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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Siblings of dancers


2thepointe

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I am just curious to know whether other dance moms are dealing with resentment from sons or other siblings who are not involved in the ballet world? My son, the twin brother of a dancing daughter sometimes shows different levels of resentment toward me and my daughter because of the level of involvement away from home or at the studio. I guess during his early years he spent too much time waiting for his sister to finish dance class! During SI audition season, it seems to get worse.

 

My son is very involved with his sports and hobbies. I have to admit that my husband handles most of the shuttling for his activities. I do make it to most of the games, though.

 

DD attended an SI away from home last summer. I flew her down and flew back home. Flew down again at the end for the performance and to help pack her up.

 

For Moms who go with daughters to SI's and stay for the duration, how do the other siblings handle the fact that you are away for so long? What do you do to compensate for your absence?

 

Just curious.

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2thepointe,

 

I have a similar problem with my younger daughter. She is adamant that my older DD is the "favorite" out of the four children. Interestingly this seems to only be problematic for her but not for my sons, one of whom is younger than my DD and one of whom is older. I used to believe it was just because she is the youngest child and felt more need to vie for my attention but I really think she is now very envious of any time I spend with my DD whether it is dance related or not, perhaps because she is the youngest or just perhaps she is a girl and more emotional than the boys. Recently I have made a real effort to spend more time alone with her, going to the movies etc. and have added violin lessons for her in which we ride alone together and have dinner together afterward. This has seemed to help the situation. Also last year when my DD was away at her SI, we spent a great deal of time together so that she now looks forward to my DD going away and didn't seem to mind the auditions as much this year. She is still resentful of my time away from her, but she also has to learn that she is not the center of the universe. It is difficult, though maintaining that balance between all the children. Each parent has to find their own solution, ultimately but spending extra time with her has seemed to help in my situation.

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We’ve been there with my DD’s two younger siblings, especially our “middle child”. She hated the driving to the studio most of all, so we’ve arranged to have her go home from school with a friend several times a week. This has helped tremendously. Also, we realized that I tended to do almost all the ballet support, so the resentment was mostly directed at me. Now we make an effort to mix it up so that it’s not so lopsided….DH is pretty good with the auditions and even flew down to my daughter’s SI last summer for the performance and packing up. Having me around more took some of the sting out of my other daughter’s fury and allowed her to be happier and more supportive of her sister. Good luck….it can be tricky. :)

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Also, we realized that I tended to do almost all the ballet support, so the resentment was mostly directed at me
.

 

We've seen this as well. I have two doing ballet but at different times. So my husband and I split up the driving. We try to make sure that it equals out as closely as we can so that each DD gets to have each parent during driving/dinner time a little each week. But it doesn't always work out that way. When it doesn't, I can tell the difference in my younger one's demeanor. She NEEDS to have mom drive her a couple of times a week. It's that car time when you can talk uninterrupted that does it for her.

 

vj

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Oh my, this subject hits so close to home. My son who is four years younger than dd has always felt that I pay more attention to his sister than I do to him. In the days before she could drive herself I played endless games of cards in the car while waiting, bought him special snacks, etc., etc. I have also been involved in his every endeavor. He never sticks with things very long so we have gone through trying most sports plus music through middle school. He now plays water polo and I'm there for every game and drive him and his friends to these games and practices. To this day he resents any attention paid to his sisters' dancing. He will bring up his worse vacation experience as the year we took our vacation in conjunction with picking dd up from her SI. I believe that part of our problem is due to the fact my husband isn't involved with the kids as his job is formost to him and everything else comes after that. I hope that someday my son looks back and can appreciate all I have done for him. Some of our best times have been our dinners alone where we can talk or riding in the car to games and practice. I try my hardest in my situation with an absentee dad.

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I guess I was lucky that I had a laid-back, easygoing son that never resented the time that his sister's dance required. The fact that he was 5 years older may have helped some, because when she started dancing seriously, he was a teenager and probably liked it that mom was busy driving, etc.! Of course, I never missed a soccer game and always made other arrangements for his sister's transportation to class if it was a game night. He was always proud of her - this is a kid that wouldn't be caught dead at a ballet, (as much as I tried to change that!) but he went to the Nutcracker 10 years in a row. He went to the airport with us to pick her up when she came back from her Blue Lake trip to Europe, even though he was 21 at the time. I feel lucky that I never had a reason to feel guilty, because he never made me feel that way!

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Oh gosh, I feel for you all. Although I am a parent of an only child, I was one of 5 so I had my own sibling issues. Also, I do see my DD's best friend who is the older of 2 girls, friend is very talented artistically younger sister is athletic. Since the older is exceptionally talented she gets a great deal of attention, not just from her parents, which makes it difficult for the younger child to be proud of her sister without being envious. You can almost see the conflict on her face.

On another point, the car time with DD, although tiresome at times, is also special and I find when DH and I have to switch around driving arrangements I miss the car time. This is when we have most of our conversations about school, life, love, growing up ... and when DH drives her, I feel like someting has been lost.

