Author Topic: Choosing kid's activities  (Read 5401 times)

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ccnumber4

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Re: Choosing kid's activities
« Reply #15 on: January 30, 2013, 10:27:10 AM »
If the decision is a whole year away, I don't see why it matters now.  Your kid might completely change her mind by then.   Just tell him that she'll make her own decision when it's time and she doesn't need either her grandparents or parents making it for her. 

Thipu1

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Re: Choosing kid's activities
« Reply #16 on: January 30, 2013, 10:29:24 AM »
Activities in which children are interested can change as rapidly as the weather.

  Your ILs have made a kind and generous offer but, if DD isn't interested, harping on it is almost certain to ensure that she will never be interested. 

BTW, how old is DD? 

Lynn2000

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Re: Choosing kid's activities
« Reply #17 on: January 30, 2013, 10:43:18 AM »
First of all, have your DH tell Dad that he had his chance to enroll his kids in his desired sport when he was the parent.  Then he should say while skiing (or whatever) is fun, you don't want to commit her to a 3 hour activity each week as you are not interested in driving her or having her spend that much time not doing homework.

If you and your DH think that if the ILs want to take DD for a weekend trip or two for favorite activity, then tell them you are willing to do that when it fits in.  It might be neat for your DD to have a special activity with the ILs.

I like the idea of the activity being something DD can do, occasionally, with her grandparents, if that's logistically feasible, and something DD wants to do. She doesn't have to do it several times a week and try to become an Olympic-level skier or whatever, she could just do it sometimes with them for fun--that might be a good distinction to make with FIL (again, if DD wants to).

When I was a kid my paternal grandma really wanted me to take piano lessons and offered to pay for them. She didn't play the piano herself but loved listening to it, and insisted that all her grandchildren take piano lessons with the idea of them playing at family gatherings. (Yeah, think about that logic for a second.) I had zero interest in it but my dad made me do it. It was a really unpleasant two years because I was a very stubborn child and I would sit at the piano for hours doing nothing rather than actually practice. My mom went along with it but didn't like it much; she wasn't very sympathetic to me, though, because if she had her way, I would have been pushed into a sport instead.  ::)

My point is that it's nice for grandparents to offer, especially if they feel the child would be really interested in something, but neither they nor anyone else outside your home gets a vote in what activities your child participates in. You can thank them for their offer, discuss it with DH and DD in the same way you would discuss an idea or offer from a stranger (i.e., no pressure to accept because of who made the offer), and then, if you decide to do so, decline politely. If the grandparents keep bringing it up after that, they're the ones being rude and pushy.
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acicularis

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Re: Choosing kid's activities
« Reply #18 on: January 30, 2013, 10:57:44 AM »
For the vacation, I'd say I wasn't comfortable committing to that so far in advance.

And for the ongoing activity, I would have no problem saying "She really enjoys <current activity>, and is interested in trying <other interesting activity>. I can't see adding anything else right now, especially something that's more of a time committment."

Hmmmmm

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Re: Choosing kid's activities
« Reply #19 on: January 30, 2013, 11:13:00 AM »
If the decision is a whole year away, I don't see why it matters now.  Your kid might completely change her mind by then.   Just tell him that she'll make her own decision when it's time and she doesn't need either her grandparents or parents making it for her.

This.

Also, I know from your previous posts that you feel your IL's push a lot of boundaries. But maybe change your perspective a little.

Your DD has loving GP's who want to spend time with her.
Her GP's are able to be physically active and have an interest that they want to share with their granddaughter.
Your IL's are not requesting that you pay for her to participate in this activity but are willing to foot the bill.  They are so excited about sharing this activity and time with your daughter they are already planning a trip for next year. 

I sort of think you saying that your DD is busy doing X seemed to imply the two activities were in competition with each other.  And for all I know, FIL has only seen your DD being excited by doing his chosen activity and may not have seen her doing the other winter sport so doesn't know ho much she enjoys it. 

So all you need to say right now is "FIL, I really appreciate the offer but we are going to let DD decide what activities she wants to participate in next year. I'll let you know our decision in the Fall."

And if one of your concerns about even suggesting DD do their activity is the time committment for the drive, but DD next Fall seems interested, see if the GP's would be willing to share the commuting. If they enjoy the activity, they might even be able to participate more.

TootsNYC

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Re: Choosing kid's activities
« Reply #20 on: January 30, 2013, 12:24:55 PM »
I don't think you bean-dip.

I think you cut-and-paste.

First, lay the groundwork. Acknowledge all the good things going on, so he feels like you DID actually listen. And then draw some boundaries. So something like: "FIL, I know you want to share this activity with DD. However, you need to remember that DD gets to live her life only once, and that activities she ENJOYS are the most appropriate use of her free time. Pressuring her about this is only going to sour her on it. It's an unfair expectation to put on her. She'll decide when its time, and I hope that if she chooses not to continue, you can keep your understandable disappointment from souring her relationship with you."


