If your parents took you to do sports/ music / dance...was it worth it?(126 Posts)
Or indeed if you have ferried your now older children to e.g ballet/ swimming / brownies/ instrumental tuition...
Do you think it paid off?
My dd are young but I can see that there will be more of this in the years ahead.
What did you get out of it all if you went to a myriad of clubs as a child or what did your dc get out of it (if they are now 16 yrs +)?
I ferried the DC to music / sports / drama / scouts etc for years. Oldest DC graduates from a conservatoire with a music degree this year (hopefully!). Youngest one has a wide social circle of people he knows from drama and scouts - he's 21 now and still sees them. Was worth all the time and money spent.
Yes, definitely for me. I'm a swimmer, my dad was up at 5 with me on many mornings. I've got achievements to be proud of, a hobby that's good for me, it's opened doors for surfing, triathlons etc, and it's now my job and I have my own business teaching it.
Yes, they nudged me into karate and it became a huge part of who I am. Am keen for DC to do similar, along with a language class (DH's minority language). If they want to spend the rest of their time picking their noses/on the xbox, I'll be satisfied.
It pays off for children where there is genuine interest and talent. If it's just middle class virtue signalling then it's a miserable waste of time, energy, emotion and money. The worst I've seen was a kid who was so unhappy and so under parental pressure that he started to do himself purposeful physical harm to get out of it. For me it formed a deep life long passion. It is (literally in my case) horses for courses.
My parents scraped every spare penny for me to be able to ride. In a massive stroke of luck a lovely woman taught me to ride and sort of adopted me taking me to competitions and training me alongside her own daughter. I can't begin to describe the huge positive impact this has had in my life, fantastic experiences and friendships, my personal development & self esteem hugely benefitted and I have had years of sheer enjoyment. It remains a passion to this day very many years later.
If your child shows a real interest in something then I think it is an important part of their development to encourage them.
I begged my parents for piano lessons as I loved singing/music as a child. Despite the financial strain, my mum did bring me to music lessons once weekly and I loved it. I completed my grades in piano and have had the honour of playing/singing at friends' weddings (and sadly some funerals) but it wouldn't have been possible without the sacrifices of money and time my mum made. Additionally, piano (and I guess it goes for any talent/instrument/sport) taught me 'self-discipline' and that we all have the power to better ourselves at a sport/musical instrument if we put our minds to it and if we love it. I also used to run alongside my mum and although I did run/track competitions I was average. But now, as an adult, I manage stress by putting on my running shoes, plugging my head phones in and going on a jog around the park!
My feeling is that the child needs to show a willingness to participate in the sport/music etc to make it 'worth it'. Otherwise it can have the complete opposite effect, i.e. child loosing confidence in there ability when perhaps they had no natural talent/flare. Equally it is also a good way of extending social connections in the town/village with other children and families.
Yes, my parents encouraged me to do sports when I was young and I went on to be very active after leaving home (at uni and in my 20s - not so much these days with young DC) which I believe was beneficial to me.
You don't have to do everything though - there's a balance to strike!
I was forced into years of music - DM wished she had been given the opportunity as a child, but her parents either couldn't afford it or didn't see the point. So for years me and my two siblings did piano, another instrument, band(s), practising. I hated it. My DSis hated it, My Dbro enjoyed it and was good, so I suppose one out of three isn't too bad. I'm pleased now that I can read music but otherwise it was a phenomenal waste of time, plus I wasn't allowed to do things i was interested in, like gymnastics and ballet. I have given my kids the opportunity but when it's become clear they aren't interested or getting anything out of it I have let them give up.
Yes, absolutely. My mum spent about a decade ferrying me to violin lessons and choir. While I didn't take it up as a career (not good enough), it's given me a lasting love of classical music and I now sing with one of the top amateur choirs in the country. If the child enjoys it it's absolutely worth it.
I'm not sure you'd get mcuh out of a myriad of clubs. I think you have to choose something your dc is keen to do, enjoys etc. I think its quite important to support the child, eg lots of kids music lessons are a complete waste of time because no practice is done - child probably doesn't think too much about it and parent hasn't got time to badger/supervise. Lesson comes around and teacher is frustrated at lack of progress. Parents then wondering why they're paying out for lessons. Child quits.
So imo don't take on too much and support what you do take on.
I was a complete waste of time and money . My parents really thought I'd become a wonderful lifelong musician, but I haven't played a note since moving out at 18. I did enjoy it as a hobby and never asked to give it up though, so it wasn't a case of me being pushed. I do think my parents resent all the effort they put in for no return though.
I was pushed into learning a musical instrument as "I would be glad when I was older". I hated every minute of it and still not glad at 47! Who knows maybe my sixties will be all about playing the old Joanna while my mates have a knees up and I'll finally see the point if the wasted hours and pounds! Similar for my tennis skills. Good grief how I loathed those years.
