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to have stood my ground even though trivial (possibly)?

(18 Posts)
scorpionne Wed 03-Oct-12 11:05:54

I have recently started helping out with an after-school club - I teach dancing to 5 and 6 year olds. This is the 3rd week now.

10 children have signed up and all except one seem to be enjoying it. There is one 5 year old girl who came in on the first week for only about 5 minutes, then was in and out of the room, back and forth to her mum, getting drinks and snacks and bringing them back into the room. Basically she didn't really do anything the others did. I told her not to eat in the class - it's only 40 minutes and they have time for a snack before.

The second week she joined in for even less time and her mum "couldn't" make her come back. I spoke to the mum and said it's fine if she doesn't want to do the class, but she can't be in and out all the time as it disturbs the others.

I didn't think she would come back but she did. This week, she didn't even come in with the others. Then 5 minutes into the class, she and her little sister started opening the door, looking in then running away laughing. I told them to stop but they kept on doing it until I locked the door. I thought they must have left but after the class they were still outside the room. At the end of the class I give all the children a sticker - they think it's for "good dancing" but they all get to choose one. The girl was suddenly at my side saying "I want a sticker". I said sorry, you only get a sticker if you dance. She seemed to accept this but her mum appeared behind her and started having a go at me, saying it was unfair and she's only little, and some other things I can't remember. I repeated that her daughter had not joined in and added that they need to decide if she's doing it or not.

The mum was obviously angry when she left. Should I have just given the child a sticker?

tutu100 Wed 03-Oct-12 11:07:49

No. The mum should have been keeping a better eye on her children and not allowing them to disrupt a class. She didn't take part in the class therefore she doesn't get a sticker. YANBU.

cheekybarsteward Wed 03-Oct-12 11:08:54

The mother sounds a right pain in the ass but I don't think you can blame the child for not being parented correctly

scorpionne Wed 03-Oct-12 11:10:50

I don't blame the kid. Still didn't want to give the sticker though.

cheekybarsteward Wed 03-Oct-12 11:13:36

You were within your rights on the sticker front...not sure about the locking the door bit though?

Pourquoimoi Wed 03-Oct-12 11:15:02

YANBU at all.

scorpionne Wed 03-Oct-12 11:15:42

I suppose I should have asked the mum to keep the girls out instead of locking the door. Just seemed a quick solution at the time - I had told them to stop opening it about 5 times at that point. Each time they came in I lost the concentration of most of the other kids who were trying to learn dance steps.

I think you were spot on!!

I used to run a little aerobic class at my DS's school one morning a week before school....I am sure some parents treated it as a breakfast club as some of the kids so obviously didnt want to be there. I used to give stickers out to kids who made an effort!

scorpionne Wed 03-Oct-12 11:19:11

Ok good to hear people think it was ok! I've never done anything like this before so I'm not sure what's usual. I'd be fine with someone not giving my kids a sticker in the same situation but would tell them either go and dance or we're leaving.

QuintessentialShadows Wed 03-Oct-12 11:20:24

How about offering to refund the money to the mum and ask them not to come back as it is ruining the class for other children?

Acinonyx Wed 03-Oct-12 11:22:29

When I first took dd to ballet (at 4) she went in the first time, but 2nd and third just sat on my knee and wouldn't join in. The school rule was 3 strikes and your out - so we left it for another year. I think that was very reasonable - kids should either join in the class properly or drop the class. I would recommend the mum brings her back next year and totally YANBU for locking the door.

scorpionne Wed 03-Oct-12 11:23:31

I'm doing it for free - they didn't pay anything. I just think they shouldn't bother coming next week - she hasn't joined in the last 3 times.

cheekybarsteward Wed 03-Oct-12 11:24:33

I can completely understand why you locked the door OP, I don't think I would have had that much patience with them TBH. I am just not sure you would be allowed to do it IYSWIM?
I think you may have to follow Quint's idea?

QuintessentialShadows Wed 03-Oct-12 11:25:07

ah, there is your problem then!

She will most likely come, as this in itself is entertaining her kids, and she most likely does not care what the others think, after all they have not paid anything, so it is perhaps in her eyes not a "real class".

cheekybarsteward Wed 03-Oct-12 11:26:58

Sorry CP'd.
In that case I think the 3 strikes and you are out might work?

scorpionne Wed 03-Oct-12 11:28:16

I really don't know if I'm "allowed" to lock the door - I don't see a problem with it personally.

Next week I will have to say to the mum that they must decide if they're joining the class or not. If they come. We're planning to do a little performance with another older class so I need to work it all out and know exact numbers.

QuintessentialShadows Wed 03-Oct-12 11:28:18

How about writing a brief letter explaining the Three Strikes rule, and invite anybody who are not quite ready for dance classes to return next year?

scorpionne Wed 03-Oct-12 11:29:07

I'm not sure I'm allowed to kick her out if she signed up?

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