Wednesday, July 02, 2008

What am I gonna do with this kid?

I'm getting frustrated with my child again.

Recently she gave up her Gymnastics lessons...I'm not entirely sure why, but after her recent meltdowns I have a strong suspicion.

Monday morning I dragged Darly up out of bed so we could go hit the Ice Skating rink so she would be "warmed up" for her lesson later that day.

To fill you in a bit. Darly's Ice Skating lessons are only 30 minutes long and she needs a bit of warm up time in order for her to skate very well...If we don't hit the ice earlier in the day she doesn't do very well in her lesson as it takes about 1/2 of it to warm up. Her coach doesn't have enough time for her to warm up too. So I try to take her to go skating that same day before her lesson, so she'll get the most out of her lesson.

Well since it is summer the place that we go skating is having a summer camp (a place for parents to leave their kids while they go to work) and the "campers" get to go ice skating in the afternoons at the 1pm session. So that means that if we want the ice to not be over crowded, we need to get up and go skating at the 10am skate time.

For normal people a 10am skate time isn't a problem...however, Darly is a night owl. So she is whiney about having to get up so "early" LOL! once the kids go back to school we can switch back to the 1pm skate time.

However when we went skating on Monday, Darly went into another of her over exaggerated perfectionist fits. She sets these totally unrealistic goals for herself and then when she doesn't meet them she gets all mad at herself and wants to totally quit whatever activity it is because she can't do ANYTHING right. She whined that the coach expects her to get everything perfect and she just cannot do it.

I tried to reason with her that the coach does NOT expect for her to get everything perfect...if they did there would be no need for her to take lessons. I also mentioned to her that it is a very good thing that she got over herself when she was learning to walk and read because she threw the same fits then! I also pointed out to her after the lesson that none of the other kids in her class were any better at what they were learning than she was.

I think a lot of our problem here is that we still keep getting bad skates at the skate rental. No matter how much I've complained they STILL have not bothered to sharpen their skates!!! And I've been noticing more and more of the skates have weakened boots (the ankles are bent from other kids not lacing them propperly!) I really think that Darly would do much better if we bought her a pair of skates. However, Monday she proclaimed that she wanted to QUIT skating! So why fork out the money for Ice Skates if she's gonna quit.

I think what I might do is take her to go look at Ice Skates (used of course!) and see if perhaps once she gets a pair that aren't a mess on her feet if she changes her mind.

Oh and about her giving up Gymnastics? She has once again started practicing at home!


  1. I'm not a parent myself, so I am not sure this is good advice or not - but I would try to make Darly feel as though it's ok not to be perfect every time, and no one is thinking badly of you. I'm not sure how to even do that, but I know it's something that I struggle with as a sometimes-perfectionist.

  2. I think GG gave some good advice. And... quite frankly that it's not OK to just quit every time you decide you don't like how something is going. I mean, if she REALLY doesn't like gymnastics itself, and not just not doing well for a lesson or two, then sure, quit. But it sounds like she sets unrealistic expectations and then when she doesn't meet them, it gives her an excuse to quit.

    Maybe threaten that next time she quits something in the middle that she's going to have to pay for it? That might get her to think long and hard about what it is she wants to do... before starting something she only "kinda" wants to do.

  3. Take her to try on skates that will be hers. I think you'll see a change in her when she puts them on and realizes that these are hers; that she will be able to sharpen them when needed, clean and make purty. ooooohh, what if you could do something creative with the skates like drawing on them? I know you have to be careful with what you add due to the ice; what about colorful laces, her favorite color, etc?
    Let us know what happens; I'm curious

    Oh, and thanks for the info on the trees. Very useful.

  4. Oh man! I remember as a kid wanting to quit everytime it got hard or when I didn't like what I was doing. My mom made me finish out every season before I could decide if I wanted to quit. Sometimes I just needed a break. I don't know how many times I said..."this is my last season of basketball". I played basketball for over 8 years.

    I always wanted to take ice skating lessons, but they were so expensive.

  5. having just started reading your posts, i don't know how old darly is but i do understand a perfectionist child. being a perfectionist is just part of their personality.

    i think it takes extra work for the parents to help the kid to understand that it's okay not to be perfect. you actually have to work with them through some kind of failure. but since it's part of their personality, it's hard to get them to see things from a different perspective.

    one thing i'd advise (and i know you weren't necessarily looking for advice), is to not let her give up on everything. make her stick through something until it comes to it's natural conclusion. there's all kinds of lessons in that. good luck.

  6. What size shoe? I have a pair of gorgeous $500 ice skates in my attic..