Classes for kids

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Classes for kids

Postby mamapup » 30 Apr 2016, 21:52

We tried to take the kids to a street dance class today. We hadn't realised that parents weren't allowed in the class so hadn't prepared them for that. Other kids went in happily and just got on with it.

Ours did not. Little Croc howled and clung to us. The puppy was reluctant but gave it a go for five mins. However, by that point little Croc had stood at the door crying until I took her out and he then realised she was outside with us watching so he burst in to tears and came out too.

The teacher was wonderful, she played his favourite song for them to dance to and did everything right except let us stay in there.

We had walked forty mins to get to this sodding class. Little Croc is so in to dancing we thought she'd love it, although two is very young to be left alone.

I was so annoyed and then annoyed at myself for being annoyed with the kids. But why can't just join in and be super confident? I find this hard as I was always happy to do stuff as a kid. And we thought little Croc was too, she settled in nursery so well and is so confident generally.

Have others had similar experiences? Have you persevered? HF, do I remember you asking a similar question a while back?

Do we push or do we just leave them being less confident and more clingy in this sort of situation? Personally I think little Croc is too young to be left in a strange room with total strangers but I do think the puppy should be able to manage.

We thought we'd start by getting a day time babysitter sometimes so they get used to us not always being with them for activities.

I just assumed my kids would be really confident in these situations because I am. They're confident in other areas,.clearly, this just surprises me and I don't know the best way to handle it. I clearly don't want to make them feel bad ever but I also don't want to pander to this forever.
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Re: Classes for kids

Postby StJuniper » 30 Apr 2016, 23:01

Both my kids are quite happy to be without me, have done sleepovers at the grandparents no problem, happily go to nursery/Sunday school at church without a backwards glance, and have never even really gone through a separation anxiety phase. But I know being thrown into a situation like this would def freak R right out. A room full of strangers in an unfamiliar environment? No way. I'd expect at least a few classes to let kids settle in with parents before leaving them. P... maybe? If I got a chance to explain where I'd be, when I'd be back, and who was there if he needed help. But I think he'd be pretty freaked out too if he was expecting me in with him and I disappeared with R.

All of which to say, it sounds like things just worked out poorly with the no-parents thing being unexpected. I'd give it or similar a few more tries, with plenty of advanced preparation/explanation, before deciding they just weren't confident in such situations. This sounds like a pretty normal reaction to me.
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Re: Classes for kids

Postby lizandimo » 30 Apr 2016, 23:12

Here pretty much everything seems to be parented until 3 - so 2 seems young to me as well to be left alone.

We started DD in a dance class in January. It was a bit of a disaster to begin with. It was a large class of 12 3-5 year olds and she was one of the youngest at just 3 and all the other kids seemed to know each other. The first class they let parents stay and DD took a while to warm up to it and join in. The next class they were encouraging parents to leave and since DD seemed happy enough at the beginning we left. Turns out she was fine for about 5 mins and then realised everyone had left and freaked out. Que lots of screaming. The next 4 classes of the session I had to stay in the room with her (luckily one other mum did too) and she wouldn't start to take part again until the last class (unless I stood up with her!). We signed her up again this session and I don't know whether she grew up a bit in the month between sessions, or that she knows what its about now, or the smaller class size (only 6 kids this time, 3-4 yrs) but she's been fine. So I guess this is a bit of a long winded way of saying we did persevere and it did work out in the end. Had this session also been a disaster I would have given up for now.

I think they probably should have let you stay, especially for little croc, we were lucky in that way that I was able to stay during that first session.

I'm not totally surprised that DD is like this, she's always been pretty shy and I was too (still am in new situations), but I can see why you would have expected this to go well if your two are usually pretty confident. Hopefully they were just having an off day?
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Re: Classes for kids

Postby catkin » 01 May 2016, 00:00

Hamster wouldn't like being left if she wasn't expecting it. She refused to go into the creche at mouse's school play as we hadn't realised there was such a thing. She's fine with classes where she is expecting to go on her own.

Mouse didn't like classes full stop at preschool age. We tried a few, with or without parents. He didn't want to do anything when he started school either. I used to worry that he wasn't getting into any hobbies, he does a couple now though. He knows his own mind this one.

Did you really do classes confidently as a preschooler, or could you be remembering doing things at an older age? Even my full on class refuser is very confident now at 6.
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Re: Classes for kids

Postby emzit » 01 May 2016, 01:26

Muncher would struggle big time, even if expecting it. As evidenced by his horrendous kinder drop offs and he loves kinder. He might be ok with a few classes with us there to settle him in but it's a risk. It's one of the reasons we haven't gotten him back into swimming lessons, as he'd be in the pool without us (although there at the side watching) and I'm not convinced it would work. Squish would probably be happier to join in but I wouldn't expect a 2yo, especially a barely 2yo, to do classes alone and while I think he'd join in if we were there I don't think he would alone. And actually on second thought Muncher would probably just cling and not take part...
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Re: Classes for kids

Postby mamapup » 01 May 2016, 05:51

Thanks for reassurances. The other kids had either not been before or been to one session. Maybe they'd been told it was a no parent situation.

Most of the other kids of the puppy's age that we know are more than happy to do classes alone. We do know the puppy needs preparing for new things from previous experience.

Good to hear mouse is OK now, I guess that's what I need, reassurance that my boy will get there. He's so wonderful and has so much going for him, I just want him to enjoy new things. We'd never try and get him to do anything we think he wouldn't enjoy.

