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Extra-curricular activities dominating our lives - who's the selfish one?

(51 Posts)
WhitesandsofLuskentyre Tue 02-Oct-12 13:55:51

DD2 dances twice a week and going to collect her involves a round trip taking 75 minutes late at night (she is able to get there, but not back, on public transport). Today I get a bill from her teacher for a 3rd night per week. It seems DD had led teacher to believe she was going to turn up every week, whilst telling me it would be an "occasional" thing. Teacher seems peed off with me (quite often actually) that I won't sacrifice even more of my time (more importantly, spending money I don't have) to ferry my daughter around.

AIBU to think two nights a week (this has been going on for 5 years) is quite enough?

PiedWagtail Tue 02-Oct-12 14:01:27

Depends. How old is your dd? Sounds like she's trying to sneak this past you. Is there a friend she can come hom with so you only have to drive every other time?

HeathRobinson Tue 02-Oct-12 14:07:24

I think doing a 75 minute trip twice a week would be enough for me!

Do you think the teacher is putting dd under pressure to be there, so she ends up bending the truth to you?

JamieandtheMagicTorch Tue 02-Oct-12 14:08:10

I was also going to suggest sharing the lifts

JamieandtheMagicTorch Tue 02-Oct-12 14:08:56

But if that's not possible, I can't see me doing it. Unless my child was a likely candidate for the Royal Ballet or something

claudedebussy Tue 02-Oct-12 14:09:03

sounds like your dd is caught in the middle. not sure i'd be up for it. depends on the other kids and your commitments.

Nevercan Tue 02-Oct-12 14:12:57

Does anyone else who goes live nearby go so you could take turns? Can you find something more local that does the same thing?

Wordsmith Tue 02-Oct-12 14:16:55

Just tell her it's too much money (if that's the case - I'm always telling my kids this because it's true - there are lots of things hey'd like but we can't afford). If she'd got a vocation and is startlingly good, then I'd think again. But it's a hell of a commitment for you unless you can share the trip with 1 or 2 other parents (say one night each a week?)

Pandemoniaa Tue 02-Oct-12 14:19:17

I don't know how old your daughter is but I do think that 3 nights spent on an activity that incurs a 75 minute drive home is ridiculous - and that's before the extra expense. You aren't being selfish in not wanting to do this.

WhitesandsofLuskentyre Tue 02-Oct-12 14:19:50

She's 15. Unfortunately, nobody heads back this way (out in the sticks) from her dance school, so from a practical point of view it falls to me. DP did his bit for over 2 years by staying late at work and collecting her on the way home, but since he's changed job that's no longer an option.

I just don't like being made to feel like I'm being unreasonable by both the teacher and my daughter. More than once the teacher has told me that I should make more sacrifices for DD (never mind that I have other DCs) but I don't feel it's fair on the rest of the family.

DameKewcumber Tue 02-Oct-12 14:21:39

If the teacher thinks its so important then ask her to bring her home afterwards.

Chopstheduck Tue 02-Oct-12 14:23:50

I dont think you are being unreasonable at all. I have four kids and they have one evening activity each. Directly after school and during school they can pretty much do what they want, but later on in the day I want some evenings to myself, and traipsing out to three different things on weekday evenings is plenty enough.

WhitesandsofLuskentyre Tue 02-Oct-12 14:24:50

Do you think the teacher is putting dd under pressure to be there, so she ends up bending the truth to you?

Ah, put like that, you may well be right. DD is very good and does plan to make a career of it (hopes to go to dance college next year). However, the two lessons she already attends are a couple of grades above the entry requirements for college anyway. This third lesson would just be to learn the new syllabus for an exam she's already passed!

JamieandtheMagicTorch Tue 02-Oct-12 14:25:54

Sounds like the teacher's being unrealistic about family life

JamieandtheMagicTorch Tue 02-Oct-12 14:26:09

... or wants the extra revenue

naturalbaby Tue 02-Oct-12 14:28:42

I would ask to speak to the teacher and explain your situation again very clearly: you spend __hrs per week driving __miles for your 15yr old. You have other dc's. Then ask her how she expects you to add to those miles and hours per week. Tell her you're sorry if she has had mixed messages from your DD and yourself, buy you are the one driving and paying for the fuel as well as the bills!

