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Grandmother dilemma
Old 01-18-2020, 08:41 AM
  #1

I hope this is okay to post here. Six months ago I purchased tickets to take my two granddaughters, ages 9 and 11 to see a theatrical play this coming week. I first checked with their parents, and their parents checked with the girls, and everyone agreed. Tickets were almost $400. About a month ago I was told that the older child's dance class is putting on a performance on that day. It seems that she'd prefer to do that than go to the play. She and her parents are really conflicted about what to do. Last heard, they are insisting she attends the play because they want her to learn that she has to keep her commitments. She's not dealing well with that. I agree the decision, but I am conflicted also. Besides the fact I've been really looking forward to this special day, I want her to learn that commitments are important, and that in life, things don't always go your way. But my heart is breaking for her. What would you do? By the way, I did try to exchange the tickets for another day, but they are sold out.


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Old 01-18-2020, 08:53 AM
  #2

Iím not sure what to advise you. Those are very expensive tickets to have go to waste. On the other hand, she also has a commitment to her dance team. Iím just shocked you were only given a monthís notice about the dance performance. Around here recital dates for the following year are announced as soon as this yearís recital is over at their very next dance class.
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Old 01-18-2020, 09:00 AM
  #3

That's a tough situation. The parents and child messed up . This is not your fault at all. I would let the parents handle the situation and if the child is temperamental during the event ignore it and enjoy the play.
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Old 01-18-2020, 09:05 AM
  #4

Could the other granddaughter take a friend and go to the play with you so that itís not a total loss? Itís not an ideal solution. Either way someone is going to be disappointed.

That being said I feel that commitments are important and to be honored. I would hope the first commitment would be honored by the parents. Life lessons are tough!

I think you should be the only one to release her from the commitment if your other granddaughter could take a friend.

Good luck! You sound like an amazing, caring grandma!
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Tough dilemma
Old 01-18-2020, 09:07 AM
  #5

I agree itís a difficult situation. One one hand, itís a life lesson to the older girl that one honors commitments, but on the other hand, I can also understand the girl wanting to perform with her group. Would it be possible for the younger child to bring a friend instead? I know thatís not the perfect solution, but at least youíd have 2 happy little girls attending the play with you. Good luck.


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Old 01-18-2020, 09:11 AM
  #6

I would have the granddaughter keep the commitment to the dance team. I also can't believe they just found out about a performance and that if it is impromptu that it isn't laid out in the contract that this can happen. I'd have the other grandchild bring a friend. I certainly wouldn't want the older grandchild ruining it for everyone. But I would be very careful about including her in something like this in the future if it is during dance season.
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Old 01-18-2020, 09:19 AM
  #7

I agree with PPs: suggest the other granddaughter invite a friend.
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Old 01-18-2020, 09:27 AM
  #8

I like the friend idea too.
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Old 01-18-2020, 09:27 AM
  #9

I like the idea of bringing a friend....

here's another thought: what will be the repercussions for GD for NOT attending her dance recital? (sometimes competitive groups are cut-throat)--if she doesn't attend will she be out of the group for the next competition? will she likely not get solos....etc?

good luck! tough spot.

what's the show you'll be attending???
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Old 01-18-2020, 09:32 AM
  #10

Time with Grandma is precious. She'll remember this day. She made the commitment and she should honor it.


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I agree with those who recommend
Old 01-18-2020, 09:46 AM
  #11

Letting the older child choose for herself, and if she opts out, let the younger GD bring a guest.

Then, as Grandma, either way--make the day the best you possibly can. Eat out, see the show, go for ice cream after... Maybe let the girls get a souvenir if your funds allow it.

Enjoy your time with whoever goes with you without prejudice. It can still be a great time and this plan will relieve the guilt of all involved.
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Old 01-18-2020, 10:03 AM
  #12

I would let the other granddaughter bring a friend to the play. No, it's not the best solution, but you want it to be a fun event. Or you can just leave it to the parents to deal with however they think best.
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Parents should reimburse you...
Old 01-18-2020, 10:09 AM
  #13

If she is forced to come, she may be sulky and have an attitude, and it will not be a special day for you. The parents should reimburse you for the older daughter's ticket and you should go and have a special day with your younger granddaughter. If you don't want the ticket to go to waste, maybe she could bring a friend. Not the day you envisioned for sure, and your older granddaughter has a commitment to her dance class, too. Not fair to you because you did your homework on the date of the play.
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Old 01-18-2020, 10:14 AM
  #14

If the dance recital was only announced a month in advance I assume it is not a competition team. So missing it should not be a big deal. But since she prefers to go to the dance recital, I agree with pp that the younger child should take a friend. You will not have a sulking kid on your hands and it will still teach her a lesson about the choices she makes since I'm sure the younger kids will go on and on about the fun they had.

