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Trying to bring on equality with kids (and dance issues)


Janeway
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I did it again! Ugh!

 

Son loves his dance and could see himself in a career for it.  Now, I have stupidly allowed his activity to take over. He is just so sweet and sensitive and quiet and has been bullied (at public school) over his love of ballet and still stuck it out. 

 

I posted in the past that son went to this ballet school where the owner was getting very rude. And he had allowed the facilities to go downhill so bad. He was running summer classes with a/c not working (he hooked up a window unit, one window unit, and tried to make it work but it was still very hot in there) and then the heat stopped working so he decided to just put a space heater in the dance rooms. Then to add to it, he was just flat out rude, very rude. And his instruction was not even that good. Once we switched academies, we saw how awful his instruction was. Son has come a long way since switching studios. Also, the original studio had a clique in charge of the volunteering there. They were rude and nasty and it just upped the level of nastiness there. I hated going there. It felt like visiting a junior high, except worse than things ever were when I was in junior high. "Mean Girls" has nothing on this group. Moving to the new academy has been a wonderful breath of fresh wonderous air. 

 

Where son is at now has an active and good sized boys program. With no lack of boys, boys get plenty of specialized instruction. But also, with the Nutcracker, there is not as much going on for each boy. The older boys, as in, older teens (the teens in the company), have more to do. But younger boys do smaller parts. This is fine, no problem with it. But, at the old studio, they do not have many boys so each boy does several parts. It becomes a very busy time. They also perform at some city holiday celebrations and for the public schools. Back when son was going there, every Christmas season was so busy, I guess it became invigorating for son and husband to be involved with, despite the rude and nastiness on behalf of the people working there. I have no interest at all in being involved ever again. Also, because the other studio runs the city Nutcracker, kids perform in it from a variety of studios, not just the one. 

 

Son wanted to audition for their Nutcracker this year. He said he was just curious to if the owner/director would take him seriously. The owner/director had older kids and then younger kids and son used to not be very tall so owner/director kept grouping him in with the younger children. This was awkward when son was in 7th grade and he was still bring grouped with the 2nd-5th graders. The rest of the kids were in 9th-12th grade.

 

My husband said to just let son go to the auditions. He will be reminded of how much he hated there. I mean, son really hated it there and was really wanting out when he left. Oh yeah, and I called ahead and the owner/director told me that he did not feel my son was very good at dance and he would maybe be able to let son do one of the older party boy parts. 

 

When we arrived, the catty rude women were there. They were in their usual form, not looking at us, not making eye contact with us and having a rude grumpy look on their faces when dealing with anyone who was not them. My husband and I checked son in and waited until he went back and then went back out to the car while we waited for son to audition. Once out to the car, husband was "wow, they are just as bad as always" and "how can any grown adult still behave like that?" Husband was 100% certain that son would come out, reminded of how much he had grown to dislike the place. 

 

Nope. Turns out, while we were away from the studio for the last year, all but one boy dropped out. And very few boys who did this in past years came back. Even adults who have done this in the past have moved on.  It seems we are not the only ones who had our fill. But for son, this means there are lots of unfilled older boy parts. Owner/director was very impressed by how much son has learned over the past year (duh! son has decent teachers now). Now he wants to put son in to all the parts that an older star student generally did in the past. That older student actually graduated high school this past year so he is gone. But he is the only one who left because of graduating high school. The rest just left. Also, the only boys who auditioned (outside of the one that is in classes, there is just one boy left in the studio now) were siblings of girls who do there. And the girls program has dwindled enough that classes have been discontinued. They have way less girls. Son ended up having to show the other boys how to do things. The owner/director was very impressed with son. It is clear that my son, who used to be ignored and treated like he was of very little worth, is much wanted now and is being offered the parts that the former star student had. 

 

Now, son is super excited over getting to do these parts. I, personally, feel that son should not be doing this anyway because he has dance 4 days a week now, and will have Nutcracker with local studio. Husband's plan that son will be reminded of how awful it was there was slammed shut by the realization that son is now the only teenage boy left. 

 

Now what? I already told my husband that I cannot stand it there, I will not be the one to give up all my time to drive son to and from this place. They are very disorganized so during tech week, the boys have to be there from when school lets out until after 9pm. The director cannot even get it together enough to know when he needs the boys. Most of that time is spent sitting there waiting until they are needed. 

 

Also, the kids have to pay to be in the Nutcracker. And the last year we were there, the director/owner changed the rules to charge per part. This meant we had to pay three times the cost for son to do three roles. Part of me thinks I should speak to son and explain why he should not do it. The appeal is the fun of being the star student and maybe finally appreciated, but, that this is not a good reason to go (not stroking one's boat). Part of me thinks I should let the director/owner know that if he needs our son, fine, but he will not be paying those high fees to be in it, and then put up with driving the distance for this season and saying no on future seasons. (they do not typically charge the older people and adults who are brought in because they are needed).

 

WWYD? Let him take the parts but make this the last time (only if they do not charge him the fees), or have a heart to heart with him why he should not be in it, or even let him be in it even if they insist on us paying the fees?

