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Aaaaarghhh... this kid is driving me up the wall!!

(33 Posts)
ScatCatShoo Mon 30-May-11 00:11:50

OK, I know I am probably overreacting, and unreasonable, but this kid is driving me bats, and I need to vent. I have namechanged, because I don't want my personal details to attach to this post, iyswim?

My 3 yo DD has swimming lessons in a beautiful pool, with nice instructors and poolside parents. But there is this almost 4 yo boy in her class who is completely out of control. By which I mean, running around the poolside, including close to the deep end, splashing the instructor and in particular, my DD (she is the only girl, and the youngest), not waiting for his turn and pushing in front of my DD, never listens to the teacher... and today, I saw him push my DD into the water from the edge. Luckily the teacher was standing close by, and grabbed her. My DD is luckily, a very laid back kid, and never retaliates, and she also knows her limits... and we've been very careful to explain to her what acceptable behaviour is.

All us parents are usually sat by the poolside, and his mum always laughs, and talks about her hyperactive DS... never once has she just said, now stop that, or that's not nice to him (other parents have told off their misbehaving kids, as have I once, when DD was being naughty). His mum's told us about how he has been kicked out of has been taken out of preschool, and no one understands him, and how she's had to defend him etc etc... he does all sorts of other lessons to, and apparently is hyperactive there as well. She seems like a nice woman, but she also spends her time just sitting with her phone, texting or something, and has never once said anything to her son when he's basically disrupting the lesson.

Its annoying to have to stand there and not be able to say anything... as far as I can see, a sharp scold to the kid would probably do wonders... but the teacher is very young and incredibly patient, I would have snapped by now, and the whole lesson is getting to be about trying to keep this one kid in order.

I am really beginning to resent it, and getting more and more crabby that I am paying for these lessons in a nice place, with a lovely teacher but they're being completely disrupted by this little terror. As there are only usually 4 - 5 kids in the half hour session, the parents have sort of got to know each other. I feel terrible that I am being so resentful of one of them, and I know a couple of the other mums are feeling the same way about this boy, and I can only imagine what that poor teacher must be feeling!!

I have no idea what to say or do in the circumstances, and really needed a rant, so thanks for listening, and feel free to call me U, but I am really annoyed and angry about it.

LordOfTheFlies Mon 30-May-11 00:19:10

I think you need to say something to the teacher after the class because there is a real safety issue here.
Although if it was my child I would want someone to say to me so that I didn't feel I was being tattle -tailed.
But you have to do something as safety is paramount.
Is there someone more senior over-seeing?Could you ask them?

MrsTerryPratchett Mon 30-May-11 00:26:56

It's not actually the kid driving you up the wall, rather the parent grin. I think, since it's a safety issue (pushing your DD in) you can in good conscience raise it with the teacher/manager.

BuntyPenfold Mon 30-May-11 00:28:04

Of course say something! Most swimming teachers are very strict, for a good reason.

ScatCatShoo Mon 30-May-11 00:28:19

LordOfTheFlies, I am afraid I might just have to do that, and yes, it will make me feel like a tattler. I have, very subtly, tried to raise the issue with the mum. For example, last week when I saw him pushing in front of my DD, I said something along the lines of 'OH, look at my DD, she is waiting her turn'... the mum just laughed and said, my DS is always impatient, and he has to do everything straightaway. I think pretty much every other parent there got what I was trying to say.

There are only 4 or 5 lessons left, and then the kids go into the next level. I wonder if its worth me muddying the waters (no pun, really smile) now, and just changing DDs class next.

DH is saying that DD should learn to stand up for herself, and splash the boy back, but I don't agree, especially as it will make the instructor's job that much difficult. I would much prefer the mum to go up to the kid and just say, look, stop that now, or we're going home (like I would do with my DD)

Unfortunately there is no one senior on the spot, as its a collection of classes, and the only other people on site are parents and lifeguards (one of who was very put out when she saw this kid running along the poolside today) But no one can really say anything to him, as his mother is there too, and I imagine they wouldn't want the confrontation.

BuntyPenfold Mon 30-May-11 00:30:50

Why wouldn't the lifeguard say something?
Ours have blown their whistle before you can blink.

