Handeling Kids vs Interacting with Adults

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

  1. ChaChaMama

    ChaChaMama Well-Known Member

    As I stated upthread, I think there's no shame in being the kind of person who does better with adults. Nonetheless, it would be as nonsensical to describe all children as bratty and unable to control their impulses as it would be to describe all college students as drunken louts who don't know their limits and vomit on the lawns of the university's neighbors, or all dancers as shallow, vain, and unable to pass a mirror without checking themselves out.

    All of these stereotypes have a grain of intersection with the truth, but none of them describe the whole truth.

    My kid has been to four weddings, three of them family weddings, and KNOWS how to behave properly at such occasions. In my opinion, that is a parenting issue, not a kid issue. If parents choose not to define proper behavior for children and not to keep an eye on said children, then children will not learn the norms. It's not like any of us were born knowing the norms for every conceivable social occasion. I have seen at least an equal amount of bad behavior by adults at weddings as by children. (And at funerals, for that matter. Is this just me?)

    Oh, and if adult people bring children who were not invited to weddings, that is a huge violation of etiquette...by the parents, not the children!

    One very clever and generous cousin of mine had her wedding reception in this very funky space with a balcony overlooking the main reception area and had a magician/balloon animal maker upstairs for her husband's young children from his first marriage and the three or four other children at the wedding. (She made it clear my daughter was invited by putting her name on the invite too.) That was amazing, but I would never expect that. If I bring a child to a social occasion, I am accountable for her behavior, 100%. I would no more let her touch the icing on a wedding cake than I would let her touch a painting at a museum.

    I think a lot of people underestimate children, how smart, insightful, and observant they can be. They are watching your behavior as much as you are watching theirs.... ;)
  2. Bailamosdance

    Bailamosdance Well-Known Member

    Well, of course, your OWN kids are NEVER like that. Of course.
    And of course people who complain about other children never have kids of their own...

    Oops, wait. I have a child. Do I have to join the 'kids are really great, you must not know mine' group?

    ok, sarcasm turning off now. But really, It IS the parent's responsibility to raise their own child, and no, it's not my responsibility to enjoy, tolerate, or accommodate a child into my life, unless I choose to.
    IndyLady likes this.
  3. toothlesstiger

    toothlesstiger Well-Known Member

    I certainly never tried to suggest otherwise. To go back to your earlier post, what I hate is dealing with idiot parents when they are around their kids.
    Bailamosdance likes this.
  4. debmc

    debmc Well-Known Member

    As stated, I think the problem has to do with how certain kids are raised.. and the limits placed on them, vs kids in general.
    That being said, I've observed a couple of things when kids mix with ballroom. I was in a heat once where the organizer decided to have kids and adults both on the dance floor at the same time doing separate entries obviously, but all dancing on the floor at the same time. The whole time I was dancing I was literally in fear that I would "run over" these little kids as we were dancing. Obviously kids cannot be expected to have floor craft and I could not move freely as everytime I turned around, there was a little one right next to me, about to be run over if I danced with the energy/speed I had intended. So, as far as ballroom is concerned, I think kids should not be mixed with adults in heats. Secondly, I think it is admirable to see kids work so hard in the ballroom with their instructors at dance, and learn discipline at such a young age. At the same time, often the kids who are brought along to the dance studio while their siblings are dancing, now think that the entire dance floor is a playground and run around the whole floor while the adults are dancing. Once again, I feel it is more of my responsibility to stay out of their way so that they don't get hurt, but in general I think kids and adults on the dance floor at the same time... not a good idea!
  5. jump'n'jive

    jump'n'jive Active Member

    i love everyone elses kids as long as i don't have to teach them and i don't have to keep them overnight. this goes for my own nephew as well lol.

    i take that back i enjoy teaching kids baseball and football but not dancing.
  6. Larinda McRaven

    Larinda McRaven Site Moderator Staff Member

    I get that ChaChaMama, I know the generalization is huge. And I do know from watching ChaChaChild from afar on FB that she is nothing like the stereotype. She is rather amazing!

    I know other children like yours as well. My sisters boys (who didn't make the wedding) listen to classical music, have no cable TV but watch DVDs of the History channel instead, each play a musical instrument as well as a sport... and they are the most delightful boys to be around, polite and sincere. But my sister, long long ago made an out loud declaration that "my children will read Hemingway." and by gosh I believe she has done it. I don't think most people ever make a declaration of intent about things in their life... especially their children. And if there is no purpose or intent, they just assume the kids will be what the kids will be, and then we get wildebeests.

    My best bud made a declaration of intent... and it is just the opposite. Instead she indulges them in every weird action, from sleeping draped over the back of the couch, head down, on their face, with his underrooed butt up in the air, and she shrieks , "YEP, THAT'S MY BOY!".... to setting up a sewing machine with her daughter smack in the middle of the living room of our very crowded/shared/rented condo, on the first afternoon of a college girls roommate reunion week we do every summer. All four of us other adult women were forced to walk over her machine and fabric scraps and barbies, while the two of them spread out and yammered very loudly about sewing. The rest of us just huddled at the kitchen table and drank hooch from a watermelon. And we smile anyway, because we love her. She has been my best friend since we were 14, so I get it about her. But that is no way that I want to spend my life.

    I also am no longer "childless" (as if it were some disease...) since after getting married I now have a 15 year old daughter and a 17 year old son. They are old enough to not really be children, and they are at our house every other week, so it is a nice slow transition. I wonder sometimes how they would be if I had a hand in raising them... but over all they are really good kids. And while I still have to stop and think hard about how to engage them without barking orders like I am at work teaching 8 year old open standard genius dancers... my own stepmother just effortlessly flowed into a loving grandma role on day one. Some people are just hardwired to interact with kids, and some aren't.