However very glad I learnt to swim.
I think the point is probably to let your dc choose what they enjoy and are good at. My mum was a Hyacinth Bucket type who was training me for a upper middle class life I never led (thank goodness) .
I cannot thank my parents enough for everything they did to support my hobby, 3 nights a week were spent taking me training and most weekends spent camping at competitions. Not to mention tens of thousands of pounds over the years. I went on to study a related subject at uni and now run my own business involving the sport and still compete/train myself at international level. 3 yo dd is starting to show interest and will be encouraged if she wants to. Honestly, my parents are total 's
My DM ferried me to ballet, choir, orchestra, singing lessons, guides (later cadets), pony riding and fencing. And I did 2 instruments and drama lessons at school. Was it worth it? Well i'm a rubbish dancer, and i've forgotten everything about my instruments, but I had huge fun in orchestra which are treasured memories. And I am now very confident. And I have had so many life experiences from the huge range of opportunities.
(And mum worked. I don't know how she organised it all.)
I feel rather guilty that all i've organised for my DD is ballet and swimming. Can't wait until she's old enough to join a choir!
Yes, all that extra curriculum stuff gave me wide horizons and broad understanding of my options and interests, before settling down to my office job.
Nope: I preferred to read and mooch around art galleries! Instead I did viola, piano and a lot of swimming.
I was crap at all three, although I appreciate swimming is an important life skill.
13 years of piano and swimming but they gave up on the viola after a couple of years.
You need some will. I did it to please in the end.
I did nothing as a child so DH and I were determined that ours would be allowed to try anything. The only thing non-negotiable was swimming as we felt it's a necessity not a luxury.
DS is taking degree with a language he learnt outside school and DD now works part-time in one of her activities. Still waiting to see how it will impact on life for DDs 2&3.
They are definitely more self confident and comfortable in any company as a result of attending scouts from the age of 6.
Perhaps the 'pay-off' needs to be that they get to do a fun and enjoyable activity that they otherwise wouldn't have done, and maybe get a sense of achievement out of it. You can't really expect any more than that to be honest, and it isn't a great idea to persuade them to continue doing something if they really don't want to, or simply lose interest.
A few might end up achieving great things competitively, or pass exams at the highest level - or even end up making it their career, but they are in the minority and the obsessive desire to succeed has to come from within them. Not from a sense of obligation to you, because you have invested so much time and money in them.
I had 2 swimming lessons a week until I was 12. I like to think if I were on a sinking ship I'd do OK.
I have grade 2 in an awful lot of things. I was given a lot of opportunities and was never any good at anything. (My DF even "joked" about it in the speech he gave at my wedding. )
But I do feel like a more rounded person, and am grateful for the opportunities I had.
I think the instrument lessons my DC have had have paid off, becuase they are able to enjoy playing an instrument, even if it's just for their own pleasure. I'm glad they can all swim and wouldn't drown if they fell into the canal. I'm glad they enjoy they comradeship of the sports teams they play on.
I'm glad DD tried ballet, even if she gave up when she was four...becuase I nowknow for sure she was never, ever going to make it as a ballerina.
I was pushed into learning a musical instrument as "I would be glad when I was older". I hated every minute of it and still not glad at 42!
My mum actually told me it was a good way to earn a living. And she told me not to do engineering at university. I did an engineering and am a software developer. Love my job. Can barely play the piano.
So I don't think all those years of piano lessons are worth it.
I let DC1 gave up on ballet and gymnastics after a term. She had her chance and she chose not to continue. I won't push her. She is doing rainbows because she loves it. She has to learn swimming however.
I did a lot of music (virtually every lunch time at secondary school, which was at least free and required no ferrying), then four evenings/week, two of those in walking distance, and one free. I have played and sung since, though not huge amounts or to a terribly high standard.
One thing I think it helped me with was discipline - I did practice, and while my progress was never stellar, it was visible (audible?). I found most school work easy, especially below year 9 or so, and it was definitely good for me to learn how to work at something, rather than just coasting - I'm pretty sure it helped with the work I did need to put in to get good grades at GCSE and beyond.
I was never expecting to be a professional musician, and having spoken to professional musicians about the lifestyle that entails, I'm even more grateful that route wasn't open to me. I'd like to give DD the chance to learn an instrument when she's a bit older (she's only 4), but for enjoyment and learning skills, not with a view to her making a career of it.
Pretty much the same situation as camtt.
I feel terribly guilty as I'm trying to persuade DD to join the same sports club as DS, the one that would be better for her is at the same time in a totally different place and DS wouldn't be allowed to join.
I have a grade 6 in piano with ABRSM. So you know how many years my parents forced me to take lessons!
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