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  1. #1
    Member Fatima's Avatar
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    Default Kids in the classroom

    I'm having a situation at school. One of my classmates is a single mother and she brings her pre-teen son to class. He's a pain in the neck. For me taking a bellydance class is a very personal thing, it gets me in touch with myself and my classmates and this kid's breaking this "bond" you make at class.

    This is not the first time I'm in a class competing with someone else's kid, but this time it's getting into my nerves because mom doesn't do anything to control her kid. For example he's noisy, so nobody listen to what the instructor is saying and she wouldn't correct him.

    I complained about it with my instructor and she shrugged her shoulders, since it seems I'm the only one who has issues with the kid in the classroom. Is it OK to complaint about a disrupting kid or is it just me that I'm insensible to a single mother's situation? Mind you, I was raised by a single mother and I know all about single mothers' sacrifices. I'm actually thinking about leaving that school since I feel like I'm whining all the time to not avail. Some people I've talked have said that I just need to learn to take the class with the kid. I don't think is fair. What do you think?

  2. #2
    Premium Member Aniseteph's Avatar
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    I don't think it's fair, and you are right to complain; you pay for class to learn belly dance, not to express sympathy with single mums. Your teacher's attitude makes it sound like your classmate's childcare arrangements are more important to her than your learning bellydance Maybe she'd rather run a playgroup or a youth club...

    IMO she shouldn't have allowed it in the first place - trouble waiting to happen. The minute it upsets other students she should be having a word with mum rather than wimping out like it's not her problem. Pathetic. If none of your classmates will stand up for themselves I don't see what you can do but take your business elsewhere.

    As for mum... she should be hauling him out of there the minute he annoys anyone and sorting it.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator Mosaic's Avatar
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    I agree with Aniseteph, the child should not be allowed to be disruptive and the mother should control her child, it also wouldn't hurt the instructor to step in and say something to the boy, often children will listen more to someone other than mum.

    On rare occasions we have had a child come with Mum to a class because of some unplanned circumstance, and the children have been wonderful, sitting quietly watching or reading/playing nintendo on a hand held etc. They have never been an issue.

    I know if it was me, I would actually speak to the child myself, and quietly but firmly ask/tell him to be quiet..... but I am probably a lot older than you, and it is easier to do that when ones kids are grown or you have grandchildren One gets a bit "bossy" in their autumn years LOL! When I was in my 20s/30s, I doubt I'd have had the courage to do so.

    Your instructor should be taking charge period!
    ~Mosaic

  4. #4
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    I can't believe some parents these days. Working in a children's setting, parents let their kids destroy exam rooms, throw their garbage whereever they want etc...Having a child in bellydance class is fine as long as they are not disturbing other dancers and they are behaving themselves. I think you could discreetly say something to the mom. I hope your situation gets better.

  5. #5
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    A child should play and move at this age. Of course he can be he is noisy and disturbing. The mother shouldn't take that boy in a bellydance class where he has nothing to do. Maybe she could let him at a friend place if she don't want to pay for a babysitter, but it is a very bad idea to force him to sit and shut up while mom is dancing. He already had to sit all day long at school. This kid need to to something to move and have fun.

    A bellydance classroom is definitely not a place for him to go each weeks.

  6. #6
    Moderator Shanazel's Avatar
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    Observers are not allowed in my studio during class except in very unusual circumstances- that goes for kids, moms, dads, boyfriends, girlfriends, and people who just happen to peek in during the basketball halftime. I explain this at the beginning of class, and I have had very little trouble with looky-loos and misbehaving children. I am appalled to think a teacher would allow her class to be disturbed in this manner. Frankly, if one of my teachers let something like this go on more than a class or two, I'd walk and let her know politely but exactly why I was doing it.

    As for being a single mom or any other kind of sacrificing mom (and is there any other kind of mom?), if you can't afford child care, you also cannot afford dance lessons.

  7. #7
    Moderator Safran's Avatar
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    Hi Fatima, sorry to hear you've got such a situation to solve... I agree with others when it comes to the instrcutor - she should really try to do something about the problem, but she does not even seem to care. However, I suggest you talked to the mother of the kid directly. I would not be as strict to ban the kid absolutely from the class - I've seen lots of cases where someone brings their kids to class and the situation is under control. Maybe the mother herself does not realise there is a problem - if you'd try to talk to her nicely and remind her to keep her kid under control, it would work. Or, maybe you can suggest the mother could take something along for the child to keep him occupied -crayons, (quiet!) toys etc.

    If the situation continues though, and you really do feel uncomfortable, I suggest you look out for other options and change classes/instructors.

    Good luck!

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    V.I.P. Moon's Avatar
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    We had a mom bringing her 8 year old kid to classes sometimes. It was a nice boy, always reading comic books and the one time he was disrupted his mom corrected him.

    Maybe you can talk privately with the mom instead of to the instructor or other students? Tell her you understand she has to bring the kid to class because she's a single mom etc. but explain the kid is a distraction for you and you would prefer him to be calmer. Does the mom bring a book or gameboy or something like that to class to the kid has something to do?

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    I am curious: how old is this boy? and what types of disruptions does he do?

    I have had a few kids in my class, but nothing that was ever a problem. I wondering how I would handle that problem.

    thanks & good luck!

    PS: For the teens & preteens that just sit and sulk, I keep tellin' them to get up and dance....they usually wonder off somewhere else so I won't put them in the spot light any more!

  10. #10
    Member Fatima's Avatar
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    Thanks everybody for your comments. I thought that maybe I was uncomfortable because I'm getting old or just I'm unsupportive and egotistical.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aniseteph
    you pay for class to learn belly dance, not to express sympathy with single mums.
    That's my point. I don't have problems with single moms or kids actually, but I thinks there's a place for everyting and class time isn't babysitting time. My money is as good as hers why can't I have a whole bellydance class as she actually does.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mosaic
    On rare occasions we have had a child come with Mum to a class because of some unplanned circumstance, and the children have been wonderful, sitting quietly watching or reading/playing nintendo on a hand held etc. They have never been an issue.
    Since I started bellydancing I've been to around 6 to 7 schools, one was my former school in which I was taking classes in a continous basis, so in the others I was a drop-in taking classes for no more than two months. Only two of the them had a strict no-visitors policy. I've been in that situation you describe, and in the situation when the kid is missbehaving but mom shows up with him or her only once or twice. This girl brings her child to every single class.

    Quote Originally Posted by firshania
    A child should play and move at this age. Of course he can be he is noisy and disturbing. The mother shouldn't take that boy in a bellydance class where he has nothing to do... A bellydance classroom is definitely not a place for him to go each weeks.
    I couldn't agree more. This little guy is obviously extremely bored and that's why he missbehaves, I think.

    Quote Originally Posted by Moon
    Maybe you can talk privately with the mom instead of to the instructor or other students?
    I though about but I'm so p.o. that I'd be the one missbehaving. Maybe later when I'm calmed down.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jet Phoenix
    I am curious: how old is this boy? and what types of disruptions does he do?
    Since I'm bad guessing people's age I said he's a pre-teen. I suppose he's 9 or 10. Sometime he kind of behaves that means he walks around the dance floor over and over againg. When he has his gameboy he walks for around 15 minutes before settling down for no more than 30 minutes, before starting walking again. Those are the good days. In the bad days he just plays, runs, walks in the dance floor, right among us dancers. If he finds some prop to play with, which he usually do, he'll us it, for example one day he started playing with one of the teachers' cane, banging it to the floor during the whole class. You can imagine what he has done with the tabla. Everytime the teacher just raised her voice. Nobody else besides me has complained.

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