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To not let the kids skip an extra curricular activity?

(30 Posts)
StrawberryDelight Sat 23-Jan-16 13:45:59

I have two dc, aged 6 and 8. They both go to a dance class on a Saturday, and have been going for about 4 months. They both asked to start dance classes, begged in fact - so this is something they chose to do (not something they've been pushed or cajoled into) and they're enjoying it and doing well.

Generally I take them - either dh is working on a Saturday or on the Saturdays he's off then it's just worked out that I take them dancing and he potters and does house stuff instead.

Last week was the first time that I had to work and he was off, so he had to take them. Saturday evening I discovered that only ds1 had gone. Ds2 had said he didn't fancy it so he just didn't go. I was a bit hmm at DH for allowing this but nothing more was really mentioned (not for any reason - I just hadn't thought of it since).

Cue today and ds1 casually mentions that he doesn't fancy dancing today so he'll have a day off.

I've spoken to both of the dc and told them that if they don't want to go to dance classes, that's fine and it's completely up to them. But that they need to decide either way - they either 'commit' to it and go, every single week (barring illness of course) OR they choose to give it up and stop going altogether. They're not drop in classes, they're paid monthly in advance. Its £6 each per session and although the cost itself isn't an issue, it's the principal of it - i'm not happy to pay for dance classes that may or may not be used. I think they're old enough to understand this and old enough to learn that if they commit to something (out of choice) then they have to see it through, even on the weeks they don't feel like it. Either that, or quit.

DH thinks i'm BU and that they're only 6 and 8 which is fairly young - the money isn't an issue, they're not letting anyone down (it's not a dance team so their absence doesn't really matter), so they should be able to go when they feel like it, or miss classes when they don't fancy it.

AIBU to make them decide - either all or nothing?

TiddlyFitShaced Sat 23-Jan-16 13:50:23

I'd agree with you, but I'm not the other parent of your children.

My question is, why do you get to over-ride your husband and tell him his opinion about his children doesn't matter?

StrawberryDelight Sat 23-Jan-16 13:55:01

I haven't over-ridden him, but reading back I can see how it seems that way.

After ds2 skipped last Saturday, I was internally pissed off and thought to speak to DH that night - but I didn't, then life happened, it slipped my mind and we've not mentioned it since.

The conversation I had with the dc happened this morning when dh was in work. It's only this afternoon, when dh popped home for lunch and I told him (expecting that he'd agree) that he's said IABU.

We generally agree on most things so it's unusual to be of such opposite POV's - we can't find any middle ground on this one at all.

musicposy Sat 23-Jan-16 13:56:34

I don't think being young is an issue - it's about teaching them now that money doesn't just grow on trees to be frittered on nothing, and if you choose to commit to something, you go.

DD2 was a bit like this, wanted dance classes and then fairly often didn't want to do it that day. I always said "you finish the term, then if you don't want to do it any more you can give up." Funnily enough, she never did want to give it up when it came to and she still dances now at 16 and has gained masses out of it. I teach piano and the children who are allowed to dip in and out as they please with parents who don't mind because money isn't an issue rarely achieve much - and enjoy it much less as a consequence.

starry0ne Sat 23-Jan-16 13:57:40

I think it is reasonable to ask them to review whether they do want to do it..

I would want to know the reason why not...Are they tired? are they doing other activities...what do they want to do instead...

However as your response is different to your DH this is a private discussion before your children as bought into it..

What did DC1 do last week instead?

I think if it is a one off let it go but if week after week I would say the same

lilydaisyrose Sat 23-Jan-16 13:58:33

My children are the same age and I'm 100% in agreement with you.

My son (6) came out of school yesterday saying he didn't want to go to football (he's not very sporty) but I'd repeatedly asked him over the Christmas holidays if he wanted to continue going and he repeatedly said he did. He went with no issue the last couple of weeks and then decided yesterday that he had other things he wanted to spend his time doing. The football sessions are pay as you go so it wouldn't have cost me if he'd skipped a week but it's the principle of the issue for me and I want to teach him that he needs to honour his commitment to hobbies/classes etc. So he went (and enjoyed it).

Stick to your guns and present a united front!

LIZS Sat 23-Jan-16 13:58:58

I'd say they go for the time you have already paid, unless ill etc. then you make it clear that they attend if you subsequently pay upfront. There does seem to be an undercurrent of disapproval of your dh's stance though.

museumum Sat 23-Jan-16 14:00:48

IMO you commit to a term or you don't. If the classes are paid like that they will be structured to progress over the term and having "drop-in" kids will be frustrating for the teacher and for the child who may not keep up.

lilydaisyrose Sat 23-Jan-16 14:02:20

PS obviously re my son's football we will review things at February break, I'm not going to make him go forever if he hates it or dreads it, but deciding less Han an hour before he doesn't want to go that week is not ok with me.

