Handeling Kids vs Interacting with Adults

Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by toothlesstiger, Dec 17, 2012.

  1. Mr 4 styles

    Mr 4 styles Well-Known Member

    sage advice
  2. toothlesstiger

    toothlesstiger Well-Known Member

    Someone close to me has very little patience for adults who do not exhibit their standard of responsibility and consideration. I might as well cut off my own nose before I write that person off. I had no interest in interacting with children before I had my own.

    I am not talking about connecting, I am not talking about teaching.

    The original post was a response to someone in another thread describing children as manipulative and evil.

    Every person has their motivators and their points of sensitivity. We naturally have an easier time interacting with people that appear to have similar motivators and similar sensitivities. To some adults, the motivators and fears of children are so obvious and easy to understand that working with children is easy. Adults usually do a better job of adhering to behavioral norms so that motivators and sensitivities different than one's own are not so obvious.

    My point, not intended to offend anyone, although it seems to have, is that the person that makes the effort to get inside the other person's head and heart, understand how they got to where they are, may not enjoy the interaction, but will be able to make the interaction the most effective possible.

    The only kids I enjoy interacting with are my own. Yet other kids do not present a problem for me. I am not a popular adult, but I am respected. The time I have spent understanding myself, and understanding why people do the things they do, and understanding how people learn, through my own time of deep introspection, as well as counseling others for a number of years, turned out to be easily applicable to children.

    Again, I'm going to venture out into controversial territory, but in my experience, for adults who don't care to interact with children, it comes down to "they don't behave the way I want them to and their passions and interests are not interesting to me". But that measure excludes not only children, but anyone who is sufficiently different, both individually, and culturally, from ourselves. And that is the space my OP comes from.

    Had I thought about it a bit more, I probably would have said nothing. And I'm pretty sure that most people that took issue with the statement that started this thread are just writing me off as a judgemental a-hole.

    I'm not judging anyone. As long as you aren't hurting anyone, I really don't care what you do. But I'm a bit sensitive on the point I responded because I have been dealing a lot lately with narcissistic adults who in my mind are a lot more evil than a child who is doing what healthy children do, testing boundaries, could ever be. Children do not deserve such venom when the responsibility lies squarely on the shoulders of the parents.

    Don't interact with children if that doesn't interest you. Don't interact with immigrants if their accent is too hard for you, or they smell too funny for you. Don't interact with the "lower class" if they frighten you. But it is a very different thing to say "I don't have the patience to deal with them" versus "they are evil and manipulative".

    This post has taken long enough to write that more stuff has been posted in the meantime. So, I've motivated where my statement came from. As far as "qualification to interact with adults" goes, my intent was to get folks to consider that there's a whole lot being taken for granted in one's interactions with adults that may just not be valid, and that are making the interaction of less value than it might be.
  3. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    • (mr 4 styles)if only you had liked that I could earn more trophies :p
  4. Mr 4 styles

    Mr 4 styles Well-Known Member

    done ask and you shall receive
    fascination likes this.
  5. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    toothless....fwiw...I understood your post and was fine with it....shrug
    toothlesstiger likes this.
  6. raindance

    raindance Active Member

    Thank you for sharing this insight. It certainly applies to some people I have known, and it helps me understand what the underlying dynamic really is for those individuals in a new way.
  7. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    that being said, I know lots of folks who aren't into kids but who are very open to a variety of diverse cultures, etc...but I do see how anytime we see a particular population as "other" which can be kids, the likelihood that we are open to interacting with it is less
  8. danceronice

    danceronice Well-Known Member

    Well, by DEFINITION, little children are manipulative. Even physically we're wired to think they're cute because if they weren't adults would be less-inclined to care for them. They're hardwired to coerce adults into caring for them, it's how we aren't extinct. They can't help that. Evil is a relative judgement.

    As far as interacting with them, fasc mentioned how kids need structure. In the most direct comparison I have working with kids versus adults, this is really, really true. In the skating school, I was teaching the same basic skills to my adult group as to my kid group, but the mentality I needed to adopt and the approach I needed to take was very different. Kids were more prone to losing concentration and lacking the ability to stay in a structured lesson. Adults were fine with structure, but far less willing to take risks.
    Bailamosdance likes this.
  9. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    agree...and that whole manipulative thing really doesn't seem to drop off all that much...and isn't nearly as cute
    pygmalion likes this.
  10. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    I suspected there was a disconnect. Since you didn't reply with a quote, it was hard for me to put your comment in context. But, in the time you've been in DF, you have built (with me at least) a reputation for being the exact opposite of a judgmental you-know-what. So I decided to give you the benefit of the doubt and ponder before responding. Glad I did. :cool:



    Totally agreed. There's a personality characteristic (that's not the right phrase, but I can't think of the right phrase) that makes a person want to take the time and understand others in order to reach them. That characteristic, whatever it is, works equally well with adults and children. The absence of that is death for a teacher, even a well-intentioned one.