 

EDITED TO ADD: forgot the original point of this post! IF son does the additional Nutcracker, that will be 5 classes a week of dance (he goes 4 days, but one of those days has 2 classes) plus the Nutcracker at the studio he is at plus the Nutcracker that is 45+ minutes away and sucks up a lot of our time. We have five children that need attention. It seems very unfair to let one child's activities take over again to the point where the other kids cannot do anything and the 15 yr old will be stuck babysitting all the time while I drive son back and forth and sit around a long time waiting on each of the rehearsals. 

Edited by Janeway
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Oh, hands down, I would let him do it.  I would not allow those adults and my own personal feelings to ruin what might be a great experience for my child.  In fact, I did just that.  I had some VERY catty, rude, "never had a high school mean girls" women in my life for a while, but I would still either hang out with someone else, or just drop off my boys, and go out for coffee.

 

He is "Super excited".....how could you possibly not let him?

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Oh, hands down, I would let him do it.  I would not allow those adults and my own personal feelings to ruin what might be a great experience for my child.  In fact, I did just that.  I had some VERY catty, rude, "never had a high school mean girls" women in my life for a while, but I would still either hang out with someone else, or just drop off my boys, and go out for coffee.

 

He is "Super excited".....how could you possibly not let him?

Edited in original post. I forgot to mention the whole point of the post.

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What does the director of your current studio have to say? I'd trust their judgement. Are injuries more likely bc the Nutcracker studio is incompetent? Is there time in your son's schedule to do all this? Will he need to miss regular dance class to rehearse Nutcracker? Can he accept fewer roles?

 

The new behavior is only temporary bc the old studio is worried about losing their Nutcracker leadership role. If the clique is still there then things haven't really changed.

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What does the director of your current studio have to say? I'd trust their judgement. Are injuries more likely bc the Nutcracker studio is incompetent? Is there time in your son's schedule to do all this? Will he need to miss regular dance class to rehearse Nutcracker? Can he accept fewer roles?

 

The new behavior is only temporary bc the old studio is worried about losing their Nutcracker leadership role. If the clique is still there then things haven't really changed.

 

Son seems to think new studio is ok with it. And son will miss at least a week of classes to go to the one far away. I understand that being a star or center of attention is tons of fun, and having tons of roles to do. But there comes a point of enough is enough. I am stressed and up early just thinking about all the work I am going to have to do. Husband was very certain son would not want to do it once he saw them again. Instead, finding out all the other boys (except the one) dropped out left lots for son to do and the best teen male dancer. 

 

I do not want to take any risks with the studio he is at now. I feel like he needs to focus on them and not overload his plate so much that he might short change the studio he is in now.

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One other thing I just remembered, both studios do a different style of ballet. Son spent much of last year being corrected to the newer style. The other studio is Vaganova style where as this studio is more ABT and maybe even a little Balanchine. There were issues like foot turn out being different that meant son needed to back up and retrain a lot. He managed to correct a lot by the end of the year, but I would hate to see him slide backward.

 

Also, the new studio has sprung floors and such and the old one does not.

Edited by Janeway
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Son seems to think new studio is ok with it. And son will miss at least a week of classes to go to the one far away. I understand that being a star or center of attention is tons of fun, and having tons of roles to do. But there comes a point of enough is enough. I am stressed and up early just thinking about all the work I am going to have to do. Husband was very certain son would not want to do it once he saw them again. Instead, finding out all the other boys (except the one) dropped out left lots for son to do and the best teen male dancer. 

 

I do not want to take any risks with the studio he is at now. I feel like he needs to focus on them and not overload his plate so much that he might short change the studio he is in now.

In my opinion, the time to have weighed how much work this is going to be for you would have been before you let your son audition for the parts.  

 

If there are no negative ramifications for your son by permitting him to perform in the roles he auditioned for, I would let him do it.  Now if there is a risk of over-use injuries, I would still let him do it, but I would ask the director to limit the number of roles he would have or figure out some other training regimen to prevent these types of injuries. 

Edited by snowbeltmom
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WWYD? Let him take the parts but make this the last time (only if they do not charge him the fees), or have a heart to heart with him why he should not be in it, or even let him be in it even if they insist on us paying the fees?

 

EDITED TO ADD: forgot the original point of this post! IF son does the additional Nutcracker, that will be 5 classes a week of dance (he goes 4 days, but one of those days has 2 classes) plus the Nutcracker at the studio he is at plus the Nutcracker that is 45+ minutes away and sucks up a lot of our time. We have five children that need attention. It seems very unfair to let one child's activities take over again to the point where the other kids cannot do anything and the 15 yr old will be stuck babysitting all the time while I drive son back and forth and sit around a long time waiting on each of the rehearsals. 

 

Sorry, but you let him audition. You let him get "super excited." I cannot imagine not letting him do the show.

 

(And I say that as a parent who had seven years of holiday seasons consumed by Nutcrackers.)

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I did it again! Ugh!

 

Son loves his dance and could see himself in a career for it. Now, I have stupidly allowed his activity to take over. He is just so sweet and sensitive and quiet and has been bullied (at public school) over his love of ballet and still stuck it out.