    And for the record, my kids weren't invited to my Christmas party either.
  7. Larinda McRaven

    Larinda McRaven Site Moderator Staff Member

    See this is kinda like my dog... from the first day we got her we took her to the studio. She was just a baby and we all, as a community, had a hand in raising her. She is an amazing dog, that has more air miles than most adults now. But on that first day we made it very clear to everyone that she was not to touch the dance floor. And if she did, there was no blame placed on any adult that happened to step on her. It took this 3 month old baby ONE DAY to learn the difference between the hardwood and carpet. To this day, at 9 years old, she is perfectly behaved at studios and never ever steps one foot on the floor. It just takes intent, and sometimes a community.
    latingal, toothlesstiger and debmc like this.
  8. toothlesstiger

    toothlesstiger Well-Known Member

    Continuing on the thoughts from Larinda's post: It takes setting boundaries, and making the consequences of crossing those boundaries sufficiently unpleasant and immediate. I find disciplining my kids extremely unpleasant. As the saying goes "this hurts me more than it does you". In addition to the heartache of unhappy kids, enforcing timeouts and/or grounding is time-consuming and energy-sucking. But we know that if we don't do that, the consequences for us and our children will snowball. Other parents seem to prefer the credit card approach to parenting...
    pygmalion likes this.
  9. Larinda McRaven

    Larinda McRaven Site Moderator Staff Member

    Yes, I have been told by other well meaning parents, who I know are just trying to help educate me, "The punishment has not to be punishment for you too, otherwise it is not worth it." I think that is complete BS. But I understand the sentiment, and the desire to "help" me learn how to parent...
  10. ajiboyet

    ajiboyet Well-Known Member

    Larinda expresses herself more colorfully than most people I know...hehe...
    Larinda McRaven likes this.
  11. mindputtee

    mindputtee Well-Known Member

    I used to monstersit three boys who were perhaps the worst children I have ever met. They would bite me, spit on me, physically abuse each other (the burly oldest one liked to kick the scrawny middle one in the back and I was convinced that one day he was going to break his back) and there was nothing I could do about it because I was the babysitter and they didn't listen to words, and the threat of telling their mother was nothing to them. It became immediately apparent why when the mother came home: she'd either just nod and do nothing, or if they were being actively bad, would threaten them with things she clearly never intended to carry out ("I'm going to kill you") and the children knew she wasn't serious. They were never taught that there were actually consequences for their actions, so they had no respect for adults when they told them there would be a punishment.
  12. danceronice

    danceronice Well-Known Member

    NP's sons, especially the oldest, basically got raised in the studio. I don't honestly even notice much if they're around when I have a lesson. It's all in the raising.
    pygmalion likes this.
  13. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member


    No. I have a kid and am most decidedly NOT in that group. I think I heard tt say something similar earlier in this thread. Just because one has a child doesn't mean one automatically loves being around all children.

    The only kid I like and love without qualification is my kid. All others bring your best behavior. lol. And, even though DS is my boy regardless, even he is required to live by the rules of polite society at all times, including at home. Always has been -- even as a toddler. When DS was little, the ex and I would only take him places that a toddler could be expected to handle AND one of us would take him "walkabout" during the inevitable waits, meaning one of us would take him outside to walk around and play, rather than leave him inside, crawling over stuff and disrupting other people's fun. And we'd always tell him, "You're going outside because you're not using your indoor voice," or something like that, to reinforce the message that he needed to learn manners. As he got older and his attention span grew, his walkabouts got shorter and shorter until they disappeared.

    I think that there are ways for people to teach their children to behave. Some parents choose not to. I have lived this over the past decade or so, with a house full of DS's friends a lot of the time. Some of DS's friends are a real joy to have around. Others are a nightmare. Trust me. With the parents not around, you get the real deal.

    When I was pregnant with DS, I decided that I was going to raise a child whose company I'd enjoy, both when he/she was a child and an adult. So I set out to do that. I don't like brats, so I chose not to raise one. As Larinda says, intent IS very important.

    AS DOI says, it's all in the raising.
    debmc likes this.
  14. Bailamosdance

    Bailamosdance Well-Known Member

    So true. My son was raised with respect for his surroundings, sensitivity to others, and responsibility for his actions. He's grown to be a respectful, sensitive and responsible man.
  15. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    bottom line is that a lot of people are lazy...when they come home they don't want to have responsibility, so the only parenting they do is finding ways to keep their kid from bugging them...and if their kid isn't bugging them then, whatever the kid is doing, almost without exception, including a variety of disruptive, dangerous and annoying behaviors, is just fine by them....and sadly we sometimes blame the kids for that....who, absent the good fortune of some other caring adult intervening, generally grow up to be the same sort of person....my town, in a nutshell
  16. Joe

    Joe Well-Known Member

    That would be a good moment to give the child a good dose of its own medicine and get up in its face (ear) and yell as loud as you can.
    ajiboyet and Bailamosdance like this.
  17. toothlesstiger

    toothlesstiger Well-Known Member

    No, the medicine belongs to the mother. The child can't help it if the the mother could never be bothered to teach them manners.
  18. Joe

    Joe Well-Known Member

    However, that is unlikely to get the child to stop misbehaving at that moment, which is all Bailamosdance really cares about. No matter the impact on the mother, she will be unable to teach the child manners at that moment.
    danceronice and Bailamosdance like this.
  19. toothlesstiger

    toothlesstiger Well-Known Member

    And that is one of those situations that a rational person just sucks it up, the same way they do if an emergency vehicle with sirens goes by. You cannot win trying to change a child's behavior where you have no authority. You're better off investing in sound-proof headphones.
  20. Joe

    Joe Well-Known Member

    It is apparently a situation where nobody has any authority...

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