Tough decisions

Sometimes, making decisions isn’t easy. Especially when you’re 9, going on 10. My daughter is at age now where she’s having to make what seems to her like some tough decisions and she’s struggling.

My girl was very sad when the panto ended. The panto had given her an incredible experience and new friends and taught her so much about singing, acting and working in a professional theatre with professional actors. It had made her question her hobbies and what she really wanted to be doing. She had learned that she liked to sing and act, and wasn’t bad at them. And she wanted to do more. After the panto, the shine had gone off a couple of her dance lessons and she didn’t know if she wanted to do them any more.

So we investigated two popular national kids’ theatre group franchises to see if they could give her what they were looking for. They both take up three hours on a Saturday and they’re both rather expensive. The offer a  similar curriculum, involving  three disciplines, but not identical disciplines. One offers free drama exams, one requires the kids to take extra tuition for their drama exams. One offers a two week trial, which you have to pay for, one gives a free one week trial.

I had high hopes for them (although not such high hopes for the poor bank account).

I’ll be honest, I was slightly disappointed when she came out of her first paid-for trial. She wasn’t as excited as I’d hoped. She’d enjoyed the drama, but not the singing (I was particularly keen for her to enjoy that) and quite liked the dance. Needless to say, the dance teacher had spotted her talent. She enjoyed it a bit more the following week.

When she came out of the free trial, she described one element as ‘awesome’, which I was pleased to hear. If I was honest, this was the one I would have preferred her to do. But she hadn’t enjoyed the drama, the bit she’d liked best at the other group. Once again, the dance teacher had spotted her talent.

Suddenly, she felt she’d like to go to the first group. The one she hadn’t been excited about. The one she hadn’t described as awesome. But then she would talk excitedly about what she would be doing the following week at the second group.

When I gently reminded her that if she decided to do one she would have to give up two dance classes to be able to go to whichever group she chose, it was all too much. She wasn’t ready to give up the dance classes she’d attended since she was 4. The shine might have worn off them a bit over the last few months, but actually giving up was a step too far.

She didn’t know what to do.

So she did the only thing a 9 year old girl can do in these confusing circumstances.

She cried.

It wasn’t attention-seeking. She was just confused and overwhelmed by the decision she needed to take. She didn’t want to give up dancing and, if she did give up, she didn’t know which theatre group to choose. She felt we were pushing her towards one of the groups on cost grounds (we weren’t, but cost had to be a consideration).

She cried some more. She wanted to do it all. But she couldn’t.

After a day of thinking and worrying she took the decision to leave things as they are and carry on with all of her dance classes. It might be for a term or a year or it might be forever.

Making such a massive change was just too big a decision for a little girl of 9, going on 10.

Jazz shoes, Dance, Panto, Daughter, 365


Author: Sarah Mummy

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  1. It sounds like the right thing to do at the moment. I hope she’s a bit happier now the decision has been made.

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    • Thanks very much, I think it is! She does seem happier now the decision has been made, thank goodness.

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  2. Ah I can completely understand this Sarah. I think every decision is overwhelming at this age and she’s so ‘into’ her dance that it must seem a huge step to say goodbye to them. Perhaps wait until secondary school? I think then they begin to know which things they really want to pursue. Probably the right decision for her….and your bank balance 😉

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    • Thanks! I haven’t been through anything like this before as boys don’t seem to get so distressed about such things. I would love it if she could do it all, but we just can’t afford it. I think we will look at it again once she’s settled at secondary school.

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  3. I love how she enjoys her classes so much, I’m sure Clio would quit her dance classes tomorrow if her friend did! I guess that’s the difference between one with talent and one who just enjoys the social outing and and a trip to the sweet shop!

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    • Thanks very much, she really does love her classes! It’s great that Clio keeps going though even if she doesn’t have quite the same commitment.
      My daughter can’t bear the thought of giving them up and I wish I could afford for her to do it all.
      (And she doesn’t even get a trip to the sweet shop!)

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  4. bless, i know what it was like when child 4 of 5 wanted to do rugby, football, cricket, sea cadets, plus see his mates and had to make a decision to drop a couple of clubs as he did them (apart from sea cadets) in school, out of school clubs and football up at Birmingham, he dropped the local football team he’d played for for 8 years and lost touch with a lot of friends which saddened him greatly

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    • That must have been very sad for him. It is hard deciding what to give up, but they really can’t do it all!

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  5. Bless her. I don’t think any decisions are particularly easy at a young age especially knowing how much your daughter gets worried. Hopefully this has made her realise just how much she enjoys dancing and gives her back her passion for it.

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    • Thanks very much! I think she’s starting to realise it was the right decision, for now at least! She’s back at her street dance class (street dance was her first love!) and is really enjoying it.

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  6. I really feel for her. Things do start to become so overwhelming at this age. It sounds like you have done what you can as her mum and I am sure that she will feel like the right decision has been made x

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    • Thanks very much! She’s at an age now where I shouldn’t make the decisions for her and I think that’s hard for her. But I think she’s happy with the decision she has made – for now at least! x

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  7. Gosh what a hard decision xx must be the age where suddenly things seem so important and overwhelming… 😉 xx

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    • Thanks! I’m not surprised it upset her – it is a hard decision to make, I wish I could have let her do it all, but I couldn’t! x

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  8. Aww that’s a tough decision to make at that age, I think I’d cry too! I think she’s made the right decision tbh, bless her. X

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    • Thanks very much, I think she has! She may change her mind in a year or so, but at least she will have considered it carefully then. x

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  9. Aww wee lamb, what a shame. I think she’s made the right decision and she so loves to dance. Please give her a huge hug from me xx

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    • Thank you, I certainly will! I think she has made the right decision for her. x

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  10. Oh bless her, it must be really tough for her, especially after the high of doing the panto. Hopefully when she is ready, she will make the decision. I think sometime we forget how young they are and they find making decisions pretty tough

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