Saturday 25 February 2012

What to do about clubs?

Image Credit

I am back in a dilemma situation again and I am hoping you lovely readers can help me and perhaps offer some words of wisdom. My little Miss E does not want to continue with her gymnastics class and I think it would be good if she did this half-term and gave it a really good try-out. I need some independent opinions please.
I'll set the record straight from the start, I do not class myself as a pushy parent and I have no penchant for my children to undertake numerous out-of-school clubs each week but I do, in general think it is good for children to develop a hobby and to have an interest.  That can of course be something of their choosing and I do not want to dictate what they must do but I sort of feel that unless the child tries out some activities they will have no idea whether they like them or not.

For ages Miss M has been pestering me that she wants to do gymnastics and whilst I have held out for quite a while (as I thought they were both too young and it was too expensive for the two of them), I gave in about a month ago.  Both girls were offered a free trial class and from the start Miss E told me she did not want to do gymnastics,  nor any other club. 'I'll stay with you Mummy' was what I was told. 
As the session was free I told her she needed to try it out and luckily my mum was staying at our house, so Nanny came along to watch as a treat for the big girls starting at gymnastics.  From that first session it was obvious for all to see that they both had a ball; joining in, chatting to little friends and trying out the new activities.
After that first class both Miss M and Miss E were adamant that they would come back as it was 'great'. Super, thought I, job done! Oh no, nothing so simple. The next week I could see again that Miss E enjoyed herself, she was fully engaged and there was no evidence of her being hesitant or nervous but out she walks and announces she does not want to go anymore. We had a chat about why and she cannot really offer me any reason as to why she does not want to do it.  She would just prefer to spend time with me apparently.
What do I think is the reason? I think she is a little hesitant about the spotlight being on her and having to try out some of the more tricky things like jumping the horse and doing a front roll on the beam. I did observe one instance of her being on the beam and getting all embarrassed and not really listening to the coach and that led to a chat about the danger of not paying attention when in the gymnasium.
So here I am this week, sat in the changing room whilst Miss M does her gymnastics class and Miss E is at home with Daddy as he is of work ill but what to do next week?  Bring both her and JJ and just let them sit with me in the over-crowded changing room whilst Miss M does the class?  I have to pay by the half-term so sadly there is no room for her to pick and choose to go some weeks and not others.
I just feel that she has only been in class three times before and every time I have observed that she has enjoyed herself. She has walked out the class and told me that she had fun but then also told me she does not want to do it again the next week.  Don't get me wrong I am in no hurry to spend £42 on some lessons she does not want to do but I do want to feel as if she was able to make a balanced decision having tried out the classes thoroughly. She does seem to have a natural aptitude for it.
What do you think?  Let her give it up now? Make her do this half term and then let her make a decision? or something else?
and yes, before you mention I do over think things far too much!
Cheers Mich x