A very unpleasant situation - Mothering Forums

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Old 11-30-2013, 01:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Recently my daughter was subjected to a really unpleasant situation.  It happened during riding lessons.   A volunteer of the riding center that we had not been introduced to came up to my daughter and I while we were watching little sister have her lesson.  This person first asked how long had my daughter been taking lessons.  My daughter answered and I then lightheartedly corrected her because she was off by a few months -- immediately this person said to me in a very rude tone: I was asking her, not you.  She then began to verbally take my daughter down by criticizing her for being loud and that it was unacceptable behavior around horses.

 

This is the first time that someone has spoken to my daughter like that and it is also the first time that I have witnessed someone else scolding my daughter.  My daughter is 12 and is usually respectful and terribly emphatic.  At one point prior to the scolding, she ran around happily -- she loves riding and being out in nature.  Her teacher is a wonderful person and very low key.  Her teacher did not seem to mind the little bit of noise my daughter made -- and she only did it once -- and it was cheering on little sister.  It wasn't like she was making noise repeatedly to the point of being a pain in the a$$ and an embarrassment to herself.  In fact, both my daughters have been rather vocal at times throughout their lessons.  They tag team each other as well -- setting up jumps and courses -- and it involves some quick moving around at times to get stuff ready and of course they call out encouragingly to each other.

 

So, I am baffled.

 

This volunteer didn't even have the gall to introduce herself before derailing my daughter which to me is cowardly.

Secondly, this person refused to acknowledge me as a parent and she should have spoken to me or the teacher first.

Lastly, my daughter learned nothing positive from this woman.  When the volunteer finished the tirade and left us there speechless, my daughter turned to me and said: I hate her and I never want to have lessons when she is here volunteering.  This last point is sad because my daughter was not confronted in a way that taught her anything.  Therefore she lost respect for this adult.  I told my daughter that perhaps the volunteer was having an off day.

 

I wasn't going to tell my husband but then finally caved.  He was upset and felt that the conduct of the volunteer was out of line to both my daughter and I.  It was so cold during our lesson that we just wanted to get home and relieve the teacher so we left before I could talk with the teacher about what happened.....because she didn't notice.  I could have texted her but felt that would be inappropriate before Thanksgiving and that this deserved a face to face meeting.

 

Do I include my daughter in the conversation or do I have her wait in the car?

Also, do I approach the volunteer and introduce myself since she never did that to us and then tell her how I felt about her behavior towards us?

 

Either way, this situation needs to be taken care of if we are to continue lessons.

 

For the record, my daughter did apologize to the volunteer several times.....but it was forced.

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Old 11-30-2013, 05:11 PM
 
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I agree this was an unpleasant situation for all. While your DD clearly did not learn the intended "lesson" of the volunteer, I think it could be an opportunity for her to learn a different lesson that may serve her well. To wit:

 

The world is filled with many different people, some nice, and some jerks. While it would be nice to avoid all the jerks, it is not realistic. We all encounter people we don't like. We are not likely to change them, to make them be nice people. It is a valuable life lesson for her to learn - that parents will not always be able to control all your life experiences. I have taught my kids to shrug, roll their eyes, maybe say, "What a jerk". Privately, later. It would be really sad if your daughter loses a beloved activity because of someone like this. Don't give that power to an icky stranger.


Rhu - mother,grandmother,daughter,sister,friend-foster,adoptive,and biological;not necessarily in that order. Some of it's magic, some of it's tragic, but I had a good life all the way (Jimmy Buffet)

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Old 11-30-2013, 08:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I forgot to add that I am very embarrassed for not having had the courage to speak up for my daughter the moment this happened.  I absolutely failed her because I was so caught off guard.  I am supposed to be her supporter when she is struggling.  I let this lady verbally abuse my daughter without stopping her.  I totally feel like a bad parent.  :(

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Old 11-30-2013, 09:34 PM
 
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Ugh. That does  sound very unpleasant. The upsides are it sounds like your daughter is, by and large, quite delightful, and she is learning to ride horses! How fun! Also, it sounds like you have every confidence in the actual teacher and that your concerns will be taken seriously by him/her. 

 

I hear your concern that this was an experience that didn't do anything productive for your daughter, but I think that involving her in the conversation you have with the teacher could shift this experience to one that will benefit her in the end. When she sees you expressing your concerns in an assertive way, giving grace to the volunteer who behaved unkindly, and stating what response you'd like to see from the riding school, she will learn a very appropriate way to deal with someone who acts this way- and what a powerful example that will be for her! 

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Old 11-30-2013, 09:35 PM
 
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Ugh. That does  sound very unpleasant. The upsides are it sounds like your daughter is, by and large, quite delightful, and she is learning to ride horses! How fun! Also, it sounds like you have every confidence in the actual teacher and that your concerns will be taken seriously by him/her. 

 

I hear your concern that this was an experience that didn't do anything productive for your daughter, but I think that involving her in the conversation you have with the teacher could shift this experience to one that will benefit her in the end. When she sees you expressing your concerns in an assertive way, giving grace to the volunteer who behaved unkindly, and stating what response you'd like to see from the riding school, she will learn a very appropriate way to deal with someone who acts this way- and what a powerful example that will be for her! 

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Old 12-01-2013, 09:56 PM
 
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I think you need to let the owner know how her volunteer is speaking to students. This is really unacceptable. I would included your daughter in the conversation if possible, because she can LEARN from this situation. I would also work with your daughter on being assertive. We teach kids to listen to adult and be respectful, but there comes a time to stand up for one's self. Your DD can become a stronger, more confident person from this.

 

 


but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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Old 12-07-2013, 06:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So, we talked with the teacher and she told me that this wasn't the first time this has happened with this particular volunteer....and that it was becoming more of a problem recently.  Hopefully this volunteer will be phased out and replaced with someone else.  The teacher agreed that my daughter was not out of line and just being happy and free -- the way kids are supposed to be.

 

I feel better and so does my daughter -- and this was a good learning experience for both of us.  I am glad it wasn't any worse than this.

 

For me, this comes at an interesting time in my life as a parent since I have never been in a situation like this before.  I come from an emotionally abusive family and it was never my place to speak up for myself because it didn't matter.  I am learning through my children that I will have to speak up for them and myself when my gut is telling me that something is not right.  In addition I have finally located a therapist that specializes in adult children abuse recovery.  I am looking forward (and also am scared at the same time) to what I am going learn about myself and what I am finally allowed to do when I know I am in a situation where I have to speak up.

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