 

I posted in the past that son went to this ballet school where the owner was getting very rude. And he had allowed the facilities to go downhill so bad. He was running summer classes with a/c not working (he hooked up a window unit, one window unit, and tried to make it work but it was still very hot in there) and then the heat stopped working so he decided to just put a space heater in the dance rooms. Then to add to it, he was just flat out rude, very rude. And his instruction was not even that good. Once we switched academies, we saw how awful his instruction was. Son has come a long way since switching studios. Also, the original studio had a clique in charge of the volunteering there. They were rude and nasty and it just upped the level of nastiness there. I hated going there. It felt like visiting a junior high, except worse than things ever were when I was in junior high. "Mean Girls" has nothing on this group. Moving to the new academy has been a wonderful breath of fresh wonderous air.

 

Where son is at now has an active and good sized boys program. With no lack of boys, boys get plenty of specialized instruction. But also, with the Nutcracker, there is not as much going on for each boy. The older boys, as in, older teens (the teens in the company), have more to do. But younger boys do smaller parts. This is fine, no problem with it. But, at the old studio, they do not have many boys so each boy does several parts. It becomes a very busy time. They also perform at some city holiday celebrations and for the public schools. Back when son was going there, every Christmas season was so busy, I guess it became invigorating for son and husband to be involved with, despite the rude and nastiness on behalf of the people working there. I have no interest at all in being involved ever again. Also, because the other studio runs the city Nutcracker, kids perform in it from a variety of studios, not just the one.

 

Son wanted to audition for their Nutcracker this year. He said he was just curious to if the owner/director would take him seriously. The owner/director had older kids and then younger kids and son used to not be very tall so owner/director kept grouping him in with the younger children. This was awkward when son was in 7th grade and he was still bring grouped with the 2nd-5th graders. The rest of the kids were in 9th-12th grade.

 

My husband said to just let son go to the auditions. He will be reminded of how much he hated there. I mean, son really hated it there and was really wanting out when he left. Oh yeah, and I called ahead and the owner/director told me that he did not feel my son was very good at dance and he would maybe be able to let son do one of the older party boy parts.

 

When we arrived, the catty rude women were there. They were in their usual form, not looking at us, not making eye contact with us and having a rude grumpy look on their faces when dealing with anyone who was not them. My husband and I checked son in and waited until he went back and then went back out to the car while we waited for son to audition. Once out to the car, husband was "wow, they are just as bad as always" and "how can any grown adult still behave like that?" Husband was 100% certain that son would come out, reminded of how much he had grown to dislike the place.

 

Nope. Turns out, while we were away from the studio for the last year, all but one boy dropped out. And very few boys who did this in past years came back. Even adults who have done this in the past have moved on. It seems we are not the only ones who had our fill. But for son, this means there are lots of unfilled older boy parts. Owner/director was very impressed by how much son has learned over the past year (duh! son has decent teachers now). Now he wants to put son in to all the parts that an older star student generally did in the past. That older student actually graduated high school this past year so he is gone. But he is the only one who left because of graduating high school. The rest just left. Also, the only boys who auditioned (outside of the one that is in classes, there is just one boy left in the studio now) were siblings of girls who do there. And the girls program has dwindled enough that classes have been discontinued. They have way less girls. Son ended up having to show the other boys how to do things. The owner/director was very impressed with son. It is clear that my son, who used to be ignored and treated like he was of very little worth, is much wanted now and is being offered the parts that the former star student had.

 

Now, son is super excited over getting to do these parts. I, personally, feel that son should not be doing this anyway because he has dance 4 days a week now, and will have Nutcracker with local studio. Husband's plan that son will be reminded of how awful it was there was slammed shut by the realization that son is now the only teenage boy left.

 

Now what? I already told my husband that I cannot stand it there, I will not be the one to give up all my time to drive son to and from this place. They are very disorganized so during tech week, the boys have to be there from when school lets out until after 9pm. The director cannot even get it together enough to know when he needs the boys. Most of that time is spent sitting there waiting until they are needed.

 

Also, the kids have to pay to be in the Nutcracker. And the last year we were there, the director/owner changed the rules to charge per part. This meant we had to pay three times the cost for son to do three roles. Part of me thinks I should speak to son and explain why he should not do it. The appeal is the fun of being the star student and maybe finally appreciated, but, that this is not a good reason to go (not stroking one's boat). Part of me thinks I should let the director/owner know that if he needs our son, fine, but he will not be paying those high fees to be in it, and then put up with driving the distance for this season and saying no on future seasons. (they do not typically charge the older people and adults who are brought in because they are needed).

 

WWYD? Let him take the parts but make this the last time (only if they do not charge him the fees), or have a heart to heart with him why he should not be in it, or even let him be in it even if they insist on us paying the fees?

 

EDITED TO ADD: forgot the original point of this post! IF son does the additional Nutcracker, that will be 5 classes a week of dance (he goes 4 days, but one of those days has 2 classes) plus the Nutcracker at the studio he is at plus the Nutcracker that is 45+ minutes away and sucks up a lot of our time. We have five children that need attention. It seems very unfair to let one child's activities take over again to the point where the other kids cannot do anything and the 15 yr old will be stuck babysitting all the time while I drive son back and forth and sit around a long time waiting on each of the rehearsals.

