insanity of our schedule and how easy it is to over schedule our kids. I've even had a guest post on the topic. Sometimes making the decisions on what to keep and what to ditch are really hard.
A few weeks ago it was time to register my daughter for her dance classes. I told her we needed to discuss what classes she wanted to take, there are 5 she is eligible for this year. I was a bit taken aback by the conversation that followed. Keep in mind, my daughter is 7 and in second grade this year.
Me: There are 5 classes you can take this year and if it was up to me I'd let you take all of them. However, Daddy thinks that is a little nuts.
Baby Girl: I think that is nuts too.
Me: Really? I really thought you'd want to take them.
Baby Girl: Nope. It's too much.
Me: What are you going to give up?
Baby Girl: Jazz and Hip Hop. I just want to do Ballet this year.
Me: (trying not to react too much) REALLY? I thought you LOVED jazz. Why do you want to give it up?
Baby Girl: I don't know. I just do.
Me: Are you sure? Why didn't you tell me this earlier? I could have changed your CCD day.
Baby Girl: I didn't know that.
Me: I don't understand. Why don't you want to take those classes? Don't you like them? Is it the teacher? Is it because of that girl in the class? I thought you liked them!
Baby Girl: Shrugged her shoulders.
Me: There has to be a reason. Are you sure it isn't something that happened?
Baby Girl: Well, if I don't go to those classes, will I get to just hang out after school?
Me: I don't know. Is there something else you wanted to do? Soccer? Gymnastics? Are you sure nothing happened in class I don't know about?
Baby Girl: I just don't want to take them this year.
Me: You're sure? Absolutely sure? There has to be a reason.
Baby Girl: Maybe it's just too much.
Me: Oh. OK. (although I was still thinking, if she changes her mind next year, she may not be able to stay at he same level, she may regret her decision mid year and we won't be able to put her in class because recital costumes were already ordered, etc, etc.)
I swear to you. This is the conversation I had with my 7 year old. Over the following weeks I continued to ask her if she changed her mind. We started classes this week. I took her to her ballet class on Monday and she tried a new lyrical class directly after ballet and loved it. I asked the owner if she minded if I brought her to the other classes so she could try them again before making up her mind. Then Tuesday it FINALLY hit me. Why am I trying to push her into more classes? There are a variety of reasons NOT to. It will save me money, I can send all my kids to CCD on the same day this year, giving us a free afternoon one day after school this year, and my daughter doesn't want to do it.
I finally stepped back and realized it isn't about me. She keeps telling me she doesn't want to do it.
Wednesday rolled around, and I gave her one last chance to go try her jazz and hip hop classes. We were sitting at the kitchen table after school and I casually asked her if she wanted to go check out the classes. When she said no, I said, no problem.
Sometimes if we just stop and listen to our kids, they really do know what is best and they can teach us a lot.