To Quit or Not To Quit

April 24, 2008 by Kailani  
Filed under my family

Once a week, Girlie Girl takes a Hip Hop dance class. Now, since she’s so into High School Musical, Hannah Montana, & The Cheetah Girls, you would think that she would be enjoying herself, right? Wrong! Every week it’s the same ‘ol battle to get her ready and off to class. And every week there’s a different reason why she doesn’t want to go – it’s too hard, she gets tired, the class is too long, it’s too hot, she gets thirsty, she gets a headache, on and on and on. This has been going on for about 6 months now.

So my question is this, at what point do we give up? Or do we give up?

If it were her swim or piano class, there’s no way I’d let her quit. However, I really don’t think Hip Hop is essential to her future. And if she did stop taking Hip Hop, then I would try to persuade her to take another form of dance.

DH on the other hand says it the principle of it. If we let her quit, then she won’t learn how to persevere.

So, what do you think? If she were your child, would you let her quit?

About the author:
Owner and founder of An Island Life. Sharing my life as a mother to 3 wonderful daughters, working as a flight attendant, and living a blessed life in Hawaii.


52 Responses to “To Quit or Not To Quit”
  1. Renee says:

    If you force your kid to do something that they do not want to do they won’t like you or the thing you’re trying to force them to do.

    I don’t pick DD’s activities…she picks them. The ones she loves, she sticks with…the ones she doesn’t like, she can leave behind.

    She won’t persevere at something she hates.

    Renee’s last blog post..oh my, oh my!

  2. Pamela says:

    choose your battles wisely. Hip Hop ??

  3. Melissa says:

    I guess you have to ask yourself why you’re having her take the dance class in the first place? Is it so she can become the most amazing dancer in the world and make big bucks someday? Or is it so she can have fun? I’m gonna guess the second one… and, well, if she isn’t having fun in the class….

  4. Desert Songbird says:

    My daughter’s dance “obligation” is a nearly one year commitment each year, starting with the beginning of school in August and ending in June with the recital. If there is a recital in Girlie Girl’s future, let her keep with it until the recital, and then determine if she should drop dance after that.

    Desert Songbird’s last blog post..She’s Gone

  5. ciara says:

    i let my girls try anything they want to at least once. if they like it, they continue. if they don’t, then i don’t force them to. now my oldest loves to try things all the time, but she’s always saying she ‘doesn’t’ want to go and when she does, she has a good time. of course she is 11 so it could be laziness. both my girls take hip hop and love it.

    ciara’s last blog post..Friday 55 Flash Fiction

  6. Michelle in Mx says:

    Dancing-yeah, I’d let her quit. Perhaps require her to do/take something, but what that something is would be her choice, whatever she chose she would have to last out for the year. If she still didn’t like it she could chose something else for a year. That would be a compromise to suit everyone, don’t you think?

    Michelle in Mx’s last blog post..Health Benefits Of Being Overweight

  7. Darci says:

    I would let her quit.
    I was forced to take piano for a few years, and as much as I wish that I knew more now, I’ve learned quite a few instruments afterward but the basics of piano that I had to suffer through have helped me so much.
    I agree with the comment to allow her to choose, but make it a set time so that she holds up her end of the bargain.

  8. Charlotte (Charmed Life) says:

    how about ballroom dancing! she can get dressed up with ballroom dancing…

    Charlotte (Charmed Life)’s last blog post..The Path We Have Taken

  9. Hsien Lei says:

    I’m with you. There are a few activities that are non-negotiable. The rest can be tasted then let go. I’d let her drop it. Not everything has to be a lifelong commitment! Esp. at her age.

    Hsien Lei’s last blog post..Complicated Kiddie Chopsticks

  10. alice says:

    I’d let her drop it. The principle can be applied to another class you may have her take in place of hip hop. The principle is important, but it’s also important to take notice that the child just does not enjoy it. The passion isn’t there and neither is a twinkle of interest.

    I’d say trust yourself to see whether this is just her being lazy and distracted yet interested… or if it really just isn’t her cup of tea. Make the decision from there. Talk to her about it. Maybe you’ll get a sense of why she resists so much and it’ll bring clarity to what you should do.

    alice’s last blog post..He can only hold her for so long

  11. bleeding espresso says:

    I’ll start with the disclaimer that I’m not a mom, but as a child who wasn’t forced to do anything and still managed to earn a law degree and then leave the law to follow my true calling, I do agree with a lot of what’s been said above.

