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The Increase of Hands Off Parents

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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.

Photo Jan 22, 8 08 20 AM

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Positively Grounding a Tween

Tween Positive GroundingTypically, Thursdays are my days to write about being thankful but after my experience with Danyella yesterday, today is going to be a special subject day…. Grounding a Tween in a Positive Way. I know that at her age, that kids are struggling with still being a child and struggling with wanting to be treated like they are older or an adult. This doesn’t mean that a child can treat others in a disrespectful way which is where we are struggling with Danyella. She feels that she can speak to the adults that care for her in any way she feels fit and continue to do the things that she enjoys. Well she is about to find out that life doesn’t work that way.

In the adult world, if we spoke to each our bosses in this rude manner then we would be fired from our job. If we spoke to a police officer in this rude manner then we would be arrested and spend sometime in jail. If we spoke to our friends in this rude manner then we would be become friends, quickly. If we spoke to our significant other in this rude manner then we would be dumped and living a single life. If we spoke to our loved ones in this rude manner then we would be living a very lonely life. So why do we allow our children to speak and react in rude manners when adults cannot act like that?

Well in my house and family it is not allowed. I will admit that I made many excuses and let things go because I felt Danyella has gone through a lot of change in her 10 years especially with a new baby on the way. The problem with the excuses is that I created a monster that thinks she controls the adults instead of respecting them.

After her meltdown yesterday which was over the fact that she didn’t get her dance leotards into the laundry after I (or so I thought) finished all of the laundry. She flipped out about everything and anything that came to her mind at that point. She refused to go to dance which normally I would make her stay home but instead she was sent without being in her required clothing so that she had to explain why to her teacher. She will be coming home today only to find her room quite empty…. no TV, no toys! Just her clothes, bed and books will be left which she will be earning her items back through a point system.

I had seen someone post this as a meme a while back and the idea sat with me so this morning I decided to make my own point earning system including chores that she fights with me over and positive activities that are required for her to complete in order to earn her items back. I will be posting how this first time goes in Monday’s post so be on the look out.

Print The Grounded Points Chart Congratulations You are grounded

CongratulationsYOu are grounded (1)

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Mom to a Tween Girl

Mom to a Tween Girl

Anyone that is mom to a tween sees their cute, adorable little girl with a touch (or bucket full) of attitude and sass that leaves you wondering… where did this child come from because this isn’t my sweet little girl. For the longest time, I thought it was just mine that acted like this but once the dance moms and I started our weekly chats, I learned that nearly all tween girls are like this and I am not alone!

My daughter will go from a sweet smile to tears to growing devil horns in about 5 seconds flat. You ask her to do something and it is met with an attitude like no other. I mean I thought this is what we dealt with when they became teens??

When you ask them to do their chores or anything at all to help…. wear body armour because dart will come spitting out of their mouth as they tell you “soon”, “in a minute” or “fine”. At the same time, she wants time to cuddle and be with her mom. It’s such a fine line when it comes to this tween age! 

Right now our biggest struggle has been technology or in her eyes “lack of technology”. She wants a phone and has been asking for one for the past 2 years but we are set that she doesn’t get one until she can show us responsibility aka keep her room clean and do her chores without a temper tantrum for more then a day! 

Raising a girl isn’t easy but a tween girl in this day and age just seems to be gettting so hard at least emotionally and mentally for this mom. Those rare “I love you” or “thank you” moments make enduring the attitude, slamming door and tears all worth it. Anyone else raising an emotional tween girl?

 

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