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.

WilsonFrickett Tue 23-Jul-13 17:33:18

Why doesn't the leader tell her? It's really not your place.

KobayashiMaru Tue 23-Jul-13 17:33:28

It? not generally a term for children.
It's up to the teacher to deal with other attendees and their parents.

TeamEdward Tue 23-Jul-13 17:35:08

Either speak to the mother concerned, or have a word with the teacher. It's not fair for the other children to be disturbed, especially when you're paying for lessons!

MrsKeithRichards Tue 23-Jul-13 17:35:43

Sounds like a shit teacher.

BadSpeakingSkills Tue 23-Jul-13 17:36:08

Shit posted too soon.

I know she's coming back each week as we all have to pay 10 weeks in advance when we start.

I'm dreading going as this child is a right pest, the other parents are getting annoyed as well. Do I say something or just vote with my feet and leave ? DC's class is for 3 -5 year olds. He LOVES gymnastics and the teacher is good, but just a bit miffed at this child not being controlled by her wet mother.

Or am IBU ?

HeySoulSister Tue 23-Jul-13 17:37:44

how old are they all?

UC Tue 23-Jul-13 17:39:24

Actually I think the teacher is being wet. I would have a word with the teacher. HE should issue a threat saying that if the child can't join in etc., then he will need to sit out/not return.

Presume there are no SN involved though.

hermioneweasley Tue 23-Jul-13 17:39:35

Have you spoken to the teacher?

WorraLiberty Tue 23-Jul-13 17:40:26

I'm hoping the 'it' thing was some sort of auto correct problem?

They're still only young.

I'm sure the child will settle down in the end and your child will learn that wherever he goes, there will always be one or two disruptive children.

Oh and cut the Mum a bit of slack too

The next time she says, 'behave yourself or you'll put your shoes on and we'll go home, you say 'Yes, please do take him/her home!!' or 'Good idea!' And give her a meaningful stare.

If that doesn't work, I would talk to the teacher and tell her that, unless this is dealt with properly, she will find herself teaching just this child. Suggest she tells the mother and the disruptive child to wait outside in the hall, until the child is willing to join in properly, and that she sends the child and mother back outside if the child comes back in (in order to join in properly), and then plays up.

wonderingsoul Tue 23-Jul-13 17:44:49

i would have a word with the teacher. sh really need sto step up.

i also dont see wether the child has special needs or not matters? shes given the child a good chance to join he doesnt want to do it so why ruin it for other children whos parents have paid aswell.

DameDeepRedBetty Tue 23-Jul-13 17:46:30

Let the leader/teacher know you're considering not coming back if the class is disrupted in this way in future. Tell her/him how much you like the class except for this issue and would love to recommend it to your friends, but don't feel you can while the issue of out-of-control children is not addressed.

Presumably you signed up to this with some paperwork - is there any sign of a behaviour clause in your copy?

pooka Tue 23-Jul-13 17:48:07

Expect the it was in interest of full anonymity.

BadSpeakingSkills Tue 23-Jul-13 17:51:41

The child doesn't join in at all. Said child just blanks the teacher and the assistant, whenever they try and talk to it. Mother often brings her other two children and they climb over the other equipment/get in the way for the remainder of the lesson.

Writing it all down, I'm getting more annoyed at the teacher but think the mother is being very wet. My three know if I say "Behave or we're going home." I mean it and I follow through, I don't do empty threats.

badguider Tue 23-Jul-13 17:51:57

I feel sorry for the mother, her child is obviously not in any way ready for this activity but you say you have all paid for ten classes upfront? That's a problem of the teacher/class.

The teacher SHOULD be able to say to the mother that their child isn't ready and refund the unattended classes. Whether they can do this or not I don't know...

TeamSouthfields Tue 23-Jul-13 17:53:15

It ???

BadSpeakingSkills Tue 23-Jul-13 17:53:51

I've referred to the child as it, purely as not to identify the sex.

Plumpcious Tue 23-Jul-13 17:54:05

"it" - I assumed the OP was avoiding saying whether the child is a boy or girl.

Are class numbers an issue maybe? eg if the class can't run with fewer than 5 children then perhaps the teacher is reluctant to deal with the child's behaviour, in case the mother withdraws the child and the class can't continue with just 4 children?

ppeatfruit Tue 23-Jul-13 17:55:22

Sorry wait a minute this is a gym class for 3 to 5 year olds? Are you expecting olympic style training here grin hmm .If you are then it's actually BAD for DCs to be 'trained' like this. it should just be fun at this age FGS. YABU

SolomanDaisy Tue 23-Jul-13 17:55:53

How old is the child? It is not really reasonable to expect full compliance from a 3 year old.