    Teaching your child to follow an actual passion and not just do go through the motions can also be a good lesson :)

    bleeding espresso’s last blog thursday: lemon love

  12. bleeding espresso says:

    Oops, that should read “and not just TO go through the motions” ;)

    bleeding espresso’s last blog thursday: lemon love

  13. queen mother says:

    I agree that you should pick your battles. Hip Hop dance class would not be one I would pick. It is really okay to start some things and find out they aren’t for you and then just stop them. That teaches a lesson, too. To choose carefully.

  14. Jamie says:

    I’d sit down and talk to her about why she really does not want to go and then I would let her quit, provided you talk to her about the importance of commitments, etc.

    But hip hop dance class? It’s a fun diversion, I’m sure, but it won’t help her get into a great college. ;)

  15. maria says:

    I always make my kids finish what they started, but wouldn’t have her join when the next class starts.

    I hate to say it but dh is right, if they feel like they can just quit something because they don’t like it…..

  16. Write From Karen says:

    I think she should finish out her class – however they have it structured. This will teach her to finish what she starts. I would also point out that she made a committment to the class when she signed up, so she now has an obligation to herself, and others, to honor that committment.

    Appease her by saying, if she doesn’t want to go back after her committment is finished, she doesn’t have to. I’m sort of with your husband on this one – what are you teaching her if you allow her to quit in the middle of it? That she should just give up when the going gets tough?

    This is what the hubs and I are prepared to do if MK doesn’t want to pursue his saxophone. So far, it hasn’t been an issue, he really enjoys it. But if he gets to the point where he doesn’t, he will need to finish out the school year and then we’ll talk about starting it back up the next school year.

    This is also a good opportunity to talk to GG about future committments. Make sure she understands that if she wants to try something, great. But if she makes the decision to try something, she needs to see it through to the end.

    My two cents.

  17. witchypoo says:

    Heck with that! I would so make her finish at least the ones that are paid for.
    I wouldn’t want to sign up for that particular class again, but I would hate wasting my money.
    It builds character DD.
    Before she starts anything new, it might be helpful to point out that she is signed up for a specific amount of time, and must commit to it. I think hip-hop is probably a very strenuous workout.

    witchypoo’s last blog post..Just One Word

  18. wheresthebox says:

    If she has already been in it for six months, I would say you’ve given it a fair shot. One factor may be whether you have paid ahead for the classes.

    Maybe this lesson is about how you quit something in the right way and for the right reasons, since she will have to make those decisions on her own someday.

    wheresthebox’s last blog post..Six Word Memoir: A Meme

  19. Carey says:

    I would have her finish out the year(til the recital), then if she really doesnt like it, then dont sign her up for the following year. But i would remind her that this is something she wanted to do, and she needs to learn responsibility to complete her obligation.
    As much of a hassle it is for you every week, your still teaching her to “finish what she started”, and that the rest of the class and her instructor is counting on her to be there.

  20. Lorri says:

    First – is there a recital? Quitting now will mess up the rest of the class.

    Second – how far in advance have you paid? If you’ve paid through the year and can’t get a refund, I’d have her stick it through.

    If neither of these are true, let her quit. No matter what you decide for this class, the next time you sign her up for something, explain to her the commitment she’s making. Let her know ahead of time your expectations – that’ll she stick with it for x amount of weeks/months, if it’s a team or is leading to a recital then she has to stay the whole season.

    Children have different ideas and expectations of things. Girly Girl might have had visions of bopping around the stage like her favorite performers, only to realize that she’s got to start with the basics. She might have been more interested in dancing just for fun, not actually learning to dance.

    Lorri’s last blog post..Retail Therapy

  21. melli says:

    I think when it comes to health and fitness there are waaaaaaay to many options available to make her continue taking something that she is HATING and is keeping her from participating in another activity that she may find quite enjoyable! All these things are out there for children to TRY. If they try it and don’t like it, it’s time to TRY something else! (Hip Hop isn’t even like a team sport where the team is depending on her to be there… I DID often make my kids finish out a season “for the team” — but they didn’t have to sign up the NEXT season if it was something they didn’t enjoy.)

    melli’s last blog post..Project Looking Through … Day 5

  22. Dee says:

    I would take her out. It’s not worth the stress or money to me to have to deal with them not wanting to go and making excuses. I suspect GG can learn some dance moves just from watching TV etc. She seems like a smart cookie!

    Dee’s last blog post..Day 1 Fire School

  23. Kelly@SHE-POWER says:

    I’m with the idea that you encourage your kids to try activities and they will decide for themselves if it’s something they want to continue.

