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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Maturity, age and organization

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I could have written your post a year ago, Logollady.  I read the posts with interest here, and plan to look up the smart but scattered book for MYSELF (in addition to my now 17 yo DD).  I might be middle-aged, but I feel like I personify the "smart but scattered" style.  LOL.  I didn't realize there were ways to help my tendencies.  I'm on it!

In addition to the hope and reassurance mentioned above, I can assure you that they DO figure it out -- when they have to, but not usually before then.  Despite my DD's mid-teenage years (when I wondered if she would ever be able to put a dish in the dishwasher without being reminded), she is now a trainee across the country from me, living by herself, and figuring out everything on her own.  Her room (especially during Nut) is messy...but now, how to "fix" that mess, or what level of mess is acceptable is up to her.  And when she came home in January, she definitely cleaned up after herself in the kitchen, and remarked to me about how "nice" it was not to have to clean up after others before she used the kitchen.  Ahhh... that, right there, was a moment of parental nirvana.  But before I celebrated too much, I realized, as Gasguzzler mentioned, it's a cyclical thing.  She struggles, she learns, she does better, then she struggles again.

If you are interested in knowing other people's choices about where we allowed a "slide" for everyone's sanity during the truly crazy years, we followed at least part of Fonty's advice, in that we settled for lower grades (but not terrible) than she was capable of.  I know she's smart.  I know she's motivated.  I know that when she wants to pursue academics again, she will with the same ferocity that she's pursuing ballet.  Education is important -- yes.  It's why I insisted on a high school diploma before she moved out of the house -- that was our minimum requirement.  But while she could have taken AP classes, or achieved straight As in everything, we didn't insist on those standards.  Like your DD, ours was balancing 30 hours of ballet, plus pilates, plus chiro and/or PT, plus school.  As others said, that is essentially a full time job.  And her focus wasn't really ON school.  So, I had to constantly re-focus her attention.  Remind her that this was important, push her to fulfill that obligation.  And she "forgot" a lot.  She struggled a lot.  We had TONS of heart to heart talks.  Keep doing that.  It does sink in.  It does. 

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Everyone~ Thank you all so much for taking the time to weigh in on this very sensitive topic. I  initially hesitated posting about this issue because it is such a personal struggle, but then I remembered that there are so many wise women and men in the ballet community who have either walked this road ahead of me or are currently in process, and there also might be others struggling with the same thing who may benefit from the information.

I have read each and every one of your responses and have (as a result) ordered books, spent a bunch of time sleuthing on the internet, helped DD organize her room/life a bit this weekend (so she felt like she had some peace/control) and have decided to become a bit more lax around her schoolwork/schedule (not releasing her from the obligation, but giving her a bit more grace in getting things done). I really took a lot of what was said to heart, so I just want to express my appreciation to everyone for their heartfelt and kind replies. <3 Thank you~

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