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Passion or obsession ?


cotes du rhone !
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Dd has always been focused and hard working in every thing she does. She has always loved ballet but I would not have ever called her passionate. I have seen it in other children and seen the devastation of the dreaded "no" ! As we approach year 9 and the dreaded appraisals I have noticed a huge change ! Our last 7 weeks have been continuous exercise and stretching ! I have been educated in the calorific content of everything ! Every morning of our holiday started with an 800 metre swim ! Then ballet, walking, stretching and more ballet ! I am happy that she is so determined to achieve and that her failure to become a ballet dancer will not be from the lack of trying ! But when is it too much ? How do we as parents judge when passion becomes an obsession and a problem ! Or is this what is required to succeed and we should just sit back and support them as best we can ?

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 But when is it too much ? How do we as parents judge when passion becomes an obsession and a problem ! Or is this what is required to succeed and we should just sit back and support them as best we can ?

Perhaps obsession only becomes a problem if it starts to have too much of an effect on everyday family life, health, schoolwork etc? (And your bank balance as well) ;)

 

At the moment your dd sounds really enthusiastic and keen, so perhaps take a back seat and see how things go for a while.

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I would pay close attention, especially if counting calories is connected with keeping weight low. If awareness of calories is down to fuel for ultimate performance then that's different but from what you are saying with regards to the daily swimming regime and constant exercise, I would be concerned that she may be starting to display some unhealthy thinking / behaviour patterns. Is your DD at vocational school? It might be that this kind of behaviour has been going on a while but because you've been with her more over the holidays that you've picked up on it now and it seems more abnormal that were she at school. 

 

Is she happy in herself? Or has she started to say things like 'I've got to work harder, I'm not good enough, everyone else is better/thinner/stronger than me' 

 

There's a fine line between working hard, and it becoming too much. Rest is vital for physical reasons, having days off where the focus is entirely non-dance is also vital for emotional health. If your DD panics at the suggestion that she should take 2-3 days of fun with no exercise/ballet then I'd be worried.

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Thank you Dr Dance, dd is at vocational school. There are no problems with the short breaks it is just this long 7 weeks and I think the worry of the year ahead that has brought on this behaviour ! She is happy and does have fun and maybe I should celebrate her focus and seriousness but it is a concern about maintaining the right balance ! She eats well, just has become more aware of fat content etc ! She is by no means skinny ! Lean and muscular physique I would say ! I'm sure that she probably has less hang ups than a normal girl of her age but I just don't have one to compare her too !!

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Then it sounds like she's ok for now, just taking her training seriously - but this is the age to keep an eye out for obsessive behaviour, and low self-image so you're right to be wary. If she's happy and doesn't get anxious about the idea of rest, and doesn't mind an icecream now and again, then it sounds like she's the right side of the 'thin line'! If, on the other hand, she gets very serious and obsessive about counting calories, or doing a certain number of minutes/hours of exercise to balance out the food intake etc then seek further advice.

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