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Mood is dependent on how ballet class went


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Now that my daughter has a daily ballet class, it seems her mood depends on how well she thinks she did in that day's class and on what her teacher did or didn't say. I now hesitate to ask how class went! Has anyone else experienced this? I guess I am hoping that it is partly a factor of being a pre-teen and that she will gain more perspective as she gets older. I want her to base her self-esteem on more than just ballet. :devil:

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Welcome to the pre-teen rollercoaster! Do you see this same reaction in other activities? Pre-teens are very much in the approval/denial phase where they pick and choose what drives their esteem at the moment. (friends, comments by others, good hair day, etc) Possibly instead of asking how class went you could begin to ask "what was good about class today" then "any frustrations you'd like to talk about". You may have to work a while (weeks) to get her past the "nothing was good today" into "ahh, yes well there was this one thing".


You are correct in that you should not want her self image wrapped up in what happens in ballet class. But in the pre-teen years, you may have to work in a "round the bend" manner to accomplish it.

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My 11 DD is so moody it is hard to link moods to a particular activity, but she certainly has similar reactions to "good" "bad" classes as your DD. I try to just minimize the whole thing, whether happy or moody as regards to a particular class. I find that if I don't engage in a long analysis of the bad or good classes, she moves on to another thing (redirection!) and is better. Sometimes I don't even ask how a class is, I just assume is was like the previous 4 before it!


Maybe waiting to see if your daughter wants to volunteer any info on the class may help. Taking class every day is a lot of time in ballet, perhaps it would be good to get her head out of it for a while each day. Hope this helps!

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At 16 and 14 my DKs still have this going on.


It's more prevelant in DD (16) when she is being challanged beyond what she thinks she's capable of or when she's off her game because of illness, lack of sleep, social issues, or hormones. Usually it's written all over her face when she gets in the car. At this point I'm one of the few people she can really talk to about class disappointments, so she opens up with very little prompting. As she's increased in level she can't discuss these things with her class mates. Because of that it's worked out well that we established early on that she can let go with me.


With DS (14) he tries to keep it together around all his class mates, particularly since they are all girls. At this age mom is the only one a guy can let it all go with. None of his guy friends quite get why he's studying ballet in the first place, never mind why class was so horrible or how great it was that he did double tours. Big sister is also a help but not as safe as mom.

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I'm glad to hear others are going through this. I have a 12 year old who is so moody. If she did well at ballet she talks my ear off on the way home. If she didn't do well she won't talk to me and tells me to lay off when I ask her how ballet went. She also says (if she can't do something) it's just the way she's born--she'll never get it. But the next time, if class goes well, she tells me how she's improving. I never know what to expect. Hopefully, it'll get better after puberty. :)

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....tells me to lay off when I ask her how ballet went.


...and that's when (i.e. when dd was 12) I made a promise to myself that I wasn't going to ask how ballet went. I pick her up, trying to have some non-dance story to tell her (today it was about the holiday cards her dad is designing -- a penguin in a tutu!). If she wants to talk about class, there's no stopping her. If she doesn't, well, that's okay, too. I liken it to us having a bad day at work...sometimes I'd rather not rehash the day, and would just prefer to talk about something else (or be quiet). My decision not to ask has led to some great discussions, ballet-related and not, and the car rides suddenly became more pleasant for both of us. Ain't adolescence grand?!?!

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My DD also suffers from this- but another in her class does also. Now that she sees how this other girl's mood affects her class, she is pays more attention to her moods to make sure that her class is not affected. This other little girl is very competitive with DD and if DD is doing well, the other girl's mood deteriorates- and then so does the other girl's performance. DD has watched this and vows to herself that she will not behave this way.

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My dd is 12 also. I religiously ask her after class how class went. If it was a good class, she can't wait to tell me and I can tell she was just WAITING for me to ask. If it was a class that was more frustrating for her it can go two ways. She will either take the opportunity to totally vent especially if it is outside things thatare frustrating. But if it is something that she has internalized more, at first I get the short non-answer but I let it ride and she will always slowly open up ( we have a long ride). Slowly she will reveal what happened or what she's feeling (often inadequate or I should give up, I'll never get it) and it gives me the opportunity to flush it out with her and help her put it all into perspective. Yes, sometimes she gets upset with me while we're talking or if I make a point, but that's part of parenting an almost teen. I joke and I always make sure we're OK (she's a captive audience in the car)... But regardless I ALWAYS open that door for her to talk to me. Every day, every class.

