My Ballerina and my scheduling woes for my daughter!

I know my daughter is only 3 but I get so excited at the mere thought of her starting activities. We started going at an early age to classes such as Itsy Bitty Yoga, Mom and Me Yoga, and Signing Time. While I really enjoyed going to these classes and meeting my mommy friends there, I don’t think Hayley really remembers them. I know they were great for her to be involved but we could have just as easily decided not to take those classes.
So, when Hayley turned 2.5 she actually asked me if she could take dance class. Off we went to enroll her in toddler ballet.  She loved it so much. She was in her first recital last June and even though she froze like a statue for the entire performance, she exited the stage and exclaimed to me how much she loved dance. 
Fast-forward to this past August when soccer registration started. I knew soccer and dance were at the same time but I only asked her if she wanted to play soccer. It was a mommy fail and I was being really selfish for not bringing up dance. I wanted her to play soccer!  I played soccer starting at a young age and I wanted her to emulate me with her love of sports. We got to the soccer field on the day of our first practice and she basically cried the whole hour of practice.
Things began to go from bad to worse at soccer due to our horrible experience with our coach. The coach was really a miserable person to my family and there were many instances when I wanted to approach her about her demeanor. She was nasty and it unfortunately left a bad taste in my daughter’s mouth about soccer as a whole. She kept telling me that she didn’t like soccer and she wanted to dance again.  I feel bad that I left her in the whole soccer season rather than withdraw her. It was a huge mommy fail for not listening to her about not liking soccer and a huge fail for not approaching the coach earlier. I did end up writing an email later to the coach and whether or not she reads it, or cares, will be seen. My feeling is she probably wouldn’t care:(
I learned an important lesson and that is I will not interfere with what my daughter wants to do. If she doesn’t want to play soccer, so be it. If she doesn’t want to play tennis, so be it. What really matters is what makes her happy and to her, that is dance at the moment! I know things can change in the future, but until then it is all dance.
This past Saturday we started dance again. We took her with her tap/ballet shoes and she danced to her heart’s content for an hour. The smiles are on her face will last me a lifetime.  Here are some pictures from the first day of her new ballet/tap class:

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  1. Heather James says

    It makes me sad that kids have bad interactions with 'adults' when they are just starting an activity. We should be giving our kids every opportunity to love something that they are just trying and 'coaches' can ruin a given activity for kids (at any age). I'm glad that she loves dance so much, she is an adorable ballerina!!

  2. mestills says

    I would say if anything give it time and she will love sports. I did dance from ages 3-13 and once I was in elementary school I wanted to play sports. I am sure she will want to do them once all of her friends are too.
    Happy Dancing!

  3. OverMom says

    Hayls looks adorable in her little dance outfit! We all make Mommy fails, no worries. You are not alone there. Sorry you girls had the experience you did!

  4. Summer says

    Dance IS a sport!!!!! ANYONE who says otherwise, has never taken a dance class. I was a competitive dancer growing up, and also on my high school track team. The girls on my dance team were more physically fit than any other athletes at my school.

    As far as letting her stop things when she wants to stop, don't do it. Urge her to continue. There WILL come a time where she fights you to stop dance, or stop soccer, or whatever it may be but don't let her have the say-so. I speak from my own personal experience, and the experience of many friends. I stopped dancing from age 9 until 13 and I regret every minute that I didn't dance. I wish my mom had pushed me to continue. Their disappointment and frustration only lasts for a short time, while the lessons, stability, and structure of extracurricular activities lasts a lifetime.

  5. Erin says

    She's a precious ballerina! I know what you mean about wanting her to emulate you in your love for certain things. But she will grow into them. Like you said, for now it's dance. Next year maybe soccer with a new coach :)

  6. LOVE MELISSA:) says

    You are absolutely right Summer. Dance is a sport! I think it was more for the coaches attitude, and that left a sour taste in all of our mouths. I truly appreciate all the comments. I like to see everyones take on this. Thank you everyone!

  7. jessicaclarke says

    I'm sure once she has a better experience she will like sports. Our problem is Liam wants to do everything then once it starts and we already payed for it he changes his mind, then I feel bad because I usually make him go anyways, but he has fun

  8. KERRY says

    I think let her do what comes naturally, and I agree, dance is a sport. She is adorablle in her dance outfit! Don't worry about the mummy fails, we all make those mistakes, what's important is that we recognise it and do better. Which you have, she won't remember that grumpy coach when she is older ;)

  9. Jamie L. says

    I want my daughter to dance and gymnastics and I also want to try soccer. I never did dance growing up, I played soccer and basketball and sometimes I wish I had done dance. I think dance would be so fun/cute for a littler girl, but if my daughter doesn't like it then I won't push it. I think it was good you had her do the season of soccer. She got to test it out and see that she didn't like it. Happy Dancing!! :)

  10. Lacey from The Southern Mommy Chronicles says

    Dance is most definitely a sport and sometimes takes more dedication than many other sports!!! I'm sorry y'all had such a rough time with that grumpy coach, hopefully she'll read the email and realize what she was doing wrong and not drive other kids away! I'm glad Hayls is happy again (she makes quite the pretty ballerina!)

