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Extracurricular Activities: My Daughter Discovers Her Own Interest!

Joined: 6/24/2011
Posts: 29
With our daughter Melissa, we have run the gamut of extracurricular activities (aside from sports, which she has no interest in).

We have access to a great community center that offers a wide variety of low cost classes. Therefore, I have signed Melissa up for all sorts of things that sound "fun," hoping something will click. After all, I am a huge proponent of expressing oneself through music, art, or some sort of creative endeavor.

Let's see. First there was the singing class. I don't think this really made an impact with my daughter. The whole time, Melissa just talked about the new friend she made in her class - a boy named Terrence who likes dinosaurs.

"How's the singing going?" I would inquire.

"Terrence has a real Veloci-Raptor egg!" Melissa would respond.

When it came down to the final "concert" that us parents were invited to attend, Melissa refused to sing, claiming she had a sore throat.

On to the next activity!

Theater. Theater sounded like fun! Admittedly, theater sounded like fun to ME. Nevertheless, Melissa gamely attended the classes, which culminated in an oddly disjointed presentation of Shakespear's Midsummer's Night Dream (why did they pick this for a bunch of kids under the age of ten? I have no idea)! One girl ended up wetting her pants on the stage, and it went downhill from there.

Did the class inspire my daughter to become a budding thespian? Not at all. Although I think she enjoyed the social aspects of it while she attended, there was no further interest in "theater" after the class ended.

Then there was the art class that insisted my daughter draw certain subject matter. This was not at all cool with my daughter, who only likes to draw cats. She completed the projects, but the enthusiasm was just not there.

After that, Melissa claimed she wanted to try the guitar. Then the violin. However, once these items were purchased (at a second hand store) they sat around collecting dust in her bedroom. There was some brief interest in the recorder, but that eventually died down.

When I asked, one day, "Why haven't you been playing the recorder?"

Melissa responded by saying she couldn't find it.

I have renewed hope, though. Lately, my daughter has been expressing a huge interest in interest that seems to have blossomed from out of nowhere. There was no community center class behind this new interest; no school involvement.

Melissa totes her camera with her, wherever we go. She's constantly halting our progress as she snaps shots of cherry blossoms up close, or a robin.

So there is a lesson for all the parents out there who worry their child does not seem to be latching onto anything in particular. BE PATIENT! Your child's individual interest will manifest,eventually. I don't see anything wrong with offering options. All those community center classes and clubs and teams allow your child to "try out" many different activities.

But sometimes, like jobs (or boyfriends) it just takes a while to find the perfect one. And sometimes, your child needs to find it on her own!
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Comment by Suzanne

Joined: 1/2/2012
Posts: 118
Good for Melissa, and good for you for allowing her to choose. I can relate to your story in that my daughter was exposed to a myriad of activities from a very young age, but didn't take interest in anything until she discovered theater around 6th grade - quite by accident and on her own. When it's right, it's right. That pursuit got her safely through middle and high school with a great group of friends and it provided one heck of a resume booster for her college applications (reap the benefits of your support). Best of luck. I enjoyed your writing and look forward to the next chapter.

Posted: Wednesday, April 11, 2012 10:57:44 PM
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Comment by Nadalee

Joined: 6/24/2011
Posts: 29
Thanks, that's so nice to hear! Melissa recently won an award at school for a photography project she did, so I think she's definitely found a passion tha's here for the long haul!
Posted: Wednesday, April 18, 2012 9:03:47 PM
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