Forum: Irish / Irish - MAIDs

Need advice about 2 DD's - how to keep older one from getting discouraged
By shamrockdancemum
On Fri Nov 09, 2012 07:47 PM

I have 2 DD's, which is great, most of the time. They both started dancing and feising at the same time. However, the younger one is moving up through the grades much faster than her older sister, and the older one is getting discouraged.

I'm looking for advice on what I can say to my older DD to keep her from getting discouraged and give up dancing. I've talked to her about how it's not a race, it's a journey, and everyone travels at different rates on their journey. Some speed ahead at the beginning, and then slow down in the middle, some take the slow and steady approach the entire journey, etc.

Right now she still enjoys dancing and feising, but I'm worried that she's going to throw in the towel, not because she doesn't like it anymore, but because her little sister is further ahead of her.

Has anyone dealt with this problem before?

8 Replies to Need advice about 2 DD's - how to keep older one from getting discouraged

re: Need advice about 2 DD's - how to keep older one from getting discouraged
By MilkMaid
On Sat Nov 10, 2012 01:36 PM
I had a similar situation when my daughters started dancing. My younger dancer started a year before my older one. She taught her older sister the jig and the reel so when she started class, she immediately went to the second level class, with her sister. At competition, she placed in everything right away and moved up a level. It was so hard on my youngest dancer. We talked about setting individual goals and rewards for achieving those goals. I encourage practicing and eventually paid for some private lessons. We celebrated meeting goals and hard work. My older daughter qualified for Worlds several times and kept dancing through part of college. My youngest has made it to OC and is still dancing in college.
re: Need advice about 2 DD's - how to keep older one from getting discouraged
By shamrockdancemum
On Sat Nov 10, 2012 07:21 PM
MilkMaid - thank you for the advice. I knew other mum's out there must have had a similar problem. Your advice is good! What type of rewards did you offer? Did both the girls set individual goals and get rewards, or just your younger one?

Congrats on having 2 DD's go so far in Irish dance. You must be very proud!
re: Need advice about 2 DD's - how to keep older one from getting discouraged
By grace1997
On Sun Nov 11, 2012 05:54 PM
Older girls have more competition, and have to be better then the littler ones. They also have to work towards stamina, whereas many little girls have tons of energy.
re: Need advice about 2 DD's - how to keep older one from getting discouraged
By shamrockdancemum
On Mon Nov 12, 2012 12:51 AM
grace1997 - thanks for the additional advice. My younger daughter definitely has more energy than my older one!
re: Need advice about 2 DD's - how to keep older one from getting discouraged
By MilkMaid
On Tue Nov 13, 2012 08:55 PM
We had small rewards for both girls to keep things fair. When they got a medal that qualified them to move to the next level, we bought a medal holder(looks like a trophy). If they got a first, a feis t-shirt. We also encouraged practicing at home with an ice cream treat after so many practice sessions. Eventually our younger daughter stopped comparing her progress with her sister's but it wasn't always easy for her.
re: Need advice about 2 DD's - how to keep older one from getting discouraged
By shamrockdancemum
On Tue Nov 13, 2012 10:22 PM
MilkMaid - thank you for the follow up on the rewards. This sounds like something I could easily do for my dancers. Thank you for the advice!
re: Need advice about 2 DD's - how to keep older one from getting discouraged
By novicedancer1991member has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Wed Nov 14, 2012 11:11 PM
I'm not a Mom, but my four sisters and I all dance and we've had LOTS of sibling rivalry over the years. I'm the oldest and when we were new to dance, I practiced more than my younger sisters, but I've never been the best. One sister has always been better than me and another sister who actually started after I did recently moved up to my age category and has been beating me more than half the time. It's very frustrating, especially since my sisters haven't always been gracious winners (and I have to admit that I can be a sore loser sometimes too). The worst part is when they get invited to be in performances or qualify for competitions, but I don't get to go.

I guess the most important thing is to never let your older daughter feel like not winning as often makes her less of a dancer. If you take pictures at competitions, take pictures of both of them, if you help them practice, spend equal time with each of them, if you buy gifts for them at feises, don't spend more money on one than the other, etc. You could also encourage them to practice together and give each other constructive criticism. Sometimes that helps my sisters and I bond and feel like we're on the same side instead of competitive against each other.
re: Need advice about 2 DD's - how to keep older one from getting discouraged
By shamrockdancemum
On Wed Nov 14, 2012 05:45 PM
Edited by shamrockdancemum (254707) on 2012-11-14 17:47:16 Wrong word
novicedancer1991 - thank you for the reply! It's great to get the "sister's" perspective. We do try to keep it really fair and not make a big deal about who's at what level. But you know how sister's can be!

What happens when the younger DD is ready for a solo dress and the older one isn't? Did you ever have to deal with this problem?

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