I don't understand why you let him audition at all if you hated the place and the people there so much. Why would you do that to him if you didn't want him to take a part if it was offered to him? :confused:

 

I don't see how you can say no to him after you let him audition. Frankly, I think it was pretty mean to let him audition at all considering that you seemed to have assumed he wouldn't be chosen. It's almost like you were intentionally setting him up for failure and disappointment, but the kid succeeded and now you don't know what to do.

 

I don't see how you can possibly say no to your son now.

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Hoping that he would hate the audition process and the studio and not want to dance for them was a passive-aggressive way of approaching the situation. And it backfired on you. You can double down on your approach and go back on your (implied) promise to your son that he be allowed to do the offered roles but you risk severe (and justly deserved) anger and resentment from him if you do that. Or you can follow through on your promise and let him dance with them.

 

 

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I think you need to let him do it. If you didn't want him to do it,you shouldn't have let him try out. I understand why you, did, but, at this point, the joke's on you.

 

:iagree:   Unless you specifically prepared him for the idea that even if he gets a decent part, he may not be able to do the show once you knew the details, it would be very unfair to tell him no at this point.  

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Son seems to think new studio is ok with it. And son will miss at least a week of classes to go to the one far away. I understand that being a star or center of attention is tons of fun, and having tons of roles to do. But there comes a point of enough is enough. I am stressed and up early just thinking about all the work I am going to have to do. Husband was very certain son would not want to do it once he saw them again. Instead, finding out all the other boys (except the one) dropped out left lots for son to do and the best teen male dancer.

 

I do not want to take any risks with the studio he is at now. I feel like he needs to focus on them and not overload his plate so much that he might short change the studio he is in now.

I would check personally to make sure his new studio is ok with it, although that likely should have been done prior to the audition. If the new studio is ok with it, I'm not sure how you can say no now. Maybe you can find some others to carpool with to cut down on driving. Edited by Frances
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why did you let him audition?

 

Does his new instructor know he auditioned and does he need permission from the new studio to do this? You need to find out what policies the new studio has on outside classes, auditions, and performances ASAP. You need to apologize for not getting permission first and if new studio is OK with it let your ds perform. I understand that the old studio has performers from multiple locations audition, but still it is important to discuss with current teachers. 

 

There are lots of reasons studios want you to get approval or at least discuss with them first. A big one is technique. You said your ds spent a lot of time correcting technique, now he's going to be doing rehearsals under the direction of someone who taught the bad technique. Sounds like a bad plan. His current teachers may have other solid reasons why this would not be good for your ds. Your ds is 15. He wants a career in dance. If he has instructors he trust (and I hope he does) he needs to give them respect and seek their professional guidance. 

 

If after discussing the pros and cons with his current teachers and your ds has the go ahead and still wants to, then you need to let him do it. And you are going to have to suck of the scheduling until it's over. 

 

That's what I think, YMMV.

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He is probably old enough to manage things so that you don't have to have much interaction with the parents that you don't like, so I would not let that influence the decision.

 

On the other hand, the time envolved with the driving, rehearsals, practice etc, and the other kids would be enough for me to tell him he can't do it, or at least he will need to find someone to carpool with or pay for rides. If he wants to bad enough, then he can figure out a way to pay the cost to participate.

 

Missing one Nutcracker at 15 is not going to prevent him from becoming a professional dancer, but having mom and the rest of the family go off the deep end while trying to support all of his interests might.

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Well, I agree with others that said you never should have let him get his hopes up in the first place.  

 

But I disagree that this means he should absolutely get to participate in something that is going to impact all other members of the family in a pretty (IMO) unfair way.  Big sis has to babysit constantly because of this?  Special needs kid is going to go without from now until Christmas?  Etc, etc.  

 

In your shoes, I would 'fess up to son.  I would say, "Son, we really, really screwed up here.  We let you audition without thinking this through and we just can't make this work because of time and budget.  We know this is really disappointing to you and we feel heartsick over setting you up like this.  Please forgive us when you can."  

 

I would NOT NOT NOT NOT NOT have a "heart to heart" in which you force a young teen to "do the right thing" by listing out all the ways his passion is going to ruin the next five months for everyone else just so that he can say, "Ok mom, I understand and I won't do it after all."  You and DH need to put on your parent pants, make this decision for him, let him be angry about it, and tell him you've made a bad mistake and are sorry.  

 

 

If you decide to let him do it after all, I would insist that you not pay for his participation, especially not 3x.  That is absurd.   

Edited by Monica_in_Switzerland
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I think if the answer was "no" you never should have set him up by allowing him to return for the audition. You CAN call the studio, tell them you're willing to pay for ONE role, and gave them choose (knowing they'll likely cave and give you a deal). I really think you missed your window to reasonably put a stop to this and now you and DH have to juggle your schedules to accommodate. At this point, just making it clear you won't do this next year is about the best you can do without being unfair to your son.

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why did you let him audition?

 

Does his new instructor know he auditioned and does he need permission from the new studio to do this? You need to find out what policies the new studio has on outside classes, auditions, and performances ASAP. You need to apologize for not getting permission first and if new studio is OK with it let your ds perform. I understand that the old studio has performers from multiple locations audition, but still it is important to discuss with current teachers. 

