Tuesday, March 2, 2010


Today was Brooke's second time in the big girl class at gymnastics. She is a brand new three year old and the class is for kids from three to five years old. Since she's new to this class, obviously the other kids are going to be more confident and capable than Brooke because they've been doing the activities longer and they are older.

With that being said, I am very angry over how she was treated today. Brooke's class was working the high bars today. The teacher was helping them hold onto the bars and then flipping them over.... It looked really difficult and scary. About ten minutes into the class the teacher yanked Brooke out and said, "Mom, she's being disobedient. You need to talk to her and decide if she can handle coming back in." Tears were streaming down her little face at that point. I took her to the bathroom and I fully intending on disciplining her for not obeying. I'm not one of those moms that thinks that her child is perfect and I know that Brooke has her share of struggles. Anyways, when I asked Brooke what happened she said, "I was afraid of the bars, Mommy." She was really upset and obviously flustered so I dried her tears and reassured her. I didn't have the facts so I thought I would wait until I talked to the teacher to see what I should do about the whole situation.

After class I talked with the teacher right away. She said, "She was afraid of the bars and wouldn't hold on and her disobedience is a safety issue now." I said, "So you're telling me that she was afraid of the bars and that's not obeying you?" She shook her head. I then, quite politely, said, "Ya know, I'm trying to raise an Olympic athlete here. I'm just interested in getting my daughter out to meet kids her own age and to keep her active. If she's THAT afraid of something, I don't call that disobedience." The teacher then passed it off as, "Oh, we're doing challenging new skills and that's why she's acting up." Hello, lady, what part of "she's afraid" do you not get?????

I know that you need to sometimes push a kid in order to help them overcome their fears but it seems to me like they shouldn't be called out for being timid. I am seriously thinking about quitting that class because I don't feel as though she was treated fairly today and my heart really broke for her. I may give it a couple of weeks and see how she does but if something else happens, that will be the final straw.

Would you be upset if this was your child? Or am I over-reacting? You can be honest with me. I know that as a mom I can sometimes be a little over-protective. Right now I am FUMING and dreading going back there.


rccalyn said...

Oh man, I would feel the same way! That's just awful for a 3 year old! Hopefully it doesn't happen again! I understand the whole "pushing them to do things" but if they're legitimately scared - don't force the issue! I would definitely take her out if this continues to be an issue though. Poor Brooke! That teacher must not have spent much time with 3 year olds!

Meadowlark said...

Well, I'd be furious, but I actually am a total over-reactor.

That said, I'd probably make it clear to the instructor that I do not personally consider "afraid" to be disobedience and that I am clarifying that she (instructor-bimbo) does. And then I'd take that information to the powers-that-be and find out which class has an instructor who is NOT a freakin' Nazi.

See... even when it's not my kid I overreact.

Good luck with that. "other kid time" really isn't that important in the scheme of things. Fun is though!

*~tRiStYn MiChElLe~* said...

oh my gosh!!!! That is HORRIBLE!!! I would have been soooooo angry. That is ridiculous! You are paying for them to teach her what she is ready for and to make it fun. If she doesnt do the bars then its YOU that is out on money...they dont lose anything! that is so stupid. I think you did the right thing, honestly.

Simply Complicated said...

I would be so upset if that happened to me and Allie!!! But I'd also be right where you're at - trying to decide if I should go another time or two to give it another shot even if I don't want to! You mentioned earlier that they moved her up a class - would it be hard for Brooke to go back to the class she WAS in? Still have the "fun" and kid interaction but not the challenge of so much new stuff that might be overwhelming/frightening to a 3-year-old? Maybe not practical (I don't know the situation) but just a thought. Curious what you decide to do! These types of mom decisions are tough. Righteous anger on behalf of our child :-) But seriously at the age of 3 you think they'd do more encouraging than disciplining for being afraid - I think getting in trouble for being afraid of something could have a really negative affect on a child!