The Little One had been begging for karate lessons for about the last 4 years, so with her birthday money this year, I signed her up. The classes were for 45 minutes, once a week.
When we all went to the first class, she clung to me and wouldn't even sit in her squad seat without being within seeing distance of me. She kept her head down and her arms crossed across her chest the entire time. She whispered to the instructor and wouldn't join in the class activities unless I walked her to them. This is a child who is not at all shy and has no trouble in social situations. Even The Big One asked, "WHAT is going on with her?"
She eventually warmed up, and I thought was doing well. She knew all the moves when the teacher prompted and even made a friend. But every week, it's been "Do I have to go?"
When I was little, my mom took me to swim lessons at the Y. I was about 3, and still remember how scared I was. My mom had the wisdom to postpone lessons for about another 7 years.
I really felt that we should stick out the lessons, and finish what we started, but I remembered about the swim lessons. So instead of making her go to the last 3 classes, I gave her a choice.
She chose not to. And was very happy about it.
I had to wrestle with the ideas of "not finishing something" and "sticking it out," but this wasn't a required activity, nor was it a team activity where her presence was necessary.
I think we'll both be a lot happier.