 

There are lots of reasons studios want you to get approval or at least discuss with them first. A big one is technique. You said your ds spent a lot of time correcting technique, now he's going to be doing rehearsals under the direction of someone who taught the bad technique. Sounds like a bad plan. His current teachers may have other solid reasons why this would not be good for your ds. Your ds is 15. He wants a career in dance. If he has instructors he trust (and I hope he does) he needs to give them respect and seek their professional guidance. 

 

If after discussing the pros and cons with his current teachers and your ds has the go ahead and still wants to, then you need to let him do it. And you are going to have to suck of the scheduling until it's over. 

 

That's what I think, YMMV.

 

:iagree:  DD15 and I just attended a meeting at her ballet studio. Her director is firm that students need to get her permission before auditioning for any outside classes, roles, etc. She is concerned both about students over extending themselves and about outside instructors teaching different or incorrect technique.

 

Because the technique was poor at the old studio, I would not go back without explicit permission from the new studio.

 

Also, participating in two Nutcrackers is a nutty idea, in my opinion. Just doing one studio's Nutcracker is exhausting!!

 

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About being fair to siblings.... It is a real issue when one child is involved in serious ballet training. DD15 dances six days a week. There is just no way that our family can have all four children involved in activities to that extent. It's not equitable time wise, and realistically, it never will be. Logistically, there is no way for me to transport four kids to four different activities every single day of the week.

 

But we have found ways for my other kids to do activities they enjoy. Our schedule is always full. They are not missing out, even if they are less busy than their sister.

 

 

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Is there really a way that he can possibly do the Nutrcracker at two different studios in the same season?  I think it would be likely for rehearsals and performances to conflict, especially if you consider commute time between the two locations.

 

If it is really possible for him to do both, I would try to figure out a way to let him do both if I let him audition for it without being very upfront with concerns and limits before the audition.  It doesn't sound as if you have learned new information since the audition that would contribute to a "no" now.  You knew about the cost before the audition.  You also knew about the commute, time commitment, disorganization, and impact on your family member's time before the audition.  I would try to make sure that it interferes with the other children's activities as little as possible and I would be careful not to put on too much babysitting duties on one child.   But, it is only for several months that you have to commit--not long term; I think being fair that all children in a family have an opportunity to explore interests does not have to mean that each week each child has the same amount of time devoted to this--there are seasons where one child has more than another.

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On another note, fairness all at the same time isn't always logistically possible. As the oldest child, I'm particularly sensitive to seeing older kids limited in the name of fairness, but no such constraints placed on the younger ones because there are fewer kids to juggle later. Pulling the lead from this kid might be very bad for your long term relationship with this boy.

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Well, I agree with others that said you never should have let him get his hopes up in the first place.  

 

But I disagree that this means he should absolutely get to participate in something that is going to impact all other members of the family in a pretty (IMO) unfair way.  Big sis has to babysit constantly because of this?  Special needs kid is going to go without from now until Christmas?  Etc, etc.  

 

In your shoes, I would 'fess up to son.  I would say, "Son, we really, really screwed up here.  We let you audition without thinking this through and we just can't make this work because of time and budget.  We know this is really disappointing to you and we feel heartsick over setting you up like this.  Please forgive us when you can."  

 

I would NOT NOT NOT NOT NOT have a "heart to heart" in which you force a young teen to "do the right thing" by listing out all the ways his passion is going to ruin the next five months for everyone else just so that he can say, "Ok mom, I understand and I won't do it after all."  You and DH need to put on your parent pants, make this decision for him, let him be angry about it, and tell him you've made a bad mistake and are sorry.  

 

 

If you decide to let him do it after all, I would insist that you not pay for his participation, especially not 3x.  That is absurd.   

 

I agree with this. I think you shouldn't have let him audition if you knew the answer would be no. However, I think all parents make mistakes and probably the way we handle them is more important than the fact that we made them. I think if you realize now this was a mistake and that there is no way to make it work that you need to own that and tell him that it just isn't going to work and that you're really sorry. I would absolutely not try to guilt him into figuring out that he's "supposed" to make a certain decision. 

Edited by Alice
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Absolutely agreeing with others that if there is no way you will let him do this (even if he consults his current studio and they agree he can), you have to own it and apologize for allowing him to get his hopes up. Do not bully him into "doing what's right" for the family when you are the one who set up the problem in the first place.

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WWYD? Let him take the parts but make this the last time (only if they do not charge him the fees), or have a heart to heart with him why he should not be in it, or even let him be in it even if they insist on us paying the fees?

 

EDITED TO ADD: forgot the original point of this post! IF son does the additional Nutcracker, that will be 5 classes a week of dance (he goes 4 days, but one of those days has 2 classes) plus the Nutcracker at the studio he is at plus the Nutcracker that is 45+ minutes away and sucks up a lot of our time. We have five children that need attention. It seems very unfair to let one child's activities take over again to the point where the other kids cannot do anything and the 15 yr old will be stuck babysitting all the time while I drive son back and forth and sit around a long time waiting on each of the rehearsals. 

 

You committed to making sure your son could get to and from the studio at the point you let him audition. The unfair part would be YOU and your dh reneging on that commitment. It is a few months of time at the most, your other kids will not suffer for the rest of their childhood because their brother got to do something that he is really into. And why does the 15 y.o. need to always babysit? You could take the littles with you and bring entertainment for them if the 15 y.o. has things of his own to do. People manage this all the time.

