January-April can be a rough time for kids. The weather is cold and there’s no big holiday season like we have in October-December. It’s normal for kids to just want to cuddle up at home and do nothing. And it’s normal for parents to feel that way, too! But it’s during these low moments that true grit is developed.
Grit is persevering through something even when it’s challenging OR boring… and studies show that it’s the #1 character strength that will help kids succeed in life. So helping your kiddo work through the sluggish feelings they may have during the long, cold winter months instead of just letting them quit can set them up to work through those feelings as they get older, too.
We've heard this a lot from parents who pull their child from dance... "She loves it when she's there, but we're having a hard time getting her there." We get it. Why would you want the headache of arguing with your child about getting ready for dance? Especially when YOU don't really want to go out into the cold anyway, too! Wouldn't it just be easier to take a break for now? Life is already busy enough. Why fight with your child to get them to an activity that's supposed to just be for fun anyway? Why continue to make that financial investment in it?!
We hear you loud and clear, sista! But maybe a little shift of mindset can help you out. When your little one is complaining about dance half-way through the year, you have the opportunity to teach her the importance of not giving up. It's understandable to think, "Why am I paying for this if she doesn't enjoy it?" But even if she's struggling to enjoy it right now she's still experiencing all the same benefits. In fact, pushing through the hard times creates an ADDITIONAL benefit that will make her mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually stronger in the long run. See it as a blessing that you now have the opportunity to instill some great character strengths in her! ❤️
All of that is easier said than done, of course. How do you actually handle her tantrums in the moment when she just doesn't want to go to dance? To help you out, we've put together some ideas to make it easier for your child (AND YOU!) to stick with it...
Prepare them mentally for dance day - Remind them the night before and the morning of that they have dance that evening. Make it exciting! Kids don't know what day of the week it is, so constant reminders about dance day coming up will help be mentally and emotionally prepared.
Remind them of what’s coming up in class - We host lots of parties and fun activities in our classes. Remind your kiddo about an upcoming party, or the chance to earn a Sparky Buck or sticker, or some other fun activity that their teacher has planned! You can keep a countdown to a party going with your kiddo or bring up the exciting activity or reward periodically throughout the week to keep them motivated.
Have them get ready for dance as soon as they get home from daycare/school - Sometimes kids get comfortable when they get home and the process of getting ready for dance just doesn’t sound fun. Try getting them ready as soon as you get home so that all you have to do when it’s time to go is jump in the car!
Be excited about what they're learning - Kids want their parent's praise and approval of what they are doing. Ask them to show you what they're learning in class and compliment them for their hard work. Start praising them just for going to class NOW so they learn to value it.
Avoid screen time on dance day - There, we said it. Sometimes just keeping the TV, phone or iPad turned off before dance is all a kid needs to change their mindset. Screens are addicting and it can be hard to walk away from it when it's time to get ready for dance!
Talk to your teacher! - We can't help if we don't know that anything is wrong. Often times your little one is all smiles during our classes but giving you a hard time at home. If you share that with us, we can help you by giving your child some extra encouragement or incentives.
By getting your child to see the season through to the end, you're teaching her the importance of being there for your team and not quitting when things get tough. You're helping her develop tools for dealing with the normal human desire to give up when things are boring or frustrating. You're empowering her to persevere toward her goals so that even if she does turn to other activities in the future she understands the value of commitment. And who knows... maybe dance truly is her thing and you've helped her overcome a moment of weakness, setting her up for years of success in the only activity that perfectly blends artistry and athleticism. 💪
We're in this together! So please connect with us if you notice your child's enthusiasm for dance is waning. We may be able to help before any tantrums kick in! 😁