Toddlers are so confusing- this leads to major frustration for this mama. The most recent example is in regards to dance class. I thought we took all the right steps in partaking in this new extracurricular activity. I was excited that she would follow in her mama’s footsteps. I started dance young and danced different forms for many years. My little one was finally 3 and could start taking classes.
Step 1: We purchased the appropriate outfit for class, a leotard, tights and ballet slippers. My toddler was ecstatic when I let her try them on.
Step 2: We did the free test class to ensure she was ready for this weekly commitment.
Step 3: We invested and committed to the weekly new hobby
My daughter was thrilled, jumping up and down with excitement that she was going to be taking dance classes. In the time leading up to her first real session she would request to wear her ballet tights and leotard around the house on a nightly basis. She would prance around showing off her moves, tiptoeing around the house.
But boy, was I misled…
After the free session the rest of the sessions went downhill fast…
1st class: Two potty breaks (even though she went right when we got there). She then proceeded to stand around not participating. I chalked it up as nerves getting the best of her. We had plenty more sessions for her to get more comfortable and blossom.
2nd class: Now the potty breaks had increased to 3 potty breaks, and a quarter of the way in she plops herself in the middle of the dance floor with the other ballerinas moving around her. She was a major roadblock during the leaping section. The teachers tried their best to get her involved but she was not accepting their guidance. I was feeling a little less optimistic…
3rd class – She agreed to change but wouldn’t step foot in class. I let her watch briefly telling her how much fun class would be. My stubborn toddler didn’t believe me. We observed that class together but the “glass felt ½ empty” at this point.
4th class- By this session she wouldn’t even change for me. There was no way I was going to wrangle her down to get on her tights and leotard. Nor did I think that was the right move. I played hard ball this time. If she wouldn’t change then we would leave. She gladly marched to the car by my side as she proceeded to repeat “No ballet” over and over.
5th class- We officially took a break from dance. My daughter was officially a quitter. I was discouraged and felt defeated. How can my daughter not like dance? She was so excited about the idea of taking classes. Could I have done anything differently to make this work? Should I have pushed her more? Made her do it?
From this experience I have learned many things. That I am not alone. In talking to other moms they have had this same challenge in a variety of activities they have attempted with their children. Even in talking to one of the dance instructors she herself cried during dance class at this age and now is immersed in the dance profession. I have also learned at this age she may not be ready just yet. She may or may not want to dance in the future. I want her to love whatever sport or hobby she chooses to be involved in. Lastly, I have learned that as a mama I need to go with the flow. My daughter has a personality of her own and may not follow the direction I think she will.
Has anyone else had their toddler change their mind like mine did? Have a child be super interested in taking up a sport/hobby and refuse to participate once there?