    That being said, I think that the folks who are saying, "I don't relate to kids" have a very good point. I have a GF who has the most amazing affinity for seniors -- the older, sicker, and more senile the better. I've seen her sit for hours, lovingly brushing the hair of, singing to, reading to, cleaning up after elders. STRANGERS who are elders. (She works in health care.) She loves every single minute of it. That would be torture for me. I can't imagine anything more horrible. That doesn't mean I lack appreciation for elders. Heck. My family lives to be a hundred. If I don't have an appreciation, I'd better develop some and quick. Different people have different preferences. Does that mean I won't make the effort to listen to, empathize with and talk to elders? No. But, for me, it's an effort. For my friend, it is all joy.
  11. ajiboyet

    ajiboyet Well-Known Member

    I'm not into kids.
    I am very open to a variety of diverse cultures.
  12. anntennis

    anntennis Active Member

    Interesting thread.

    Recently I saw tendencies to include children in adult pro/am showcases at various studios. Children who are 5- 6 years old. That, perhaps, ok, since everybody has a chance to have their number, even though I would prefer all adults only special evening of pro/am showcases.

    But during that Holiday Party season, I saw some studio owners mixing up adult and children night for dance social, and that creates atmosphere forwarded more to children than adults. Oh, Santa! Toys! Presents!! Small talk for little kids, etc…The adult is not important at such parties, but kids are.

    I would definitely keep it separate- holiday party for dancing children, their friends, and parents and holiday party for adults only. It is not something you can say to an organizer of such events, because he can get insulted and has little kids, but I believe it is not very smart marketing move.

    So I just make sure to attend dances for adults only or at least for people over 21. I do not want a dancing evening out with kids for the same social.
    debmc and Bailamosdance like this.
  13. Larinda McRaven

    Larinda McRaven Site Moderator Staff Member

    I know...

    I actually cancelled the Christmas party at my house tonight because all of my friends were excited to come WITH their kids. I tried politely to let them know this was an adult party, but some people, like one of my best friends, cannot concieve that there is life for other people that don't involve her children. It is just a given for her that an invite includes her 4 or 7 year old.

    At my wedding the entire place was overrun by kids, yet the only ones actually invited were family children. SOmehow just about every guest that had kids brought them, and their grandkids. Every table and all of its decor were completely demolished by the time we actually arrived. There were kids there that I don't even know, running across the floor in the middle of our first dance, swiping their fingers through our cake before we got over there, running through the tables, and fighting over who gets what, pushing into the food line. And the parents were just glad that I had enough decor to keep their kids busy and out of their hair for the night. My best bud even put in a special food request of hot dogs and kid friendly food with her rsvp...

    One day when Steve and I were traveling to NYC for coaching we were starving and stopped at a gas station to get some quick food. There was a mother with two children, screaming, running, making a mess, and blocking us at every turn, taking way to long at the hot dog dispenser and throwing ketchup all around. Not one of his finer moments, but definitely one of his truer and more funny moments, he turned to her and said rather sternly, "THIS (pointing to her kids) is why SHE (pointing to me) refuses to have children with ME."

    I am not into kids, and I really don't appreciate people/society assuming I am a bad person or a jerk, for not having children or indulging everyone else's kids. Nor assuming that since I choose not to interact with kids on a regular daily basis that I have am incapable or undeserving of interacting with adults (as if I am being punished? or shunned?) In fact most high level pros are childless couples. None of my pro friends that I hang out with regularly have kids... partly because if they did they would hang out with others that DO have kids.... but mostly because the ones that end up with kids... end up not being able to travel efficiently and carry the kind of lifestyle required to make it on the pro floor, so they simply and quietly disappear from this lifestyle.

    I do teach kids, and I enjoy that... but ballroom babies seem to be a special breed (well the Russian ones anyway) and the kids come in and work hard, the parents expect me to treat the kids as adults, and stuff gets done. Otherwise I feel like I am a high paid baby sitter, and that is not even close to how I want to spend my days.
  14. toothlesstiger

    toothlesstiger Well-Known Member

    So much becomes clearer now, after reading these two posts. The sins of the parents are visited upon the children, indeed.

    As a parent, my kids are the center of my life. But with all the attention and affection I give them, I make it clear to them that it's not all about them. The sort of behavior you describe would have my kids in their equivalent of solitary confinement for a week. And they don't behave that way, because they know there are consequences.

