- as long as clubbing isn't considered dancing . . . . .

When I did participate in a dance.. I did the steps perfectly --- just turned in the wrong direction :o I was proud I recovered quickly and joined the others each time .... My mom on the other hand .. not so proud


St point is (there actually is one)..
**you weren't embarrassed that your child didn't want to dance
**you mind wasn't preoccupied with what the other parents will think about your parenting skills OR how DD's behavior reflects on you


Shi**y parenthood ?!?!?!?!?!!? based on the above -- what the frack do you think D's going to remember from that day in X yrs ?
my guess is -- her dad supported her and didn't make her feel bad . . . aka didn't force her onto the stage to save face

as for not filming the other girls dance while your daughter didn't ... maybe I didn't understand but Why On Earth would that be interesting to anyone to keep as a momento ? Worst case scenario - no doubt there were other parents filming ... you can just ask one of them for a copy if it's THAT important


anyway to quote Fuzz: ((((((((St' & DD))))))))

Disclaimer: not a parent or 100% certain I understood 100% of your post

stef
05-17-14, 02:05 AM
omg you handled it so beautifully!
poor dear , total sensory overload...
to this day in band concerts i hate all the chaos and strangeness before the concert, I just don't want to do it anymore!

LynneC
05-17-14, 11:21 AM
Do you think she'd be interested in doing a 'private' recital for you and Mom?

salleh
05-18-14, 01:36 AM
...I think you handled it beautifully .....I was a chatterbox (so I heard) when at home or somewhere I was comfortable....but I was not comfortable going onstage ....luckily, Catholic Schools, when I was a kid, were not big on plays, recitals .....

....I have totally blanked out on piano recitals ....don't remember a thing .....

...My parents never pushed or involved their egos in this sort of thing ....and they didn't make us eat something we didn't like either .....

......encouraging kids to try something ....that's one thing .....but pushing ? ....don't do that ....it has to hurt the kid ....even those child prodigies, tennis players and the like ....some of them who were pushed, spent decades recovering from that .....


....she's 6 she's just learning what she wants , and she'll probably change her mind every other week .....on everything ....just go along with it if it's reasonable .....and she'll have a stable happy childhood ...


..You're doing fine Steve srsly ....but keep this in mind ....your childhood was yours....this is hers,.....she has some of your traits, her moms' and some are mixed .....while it's good to sympathize, and try to understand her, from drawing on your memories of being a kid ....1> she's a girl, girls and boys have much in common in childhood, and in many ways ....they are so different ....

...Society puts it's demands on kids way too early, This is ok for girls, this is not ....and the same for boys .....that's something else to find perspective on .....society is often wrong .....


....once again ....keep up the good work ....and try to relax about it ....you'll enjoy her childhood more, and she'll enjoy you more ....Mistakes will be made for sure ....we are all human, comes with the territory ....but she has security knowing you are there, and on her side, and your are interested in what she's doing .... ....that's a biggie ....and probably the most important thing you can do for her ....now and in the years to come .....


...She's a lucky girl, most dads don't know how to deal with their daughters ....and take the I'll just leave it to her mom route, and girls really need their dads.....how she perceives you lays the basis for how she perceives men for the rest of her life ....that's a biggie I know .....but you are on the right track ....which is why I say keep it up .....


...Oh and listen to anything Sarahsweets has to say about parenting .....I speak from 2 classes shy of my teaching credential, and substitute teaching elementary school, meaning I took child development and child psychology course, besides the how to be a teacher courses....I have theoretical knowledge ( what I remember that is ) ....and my own childhood.... ....but she speaks from the experience of raising 3 great kids .....


...as usual ...I have wandered far off topic ....sorry .....

Stevuke79
05-19-14, 12:15 PM
Thank you all so much for your responses,.. you guys are all so supportive and I'm really grateful. I'm sorry for not responding sooner. I wanted to put some time in to responding, .. but then I guess it doesn't happen.

Stevuke79
05-19-14, 12:19 PM
((((( st and daughter))))) :grouphug:

I remember sitting out on quite a few things. Always with mixed feelings. on the one hand I really didn't want to take part but on the other hand I always wondered what i might be missing and if i shOuldn't just be a part of it, of something.

I still do that. And I still hate dancing.

:grouphug::grouphug::grouphug:

I did this. 3rd grade. Spelling bee. I didn't go up to the stage. I just sat and cried.

Good post Steve.

Thanks guys. I did this throughout my childhood .. and I had mixed feelings too. To this day I can't dance. It used to bother me but I think it's because of what I felt it implied about my coordination and physical ability. Later in life I got in shape and became quite physical so it doesn't bother me any more.

