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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm in need of some advice. My 4-yr-old attends a music class once a week and she really enjoys it. But there is another mom/daughter pair in the class that make me nuts. I really think the mom is a bit off mentally. She is either hugging/tickling/holding her daughter or she is speaking to her in language I wouldn't use with my dog or hitting her for some minor offense. The poor child is a wreck and it really shows. When her mom isn't around she tries to be center stage constantly. She looks for attention from anyone and everyone. I feel SO sorry for her (although the other moms and the music teacher become quite obviously exasperated with her constant interrupting of the class). While my dd loves the class, I hate her being around this crazy mother who constantly berrates and hits her child. I'm not even sure what to say to my dd about it. She knows that I don't believe in hitting, that people should never hit other people or even threaten to use violence. I've promised her that I would never do that to her. So how do I explain to her why this mom is treating her little girl so badly? Any thoughts, ladies?
 

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I think it's the teacher's job to deal with this. Maybe you could have a chat with her and ask her if she can speak to the mother, or maybe to everyone about a general policy about disrupting the class? Or a note to all families about disciplining their children. I'm sure she could find a tactful way of dealing with it without dragging you into it, esp if she thought she was going to lose families over it.
 

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It might be a good idea to talk to the teacher. I also think that at some point most, probably all of us who practice gentle discipline will have to explain to our kids that not everyone does. It is sad but at the same time I think it is a useful opportunity. By telling our children that for us, in our family, non-violence is an active choice, we are encouraging them, modeling for them, a way to choose it for themselves.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I know that I can't shelter my oldest dd forever, but I just feel so bad that she is having to see this cute little girl being mistreated. And one of the worst things is that she hears the little girl getting fussed at for being disruptive, so she sees the little girl as a trouble maker. Of course, I can totally understand why the other little girl acts out, but trying to explain the whole complicated situation to a 4-yr-old is a bit difficult.<br><br>
I think you are both right about my needing to speak with the teacher. She is a very kind lady but not very forceful, so I'm not sure what she'll say, but I need to bring it up. I've seen a couple of other moms' facial expressions change when the crazy mom stikes or yells at her little girl, so I don't think I'm the only one irritated by this.
 

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I agree that it is the teacher's job to handle this, so by all means speak to her.<br><br>
If it doesn't stop, and you are truly concerned that it is affecting your daughter negatively, then perhaps you can switch to a different time if one is offered? Even if your dd seems undisturbed emotionally by what she sees, I'm sure it makes the class quite unpleasant. It's really not fair to the other kids and moms.
 

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The teacher has a responsibility to make it a comfomfortable environment for everyone to learn in. The other mother should not be allowed to hit her child or use bad language in the class whatsoever. I think you should speak to the teacher, and the teacher should lay down some ground rules about what is okay and what is not okay in the class.
 

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Could all of this be done in writing so that no one needs to feel like she is standing at the front of the room pointing an accusing finger at another parent? It might be much easier for the teacher to hand out a list of rules that includes "be gentle with your children" as well as some guidelines that are undoubtedly important to her, such as "be on time" and "talk about music during the class; we can discuss other matters after class". All of these rules are pretty obvious, but it is remarkable how many people don't remember them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I took your advice and contacted the teacher. She was great about the whole thing and admitted that I wasn't the first to complain. She is going to address the problem in some manner--not sure whether it will be a one-on-one discussion with the mom or a letter to all parents. I'm so relieved!
 
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