    There may be the occasional kid that for whatever reason can't be taught to be well-behaved. As for the rest, the responsibility for the behavior of the children lies squarely with the parents.

    My job as a parent is to do the best I can to turn out civilized adults that can fend for themselves, and the stretch goal is to impart enough wisdom that they don't need to make as many mistakes as I did trying to find happiness.

    When I was young, it was typical that old parents were more indulgent, and young parents were strict. Now it seems the tables have turned.

    Those parents are not "relating" to kids. They are taking the easy way out, trying to be popular with their kids.
    SwayWithMe, mindputtee, debmc and 2 others like this.
  15. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Amen tt.


    I have a couple DS-related anecdotes to share, but I'm too tired atm. I'll come back and post later. For now, I will say that I think MOST adults aren't "into" poorly behaved children, even their own. lol Nobody I know likes hanging out with rotten kids. IMHO, to say one is not into kids because of rotten behavior is (an understandable) false equivalence. Kids aren't rotten. Rotten kids are rotten and, unfortunately, usually a lot more noticeable than well-behaved kids.

    But, to anttennis and Larinda's points, there are times and places (such as adults-only parties, wedding receptions, etc) that are not appropriate for children. Period. And, to tt's point, bringing kids to an adult-only affair is yet another thing that lies squarely on the shoulders of the parents, not the kids.

    Too late to edit, but I should add. I think it's sad that we live in a society that sometimes ostracizes child-free people.

    Some people are naturally inclined to hang out with kids; some people aren't. That's fine by me, but I think it's a separate issue from being repulsed by repulsive behavior.
    IndyLady and Bailamosdance like this.
  16. ajiboyet

    ajiboyet Well-Known Member

    @Larinda Aren't you just a sweet lady. For the record, there will be no children at my wedding reception. There will be expensive china, and fine silver, and an orchestra, and delicate lighting. People will be warned that they will be turned back if they show up with children, and indeed they will be.

    And should one child run across the dance floor while I'm doing my smooth waltz...

    Okay, rant over. Hehehe...:D I really am not that mean.
    Larinda McRaven likes this.
  17. Joe

    Joe Well-Known Member

    Larinda is my hero(ine).
  18. Bailamosdance

    Bailamosdance Well-Known Member

    Larinda, I share your feelings 100%.

    I have to interact with 'mother's little angels' on my commuter train, where they stand on the seats, whine and act out, and crowd our spaces, with mommy or daddy sitting there ignoring their children.

    Once (and only once) I asked a mother to make her child stop yelling. She replied 'I don't want to do that, because it will teach my child that they get attention from the yelling'. I was so taken aback that this mother actually thought that it is appropriate that all of the people affected by this mother's poor parenting choice join her in 'teaching her child' that I then told the child 'please stop yelling, you are disturbing me' (figuring that mommy would welcome help and that her precious would see that mommy was not getting attention lol); the mother THEN told me to never speak to someone else's child...
  19. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Yeah. People have lost their freaking minds, IMO. Or I should probably say parents have.

    Time for one of my DS stories.

    One time I went to JCPenney to pick up or return something or the other. I was alone. There was some chick in line in front of me with her kid, who was probably about four. That kid was literally climbing on the four-plus foot high counter. So clearly, Mom must have put the kid up there. No three foot high kid can climb a smooth four foot surface without help. Anyway. The little rotten kid is climbing all over the place, scrambling paperwork and getting into all sorts of other mischief. My face must have showed my disgust. So Clueless Mom turns to me and says, "You'd understand, if you had kids." I said, "I do have a kid." I didn't say, "There is no way in hell he'd be allowed to climb all over the counter. He wouldn't even think of behaving that way in public, because I am raising him better than that."

    Not all kids are created/raised equal, the same as not all child-free by choice people have evolved/are created equal. Some kids are "good" whatever that means; some are "bad" whatever that means. Same deal with adults. I don't think anyone should be judged by their label or category.

    That said, given our society's current propensity for giving ill-behaved (parents and their) kids a free pass, if I were a dance teacher, I'd be leery of accepting young children as students. Just sayin.
  20. danceronice

    danceronice Well-Known Member

    If I had behaved as described when I was little, my parents would have made sure I lived to regret it. I suspect this is why little Russian kids are easier to teach. Eastern Europeans or those closely removed from Eastern Europe are not always the most lenient parents on Earth. I"m not saying it's good for kids to live in fear but it DOES make them easier to deal with when someone's already instilled a healthy terror of adult authority.
    debmc likes this.

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