    If you KNEW she loved it and had done it for years and was having a “I can’t be bothered stage” that’s a time to push the notion that she should persevere. But if she’s been resisting it for 6 months, then aybe it’s your thing and not hers.

    Whatever you decide will be the bests thing. And if you want to make a different decision next week, then that’s okay too.

    :) Kelly

    Kelly@SHE-POWER’s last blog post..Choose the Questions for Clay Collins, our first SHE-POWER Man

  24. amy says:

    I would let her quit-it’s hip hop! Let her pick something to put in it’s place. Maybe there’s something she’d really like to do! Let us know how it works out!

    amy’s last blog post..The pictures

  25. Jessica says:

    i guess it depends on whether or not the child is going to benefit from it or not… i recently struggled with this and my son with piano lessons. he just is not motivated for them, he’s gotten out of them what i think he’s going to… and i’ve told him that he was going to replace it with something else that’s musical.. he has decided on the DRUMS. is that musical?? anyhow i saw no point to pay $20 for a 1/2 hour of something that he is really hating.

    Jessica’s last blog post..i’m calling it

  26. Quirky says:

    I’m with everybody else. Finish out the season/until after the big show and then let her drop it. She’ll have plenty of time to have to do stuff she hates when she gets older. And maybe that will free up some time for her to discover what she really does love.

    I jumped for sport to sport, class to class, interest to interest. I’m not a pro at any of them, but I think it gave me a chance to experiment and be a more well rounded person overall.

    Quirky’s last blog post..4/23/08 Wordless Wednesday

  27. Deb - Mom of 3 Girls says:

    My take on it is – if it’s an activity that we’ve paid for, then they have to finish out the session. Then they can choose whether or not to enroll again. To me, that covers the principle of not quitting quite nicely and doesn’t waste money already spent. And they know ahead of time that they’re making a commitment. :)

    Deb – Mom of 3 Girls’s last blog post..Thursday Thirteen #37 – Daycare rules

  28. Michele McHenry says:

    Kids have to try it out in order to know if that is their thing. I think she gave it enough time to know whether she is meant to do this or not. Hopefully, you explored all the other possibilities like, bullies, clashing with teacher..etc. Maybe she thinks a different type of dance would be better for her.

    One story about a kid quitting.

    The biggest blow we had was when our son, who was a baseball player, very GOOD baseball player who was well known and watched by college scouts, and something we spent TONS of money on….. came to us and said in his JUNIOR year, that he wanted to quit to run track!!! What? He had been playing since T-ball!! He is a shoe in for scholarships! But, his words were and I will NEVER forget them…

    “I am not quitting to loose”.

    He had obviously thought this out!

    And I will be darned…he set records, is in the top 5 in the nation, number one in the state, in the newspaper twice a week, has not lost a race at all this year and had 4 letters of intent from top Universities in the country that were in a bidding war that was unbelieveable! They even paid for him to fly to the schools and tour the campuses, etc. Letters were flying in every other day to beat the other schools offer. He finally went with the one HE wanted and thought was best.

    But, he knew and had obviously thought it out. The baseball scholarships would have been no where near as good as the one he got now. And he knew that. He also knew and was confident that he could do this and be happy doing it. he says he LOVES running!

    All our kids today need is the chance to find thier place in the world. And with our support no matter how many activities they try and the tons of tuition monies it takes, they will find it and be successful.

    I hope girlie girl finds something she really likes, don’t give up trying, she will find it.

  29. Pamela Kramer says:

    Oh what a great question! Usually when our children sign up for something they are interested in that class/sport usually has an ending of a season or session. If they try to leave before that session or season ends then no, I agree with your dh. They really need to finish and they don’t have to do it again. That is how we do it.

    But there really should be an end to something and if there isn’t then create one with her. Pull out the calendar and discuss that if by this date she still isn’t happy with the class that it can end. Hope this helps.

  30. yoshi says:

    If she chose the activity then you can’t let her quit. But if you entered her into the activity because you thought she might like it, then you should probably let her quit and leave it at that.

