Mum slammed for keeping daughter unhappy in dance
Thousands of internet commentators were quick to call out a mother who explained why she refused to let her teenage daughter quit competitive dancing.
In a viral Reddit post posted to r/AmITheA**hole, Redditor u/Primaballerina1992 (otherwise known as the original poster, or OP) said she danced as a child and understood the hardships that came with it, but clarified that hanging riding spikes is not an option.
Entitled, “[Am I the a**hole] for not allowing my daughter to quit competitive dancing?” Publish received over 5,000 votes and 3,000 comments in the past day.
Writing that her family has just moved to a new state, the original poster stated that her daughter had previously studied French and wanted to continue, but was disappointed to learn that her new school did not offer the language.
On a tentative basis, the teenager suggested taking private French lessons instead of dance lessons, but was immediately stopped by the original poster.
“She came to me the other day telling me her new school didn’t offer French…and asked if I could enroll her in private French lessons,” OP wrote. “I told her that absolutely not with her dancing she won’t have time for that and it’s too much [difficult] of a subject, taking up too much of his time.
“She told me she hasn’t enjoyed dancing for a while and she’s too scared to tell me, but she wants to stop dancing,” OP continued. “I told her she wouldn’t give up dancing because she’s too good at it and I’ve already invested a lot of money.
“She accused me of living vicariously through her…and I [grounded] her for that,” OP added.
For parents, passing on the love for certain sports, hobbies, and other activities is a labor of love and can rekindle passions left behind in a past life.
But from competitive dancing — which more than 24 million Americans took part in last year, according to Statista — to individual and team sports, many parents are making the mistake of living out old dreams through their children. .
“Most parents encourage children to do things that parents enjoy,” reports the mental health website Good Therapy. “It can be difficult for parents to decide whether they are involved and supportive or obsessed with pushing their children to fulfill their shattered dreams.”
Although parental support is often necessary for success in competitive youth activities, there is a fine line between being there for a child and realizing their unrealized potential through them. And when that line is crossed, there are consequences that last a lifetime.
“Parents need to help…by helping children pursue their own dreams. When parents are unwilling or unable to do so, children’s emotional and intellectual growth can be stunted,” Good Therapy continues. “This can make it difficult for children to succeed as adults, to feel a sense of self-efficacy, or to make decisions without parental input.”
Despite the negative connotations associated with quitting a sport or other competitive activity, parting ways with a parent’s passion can make all the difference to children and should be honored as an act of individuality, rather than an admission of defeat and wasted money.
Throughout the comment section of the viral Reddit post, many Redditors echoed that sentiment and called out the original poster ignoring her daughter’s wishes and the logical explanation for wanting to quit competitive dancing.
“This is where you don’t listen to your child’s interests,” Redditor u/No-Rub1544 wrote in the lead comment to the post, which received nearly 11,000 votes. “She told you what she liked, you don’t believe her.
“I hope you believe countless people who think [you’re the a**hole] and a huge [a**hole] to this,” they added bluntly.
Redditor u/Elfich47, whose comment received over 8,000 votes, offered a similar response.
“Your daughter told you the truth: she doesn’t want to dance anymore. Listen to what she says,” they wrote. “If you keep her dancing, the only result is that she burns her ballet flats at 18 and then goes to college for languages.
“And she hates you for the next four years because you’re wasting her time doing something she’ll end up hating,” they added. “Stop doing that about you, do it about her…she doesn’t want to dance.”