Are you going to the Pantages? The Ghirardelli soda fountain is right down the street.
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Old 01-18-2020, 10:21 AM
  #15

As a PP said, the parents may have dropped the ball. Most important dance class performances are scheduled as far as three months ahead. The 11-year old is a helpless bystander who is caught up in a situation not of her making. I don't think it is fair to make her choose, and I think the bring-a-friend solution that PPs have proposed is the best one under the circumstances.

I also understand that parents are overwhelmed and have many things going on at a time. My DD's solution for this problem is to have an entire calendar wall where everyone can see immediately what is coming up in the next six months.
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Old 01-18-2020, 10:44 AM
  #16

I agree with those who say to let her go to her dance recital as long as the sister can get a friend to go in her place or the parents can reimburse you for the ticket.
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Old 01-18-2020, 12:51 PM
  #17

You guys are letting the 11-yr old off the hook way too easily IMO. I totally agree with hiker1.

Sure, I guess if the girl who's attending has a friend, then let her go in the other's place, HOWEVER, unless that 11-yr old is actually ill, I'd never allow her to get out of something like that ever again. OR you could make her go and let it be a lesson for her to remember and I'll tell little missy she better not have any temper tantrum attitude about it either (and I'll tell her beforehand that grandma's going to tell me when we get home or else she'll face more consequences). She's 11, so she's a pre-teen and needs to hear what I'd have to say.

If I was the parent, I'd have a VERY STERN talk with her about the various values that pertain to this situation and it's NOT only about keeping prior commitments but also:

- I'd explain about the importance of hard-earned money and how very expensive the tickets are. But of course explain the value of money in the eyes of the 11-yr old so she can understand. Like say something like, "those tickets are worth ALL of your dolls and games you probably have in this part of your room. That's a LOT!", how that amount of money is worth a LOT of hours of chores she does (dishwashing, etc.), etc.

Also, there's a reason why the theatres themselves have a no-refund policy, so the 11-yr old better learn to get used to that kind of policy as well.

AND

- how much grandma was looking forward to this and how it's important to spend quality times with our loved ones and not to just blow them off.

Last edited by MAsped; 01-18-2020 at 01:11 PM..
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Old 01-18-2020, 01:12 PM
  #18

I'm tempted to say have your other GD take a friend, take pictures and have a BLAST and hopefully, your other GD regrets it .

Other than that, I think she should keep the commitment that she made first. I've had too many people (well maybe not too many but you remember it when it happens) back out of something for something "better". Not a nice feeling.
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Old 01-18-2020, 01:17 PM
  #19

If it were my daughter she would be going with her grandmother even if the ticket was $10. Ten or twenty years from now, she will look back and be glad she did go with grandmother. Some things are priceless.
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Old 01-18-2020, 01:19 PM
  #20

"make her go and let it be a lesson for her to remember and I'll tell little missy she better not have any temper tantrum attitude about it either (and I'll tell her beforehand that grandma's going to tell me when we get home or else she'll face more consequences)"

Yes, please force her to have fun instead of empathizing with her, because she will likely never again in her life feel conflicted about being in two places at once with two sets of people she enjoys. Forced fun with consequences is always the best kind of fun!
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Old 01-18-2020, 01:33 PM
  #21

^ Yes, well, the OP already said that the girl is, "not dealing well with that", so I'll tell her why she better or else we're setting the foundation for teaching non-committed, flaky, nonchalant individuals who will blow everything off when they think "something better" pops up.

I'll explain it in a kinder attitude than maybe how I portrayed it here. I'll kindly tell her why she NEEDS to keep her commitment. But I'll get firm if I have to. After all, I'm the parent in this situation, not her (the pre-teen).
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Old 01-18-2020, 01:33 PM
  #22

I would consider having the parents reimburse you for her ticket and having the child "earn" the money to do so by completing extra chores. That way a consequence is enforced but not in a way that ruins enjoyment of the event for you and your other granddaughter.

Of course that only works if parents will enforce it and not make "earning" the significant amount of money too easy on her. She can choose either that scenario or she can choose to go to the play with a good attitude. Not only will you not have to deal with her being forced to go and having a surly attitude, but she should also learn something rather than just completely letting her off the hook. And if she decides to go rather than earning/paying back the money, hopefully there will be a lot less attitude with the decision being hers.
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Old 01-18-2020, 02:19 PM
  #23

Seems like the parents already made the decision. I do like the idea of having the younger sister invite a friend if the older sister does not go.

Final recital performances are pretty big deal with costumes having to be purchased months in advance and positions in dance formation assigned/practiced all year long. This is the case this dance probably is very important to a girl at this age ,especially if she's a dedicated dancer. You didn't mention if this was the final dance performance of the year or just a minor dance performance.

