to tell this mother either follow through with the threat or please leave ?!

(63 Posts)
BadSpeakingSkills Tue 23-Jul-13 17:31:56

Eldest DC has just started a gymnastics class, space for 10 but only 5 in there at the moment.

4 children in the class (including my DC) love it and get on with the activities. One mother brings her child and it NEVER joins in, it runs around jumping on the items, equipment or just messes about trying to entice the other children to play. My DC is easily led and a few times I've seen him just about to get up and join in with this child. But a quick "No - listen to the teacher please." stops him and he gets involved again. The teacher has pulled off equipment a few times and said "You either join in or you have to stay over there, it's not safe." Child just screams and wriggles out his grip.

The mother keeps saying "You join in or we put your shoes on and go home." Child shouts back "No!" Repeat 20 times in the space of 30 mins The child continues lounging around on the mats, climbing the beam or running around trying to entice the children away. After 4 weeks this is getting on my tits and last week another mother confessed to me she's getting annoyed and looking at other classes.

ppeatfruit Wed 24-Jul-13 07:58:07

IIWM I would have a quick chat with the teacher (agree she sounds very wet if she can't control 5 3-5 yr olds) Some 3 yr olds are more like 2 yr olds (she may be just 3). I wouldn't talk to the mum she also sounds drippy. So yes YABU.

lougle Wed 24-Jul-13 07:08:48

At DD3's gymnastics class (3-5), the children go in and the door is firmly shut in the parents' faces. No compromise. The teacher should be dealing with it.

Pubicfoothair Wed 24-Jul-13 07:04:44

But Monty27 you weren't threatening to leave and then not carrying through, which is the point of the thread.
One of my NCT mums did this with her eldest - she would threaten to leave when it was perfectly clear that she wasn't going anywhere, she was just overwhelmed with her next two younger kids. Her eldest was "spirited" and after he thumped another child on the head, again she said "right we're leaving." The other mum said "yeah but you never do though, do you?" and stamped off in a huff. There was an awkward silence and she got the message. Some people are just unintentionally unaware of how threats like this are crap for all concerned.

Monty27 Wed 24-Jul-13 04:56:59

That's quite a few classes though Napa, when others have paid and it's being spoiled by one child.

I was that mother, but as I say it was a non stay class so I had no idea. I felt awful that ds had probably ruined it for a lot of other enthusiasts. I think DS was about 4 and dd 6 at the time. I was annoyed they hadn't told me earlier.

NapaCab Wed 24-Jul-13 04:51:50

It's annoying but there is no point in letting it put your nose out of joint. It's a 10-week class, you've had 4 classes already so only 6 more and you're done.

Monty27 Wed 24-Jul-13 04:40:19

Sorry for diction, have had drinks smile

Monty27 Wed 24-Jul-13 04:38:40

Come to think of it, many moons later, I think it was only told when I was waving my cheque book to pay for the next term when they told me.

Ds may have ruined it for the whole class all of the previous term, who knows, and perhaps I should have been told a lot sooner and even without a refund, I would have taken him out if he was ruining the whole class. grrrrr.

Monty27 Wed 24-Jul-13 04:35:49

My ds ruined a dance class for others when he was younger. I was absolutely unaware of it. My older dd was in there too. It wasn't a 'stay' class so I wasn't aware until the dance instructor subtley told me I was wasting my money (it was quite expensive). I took him straight out, and poor dd as I couldn't do the lifts/childcare etc unless it involved both dc's.

The sadness was that ds had the talent.

Anyway the point is, that the dm should be told and perhaps refunded?

Mimishimi Wed 24-Jul-13 03:59:42

One of the other parents should tell the kid off. I was always grateful if someone told off my 4-5 year olds if they were being obnoxious. It would stop them quick in their tracks. A stranger telling them off has a better effect. Depends on the mum I suppose though ... she might go off her nut.

TalkativeJim Wed 24-Jul-13 01:34:47

Um, you said the child 'can't be controlled by HER wet mother' - so child is a girl...

cheerfulweather Wed 24-Jul-13 01:30:22

She ought to have left by now. The child obviously isn't ready for a structured class. I'd approach the teacher if he/she is disruptive, let them deal with it.

soapboxqueen Wed 24-Jul-13 01:10:52

Do not approach the other mum as quite honestly it is none of your business. Approach the teacher if you wish but they will be just as aware and are choosing not to tackle the issues. I would probably find another class to go to.

I'm afraid you cannot look at a child and know if they have special needs or not, especially when they are very young. Being consistent does not always work, although in this instance wouldn't hurt either. However, try to have a little compassion. If this child does have special needs then you have no clue what she is going through.

StuntGirl Wed 24-Jul-13 00:30:06

You've accidentally revealed the gender anyway, might as well just say it now.

Speak to the teacher. It sounds like the child is just too young atm for such a structured environment. If the teacher refuses to do anything you know he's a crap teacher and you're best looking elsewhere.

wilkos Wed 24-Jul-13 00:20:15

FWIW, this woman could be my DSis with my DN. She continually makes empty threats to DN which undermines her authority. TBH before DN was born I had the perspective of the OP towards mums like this, as my DC have like the OP's always been fairly good kids.

But among one hundred and one other things, what it boils down to is my Dsis lack of confidence in her parenting, which is heartbreaking as she loves her DC and would very much like to "get it right" in the eyes of other mums and have the "easy" DC who will do as she asks. I fail to see how another mum taking her on face to face, thereby humiliating her, when there is a teacher who is being PAID by you to do so is just madness in my eyes.