I have to say though, it's situations like this that make me think very carefully before signing my dc's up with extra curricular activities, and make me very glad I live in a town (sorry!).

shewhowines Tue 02-Oct-12 14:29:14

i like kewcumber s suggestion.

If the teacher thinks its so important then ask her to bring her home afterwards.

picturesinthefirelight Tue 02-Oct-12 14:29:21

I'm a bit on the fence here having a dancing daughter.

She is 10 and I have just increased her classes to 4 times a week (2 lots of ballet, tap&modern & musical theatre/drama. In addition she is going to hopefully start monthly rad associate classes.

Certainly twice a week at 15 at her dance school would mean she wouldn't keep up with the rest of the seniors but there's nothing to say she can't carry on recreationally for fun

Dd is seriously considering a career in performing or teaching though.

BelieveInPink Tue 02-Oct-12 14:29:59

I moan every week about the extra curricular events my kids do. Drive long journey home from work, classes don't start early enough for me drop them after work, so we go home, then drive back to drop her off, go home again, then drive back to pick her up. Same for swimming on a different day.

Part and parcel of parenting I'm afraid. We're an unpaid taxi service. If it's something worthwhile, as you say she'll hopefully make a career of it, I'd suck it up.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Tue 02-Oct-12 14:30:40

This is what I like about living in a city

teacherwith2kids Tue 02-Oct-12 14:31:43

You have managed to keep it down to 2 nights per week all this time even though she is planning to go to dance college??

Serious respect!

I shall repeat this loudly to DD (who is 9, and probably isn't destined to dance at anything like the same level) when next term's timetable comes out... We have the bliss at the moment of 'only' 3 nights per week (6 hours spread over three evenings) but this is our first term for years and years when we haven't been at the dance school 4x or more per week...

75 inutes sounds a real pain, though (DS's football used to involve that kind of thing). Even if there isn't anyone coming out all your way, can she get a lift / public transport part of the way to reduce your round trip time??

Chestnutx3 Tue 02-Oct-12 14:31:54

If she is going to make a career of it then its different. No dance teachers closer? Share of a lift with somebody in your direction to cut down your journey time. Or just grit your teeth and do it for one or two more years I presume its only in term time.

Dancergirl Tue 02-Oct-12 14:33:33

Is it ballet OP? I completely understand where you're coming from having a dancing dd myself! Luckily her ballet school is local but I do a long journey once a week for a youth ballet company, plus extra driving to festivals etc.

If she is serious about it, I would do as much as I could tbh. But I'm confused why she needs to learn the new syllabus? Is she not doing a non-syllabus class already to learn repertoire?

picturesinthefirelight Tue 02-Oct-12 14:34:17

And re the new syllabus. If its rad the requirements have vastly changed. Learning the new syllabus stuff for the grade already passed will mean she will be more prepared for the next grade or the teacher will probably have to do that stuff in her current grade to build the technique.

I'm a bit confused when you say she is already two grades ahead if the college requirements. They will go entirely on the audition and potential if it is one of the leading colleges regardless of grades taken. One college where my husband used to work said they expected applicants to have reached advanced 1 standard but that was just a guideline.

Is she doing vocational grades alongside the recreational ones?

PandaNot Tue 02-Oct-12 14:36:01

What pictures says. If she's wanting to make a career of it then twice a week isn't enough, even if she's passed the grades. Colleges aren't bothered about what grade you have done, some don't do any grade work at all. What they do look for is how well you can dance, not just technically but expressively and with others. My ds has 4 ballet classes and a tap and a jazz class, split over 2 days and he's only 8! If you don't want to do it then that's ok, and entirely up to you, but if you're wanting to support her aspirations to dance professionally then I would expect any dance teacher/ school to be saying that twice a week isn't enough.

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