But I also felt left out as a kid, and if Adira felt this way I want her to understand her feelings. Rather than convincing herself as I did, "I don't like the idea of dancing, .. I don't like the other kids,.. I don't want to do what they want to do,.." I want her to know what she really feels. She's scared, confused, angry, overwhelmed...

And she did say she wants to do the end of year recital,.. so here's hoping.

Stevuke79
05-19-14, 12:21 PM
omg you handled it so beautifully!
poor dear , total sensory overload...
to this day in band concerts i hate all the chaos and strangeness before the concert, I just don't want to do it anymore!

Thank you so much stef. Means a lot. I was also very into music as a kid,.. I want to get back into it for this reason - think that THIS aspect I could handle better now.

and I am also encouraging her to take an instrument, .. but we'll see. I think it's easier than dance for a kid like her/me.

Stevuke79
05-19-14, 12:27 PM
Fuzz' totally with you on the above --- as long as clubbing isn't considered dancing . . . . .

When I did participate in a dance.. I did the steps perfectly --- just turned in the wrong direction :o I was proud I recovered quickly and joined the others each time .... My mom on the other hand .. not so proud

Shi**y parenthood ?!?!?!?!?!!? based on the above -- what the frack do you think D's going to remember from that day in X yrs ?
my guess is -- her dad supported her and didn't make her feel bad . . . aka didn't force her onto the stage to save face

as for not filming the other girls dance while your daughter didn't ... maybe I didn't understand but Why On Earth would that be interesting to anyone to keep as a momento ? Worst case scenario - no doubt there were other parents filming ... you can just ask one of them for a copy if it's THAT important


anyway to quote Fuzz: ((((((((St' & DD))))))))

Thanks Tryn.

Just to clarify, about video taping,.. sometimes when I read what I wrote after the fact I see that some things I wrote were more "poetic". So about filming when I think about it, the real reason was that I didn't want to focus on the other kids while she was sitting there crying. But when she asked me to film I flared up inside a little and just didn't feel like it.

I think I put in that little bit just to show that I was feeling very weak confused and emotional at the time. But the film itself wasn't a big deal..

Stevuke79
05-19-14, 12:28 PM
Do you think she'd be interested in doing a 'private' recital for you and Mom?

I think she would be.. she does lots of those,.. and she did one for me an mommy too :) :) That was a good idea,.. now that you say it we should have made more of a big deal out of that for her.

psychopathetic
05-23-14, 12:01 AM
Steve...I'm so thankful that you're a part of these boards. I look up and respect you so much man.

I want to be just like you when I get old! (:giggle:)

(((((((King Steve)))))))

I look at you as a role model. You're so sincere and sensitive (and I mean that in a very kind way man)...and you just give me so much hope.

This was such a sweet...touching post. Thank you for being brave enough to share this man.

sarahsweets
05-23-14, 05:27 AM
I think despite how painful it is for us parents to take, if she wants to sit out extra curricular activities or says she doesnt like them, you have to respect her choice even if you think it would be better for her. You might feel like it would benefit more than harm her or that she is being wishy washy but the worst thing a kid can feel is that their parent is forcing them to do something they dont want to do, or have a fear about. My oldest daughter did fab in the musical last year, This year she didnt audition. It killed me, I loved acting and plays but I have to let her make her own mind up even if she regrets it. Keep your chin up.

Fuzzy12
05-23-14, 07:11 AM
St point is (there actually is one)..
**you weren't embarrassed that your child didn't want to dance
**you mind wasn't preoccupied with what the other parents will think about your parenting skills OR how DD's behavior reflects on you


Shi**y parenthood ?!?!?!?!?!!? based on the above -- what the frack do you think D's going to remember from that day in X yrs ?
my guess is -- her dad supported her and didn't make her feel bad . . . aka didn't force her onto the stage to save face



:goodpost:!!!!!!!

I don't think I said in my post but I totally agree that you handled this pretty much perfectly. Just the thought of a 6 year old sitting on the side and crying makes me tear up a little bit so I can only imagine how painful that must have been for her dad. So maybe you didn't feel too good about it at the time but irrespective of your own feelings you were supportive, encouraging and understanding. The fact that you managed to be those things in spite of your own feelings is one of the things that make you such a great parent.


Thanks guys. I did this throughout my childhood .. and I had mixed feelings too. To this day I can't dance. It used to bother me but I think it's because of what I felt it implied about my coordination and physical ability. Later in life I got in shape and became quite physical so it doesn't bother me any more.