It will just hurt. If that is your intention OP then go ahead, but think carefully as to whether that is any kind of victory worth having.

The whole point is that the mother is threatening to take the child home, if she doesn't follow this through then her child learns that she won't face any consequences. If the mother has an unbiddable child, who doesn't do anything that they are told, then there's one very simple reason, they know that there will be no consequences, it's a vicious circle.
If the threat doesn't work, and it WON'T work if you don't follow through, then there needs to be a change of approach to the behaviour.

MissBetseyTrotwood Tue 23-Jul-13 21:51:57

DS1 was the Pied Piper child you describe. Luring all the good little children away from the teacher towards mayhem. We'd try classes like the one you describe but it never worked. Frankly, at the time, it was shit and very isolating. I gave up after a while and stuck to playgroups where he could happily go off and do his own thing and not have to fail at the organised fun. And felt much better about it all.

It's the teacher's job to help the mother though, definitely not yours OP.

MuddlingMackem Tue 23-Jul-13 21:41:16

wilkos Tue 23-Jul-13 18:46:57

>>>> FWIW- So what if your kids do what they say? Bully for you that your kids are more biddable but hers aren't. FGS don't speak to the mother, she bloody knows her kid is a pain in the bum and it will be crushing if you all gang up on her about it. <<<<

What a cop out!

When DS was 2.6 we started taking him to a dance class. He could be fine, but he could be a pain and wouldn't pay attention and would try to run around. One of us would keep him on our knee when he wasn't behaving but in the end we decided it wasn't fair on the rest of the class and stopped taking him. And he was positively angelic compared to the child in the OP. So yes, the mother should be made to deal with him or remove him from the class.

As far as SN goes. Even if the child does have SN, that doesn't explain the lack of control of the siblings, so no excuses.

DorisIsWaiting Tue 23-Jul-13 21:30:28

YANBU I have a dc who is 3 and attends dance classes with other 3-5 year olds. There are times when some dc don't engage (tired etc) but not to the detriment of the rest of the class and on the very few occasions that has happened the dance teacher has warned them then asked the parents to take them outside (parents normally leave with red faces at this point!).

The teacher should definitely be your first point of call.

Bakingtins Tue 23-Jul-13 20:31:58

YANBU. I've had various issues like this in preschool swimming lessons. 3 is too young to comply perfectly all the time, but plenty old enough to learn that actions have consequences. In swimming, if the kids won't listen or wait safely for their turn, they have to sit on the side temporarily. There were two four yr olds in the class who would misbehave and wind each other up, one mum took a three strikes approach and pulled the kid out mid lesson ( much better the following week) the other hisses empty threats about no chocolate yet every week is there feeding the vending machine at the end of the lesson. She doesn't back up the teacher and the kid gets worse and worse. Thank the Lord he has quit to go to school pity the poor sod who has to discipline him for the first time ever
I would love to be the person who says to the mum "yes, why don't you do that?" but in reality wouldn't have the balls. It's the instructor's place to set some age appropriate ground rules and then expect the parent's cooperation in enforcing them.
No follow through = no respect.

I have this child. DD does dance and just terrorises the village for an hour. She needs boundaries and a structured environment, she is just useless at it. However, I try. It is not her strength. She is getting better, I am helping her. I try to let her disrupt other people as little as possible.

However, some of the parents of naturally biddable, quiet, calm children do spend all their time patting themselves on the back and telling themselves it is their wonderful parenting. Sorry. Most of it is my bloody Olympic standard running, martial arts DH and ILs genes.

PenelopePipPop Tue 23-Jul-13 20:02:48

Are parents meant to stay and keep an eye on their children at these lessons or leave? We are given the choice with the 3-5 classes and the teacher says children generally behave better if their parents are not there. So it might be that you are both being unreasonable.

If you are expected to stay and make sure your little darlings cooperate then the other mother is perhaps being a little unreasonable. But I also think you need to temper your expectations slightly. If the deal is parents supervise their children whilst they engage in a range of activities and you are supervising your child and she is supervising hers and her 3 year old participates less than yours (which is pretty normal) it really should not affect you. If your DC does play up because she sees another child not joining that is a behaviour in your DC you need to address because, frankly, she is going to see plenty of disruptive DC in the future.

hardboiledpossum Tue 23-Jul-13 19:53:17

Lots if 3 year olds would behave like this. I don't think you should say anything. Just be thankful you have an easy child

NewFairy Tue 23-Jul-13 18:52:59

Wilkos - I don't think the poster claims her dc are more "biddable", just that they have learned that if mum says stop, or we are leaving, and they carry on misbehaving, then mum will take them away from the activity.

I agree the poster should not talk to this mum, but tbh it does sound like the mum needs to follow through, especially as it sounds like she has 3 children who are misbehaving.

Surely it is the mother's problem too, wilkos? It seems obvious that she knows her child is misbehaving, otherwise she wouldn't be threatening to take the child home.

I firmly believe that if you issue a threat like that, and the child carries on misbehaving, you need to follow through on the threat, otherwise the child learns they can do what they want, and mum or dad will do nothing.

wilkos Tue 23-Jul-13 18:46:57

YABU - stop judging the mother, it's the teachers problem that the child doesn't join in and she's bringing her other kids, speak to her and let her deal with it.

FWIW- So what if your kids do what they say? Bully for you that your kids are more biddable but hers aren't. FGS don't speak to the mother, she bloody knows her kid is a pain in the bum and it will be crushing if you all gang up on her about it.

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