HM

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tu2mama - I can relate - my DH works lots of hours and its hard to juggle all the driving to and from activities. Dd's sibling is only 1 year younger, but does not feel passionate about being involved in any one sport/hobby. He has a few activities and I try to schedule any lessons for him on the weekend so DH can help. Otherwise, during the week, its my parents who help and take ds to his lessons.

He does NOT like to sit at ballet class waiting for dd, but sometimes he has to. I have to warn him the night before so he can get all the complaining out and gather all his books/cd's/gameboy so he is armed for the time we are there.

 

Dd has spent her time waiting for her brother at the allergist - once per week, driving a half hour there, waiting for 1 hour, then the drive home - for 2 years while he was on allergy shots.

That's what families do. :pinch:

Lily

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My dd is lucky that she is the youngest of four sisters. All three of her sisters are grown and on their own, as she is the caboose by 10 years! You would think that all of the rivalry would be nonexistent, but that is not the case. Two weeks ago our #2 daughter told her dad that the house is falling down around us and we need to seriously consider getting a home equity loan to fix up the house because it is obvious we are spending too much money on the wrong thing. (Ballet)

 

And this is the supportive sister. :sweating:

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Non dancing dd has always had a problem with dancing dd. If it was not 'ballet' as the issue, I am positive it would be something else. Non dancing dd has her own activities and is as busy as she chooses to be. Still, there is a not so underlying resentment, and I have always been the 'drop off and run' kind of mom. I always ask her how she would feel if was one of the mom's that hung around during all of these classes, rehearsals etc. We all do the best we can as parents, certainly it will give the kids something to harp on in our old age when they review our 'mistakes' with us on their yearly visits to us.

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I feel for all of you. My situation may not be quite as bad....yet. Sister of DD is two years older. However, she is a complete opposite and a tomboy in everyway. As long as she has her reptiles and Pokemon cards she is fine. She only comes to ballet on occasion now since she is old enough to now stay home for a few hours and enjoys it. Otherwise, Dad is home too when he's not out to sea. Sometimes when she comes though she'll bring her gameboy or a book etc. Doesn't really seem to bother her. This year DD is doing her first summer program-CPYB-away from home. Other daughter will stay with Dad which suites her fine. Hopefully she'll volunteer at the local animal shelter which is all she cares to do. I'm just hopeing that as they get more into their teen years that it doesn't all change. We do the best we can and that's all we can do. Stay tough and don't beat yourself down for each kid not having everything the other does. Each is different and their needs can be completely different.

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My son never seemed to mind being dragged along to take sis to dance class until this year. Probably because the dance & bus schedules both changed, which means he gets home from school & 15 minutes later we have to leave. We live far enough away from the studio that it's not practical to return home, so we usually go to a nearby mall or store. Now that he's beginning to have a lot more homework, I make him do that at the studio before we go anywhere else. Probably another reason he's not happy about taking sis to dance!

 

OTOH, dd seems to resent anytime she has to be dragged along to a baseball practice or game (season's starting soon!) so I guess it goes both ways! :sweating:

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Guest coastkid

We've had the 'sibling rivalry' issue too--DD is 13 with 10 yrs of ballet & her brother is now 6. He absolutely hated the drive to the ballet school, the waiting, and was even difficult at all ballet performances, the in-school or on stage-squirming, sighing loudly, etc (--even inadvertently kicked a man in the back of the neck who was sitting in front of us when he was 2 yrs old at a Boston Nutcracker, while fidgeting on my husband's lap! Needless to say, there were a lot of performance 'play dates' for him after that!). We 'leveled' the playing field a little & made every effort to give him as much attention as our daughter had and still gets, and his behavior has drastically improved! He goes to his own karate classes, and we moved down the street from our daughter's ballet school, so she can walk to & from class by herself armed with a cell phone, which eliminated the commmute & wait time to everyone's great relief! (The school is a 6 min. walk-when she was 8, I walked with her, but she's been on her own for the past year). I also started to work out of the house, & volunteered to accompany my son's class on field trips at school. He isn't as 'left out' now as he was when we lived further from the school, and spent a lot of time bringing our daughter back & forth. The ballet commute used to take 1 hour r/t, twice a day, 4x a week plus rehersals from our schedules! Moving near the school was quite a sacrifice though--we went from a 2500 sq ft house to a 700 sq ft. apt. in Manhattan, but the rivalry is gone, and our lives aren't revolving around the commute to the school! I'm not suggesting that all families should or could take these 'drastic' measures, but having a serious ballet student is a time-intensive activity for the whole family and it's important to equalize the attention for the other kids. It's very difficult, & we had no idea what was in store when my daughter first started in ballet! I say 'bravo' to every family who manages their own solution to this.

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Well congratulations on working out the family issues - and here's a "Welcome to Ballet Talk for Dancers" - coastkid! :thumbsup: Hope you'll make yourself at home and become involved in other discussions when time permits. Glad you found your way here. :shrug:

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