View Full Version : extracurriculars activities

05-27-14, 06:16 PM
When do you let your ADHD kid decide that she wants out of a particular activity? Just when she says or depending on the reason? My 8 year old loves to dance-- she has been taking dance lessons since she was 4 and she has some sense of rhythm and beat ( much better than I do, at least, lol). But she keeps changing the type of lesson-- at first it was ballet for a year, then it was Bollywood for two and now irish. She left Bollywood because she said that the teacher was mean and picked on her, etc. Looking back, I can see how the strictness of the class as well as the teacher's style wasn't a good fit. So now she is in irish and has seemed to really enjoy it until recently, because it has started to get a bit harder and her teachers are starting to expect more from her. So now she says she doesn't want to do it, that the teacher is mean, etc. And trying to get her to practice is like pulling teeth sometimes. We are working towards getting her medicated and I wonder if that will help with the motivation, etc. But I was hoping to hear some thoughts from those in the trenches :)

05-27-14, 10:32 PM
It sounds as though she enjoys these activities when they are fun. Once they turn into work, she loses interest. For an 8 year old, I don't think that's so terrible. Kids are being pushed at a much earlier age into competition in sports and activities, and that takes the fun out of it for those who enjoy it, but don't want to plan their lives around it.

05-28-14, 04:04 AM
I am of the belief that it is more important to let your child decide their own involvement in extra curricular activities then it is to push them. Even if you know they are good at whatever it is they do, or that they might regret it. Its sort of like natural consequences.

05-28-14, 08:20 AM
Is there any reason why she has to become good at dancing? If it's just a hobby, I think you should let her choose how much effort she's willing to make. School alone might be a challenge for a kid with ADHD, but it's mandatory; she must get through it if she ever wants a job. Hobbies, however, should just remain hobbies unless she decides to pursue a career with them.

05-28-14, 09:49 AM
She has a pretty competitive side which is why I thought this would be a good outlet for her, but maybe it is too much for her. At her last competition, she didn't practice for it at all and she was not happy with how she did. She acknowledged that it was maybe because she hadn't practiced, and I wonder if that is also playing into how she feels now. It's tough sometimes to get her to realize the long term pay off for practicing vs the immediate gratification of something else. There is no reason that she has to be good at dancing except that when she does do well, the look on her face and the happiness she exudes is priceless. I talked to her today about dance and told her that if she didn't want to continue it, she didn't have to, or if she just wanted to dance without competing that was fine as well bc I know she likes performing. She thought about it and said that she would decide after her next competition next month, which I thought was reasonable. I appreciate everyone's input. I am working on adjusting my thinking, parenting, and expectations to fit each of my kids. And I am trying to learn to tune out the hypercompetitive parenting that surrounds our neighborhood and school. It's a humbling process, to be sure. Thank you.

05-28-14, 01:25 PM
Dance teachers, at least the higher level ones, are often MEAN and hypercritical. I know several ballerinas, and the some of the teachers are downright abusive. They became that way because that's how their own teachers treated them, and it got passed down. In a way it's kind of necessary because dance requires constant nitpicking to get the perfect position, perfect posture, etc. But some of their stories cross the line.

To get your daughter to practice more, positive reinforcement counts for a lot. When she's mastered a new step, be *thrilled* for her. Have her watch videos of professional dancers to motivate her.

Also, I'm not sure that competitions are the best thing for her. Dance isn't meant to be a competitive sport. I view it as an alternative way to get physically fit without the competitive aspect.

05-28-14, 01:31 PM
If she's switching between different kinds of dance, to me that sounds pretty consistent.. at least compared to my child. She did ballet for two years (ages 4 and 5). Then we did hip hop and added tae kwon do. Now she doesn't want to do dance any more and wants to take up an instrument.

05-28-14, 04:01 PM
My younger two (6 and 7) aren't in any activities. But my oldest (11) has done everything but sports. She is almost 12 and loses interest when the activity is more challenging than fun. I know she will never be a hip hop dancer or ninja so we let it go. Her staying time is 1-2 years. She has done gymnastics, ice skating, tennis, swimming, hip hop, tap, ballet, choir, art classes, karate, pottery just to name a few :).