My Toddler Dropout

By Anabela Mok 2022-08-11 17:36:20

When my daughter turned three, I thought it was the perfect time to transition away from Mummy and Me classes. We did trial classes at a multitude of activity centres and she seemed to enjoy them. Throughout the year I bought class packs for music class, singing lessons, ballet and from the Little Gym near my house. With my child doing half days in the nursery, we thought a fun afternoon activity would be an exciting way to get her out of the house and playing.

During this exploration period, I shelled out more money than my entire one-year boutique gym membership, with my daughter attending a total of 10 classes in one year. I find her still clinging onto my hand refusing to go into the class solo, completely different than the child I had brought to the trial classes.

As parents we understood that there should be zero expectations when it came to our kid enjoying the first two classes. But when the fifth and sixth class rolled around and I became the ballet teacher’s newest student, I knew something needed to change, because I was not the mum I wanted to be when I took her to the classes

We began the conversation with our three-year old to learn why she still needed mummy to dance with her in ballet. To my heart’s disappointment, my daughter was just not interested. She liked her teacher, her classmates, but she did not enjoy dancing. None of the classes for which I bought packages sparked her interest (unless she was going with her bestie and then the whole class would be all about her chasing around her little friend).

But this was her life, her likes. We had to learn to let go of our expectations. More importantly, let her follow through with one class and enjoy the process. Luckily, we were able to freeze the memberships so we could activate it for another time.

Following her feedback, that summer we enrolled her in swimming. In the beginning we would go through the same song and dance with mummy or ayi in the water. But with positive affirmations at home and sticking to the schedule, she slowly grew into her own person and can now enter the water with just her teacher supervising.

There are times she still won’t do new activities but knowing how much she enjoys swimming we realize our determined little human just knew better all along what she wanted. What we might see as a toddler dropout may just be our kid telling us that she was destined for other things.