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You need to let him do the show. If I'd gotten something like that and my mom made me back out because she didn't feel like she had time and only decided that after I'd gotten the parts... that's not something I'd get over in a hurry. Figure out how to make it happen.

 

ETA: If your son wants a career in dance, you might need to make your peace with it demanding a lot from you. Yes, even if you don't or can't devote equal time to another child who doesn't have the same level of interest in an activity. In the past you've posted about wanting thing to be fair, even when needs and desires were different among your children. 

Edited by Mimm
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You committed to making sure your son could get to and from the studio at the point you let him audition. The unfair part would be YOU and your dh reneging on that commitment. It is a few months of time at the most, your other kids will not suffer for the rest of their childhood because their brother got to do something that he is really into. And why does the 15 y.o. need to always babysit? You could take the littles with you and bring entertainment for them if the 15 y.o. has things of his own to do. People manage this all the time.

:iagree:

 

Your younger kids are your responsibility; your 15yo should not be expected to "always" babysit for them. I can understand asking the 15yo to help out in a pinch, but not on a regular basis because you're right -- it's not fair.

 

If you don't want to watch your younger kids during the rehearsals, maybe you can hire a babysitter -- although I wouldn't think you would have to be right there during every rehearsal, so you could probably be outside entertaining your younger kids while your son is rehearsing.

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Is there really a way that he can possibly do the Nutrcracker at two different studios in the same season? I think it would be likely for rehearsals and performances to conflict, especially if you consider commute time between the two locations.

 

If it is really possible for him to do both, I would try to figure out a way to let him do both if I let him audition for it without being very upfront with concerns and limits before the audition. It doesn't sound as if you have learned new information since the audition that would contribute to a "no" now. You knew about the cost before the audition. You also knew about the commute, time commitment, disorganization, and impact on your family member's time before the audition. I would try to make sure that it interferes with the other children's activities as little as possible and I would be careful not to put on too much babysitting duties on one child. But, it is only for several months that you have to commit--not long term; I think being fair that all children in a family have an opportunity to explore interests does not have to mean that each week each child has the same amount of time devoted to this--there are seasons where one child has more than another.

it isn't that we learned new info so much as it is that some of it we thought about before going and some came back big time once we were back at the studio. I actually had forgotten about the cost thing because it was new when we left. Previous years, it was not like that.
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:iagree:

 

Your younger kids are your responsibility; your 15yo should not be expected to "always" babysit for them. I can understand asking the 15yo to help out in a pinch, but not on a regular basis because you're right -- it's not fair.

 

If you don't want to watch your younger kids during the rehearsals, maybe you can hire a babysitter -- although I wouldn't think you would have to be right there during every rehearsal, so you could probably be outside entertaining your younger kids while your son is rehearsing.

Young children are not allowed at the studio when not in class. Weird rule and I am sure it is yet another reason he has lost so much business. And since it is a 45 minute drive each way, cannot drop him off and pick him up later.
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Young children are not allowed at the studio when not in class. Weird rule and I am sure it is yet another reason he has lost so much business. And since it is a 45 minute drive each way, cannot drop him off and pick him up later.

There are no libraries or parks closer to the studio where you could take the younger kids? That is what I have done under similar circumstances.

Edited by maize
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Young children are not allowed at the studio when not in class. Weird rule and I am sure it is yet another reason he has lost so much business. And since it is a 45 minute drive each way, cannot drop him off and pick him up later.

What about carpooling? Or hiring a babysitter for the younger kids? Or taking them along and entertaining them elsewhere during rehearsal (park, library, etc.).

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I agree with this. I think you shouldn't have let him audition if you knew the answer would be no. However, I think all parents make mistakes and probably the way we handle them is more important than the fact that we made them. I think if you realize now this was a mistake and that there is no way to make it work that you need to own that and tell him that it just isn't going to work and that you're really sorry. I would absolutely not try to guilt him into figuring out that he's "supposed" to make a certain decision.

despite my poor wording that sounded like I took him knowing he wouldn't be allowed, we took him thinking basically that he wasn't really going to want to do it, thinking about how rude the guy was. But once there, I started remembering about all the things we hated about that place.

 

I don't see anything wrong with starting something and then saying sorry, but turns out, this won't work out. It is very inflexible to say everything started must be finished, no matter what. And it teaches him that even if something turns out to be the wrong thing, even if he should have realized it in the first place, he must carry through and do it anyway. It is ok to admit a mistake. I do not think we have ever allowed our kids to back out of anything. He is actually afraid of trying this school he starts tomorrow because he thinks if it goes poorly, we will never allow him to stop. It is ok to try something where there is not a 100% guarantee it will work out and it is ok to stop something. If we had signed contracts, that would be different.

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I don't exactly see what benefits your ds  gets by doing this production.  Yeah, he'll get multiple parts, but is it a production he's going to be proud of? 

 

I also don't think that just because you let him audition it means you have to let him accept the roles.  It sounds like if he had auditioned and received roles but decide he didn't want to do the production you would have allowed him to back out. Don't you get the same consideration to change your mind?  You have some valid reasons to not allow him to do this- it's a big time commitment, a financial outlay, and you'll need babysitting for the other kids. 