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OK I dont rate for this particular board anymore cause my dd is now 13 but if I can chime in...........my professional dancer dk phones and the mood is dependent on how class went, I am a teacher and my mood is dependent on how class went (that could also be my hormones) so don't expect it to disappear any time soon. :):shrug: Us dancers are all a bit obsessive it kind of comes with the territory.

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There are many good things that have already been said here! The pre teen/teen development lasts longer than any of us want it to and the problem isn't ballet or anything else, it's just growing up. We all know this is true it's just dealing with the reality of it when it's our child in our homes. From here on out you indeed are on a roller coaster, it's one of the reasons we have close female friends to help us survive the emotional pain and turmoil they appear to be in and therefor put us through. Like many of you, for me the asking of questions diminished and then stopped. There are times of communication and they are wonderful because you have this developing adult expressing herself. I have cried as my DD's have gone out or got off the phone from me because they can be so difficult. It is all normal. If it wasn't ballet causing angst it would be soccer or skating or goodness knows what. Breath deeply, get a Mommy network of friends organized (ballet Moms really are the best for ballet angst) and give yourself a break. It will get worse before it gets better. This too will pass but by then your daughter will be grown and you will miss even these difficult times when you still had a child rather than an adult for a daughter.

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If it wasn't ballet causing angst it would be soccer or skating or goodness knows what.


Isn't that the truth - I do remind my self ( and my husband) regularly that it could be worse... for girls her age at school its about boys and petty things amongst the girls at school. At preteen age (I do have a vague recollection) what ever your in at the moment IS your WHOLE world, so of course it will effect them if they have a rough class (or a boy won't pay attn to them :( for those girls at school). Sometimes all we can do is try to give that booster shot of confidence on a regular basis and hope it works. That and doing all we can to assure that she has surrounded herself with good friends for when she does need that non-mom support. Ah - all I can see sometimes is that long bumpy road :sweating: , but I know it can't go on forever.

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I was an EXTREMELY sensitive child. My whole mood could change with how well my mother did my bun :) , where I was placed in class, if I was included in the group to do double pirouettes, the list goes on. My father was the one most irritated by my moodiness as he usually picked me up every night from class. Thankfully, after a few years of yelling at me, or saying, 'who looked at you funny today?' (which NEVER helped), he learned to just let me cry or vent, and by the time we got home I felt a little better.


I still take things very personally and while I don't cry or get upset if someone looks at me funny, I worry if I offended, think back to my conversation with someone who upset me, etc. But, while I am emotional, I am also very, very talkative (imagine that :lol: ), so it helps that I talk it out, either with the person who I am upset with, or with my husband (a great sounding board second only to my mother :P ). Like Memo, my mood is dependent on if my class I was teaching went well or not (crazy, I know!).


Thankfully my daughter is not quite as sensitive as I am. But, I have also learned to just ask her, 'good day?'. She answers, and I just listen and take her answer for what it is. Many times, what is really bothering her will come out 3 hours after the incident. I just let her take the lead. Sometimes, all they really need is a sounding board, not necessarily anyone talking back with them.


Let your child take the lead if she wants to talk or not. Many times just crying made me feel better, and I could not explain it (hormones?) And, rest assured that your daugher is NOT the only one who goes through this, and honestly, will probably not be the last.

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At preteen age (I do have a vague recollection) what ever your in at the moment IS your WHOLE world, so of course it will effect them if they have a rough class...

Thanks lorrainegd for pointing this out. That thought really helps me put my daughter's emotional crises in perspective.

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I met this wise, older clinical psychologist. When I asked him a couple of questions about my kids, he said, "Don't ever ask if it was a good day". He said, instead, ask "What was the most fun thing you did today". Believe it or not, this question seems to open more doors than asking "How was class?" My kids get really annoyed when I ask that question. I tell them that I'm allowed to ask because I'm paying for it!

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