Then, you switch to, "FIL, DD and we her parents have NOT forgotten your generous offer. It is not time for DD to make her decision yet. Please stop bringing it up. I cannot allow you to pressure DD about this. And it is completely irrelevant what her parents think, so you please stop pressuring us."

And on the third time, having laid the groundwork for all the reasoning behind it, you switch to your cut-and-paste phrase: "I've asked you to stop pressuring our family about this."

And you never discuss anything else.
"Don't you know she'll get better?" you: "I've asked you to stop pressuring our family about this."
"She'll love it." you: "I've asked you to stop pressuring our family about this."
"We'll pay for it." you: "I've asked you to stop pressuring our family about this."


One key to it: "I've asked you to..." How rude will he feel when you keep pointing out that he's ignoring a request!"


And of course: Be sure you're really listening to your daughter about what she wants. With sports especially, there is just NO sense in doing something because you think you have to, or your mom wants/doesn't want you to. Kids should do things they enjoy.

I think I might point out to my DD that part of the ILs' sport is spending time with them. So if she doesn't like the sport THAT much, she might like the time w/ grandparents enough to build it.

If she likes the sport but doesn't like spending that concentrated time w/ her grandparents, let her know that this is OK. And that her relationship w/ her grandparents isn't static--they won't treat her the same way all the time. And that maybe she can learn the sport and have SHORTER time w/ grandparents. Or learn it, and later if the grandparents treat her differently bcs of her age, etc., she'll have the skills to enjoy it.

Or that she can learn the sport without having to go away for a week with them.

(I have this idea stuck in my head that she didn't enjoy that concentrated time w/ the grandparents somehow. Did I get that from something you wrote about earlier, or was that someone else?)
« Last Edit: January 30, 2013, 12:41:41 PM by TootsNYC »

Auntie Mame

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Re: Choosing kid's activities
« Reply #21 on: January 30, 2013, 01:23:28 PM »
The plan is this, everytime he brings it up you say "The answer is no".

The only control FIL has in this situation is the control you are giving him.

You say no, end of discussion.  If he persists you show him the door.
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citadelle

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Re: Choosing kid's activities
« Reply #22 on: January 30, 2013, 01:33:03 PM »
Would the grandparents be interested in participating with your daughter in the sport she currently does and enjoys? If so, maybe offer that as an alternative.
« Last Edit: January 30, 2013, 06:18:09 PM by citadelle »

TootsNYC

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Re: Choosing kid's activities
« Reply #23 on: January 30, 2013, 01:38:18 PM »
well, only if the daughters wants them to!

citadelle

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Re: Choosing kid's activities
« Reply #24 on: January 30, 2013, 01:46:34 PM »
well, only if the daughters wants them to!

Obviously! The OP said her daughter "had a good time" and "enjoyed" the other sport when she went. There does not seem to be a conflict between the daughter and her grandparents.

Style_and_Grace

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Re: Choosing kid's activities
« Reply #25 on: January 30, 2013, 03:55:41 PM »
Is your daughter old enough to make a decision on her own?  If she is, why don't you just ask her if she wants to participate in the activity. 

Clara Bow

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Re: Choosing kid's activities
« Reply #26 on: January 30, 2013, 04:14:15 PM »
Do you really think they're going to force her to drop something that she likes just to persue their activity? I mean, are these people really monsters who would force a kid to march lockstep to their plans? Maybe have your daughter tell them that she's not looking to change up sports. Also, if you bean dip, you can't get too peeved when they steamroll you. Dig in your heels and just tell them that that's not going to work out, that your daughter's not as into the thing as they are, whatever you have to say. Or see if the kiddo can do both, or if she wants to do both.

It seems like you really have some deep issues with your inlaws, could it be that some of that is coloring your view?
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onyonryngs

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Re: Choosing kid's activities
« Reply #27 on: January 30, 2013, 04:15:33 PM »
Why not just have a conversation with them - tell them that she's not interested?  You don't need etiquette advice for this - this is a relationship issue with your in-laws and you need to figure out how to have a discussion with them.  You can't just try to change the subject forever.   It might be a good idea to speak with someone who deals with family relationship issues so you can figure out a way to interact with them on an ongoing basis.


Moray

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Re: Choosing kid's activities
« Reply #28 on: January 30, 2013, 04:19:48 PM »
Why not just have a conversation with them - tell them that she's not interested?  You don't need etiquette advice for this - this is a relationship issue with your in-laws and you need to figure out how to have a discussion with them.  You can't just try to change the subject forever.   It might be a good idea to speak with someone who deals with family relationship issues so you can figure out a way to interact with them on an ongoing basis.

I agree. Especially given your ongoing issues with them.
Utah

LifeOnPluto

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Re: Choosing kid's activities
« Reply #29 on: January 30, 2013, 08:55:59 PM »
Just wanted to add - if you suspect your ILs will make your DD do this activity regardless of what you tell them, I would not let her stay with them for a week.