 

I wouldn't have let him audition in the first place because he already has a new studio that is doing the Nutcracker, and because you left the other studio because the instruction wasn't to your standard and because some of the parents weren't friendly.  So letting him go back seemed like a bad idea.   

 

Disclaimer: my kids weren't dancers so I don't know much about this kind of thing. Also, several times I had to tell our kids that something we planned or started wasn't working and we'd need to drop it. They were ok. 

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Young children are not allowed at the studio when not in class. Weird rule and I am sure it is yet another reason he has lost so much business. And since it is a 45 minute drive each way, cannot drop him off and pick him up later.

 

You could drop him off and take the littles to a local library or a fast food place with an indoor playground.

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You say you took him to the audition knowing he wouldn't be allowed to accept the roles. Did you tell him that? Did you tell him it was just for the experience to see how he would do?

 

If you didn't make clear you had no intention of having him perform in the show where he auditioned, you need to apologize. He went into it thinking he might have opportunities. From what you he never had any opportunities.

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Young children are not allowed at the studio when not in class. Weird rule and I am sure it is yet another reason he has lost so much business. And since it is a 45 minute drive each way, cannot drop him off and pick him up later.

Of course they wouldn't allow young children to be in the studio when they're not in class. That makes perfect sense.

 

What people are suggesting is that you wait outside with your younger children or take them somewhere nearby while your son is at his rehearsals.

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despite my poor wording that sounded like I took him knowing he wouldn't be allowed, we took him thinking basically that he wasn't really going to want to do it, thinking about how rude the guy was. But once there, I started remembering about all the things we hated about that place.

 

I don't see anything wrong with starting something and then saying sorry, but turns out, this won't work out. It is very inflexible to say everything started must be finished, no matter what. And it teaches him that even if something turns out to be the wrong thing, even if he should have realized it in the first place, he must carry through and do it anyway. It is ok to admit a mistake. I do not think we have ever allowed our kids to back out of anything. He is actually afraid of trying this school he starts tomorrow because he thinks if it goes poorly, we will never allow him to stop. It is ok to try something where there is not a 100% guarantee it will work out and it is ok to stop something. If we had signed contracts, that would be different.

The problem here is that you're the one at fault, not your son. This isn't about "signed contracts;" this is about dangling a carrot in front of your son's nose and then snatching it away from him. It's a matter of trust.

 

You should never have allowed him to audition if you didn't intend to let him accept a part if he was chosen. What possessed you to want to expose him again to people you already knew you couldn't stand to be around? If he already knew about the audition, why didn't you simply say no and remind him of how terrible and rude the people were? And if he didn't know about the audition, why did you ever tell him about it at all?

 

I'm sorry, Janeway, but you were completely wrong to have pulled this kind of stunt on your son. He is just a kid. He should never have been put into a position where he was expected to realize on his own that this studio wasn't a good fit for him. You were so sure he wouldn't be chosen for a role but it came back to bite you and now you're acting like your son should have realized the people at the studio are rude and he should have decided on his own that he didn't want the biggest and most important dance role that he has ever had the chance to play. Did you really think he would want to turn down that kind of opportunity?

 

I'm sorry to sound so harsh, but I feel like you keep making excuses for having done a really rotten thing to your son. I hope you will hold up your end and let him take the part, because if you don't, how can you expect him to trust you? You got his hopes up knowing full well that you didn't want to let him take the part. I can't understand that at all.

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On another note, fairness all at the same time isn't always logistically possible. As the oldest child, I'm particularly sensitive to seeing older kids limited in the name of fairness, but no such constraints placed on the younger ones because there are fewer kids to juggle later. Pulling the lead from this kid might be very bad for your long term relationship with this boy.

This youngest of five children agrees! There is no way to treat all children the same. My older sisters and oldest brother participated in actives that were not within financial reach when my 2nd brother and I reached the appropriate age. At that same time my oldest brother and sisters were not able to participate in age appropriate activities at that same time due to those same financial constraints. As we all grew up and circumstances allowed, my 2nd brother and I participated in some activities appropriate to our current ages. The oldest three siblings has opportunities that the two youngest didn't have. The two youngest had opportunities the oldest three didn't have. Fairness doesn't mean treating everyone the same. Fairness is meeting the needs of each individual child in the best way possible. Extras are just that, extras. Sometimes they are available and sometimes they aren't. Likewise, older children shouldn't be denied their opportunities because it's hard on mom when she has to rearrange the rest of the family schedule. Sometimes that schedule just needs to be rearranged.

 

I honestly think his new studio will have a problem with him performing in the other studios production, though. They will want his best work for their production and having him jump back and forth between the styles may not be how he can give either studio his best work. The root problem, from my viewpoint, was that either your son, his father or yourself thought he should have more or bigger parts and did not accept the reality of his place in his current studio. It is his first year there - it sounds as if there are more experienced and/or more proficient dancers for the larger roles. This means that your son has peers he can look up to, watch and learn from. Not everyone can be the Prince their first time out. Nutcracker takes a huge amount of work. He should experience it fully in the roles in which he was cast, learn and enjoy the season.

