After trying numerous different sports and activities, Danyella has found her passion at a young age…. dance. For the past 3 years, I have supported Danyella taking several different dance classes and auditioning then making the Elite competition team. I sat in the lobby for hours while she was in class. Traveled to different competitions. Basically, I made her dance my life as well. It has been a wonderful experience for both of us…. until recently.
For this dance season, Danyella and I agreed that she could double up on some of her classes so that she move up another level in jazz and ballet. With my due date for Evelynne being in the middle of dance season, I set up Danyella’s dance schedule to be 7 classes and elite rehearsals on Wednesdays and Saturdays. This way, if I went into labor or needed anyone to take her to the studio it would be easier to fill 2 days then 5 days, like last year. Timing ended up perfect that I had Evelynne over the holiday break so Danyella only missed classes the one week because she was sick.
Typically, Danyella has looked forward to every single on of her classes because when she dances, that is when she is in her element, her zone. The past few months, Danyella has dreaded her Saturday morning classes because of the actions of some “mean girls” in 2 of her classes. These girls will talk nasty to the other girls, about the other girls to their fellow “mean girls” or to the teacher and his assistant. They will fool around in class and make it difficult for other kids to learn and take their passion seriously. They will sit on their cell phones and make phone calls during class. They will walk in and out of the class which makes the teacher or assistant have to go chase them down.
Some of the other parents and I watch and listen to all of this go on for an hour and half! These girls are 10-12 years old which means they know better than to act like the way they are but no one is there to discipline them. The teacher tries to take control of the class but these girls just laugh at him and do what they want. So where are the parents of these “mean girls”?
As a dance parent, I spend from 9:30 am until 3:30 pm at the dance studio on Saturdays because I want to make sure that Danyella feels safe during her classes. Don’t get me wrong, there are times where I have dropped her off and ran to do errands or home to deal with some stuff. Since Danyella has expressed how unhappy she is in the classes, I have parked my butt at the studio because if I need to intervene then I will.
There are a few dedicated moms or dads that stick around for the classes but not many. Even for that hour and half, the parents will drop these girls off and use the studio as a babysitter for their girls that don’t behave and then we wonder why they act the way they do. When a parent isn’t around, kids will push their limit until they find the breaking point. Is there a breaking point when the parents can’t bother to stick around for a simple class observation or to even make sure their child makes it into the class?
When did our society feel that sports and activities have become a babysitter for parents to drop their kids off and never know how their kids act? I know technology has aided in the “hands off parenting” approach but when you can’t even bother to support your child in the sport or activity they are participating in then don’t be surprised when your “angel” starts getting into trouble.
These parents don’t even want to believe that their “angels” could say some of the things they do or act they way they do. Then take the time to sit there like the “hands on” parents do and watch how their children act or be there to stop their behavior.
The actions of these “mean girls” and the hands off approach of the parents have caused other parents to pull their girls from the classes or even the studio. Danyella’s only reason to stick to these classes is because one of her best friend’s would be stuck in the class by herself. Danyella refuses to let her best friend to thrown to the wolves and be hurt by them. This shows me that I have done something right because Danyella has a loyalty to those that she cares about and loves. Maybe these “mean girls” could learn something valuable about life from the kind girls they pick on every Saturday morning.