Dancing has always been a weird one for me. It used to make me incredibly self conscious. I've got no sense of rhythm whatsoever but more than that it made me feel exposed and pathetic. Maybe because I always associated dancing with something that the cool kids did (ok, not sure if this applies to a 6 year old). The cool and popular kids could dance and I could not. In a way I think I also associated dancing with being feminine and sexy and not being able to dance made me feel like a big, clumsy and ugly oaf.

There are lots of things I can't do but few things have bothered me more than the fact that I can't dance. I did realise fairly early that actual skill wasn't important but what you needed to dance was to be able to let go..and confidence. I always think that when I dance, people can see the awkwardness, the insecurity and the lack of confidence I've got in myself. I worry that they can see the shy, timid and unpopular girl in my clumsy moves, which I guess sounds crazy but I don't like that feeling. I'd rather pretend that I don't like dancing and just not do it at all.

There have been a few times when I have been able to let go (mostly with the help of lots and lots of alcohol) and those times I actually really enjoyed dancing.

In fact, just last year I went with my parents on an all inclusive holiday and there was the usual camp, super silly entertainment every night. One day they had a beauty contest of sorts and forced me to take part. Most of the challenges involved some form of dancing.:rolleyes: In the first round we had to do a dancing kind of cat walk and later a lap dance. :faint: It didn't help that the other girls could dance really well, were probably at least a decade younger than me and were super sexy. I thought there is no way that I could do that so I didn't even try. I just goofed around on stage when it was my turn. I skipped and hopped around, did jumping jacks, etc. I got a few laughs but I think most people were just bewildered and I was absolutely mortified. :doh: I kept telling myself that it doesn't matter but it did bother me quite a bit.

It didn't help that my parents were in the audience of course, super excited and kept trying to take photos of me on stage... :lol: :doh: :doh: :doh:

(sorry, totally off topic..:rolleyes:)

But I also felt left out as a kid, and if Adira felt this way I want her to understand her feelings. Rather than convincing herself as I did, "I don't like the idea of dancing, .. I don't like the other kids,.. I don't want to do what they want to do,.." I want her to know what she really feels. She's scared, confused, angry, overwhelmed...

And she did say she wants to do the end of year recital,.. so here's hoping.

I think that's really important. I often felt left out as a kid (and never more than when it involved some sort of dance activity)

I think, missing out or not taking part in each and every activity is not such a big deal but like you said knowing why you are missing out on something and if there's anything to be learnt for the future that is important. Knowing that you've got a choice and that your voice counts is important.

And also, I think, the way your formulated it might have showed her that this isn't the only opportunity she will ever have, that she will have this choice again in the future and she will be able to choose again. One of the reasons why I always felt so ****ty about missing out was because of the feeling that it would always be like that. I thought I'd always miss out on stuff and never know what it's like to just let go and be a part of something.

Stevuke79
05-23-14, 08:52 AM
Steve...I'm so thankful that you're a part of these boards. I look up and respect you so much man.
I want to be just like you when I get old! (:giggle:)
(((((((King Steve)))))))
I look at you as a role model. You're so sincere and sensitive (and I mean that in a very kind way man)...and you just give me so much hope. This was such a sweet...touching post. Thank you for being brave enough to share this man.

Psycho, same here... It's so awesome and I'm so thankful for people like you being here so we can share this stuff.

I think despite how painful it is for us parents to take, if she wants to sit out extra curricular activities or says she doesnt like them, you have to respect her choice even if you think it would be better for her. You might feel like it would benefit more than harm her or that she is being wishy washy but the worst thing a kid can feel is that their parent is forcing them to do something they dont want to do, or have a fear about. My oldest daughter did fab in the musical last year, This year she didnt audition. It killed me, I loved acting and plays but I have to let her make her own mind up even if she regrets it. Keep your chin up.

Yup. That's the trick isn't it. I know you're right. As Saleh and others have said many times, you have the best parenting instincts that one can have.

And the hard part is we have to not pressure them to do it if they don't think they want to - but on the other hand it IS our job to help them ask themselves the questions to understand what they are feeling. How do you do one without the other. That was my best attempt .. thinking about it more I think it went ok.

A few things I could have done better - but man you really have to think on your feet with kids. And you have to think on your feet while your heart is breaking. A crying 6 year old is always sad - but when it's yours it's like your world is falling apart. Your child is sad. :(:(

Stevuke79
05-23-14, 10:37 AM
:goodpost:!!!!!!!

I don't think I said in my post but I totally agree that you handled this pretty much perfectly .. The fact that you managed to be those things in spite of your own feelings is one of the things that make you such a great parent.

Fuzzy, I love that you're here. Thanks for this. :grouphug::grouphug:

Dancing was something I that I always sat out of. Then I actually became very religious and many religious Jews don't do coed dancing, so from then on I had the perfect excuse to sit out.