    But every kid does that. They want to do this or do that and parents end up spending tons of money for something that they decide they don’t like. But that’s what kids do. And if they don’t try it, they’ll never know.

    yoshi’s last blog post..Bisy Backson

  31. Cathi says:

    When my kids were young, I wore the same taxi hat as most moms. Dance lessons, piano lessons, little league, soccer, Cub Scouts, Brownies and the list went on. The year my boys said they didn’t want to play soccer I was like, “What?!” and then I thought about it…they didn’t want to play and not going to games and practices were a few less things for me to worry about getting everyone to.
    If Girly Girl doesn’t want to go, let her quit. She’s a girl and she’ll be dancing to her heart’s delight at home, school and everywhere else just without the pressure. It will be one less thing for you to worry about getting her to, paying for and arguing with her about. (Again, she’s a girl. There will be plenty more to argue about before she’s eighteen) Spend the dance class time dancing with her and Baby Bug at home or at the park or better yet, the beach!!
    Big smile!

    Cathi’s last blog post..The Princess and the Stitches

  32. angie says:

    My daughter is into the same things, yet didn’t like Hip Hop either. I let her stop after the session was over……..

    angie’s last blog post..My Other Blogs

  33. Colleen says:

    I understand wanting her to learn that she can’t just quit things. But… if you were taking a class you just didn’t like… would you keep taking it? Maybe it’s time to try a different class.

    Colleen’s last blog post..Were you wondering?

  34. Lisa in CA says:

    My daughter took ballet, tap, hip hop and hula…all in the same year. When summer rolled around, she said she didn’t want to take dance anymore (at all!). I let her stop. If she’s not enjoying it, why should I pay the money and deal with the hassles of getting her there. We are much happier now…both of us. :-)

  35. wendy says:

    I am going though this with Jayke right now…I won’t let him quit something he has already started.

  36. Jerri says:

    It’s tough b/c you want to teach kids keep to their commitments, and teach them that they have to work hard if they want to do well in school and activities. But on this one, if she’s really burned out on it, you should encourage her to pick something different.

    Also I’m wondering about something. I’m young, and yet I’ve never really heard of hip hop dance classes for kids, adults and teens maybe, but kids?…am I completely out of touch? Whatever happened to ballet, tap, and jazz?

    Jerri’s last blog post..Sweet Thursday: The Great Powdered Donut Experiment

  37. Mel says:

    Been there, done this! My daughter was doing the same thing with ballet class at night. Finally I gave in and let her quit because honestly she was supposed to be doing it for fun and it was most definitley NOT fun for anybody. I had to wonder why I kept putting myself through it. Now she is involved in a gymnastics/ballet program at a different place and loves it. I think if it is just to be fun that they should be able to quit, but perhaps she could pick out something else that interests her.

    Mel’s last blog post..Somebody Loves Me…or At Least My Blog!

  38. Angela says:

    This is a tough one. My inclination is to say have her stick it out through the recital. (Sometimes that moment in the spotlight makes all the practice suddenly worth it)

    Definitely let her ditch hip hop when the year’s finished if she still isn’t enjoying it. You can remind her the next time she signs up for something to be certain she wants to make the commitment.

    Angela’s last blog post..Her First Verse

  39. Alexia says:

    There is a number of things I would look at before deciding whether to drop a class or not:

    -First and foremost, is it something she picked? If not, I would probably let her drop it, no questions asked.

    -Did you pay for a certain amount of lessons/classes. If so, I would have her finish them off. While I totally believe in trying things out, I also believe that children should learn responsibility. If you paid, out of the family budget, for a class she asked to attend than she at least needs to complete that commitment.

    -Finally, is there a final performance? If so, I would have her stick it out until the end and then quit. You don’t learn much if you drop out at the first sign of not liking something.

    Alexia’s last blog post..Intresting Pictures

  40. Arizona says:

    That’s a tough one. Does she seem to have fun once she is there or does she get into class and look bored and has to be coaxed into participating? Maybe she just doesn’t like her teacher??? I’d probably make her finish the classes and just not sign up again.

    Arizona’s last blog post..At Least It Wasn’t Poop

  41. Pink Chihuahua Princess says:

    Generally, no quitting is the rule in our house. I know what you are going through, though. We have a dance group at our Congregation, and, in fact, I just went through the same song and dance tonight trying to get my hubby’s daughter to get to her rehearsal.

    Pink Chihuahua Princess’s last blog post..The best 9th doggie birthday…ever!