Maybe we'll leave this class for a.while.
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Re: Classes for kids

Postby junglewonderland » 01 May 2016, 06:34

I don't have any experience with class type things but to me they don't sound ready. Maybe try again in 6 months?
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Re: Classes for kids

Postby babydsmummy » 01 May 2016, 18:39

Totally normal - D still takes his time to get used to new things like this at 7, although he's much better than he used to be. He sobbed for his first 2 swimming lessons when he was four, then the third lesson was fine and he still goes now and loves it. I suspect the puppy would get used to it from what you've said and the fact you couldn't prepare him for being without you def won't have helped! I'd be tempted to take him on his own a couple more times and see if he settles in. If he does, then maybe try Little Croc again in a few weeks, but 2 is very young to be left at a class alone!
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Re: Classes for kids

Postby lisbeth » 01 May 2016, 20:53

It sounds quite familiar to me. Neither of my two are the type to confidently join in either, and I have to work at not being frustrated, despite being shy myself. However, I assumed they were picking it up from me. The only pre school class I've done with them is a music one, and I stayed. A generally clung to me if they were ever invited to go up and do something alone, and I often wondered whether I was being daft in persisting. However, since starting school her confidence has absolutely blossomed, and she amazed me standing up and speaking on her own at her class assembly recently. So I think that persisting with the music class, letting her join in as much as she wanted, and having her watch others join in more, has been useful. So despite R being completely clingy now, I am sticking with it, and trying to encourage him to join in, while trying not to mind when he doesn't.
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Re: Classes for kids

Postby sabrina fair » 02 May 2016, 08:25

Haven't read all the replies, but I would expect exactly the same from my kids. Squidge is more confident than monkeyboy but is two so would freak out. Monkeyboy just wouldn't like it. He's getting more confident and just recently wanted to do an after-school class as long as he knew his friends were going too, so I'm not really worried about him in the future - he'll get there.

Have you ever done Myers-briggs? I had a realisation the other day when I realised that monkeyboy is on the introvert end of the spectrum and their description really resonated: he expends his energy on other people and gains his energy from himself and his family. I'm extrovert and gain my energy from other people. But I remember being like him as a kid, so who can say what he'll be like as an adult. I do, however, know he'll be the kindest, loveliest friend to those he loves, and that is more than enough.
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Re: Classes for kids

Postby sabrina fair » 02 May 2016, 08:40

Just re-read and realised my post sounded smug! Just wanted to add I got really pissed off with monkeyboy when we went to a school mate's party the other day. I was there with him but it was really noisy and bright lights and he wouldn't do anything without me. I was so frustrated with him when I saw that all the other kids were happy to join in. No real point to that story except to say, I get the frustration.
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Re: Classes for kids

Postby mamapup » 02 May 2016, 15:37


Well, on the way to the dance class the puppy said he wanted to do ice skating not dancing so today we took them ice skating. He loved it. He was really brave and determined. Of course, it was entirely with us, but it was what he wanted to do and he tried really hard. He is shattered but really proud of himself. He also loves swimming and is really confident in the water too.

Catkin, yes, I did ballet at 3 or 4 and hated ballet but loved doing a class without my mum.

Thanks SF and everyone else, does feel good to know I'm not alone in feeling the frustration. Doesn't mean I don't adore my kids and think they're wonderful though.
In my heart I am Rascalpup, a name awarded during battle with one persistent spammer. I like to think ironside but with sarcasm rather than an axe.

Slightly horrified by my huge number of posts.

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Re: Classes for kids

Postby beebop » 02 May 2016, 19:54

Sounds totally normal. J (6) has only recently been happy to be left at birthday parties. It used to drive me mad, but in reality, instead of both of us being frustrated and upset, I should have just accepted I would have to stay. A(almost 4) has accepted a swimming lesson without me, but only after watching J and having me carefully explain ID be up in the gallery. I think 2 is pretty young, and I'm surprised they expect you to leave her. I'm sure they will get there in their own time. But I can totally sympathise with the frustration!
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Re: Classes for kids

Postby LucyLastic » 02 May 2016, 23:12

C is pretty confident/oblivious and has always just got stuck in, if there are other kids there. I take her to a ballet class and she has always just gone running straight in. Parents are allowed in pre-primary ballet and some of the kids spend the entire time sitting on parental laps, week in, week out. I tend to just point back towards the other children if C comes running to me and she generally just trots back off. As a child, I really wanted to go to ballet, as a lot of my friends went, but my Mum told me that she had taken me when I was four but I had held onto her leg and cried, so she refused to take me again. I was painfully shy as a child/young teenager and I'm so glad C takes after her Dad or my sister in that respect. I do think it's a bit harsh to not allow parents in for a couple of sessions if your kids are having trouble settling. 2 really is very ickle. I hope the puppy and little croc settle in soon or that you find something they are more comfortable with. If it was unexpected that they be left on their own last time, maybe you could try again but with lots of explanation and prep beforehand so they know what to expect next time.
PS I was allowed to go to ballroom dancing when I was 10 :-D
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Re: Classes for kids

Postby ches » 03 May 2016, 02:06

I've tried and given up on do many classes with J I've list count. Karate, yoga, drum circle, soccer, baseball, rock wall, guitar lessons, gymnastics, art classes... All disasters. He gets anxious in new and unpredictable surroundings. Even more so when he thinks he can predict it and it changes up on him. I've learned to play to his strengths and not feel like he's missing out.
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