ScatCatShoo Mon 30-May-11 00:31:33

MrsTerryPratchett, smile equal parts, I think

BuntyPenfold, this instructor is very young (not older than 19!) and I can see why he's teaching this class, as he's unbelievably patient with the kids and a really good teacher. And he's certainly not strict... I don't think he's had cause to be before this. I still remember a few weeks back, this kid didn't show up for the lesson, and the whole class was so much more relaxed, and learnt a lot!

ScatCatShoo Mon 30-May-11 00:33:27

BuntyPenfold, I do feel that they may be intimidated by the parents a bit, and they do rely on parents to step in if their kid is misbehaving... and most parents poolside do. I've seen one carry off their kid, kicking and screaming, for not waiting his turn.

And they are so young too!!!

BuntyPenfold Mon 30-May-11 00:34:10

Maybe he can get the lifeguard to be the bad cop?
Is he waiting for parents to complain, do you think?

BuntyPenfold Mon 30-May-11 00:36:40

The lifeguards here are all very fierce.
I think they should back up the instructor re pool safety regardless of the age of the children.

ScatCatShoo Mon 30-May-11 00:38:01

BuntyPenfold, you know what? I never thought of that... maybe I will discreetly say something to the teacher next week. My DD loves her swimming lessons, and I don't want her to be put off because a danged kid won't behave or be made to behave

BuntyPenfold Mon 30-May-11 00:42:03

Exactly - there are situations where they have to behave for good reasons; all children need to learn that.
It isn't soft play, there are real risks.
Good luck.

ScatCatShoo Mon 30-May-11 00:45:17

BuntyPenfold, thanks. I hate confrontations and this is going to be hard, but I guess I have to raise it for the sake of my DD sad

LordOfTheFlies Mon 30-May-11 01:11:23

Your DD needs a safe and comfortable environment to learn to swim and if this has been going on a few weeks he'll get worse not better.
Can you have a quick word with the boy (in the changing room maybe before they go in, preferably when his mum is next to him)
" Billy can you give DD a bit of space today, she's got to really work hard today" or something.

When my DD was being annoyed by a kid at school club I told him " I wouldn't want to mess with my DD if I was you, just ask her brother"- in a nice/bordering on sympathetic way, not a Horses-Head-in-your-Bed way. Child looked hmm but she had no crap from him.(Usually my DD would punch her brothers lights out,but at school thats a no-no)

ScatCatShoo Mon 30-May-11 04:24:40

LordOfTheFlies, I know. We've seen his behaviour progressively getting worse. Even his mum can't seem to control him, and he's only 4. He's going to get worse, but his mum seems to think he's pretty high spirited, and that's all.

I don't know if I would get an opportunity to talk directly with him, they come in pretty much last minute (as he does football before that, and something else, can't remember) and leave practically the minute class ends. So the chances of me getting to talk to him with his mum are not very good.

My DD is also very passive, she will calmly let the kid splash her face, for example, and not do a thing about it! I would like her to be a bit more assertive, but wouldn't want her to retaliate, which I don't agree with. I just think him pushing her was taking it a bit too far though, and dangerous too.

barbie1 Mon 30-May-11 04:53:14

The same thing happened with us, in a class of 12 babies all under 18 months a 3 year old started in the second term due to being demoted from his age range for not making any improvement and general messing around.

The first week he jumped off the side of the pool and landed on my dd, who was forced beneath the water (thankfully i had her hold as it could of been so much worse.)

Second week i tried to avoid him and his mum, but soon we were getting splashed, toys thrown at the whole group, pushing his way to the front and towards the end of the lesson he push a baby off the floating mat sad.

That evening i went home and emailed the lovely instructor. I told her that due to his presence most of us were no longer enjoying the classes etc. I also mentioned the safety aspect.

To cut a long story short, for the remaining weeks the little boy swam with his dad, and almost all the problems stopped. smile

The instructor had obviously had a word with the mum.

ScatCatShoo Mon 30-May-11 05:00:37

Barbie1, thank you for sharing that. I think I am definitely going to have to have a quick word with the instructor. I just don't think its fair that my DD is not getting the kind of teaching she should be just because a little disruptive boy is taking up all the teacher's attention. There's still 4 classes left, and I really want DD to be confident enough to start intermediate in September.

We were doing a little summing up of the day before her bedtime, y'know where she talks to me about her day, and how she felt it was, and she told me that she was scared of this boy, because he was naughty to her sad So it is affecting her in a way. She's fine with the other two boys, and quite likes one of them who is a lovely, gentle little one.

barbie1 Mon 30-May-11 05:12:21

Your poor DD sad

The instructor emailed me back saying that she too had noticed the boy's bad behavior and had talked it over with the mum on numerous occasions.