Of course we do a lot of dancing men with men and women with women, but there are some simple steps you can just do which are very easy and then I danced at my wedding,.. and that's pretty much the last time it came up. Now I'm one of the old men and I just walk around in a circle holding hands.

I think that's really important. I often felt left out as a kid (and never more than when it involved some sort of dance activity)
I think this is a societal thing, and one of the challenges that comes with being at such a skinny part of the bell curve. Understandably, dancing has an established association with being part of the group and not dancing is associated with feeling as if one doesn't belong. For most people it makes sense; that's the reason one wouldn't dance which is why most people feel that by pushing you they're actually showing you love and acceptance and the more you push back, the more they need to shower you with acceptance. I think this is one of those cases where being normal makes it difficult to understand that not everyone is the same. For us (I think) not dancing isn't a lack of confidence or feeling accepted, it's a true sensory challenge that will never mean to us what it means to others. Not to say we can't or haven't had fun doing it; I have and it sounds like you have to. Still, not doing it doesn't mean the same thing.

One of the reasons why I always felt so ****ty about missing out was because of the feeling that it would always be like that. I thought I'd always miss out on stuff and never know what it's like to just let go and be a part of something

THIS! This is how I felt. I wasn't pushed very hard but there was definitely a message that was something like: "No problem, .. you sit things out,.. some people sit things out,.. and that's ok, but maybe one day you wont want to sit out anymore." And that sounds like a good healthy message but if a dance floor is nothing but painful sensory overload it's a terrible message. It gets translated as, "I will always sit activities out." That's exactly what I don't want to communicate to DD. I want her to ask herself how she feels and what she wants and I want her to know that I will help her get there.

I just goofed around on stage when it was my turn. I skipped and hopped around, did jumping jacks, etc. I got a few laughs but I think most people were just bewildered and I was absolutely mortified. :doh: I kept telling myself that it doesn't matter but it did bother me quite a bit.

It didn't help that my parents were in the audience of course, super excited and kept trying to take photos of me on stage... :lol: :doh: :doh: :doh:
(sorry, totally off topic..:rolleyes:)

I love this! It sort of reminds me of what I've done in the past. When I was on a floor where there was club music, I put my arm up like a ballerina and my finger pointing down to the top of my head and alternated between rocking my hips and spinning myself like a top. I got a few laughs. A few people thought I was weird. I was just learning to appreciate that sort of thing.

And then once at a friends wedding I did something funny. We were all dancing around the bride and groom and they are seated while we're taking turns dancing for them at the center of the circle. I loved him and I didn't want to not be there. So in a room with a few hundred people and photographers video taping I get into the center and smile and posture as if I'm feeling very pompous about the dance about to come,.. then I make like I just thought of something, .. put my finger up as if to say, "one second",.. look at my watch. Then I look around hands on hips like I'm waiting for something. I do that a few times: waiting, looking at my watch, making the "one second" gesture. Then I look at my watch, nod and give a big smile and a thumbs up, .. and clap for them as I back up into the circle again. A few people including my friend told me I was funny. Most told me I was rude and obnoxious.

Oh, and one more thing. I have a friend that kind of has a lot in common with us all. So at these Jewish weddings it's not uncommon to do a trick instead of dancing. Juggling and stuff.. and one very common "non athletic trick" at these weddings is to balance a drink on your head (which always falls and that's part of the joke). So my friend gets into the center, shows everyone a beer,.. and they all applaud and laugh like, "oh yeah, that's a good one, balancing the drink on your head, always funny" .. and he takes the bottle and dumps it on his head. Does a theatrical bow and exits the circle.

Anyway, nowadays I just dance with DD. Any lack of rhythm and skill, they all assume it's just because of her.

Stevuke79
06-03-14, 10:18 AM
Today was graduation day. She danced and sang with all of her adorable colleagues and at the end when they were calling everyone up to get their diploma, every other kid walked up in front of the entire class and then walked right up to the teacher, accepted their diploma and posed for their parents to take a picture.

My daughter walked behind the the entire class and stood right behind the teacher who then turned around and DD took her diploma from her and walked back. It was over before the teacher knew what hit her. :giggle: She does things her own way.

But I later explained to her that we pay a whole year of tuition for a GRADUATION PICTURE!!! This was the whole point of the whole year!!! Come on!! :doh:

:lol::lol:

sarahsweets
06-04-14, 06:06 AM
This is because you are awesome and your daughter takes after her Dad.
My daughter walked behind the the entire class and stood right behind the teacher who then turned around and DD took her diploma from her and walked back. It was over before the teacher knew what hit her. :giggle: She does things her own way.