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Of course they wouldn't allow young children to be in the studio when they're not in class. That makes perfect sense.

 

What people are suggesting is that you wait outside with your younger children or take them somewhere nearby while your son is at his rehearsals.

 

This is what I did when we had 45 min drive, other kid and I went to parks, libraries, coffee shops, sat in the car, whatever while waiting.

 

That is was I see others do as well.

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Do the multiple parts result in more trips to rehearsals than only one part would?  Are the extra fees for multiple parts a significant part of your family budget?  If so, I would be inclined to say, "When we allowed you to audition, we were thinking it would take X amount of the family's time over the next several months and cost X amount of $.  Multiple parts significantly increases the time commitment to X and the cost to X.  That is a bigger sacrifice for the rest of the family than we were anticipating; we will agree to do what we thought the commitment would be for one part, but you cannot accept multiple parts."  

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The problem here is that you're the one at fault, not your son. This isn't about "signed contracts;" this is about dangling a carrot in front of your son's nose and then snatching it away from him. It's a matter of trust.

 

You should never have allowed him to audition if you didn't intend to let him accept a part if he was chosen. What possessed you to want to expose him again to people you already knew you couldn't stand to be around? If he already knew about the audition, why didn't you simply say no and remind him of how terrible and rude the people were? And if he didn't know about the audition, why did you ever tell him about it at all?

 

I'm sorry, Janeway, but you were completely wrong to have pulled this kind of stunt on your son. He is just a kid. He should never have been put into a position where he was expected to realize on his own that this studio wasn't a good fit for him. You were so sure he wouldn't be chosen for a role but it came back to bite you and now you're acting like your son should have realized the people at the studio are rude and he should have decided on his own that he didn't want the biggest and most important dance role that he has ever had the chance to play. Did you really think he would want to turn down that kind of opportunity?

 

I'm sorry to sound so harsh, but I feel like you keep making excuses for having done a really rotten thing to your son. I hope you will hold up your end and let him take the part, because if you don't, how can you expect him to trust you? You got his hopes up knowing full well that you didn't want to let him take the part. I can't understand that at all.

 

:iagree: 100%. It amazes me that the OP is trying to act like this isn't her fault. Taking this away from her son will be intentionally causing long term damage in her relationship with her son. And to try to guilt him into backing out, with words of reminders of how they didn't like the studio before or how it affects the family is down right cruel given that the OP encouraged him to try out. Any excuse, even trying to get the new studio to talk him out of it, is just plain wrong.

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How do you get to the stage of having a 15yo and a bunch of younger kids, without having become accustomed to long drives, long waits while tending and amusing little ones, annoying people at activities, and juggling kid schedules so they can all grow and thrive (overall if not simultaneously)?

 

This may be rude, but you're coming across as a newbie and that's confusing to me. I don't know any parent who has been able to opt out of the three ring circus -- except for a few who don't let their kids do anything.

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despite my poor wording that sounded like I took him knowing he wouldn't be allowed, we took him thinking basically that he wasn't really going to want to do it, thinking about how rude the guy was. But once there, I started remembering about all the things we hated about that place.

 

I don't see anything wrong with starting something and then saying sorry, but turns out, this won't work out. It is very inflexible to say everything started must be finished, no matter what. And it teaches him that even if something turns out to be the wrong thing, even if he should have realized it in the first place, he must carry through and do it anyway. It is ok to admit a mistake. I do not think we have ever allowed our kids to back out of anything. He is actually afraid of trying this school he starts tomorrow because he thinks if it goes poorly, we will never allow him to stop. It is ok to try something where there is not a 100% guarantee it will work out and it is ok to stop something. If we had signed contracts, that would be different.

 

You're wanting to back out for your own sake, for your own convenience, not because it it's the "wrong thing" for him. Yes, it's ok to admit a mistake, and the mistake here was yours. It's not ok to make a mistake, and stick your kid with the consequences because you don't feel like dealing with them.

 

How do you get to the stage of having a 15yo and a bunch of younger kids, without having become accustomed to long drives, long waits while tending and amusing little ones, annoying people at activities, and juggling kid schedules so they can all grow and thrive (overall if not simultaneously)?

 

This may be rude, but you're coming across as a newbie and that's confusing to me. I don't know any parent who has been able to opt out of the three ring circus -- except for a few who don't let their kids do anything.

 

:iagree:   OP, you've had several lengthy posts about your children's extracurricular activities if I'm remembering correctly, and I'm a bit baffled at how you haven't made decisions and gotten control of the situation by this point.

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You took him to an audition, he wants to do it.  The time to say no was before the audition.  My kids audition for stuff and I have a dancer and there is no way I would have let my kids audition for this opportunity.  But I wouldn't take away an opportunity once I let them audition.  I don't love everything everything along these lines that my kids do.

 

If you financially or time wise CANNOT do it, fess up to the son and take responsibility.  And keep a much tighter reign on this kind of thing in the future.  Don't make it about him not getting how mean they are.  Really this shows his dedication level to dance, and kudos for him.   But take a firm line on what you can do an afford for each kid at the age and level they are at.  You're the adult.

Edited by WoolySocks
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