  42. Krista says:

    I’m wondering a couple things… first, how long has she been at it? Second, did you make a specific time commitment, say a few months, or a year? And I guess third would be did she want to do it or did she just want to do “dance”?
    I can see both you and your husband’s point of view (as well as a few commenters!) If you made a specific time commitment then I would say yes, she needs to finish so she won’t think she can start something and just quit whenever. If you made a year long commitment recently and she already doesn’t like it then come to some kind of compromise, like half the year or a couple months and maybe she’ll like it eventually. Especially if she asked to take this class.
    Finally, once she does find something she enjoys, do everything in your power to allow her to continue it. I still remember that I took ballet until 4th grade and then I was in the top class and from there we would have had to commute 2 times a week about 15 miles to the next town for lessons. My mom wouldn’t let me. Yet 2 years later she would do the very same thing for flute lessons. It was because she put more stock in the music than the dance. Granted an instrument is much easier to continue with through adulthood, but I wished I could have danced longer.
    What I’m trying to say is, don’t let what you want her to do influence her choices too much. If eventually she doesn’t want to dance at all, will you be okay with that?

    Krista’s last blog post..Feed Note

  43. Michelle says:

    If she’s not enjoying it, I’d say let her quit. But I agree with you.. if it was piano or something else, I’d definately say stick with it :)

    Michelle’s last blog post..Thankful Thursday

  44. Karen MEG says:

    This is a tough one, it depends on how far along the class is (6 mths, are you almost done for the year?), moneywise anyway.

    My first inclination was to say let her quit. Sounds like she already has piano and swimming, if there’s another type of class, maybe get her involved in that if she wants.

    I am a grown-up overprogrammed kid who still yearns for more of a childhood filled with memories of playing. Not of another lesson (at one point I think I had about 6 different lessons a week). I agree with the others, she can learn about perseverance through other activities other than hip hop. I think it will save you all more headache in the long run !

    Karen MEG’s last blog post..Thursday Thirteen – Let’s Hear it for the Boy

  45. Rach (Heart of Rachel) says:

    It would be nice if she could finish it but if she constantly gives you reasons that she wants to quit then perhaps it’s about time to let her have her way.

    Maybe you can give her a nice incentive if she choose to be patient and finish her hip hop lessons.

    Hope things go well at the end.

    Rach (Heart of Rachel)’s last blog post..Aloha Friday #26

  46. Amy says:

    My oldest loved to dance around the house like a ballerina ALL the time as a little girl. I thought she would love taking actual ballet classes. Wrong! I didn’t force her to take them because she just wanted to dance for her own enjoyment and her own way.

    If it were piano or swimming lessons I would agree to keep her in them until she was finished. More than likely she will not be a hip hop dancer when she is grown so just let her dance for her own pleasure around the house.

    With my kids being older I have learned you have to choose your battles wisely. In my own opinion I would let her quit of she wanted to. Again, this is my opinion!

    Good luck to you Kailani! It’s not always easy being a parent, is it? Sigh.

    Amy’s last blog post..Full Friday!

  47. Christine says:

    We almost had the same thing with Marissa, about her friends giving up playing violin. Marissa really enjoys playing it, and was thinking about quitting because she wanted to be with her friends. When I told her, what would happen if her friends moved, then she wouldn’t have either.

    I wouldn’t want her to do something that she didn’t enjoy doing. There’s giving up, and then there are just somethings, that are just not right for everyone. However, if she has a few classes left I’d encourage her to finish the classes and give her a something special for finishing them.

  48. groovyoldlady says:

    This late in the year, I’d have her stick it out until recital time because her class and teacher are counting on her (at least that’s how it works in Maine with our May recitals). But then I’d tell her that after that, if she wants to drop it, she can. My girls loved dance for 3 years, then just didn’t want to do it any more. I kind of miss it – we did ballet and tap -but they don’t seem to miss it at all.

    groovyoldlady’s last blog post..Sore Muscles and a Satisfied Smile (and a Heads-Up for a Giveaway)

  49. Kila says:

    For six months?! I’d seriously let her quit. (Quit at the end of the current session/season.) She tried it, and it isn’t her thing. Move on and let her try something else.

    Kila’s last blog post..Thursday…

  50. Sarah, Goon Squad Sarah says:

    I’d let her quit. It isn’t worth the hassle.

    Sarah, Goon Squad Sarah’s last blog post..Another Reason Everybody Should Have Married Gabe

  51. Christine says:

    Six months is a long time to protest. Sounds like she really means it. I would try something else….

    Christine’s last blog post..Change is a good thing. Change is a good thing.

  52. Amanda says:

    I agree with everyone, have her stick it out the rest of the year, and then if she doesn’t want to go back in the fall let her. Maybe try another activity she could try.

    Samantha is doing, ballet, piano, swimming, soccer and girl scouts, she picked all of them.

    Amanda’s last blog post..Orville Redenbacher popcorn Giveaway

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