We havent gone back to swimming this term, i heard the boy's mum saying that she would have to do all the swimming this term due to her husbands work commitments.

Instead im taking DD to the pool every day and practicing what we have learnt so far. She is really enjoying herself and coming on leaps and bound. I think it's really important that children aren't scared of the water. As an adult i can swim but not confidently, i also hate water in my face etc. All stems from being scared as a youngster.

We will go back next term ad older boy will hopefully be back into the age range he should be.

Good luck

archfiend Mon 30-May-11 06:30:35

I think you need to talk to the instructor- as others have said, it's a safety issue.

My dd's teacher has a rule where she tells them if they are misbehaving, gives them a final warning and then makes them sit on the side of the pool while she finishes teaching the point she was making. Maybe suggest something like that to the teacher-if this child's mother sees him spending more time on the side than on the pool then it might help!

Failing that, talk to a manager at the pool, none of them will want to be thought of as unsafe.

thriceaaka Mon 30-May-11 07:26:54

Perhaps, when you speak to the instructor (or the pool manager, even better!), you could imply that you will withdraw your child from lessons and please can you have a refund, if the little boy is not kept under better control. You could also say that you'll tell other people not to go there because discipline is poor. If they lose money/custom because of disruptive children they might start training a bit more strictness into their employees.
Where my dd has swimming lessons, although parents can watch they are not allowed near enough to 'interfere' or interact with their children while the lesson is in progress. This gives the instructors much more authority.

wellwisher Mon 30-May-11 07:33:20

Can you enlist the other annoyed parents to complain as well? If you all threaten to pull your children out of the class the instructor will have to address the issue. Don't cut him any slack for being young, either - 19 is old enough to handle this!

IndigoBell Mon 30-May-11 08:22:02

If the kid is as bad as you say there's a very good possibility he has ADHD. In which case 'a strong word' wouldn't help one bit.

My guess is both that the mum knows telling him off achieves nothing, and is in denial about the fact her child has a problem. Which isn't helped at all by people saying there is no such thing as adhd, it's just bad parenting, all kids are different, he's a boy, he's young etc. Etc.

But if he did have a dx of ADHD and the mum had told the instructor nothing would change from your POV.

It's only your swimming lesson that's being ruined. But it probably is his whole life.

Goblinchild Mon 30-May-11 08:30:24

My son was a PITA when he was in swimming classes when he was 6. The instructors developed some strategies to help him and the others cope.
He always had an outside spot, so that he only had one person to deal with, they gave him clear space between him and others when swimming, they gave him two minutes time on the side to watch the others if he got over-stimulated. They tagged all instructions with his name, so that he responded, rather than an instruction that he didn't 'hear' because it didn't mean him.
If the child has additional needs, all the more reason that the instructors should be encouraged to problem-solve for all and that the mother should be supported to realise that she should be more pro-active about her son's issues.

'His mum's told us about how he has been kicked out of has been taken out of preschool, and no one understands him, and how she's had to defend him etc etc... he does all sorts of other lessons to, and apparently is hyperactive there as well. She seems like a nice woman, but she also spends her time just sitting with her phone, texting or something, and has never once said anything to her son when he's basically disrupting the lesson. '

How does that help her child, or all the other parents and children who are affected?
Could she go into the pool as his 1:1 support for example?

WorzselMummage Mon 30-May-11 08:39:53

Surely though, if there is a child that ruins an activity for everyone else repeatedly, is dangerous around the pool and impossible to teach Then really they really have no place in a swimming lesson. ADHD or not.

Op, I'd have said something already.

pleasekeepcalmandcarryon Mon 30-May-11 08:45:04

My son has ADHD/ASD and behaves exactly like this in group lessons, this is why we pay for one to one for his swimming and other sports.

I am surprised his mum is so laid back about it, I am always very anxious of my son's impact on other children in this kind of situation.

It's a difficult situation for everyone involved, your DD has a right to feel safe and happy in her lessons but also this boy has a right to learn how to swim too. One to one lessons would be the best solution but cost may be an issue, sadly swimming lessons for us cost three times as much as the group sessions.

Perhaps find a new swimming class for your daughter if the teacher is not able to resolve the situation.

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