We have a tight budget so maybe is be more relaxed otherwise, I don't know. My daughter nearly missed swimming this week as my car's handbrake has seized on and u was having kittens about the £4.50 lesson wasted (she mad it in the end!)!

rookiemere Sat 23-Jan-16 14:04:22

It's a hard one. We have a similar situation in our household.

DS does rugby on a Sunday , the timing is a bit of a ball ache as it's right in the middle of the day. DH also helps out as a coach. DS enjoys it when he's there but moans a bit about going.

Sometimes DH decides DS doesn't have to go. Like last week we had snow so they went sledging and for a walk instead with his pal - difference is the pal went on to rugby afterwards and DS didn't.

Personally I'd have sent DS to rugby as I agree I think DCs need consistency. But I don't want to make it into a big deal with DH. We have very different ideas about rules - I follow them where possible whereas he tries to break them.

Sorry don't have an answer but good to know that I'm not the only household in the same situation.

ZanyMobster Sat 23-Jan-16 14:04:56

100% in agreement with you. If you let them just miss it when they fancy it they will never learn to commit to anything. They are definitely not too young.

nutellacrumpet Sat 23-Jan-16 14:05:03

My children are younger than your children and I agree 100%. They go to their activities every week unless illness or we were on a family holiday. I think learning to be dedicated and committed is very important.

BathtimeFunkster Sat 23-Jan-16 14:06:53

I disapprove of your DH's stance.

I think teaching children to commit to things is important.

There is no point in doing classes if you just don't bother showing up if you can't be arsed.

It's a waste of time and money and effort.

I would not be happy to be tied up every Saturday morning on the off chance two (not very small at all) children would fancy being ferried to an activity they were crap at because they didn't go regularly.

AuditAngel Sat 23-Jan-16 14:10:15

My DC are 11, 8 and 5. We often miss swimming lessons toaccommodate parties; and my DC main activity is dancing too, they take part in professional productions, so swimming may be missed for those. But generally, unless ill (or particularly tired) or seriously overwhelmed with homework, they don't miss.

Janeymoo50 Sat 23-Jan-16 14:11:56

I think it should be all or nothing, except for illness. If it was pay weekly I'd go with your husband but it's not.

Eminado Sat 23-Jan-16 14:14:17

I completely agree with you.

I say this as someone who was allowed to flake out of things as a child because ££ was not an issue. It is a VERY hard habit to break.

MajesticSeaFlapFlap Sat 23-Jan-16 14:15:03

If ive paid then they are going.

I give the choice every term of before payment renewals to dictch but once you you commit your committed in my house

fruitpastille Sat 23-Jan-16 14:15:48

I think it's ok to miss a class like this occasionally - if tired or something else like a party comes up. I know i sometimes miss my regular class that i do. I hardly think that they will turn into layabout adults who have no commitment. However if it happened more than a couple of times in a term I would make it clear that they won't be allowed to carry on.

It seems bizarre to let just one of them skip as presumably they are too young to stay at home alone.

ThursdayLastWeek Sat 23-Jan-16 14:17:52

I agree with Bathtime

CakeFail Sat 23-Jan-16 14:18:52

I'm with bathtime. If my DH allowed DC to skip an activity they chose to do and which had been paid for just because they didnt fancy it one day I would probably disapprove too. I think it's an important life lesson for DC that if they commit to do something they should follow through unless there is an actual reason not to. I don't think that's particularly mean - it's life. You're not meant to flake out randomly for no reason at all. Different if they hate it and want to give up entirely - I wouldn't force DC to go if that was the case.

Bunbaker Sat 23-Jan-16 14:22:00

I agree with you. Is there a waiting list for places in the class? If so, they can't just turn up when they want to because it isn't fair on those who really want to go.

WhyCantIuseTheNameIWant Sat 23-Jan-16 14:22:41

They either commit to going or they don't.

While they have a place, another child is waiting...

They chose it. They like it. They should go. Unless they are sick or injured.

rookiemere Sat 23-Jan-16 14:25:38

I make sure DS goes to cubs every week as that's under my control.

I think the issue here is that DH and OP are not on the same page and nor am I with my DH. I can't make him change his mind and he can't change mind.

All I can do for DS is do what I think is the right thing for cubs - the only time he missed it he was nursing a bit of a cough and I felt it was nice for him to have a bit of a break.

Noggie Sat 23-Jan-16 14:27:28

I totally agree with you and do the same with my dds. Extra curricular is mostly about enjoying the activity but it's also about commitment, developing confidence and resilience etc really hard if your dh doesn't agree though sad x

StrawberryDelight Sat 23-Jan-16 14:38:16

I'm glad that i'm not in the minority tbh - dh is a reasonable bloke (usually) so I was doubting myself as to whether i'm being too harsh.

I think allowing the dc to review at the end of the paid month is a better idea, which I hadn't thought of - that going is non-negotiable for the classes already paid for, but we can review before the next 4 weeks are paid for and they can decide whether to commit for another 4 weeks or not.

I'm going to put this to DH tonight and see what he thinks - it's a slightly different take on it to what we spoke about earlier.

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