It would sort of hurt my feelings if my granddaughter would rather attend the recital, but of course she hasn't reached maturity yet and right now dance is more important to her.
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Old 01-18-2020, 02:23 PM
  #24

Whatever the decision is, I hope the girl is involved in problem-solving. She's old enough to understand the dilema and understand that feelings are affected by the decision. Having her get involved in talking through the process of deciding what to with her parents will be a better lesson than if she is simply told what to do.

I hope the other granddaughter has a friend who can go. Seems like that might be an answer. Let us know. I will be wondering what happened if you don't!
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Old 01-18-2020, 03:15 PM
  #25

I think itís important here for those being harsh on the kid to note that sheís not wanting to skip it for a pizza party with her dance team or to go to the mall with her friends. She wants to skip it because of a recital. This is not something more fun coming up. Itís two warring commitments. At the end of the day, it sounds like the dance studio dropped the ball by announcing this performance with very little notice, and yes, a month in the dance world is little notice. Now grandma and granddaughter are both in a predicament.
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Old 01-18-2020, 03:56 PM
  #26

Is a performance the same as a recital? I think with a performance you probably could have a person missing.
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Old 01-18-2020, 03:58 PM
  #27

If I were the parent, I would reimburse you for her ticket and you can take the other dd. These things happen. I

am picturing if my dd made plans like that and then her soccer team planned a tournament. You can't bail on the team, but your grandparent can be understanding. My parents actually just switched summer vacation reservations because my ds 19 just found out his work schedule was going to be much heavier in May and June because the other kitchen mgr is having a baby.

Forcing her to miss a group/team event would not be good for your relationship in the long run. I have a teen girl, and 11 is not that far away from the teen years.

I think you should either take another guest and the younger one or get her parent to reimburse you for the ticket.

Last edited by Claire; 01-18-2020 at 04:22 PM..
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Old 01-18-2020, 04:19 PM
  #28

Quote:
I think itís important here for those being harsh on the kid to note that sheís not wanting to skip it for a pizza party with her dance team or to go to the mall with her friends. She wants to skip it because of a recital. This is not something more fun coming up. Itís two warring commitments.
Quote:
Yes, please force her to have fun instead of empathizing with her, because she will likely never again in her life feel conflicted about being in two places at once with two sets of people she enjoys. Forced fun with consequences is always the best kind of fun!
I agree with seenthelight and LastMinute. The kid isn't being shady--she is conflicted and forcing her to go against her desires/conscience is not good parenting. It's real easy to have opinions when you don't have kids.
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Old 01-18-2020, 04:26 PM
  #29

Agreed. Sometimes I think people tend to treat kids feelings/conflicts as less real. No, a kid should not bail on a commitment for something stupid, but this is a group thing that I assume she trains and works hard for. What would we do as adults if a conflict like this arose? Hope our family member was understanding and reimburse for the ticket.

We have had many changes and conflicts with dd playing high level club soccer. My whole family understands that she works really hard for it and it's a huge commitment.
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Old 01-18-2020, 04:58 PM
  #30

I tend to agree with the parents' decision. I think they should talk to her about it and there should be a discussion, but I applaud them for guiding her to choose you over activities. Obviously, they are really trying to do the right thing. Certainly the parents would know all of the circumstances surrounding this event. My niece has three big dance performances a year plus other performances throughout the year so it sort of depends on what she is missing.

In my husband's family, there are many hurt feelings when my nephew is constantly missing family events for sports.

I would just let the parents handle it.
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Old 01-18-2020, 04:58 PM
  #31

The original post said that the parents and the child were consulted six months in advance and the dance is a "performance." This could be a parade or something other than a recital. Recitals are planned many months in advance and is not suddenly sprung on a dancer.It is hard for me to draw a line here but I lean towards giving the child some responsibility . Grandma spent money and was looking forward to spending some time with her grandchildren. Perhaps later we will find out more details
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Old 01-18-2020, 05:14 PM
  #32

Quote:
Is a performance the same as a recital? I think with a performance you probably could have a person missing.
Usually you are performing the dances you have practiced. Having a missing person requires the whole class to spend time reworking the dance to accomodate the hole. At our studio you would be charged for this time.


That's a lose-lose situation. Sounds like nobody is at fault except the last minute booking at the dance studio.
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Old 01-19-2020, 08:12 AM
  #33

It's a difficult situation, but I like many of the other PP's suggestions about having the younger GD invite a friend and make it an extra special day! The older GD will probably be miserable if she went to the play. When my DDs did dance, they were required to attend all performances. The parents should have said something as soon as they were aware there was a conflict.
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I think the parents should let the child
Old 01-19-2020, 11:02 AM
  #34

...make the decision. After a discussion about the competing interests, and ethical ramifications of each choice. And a discussion on what her obligations are to either her dance team or her grandmother if she chooses the other event. With a final "We trust you to do the right thing."
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