BadSpeakingSkills Tue 23-Jul-13 17:58:39

No paperwork at all Dame It's only classes at a local recreation centre, I've done classes/courses there myself and never had to sign any paperwork.


ppeatfruit Tue 23-Jul-13 17:58:55

DD2 was 'trained' at a gymnastics class at the age of 7 and it permanently damaged her knees I got her out sharpish when I noticed she was being 'pushed' by the instructor but it was too late and I bought a book about over training of L.Os saying how negative it is.

pinkyredrose Tue 23-Jul-13 17:59:04

The teacher is ineffectual if they can't teach a class of five (which could actually be ten) children without allowing one child to disrupt the class. The mother shouldn't be bringing her other children and allowing them free rein, it's not a playground ffs!

Have a word with the teacher and see what discipline/rules are in place to deal with this kind of situation (not alot it seems) and then see if you can complain to anyone higher up.

Dackyduddles Tue 23-Jul-13 18:00:25

Are you absolutely sure there's no sn?

It would piss me off yes, but I'd be asking the teacher to find out backstory and deal. It is NOT your place when you're paying.

But I can say that with detachment as on my phone. In RL I'd be very disappointed and keen to resolve.

Dackyduddles Tue 23-Jul-13 18:02:10

I guess you mean they play on professional equipment? Ours is like that so they get used to the stuff but its just free play over it all.

BadSpeakingSkills Tue 23-Jul-13 18:02:21

It is fun though for the remaining 4 children !

They have a great time with games, going on the equipment, it's purely this child that just doesn't want to join in and shouts and screams when it's even asked if it would a turn on through trampoline !

Not for a second expecting Olympic style training grin

A word of advice - people are not going to like you referring to the child as 'it', unless you genuinely don't know if it is a boy or a girl.

Really good advice to speak to the teacher and tell her that parents, as a group, are not happy with this child's behaviour and if the teacher doesn't deal with it then you will be leaving and finding a different group, which is a shame because you like the class.
Me, I'd just tell the mother to take her damn kids home! wink

BadSpeakingSkills Tue 23-Jul-13 18:04:39

I guess you mean they play on professional equipment? Ours is like that so they get used to the stuff but its just free play over it all.

Pretty much, they each have to take a turn and equipment is rotated each week to try new things, but for instance if child doesn't want to do a forward roll something on the mat they can do something else of their choosing if that makes sense.

wellthatsdoneit Tue 23-Jul-13 18:05:17

I think this is an odd age group for gymnastics. If you have an emotionally young three year old at one end and an emotionally mature five year old at the other they're going to be poles apart. It may not help with the parents being present either - sometimes just their presence distracts the children. At my gym we have 'toddler' classes where a parent must join in with their child and the structure is fairly fluid, and then 4 years old upwards, where the parents drop the kids and collect at the end of the session. Discipline isn't generally a problem. I do feel sorry for the parent whose child is being disruptive if she's paid for ten weeks in advance. Have you had to pay to join British gymnastics as well?

Seriously, people are up in arms about the OP using the term "it" for a child rather than a he/ she, obviously to ensure total anonimity? What's the difference between that and DC? or OP or any other non-gender specific term?

BadSpeakingSkills Tue 23-Jul-13 18:09:19

Well No I haven't had to pay anything else.

CalamityJ Tue 23-Jul-13 18:13:48

What about having a quiet word with the teacher and asking if she would consider refunding the mother the unused weeks? Presumably the teacher isn't having much fun either and may rather sack off some money to have an enjoyable class where everyone there gets something out of it? Then it's up to the teacher to offer that to the mother.

BTW I got what you were doing with 'it' You were trying to be anonymous. Don't worry about other posters getting het up.

Wibblypiglikesbananas Tue 23-Jul-13 18:14:25

Don't see anything wrong with 'it' as that's a part of keeping the post anonymous.

Anyway, I digress. It's not fair that one child gets to disrupt the class for the remaining well behaved children. Presumably the teacher is responsible for them all in terms of safety, and whilst the mother is on hand, if she is as wet as you say, can she be relied on to adequately supervise her DC on the gym equipment? I'm guessing not, in which case, the teacher's attention will permanently be turned to the child messing about and the remaining four children will be getting a less than optimum lesson.

Now, excusing SN, I don't think this is on. I'd speak to the teacher at the end and point out that this hasn't been a one off (and all children have off days) - it's been a few lessons now and you want it sorted. The teacher should have the good sense to have a word with the parent. After all, the class isn't full, and if people start to drop out because of this child, the teacher themselves will look bad.

NewFairy Tue 23-Jul-13 18:19:57

I would ask to speak with the duty manager at the leisure centre, after all, they are running the course. Also, this mums other DCs should not be using the equipment unless they are enrolled in the class.

Good luck.

nannynewo Tue 23-Jul-13 18:25:29

I suggest having a quiet word with the teacher and see if anything comes from that. I am sure if the teacher knows how parents are feeling they will soon have a word with the mother.

I also agree to ignore people moaning about you referring to the child as 'it'. It is quite clear you are using this as a way to keep the child anonymous.

Nerfmother Tue 23-Jul-13 18:27:35

Well you have revealed the gender in an early post so you could drop the 'it' now. Not sure - speak to the teacher really not the mother.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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...

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.

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?

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 04:40:19

Sorry for diction, have had drinks smile

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 04:56:59

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.

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.

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.

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.

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