  11. euregirlsandboys says

    We always say our girls have to do something active, but I only allow one sport (including dance) at a time because otherwise I think it just gets too overwhelming for us and them to try to schedule too many things in one week. But if we sign up for a particular thing, I make them do it until it's finished for the season. My oldest signed up for soccer for the first time since she was 5 this fall because she decided she didn't really want to try it again. And honestly, she realized she didn't like it that much and wanted to quit. But I didn't let her and it was slightly better by the end of the season. So it was good to try. Now if something particularly bad had happened with a coach, maybe we would have quit. But otherwise, we try to finish the commitment made when signing up for a season.

  12. Samantha says

    Coaches like that drive me crazy!!! I can't wait for Gwen to start classes/activities, and I pray that I don't have to deal with anyone like that! Hayley looks adorable in her little tutu! Glad she is having fun :)

  13. Candice says

    Such a cute little dancer! I hope that G likes dance since I danced from 3-18, but if she doesn't I will try to not feel upset. And yes, dance is a sport, I use to compete! Go Haley!

  14. Jessica @ TheCrazyChaoticHouse says

    She is so adorable in her little outfit. And that's too bad about soccer and the coach. Some people shouldn't be coaching and have no clue when it comes to dealing with little ones:(

  15. Natalie says

    Awww she is the cutest ballerina! I'm sorry that coach was so mean to you guys…I don't know why people are like that!

  16. Carissa says

    I know with Jillian, a 3 year old knows what they want! Don't be to hard on yourself about the mommy fails. I think we, as parents learn from our children and the fact that you put her back in dance proves that you did. She looks adorable in her tutu! Now I wanna put Jillian in dance, but only if she wants too :)

  17. {K} says

    Aw, your little girl looks adorable in her little outfit!

    That's too bad about the soccer experience.

  18. Kim says

    What a beautiful ballerina! She is just too cute!! Sorry you had such a crappy coach, a good coach like a good teacher can make all the difference.

  19. Sarah @ It's a Vol says

    She looks like she loves it!

    I want Evie to be a competitive cheerleader like I was (also a sport), but I'm going to let her tell me what she is interested in, so I may end up with a soccer player! It's going to be hard for me to not push the gymnastics at three though. really really hard.

  20. Jamie says

    Awww what a cute little ballerina! I'm so sorry about the terrible experience with the soccer coach that's horrible! I don't know what I would do either. :-/ I think, though, and this is based on 0 experience, that I would have her stick it out til the end. Teaching kids not to quit is important. I don't know though… you don't want your kid to be miserable. Ug sometimes parenting is hard! LOL

    For Love of Cupcakes

  21. Maria says

    aww melissa, i'm sorry to hear about the rude soccer coach. i don't think you failed at all. not one bit. i think it's good she got to experience some likes and dislikes. and it certainly shows she LOVES dancing. omygoodness, she is just so happy. i love it and her lil' outfit and pigtails are so sweet! she looks like she is so comfortable. i danced from 4 until about 16. i loved it.
    i hope you're having a wonderful Monday!! <3
    maria <3

  22. Chic Homeschool Mama says

    It can be hard when we want & dream of things for our kids & they want something else. We have been there. But it looks like it all turned out good & she looks very happy! My girls are in dance 7 I danced from the time I could walk until HS- I would still be doing it if it were not for an injury. I loved it.

  23. Amy says

    I will have to tuck this piece of advice away, and remember that even thought I want soooo badly for my daughter to also play soccer, there is a possibilty she won't like it.

    I had a horrible soccer coach experience in high school, which resulted in my quiting the team, I think my mom secretly wrote a letter too, it is just what moms do. I am sorry your daughter had to experience a bad coach so early, hopefully she has an interest in soccer later in life, but if not that is okay too. If she decides to like softball, well… no comment. ;)

  24. MommyMandi says

    She looks super happy and so cute! I keep wondering what baby c will be interested in as she gets older. Don't beat yourself up over the soccer. It was a life lesson, not a fail. You are a great mommy!

  25. Mom of 12 says

    I've got a bunch of dancers too and they certainly don't get those talents from me! But you did teach her an important lesson…not to be a quitter. I wish more kids nowadays understood that lesson.

  26. Our Little Fam says

    she is so cute! I probably say this a lot but I love her hair, I wish I had that much! she is adorable!

  27. Danielle says

    How precious is she? I love that she's found something she likes to do. It does take a bit of time to find the right fit for our kids so I wouldn't be to hard on yourself for having her try out soccer. It's all a learning process, for both us and our kids!

  28. Candice says

    What a cute little ballerina/tap dancer. I started dance classes when I was Hayley's age and just loved it. It looks like she's having a blast :)

  29. 4Eighteen says

    I see where you were coming from. When you really love(d) something and you have many fond memories you really want to share it with those you love. You want them to also feel that awesomeness and to create their own fond memories. It is hard to believe that something you really love(d) that someone else might not enjoy the same. You are a good mom for wanting her to feel those feelings and even better for realizing that she is a little dance at heart and for giving her all your love and support. = )

  30. Kass says

    aww. that is soo cute. Don;t beat yourself up about the soccer. I know that as parents we want to take in account what our children want to do but I know that Aiden is stubborn at first with things and then once he gets into doing it then he has fun. You just wanted Hayley to be able to experience the whole soccer thing to see if she would grow to actually like it. At least she tried it. Maybe in a few years you can venture down that road again. I can't wait to get Aiden into sports. January we are starting swim lessons at the YMCA and I am going to look into soccer or t-ball for him. At