difficult siblings (non-students) and parents

Posted by: Morodiene

difficult siblings (non-students) and parents - 02/05/13 08:56 AM

So my business partner has a voice student who is very sweet and talented. Her mother, however, insists in bringing in the girls two younger siblings, a boy and a girl around both age 7. The mother is there but she does not discipline the kids at all. They sit in the waiting area and make a mess of things, I'm pretty sure they've drawn on the table cloth on the side table, and they are NOISY.

My partner told them last week that they need to be quiet, otherwise I will get upset with them (I don't know why I'm the one who has to be threatening). Anyways, yesterday they were so noisy I couldn't concentrate on my Skype lesson which is hard enough to hear details as it is. They were talking loudly with the front door (which is right outside my door) wide open. I went out there and told them that I can hear every word and they need to shut the door and be quiet while they are here. In the midst of my saying this, the boy turns his back and walks away. I said I am talking to you, don't walk away from me and he talks back saying "I know you said to be quiet". I told him he needed to look at me when I was talking to him and not disrespect me.

After going back in to my studio, it is no less than 5 minutes and they're at it again, except the mother is outside the door on her phone on speakerphone adding to the noise. I went out and told the children that I told them to be quiet. The mother says "she's just wishing them a happy birthday" pointing to her phone. I said do it somewhere else! I can't teach with all this noise! I let my partner know what happened and that she has to tell them they are not allowed to stay during this student's lesson.

My next student came in and those kids left. My student said "Those kids are really annoying. One of them came up to me and pointed to your door and said, "That girl is crazy." I was livid!

My partner is aware of this now and she will tell the mother that under no circumstances are the children allowed in the studio. I'm just venting, and hopefully this will solve the problem. Anyone else have some wonderful stories about undisciplined kids? mad
Posted by: albynism

Re: difficult siblings (non-students) and parents - 02/05/13 02:05 PM

Originally Posted By: Morodiene
student said "Those kids are really annoying. One of them came up to me and pointed to your door and said, "That girl is crazy." I was livid!


Haha laugh don't you just love kids and the things they say.
At my last piano teacher's student recital, some parents thought it was smart to bring in their toddlers, so basically the whole recital was a barrage of classical music interspersed with screaming children.
Posted by: Barb860

Re: difficult siblings (non-students) and parents - 02/05/13 03:08 PM

Wow! This parent is the problem IMO, as she doesn't discipline her kids, and I have had similar instances in my studio.

Mom brought her 2 kids in for an interview lesson. She sat outside the studio with Kid #2 while Kid #1 was working with me. Kid #2 (who was 6 years old at the time) walked into the studio, pulled a chair up to a window, stood on the chair, and began taking the shade off the window. No kidding. Kids are not studying with me....Mom thought this whole shade-off-the-window issue was "no big deal, you should see what they do at home!" crazy
Posted by: AZNpiano

Re: difficult siblings (non-students) and parents - 02/06/13 01:34 AM

Originally Posted By: Morodiene
Anyone else have some wonderful stories about undisciplined kids? mad

Hey, I have similar stories to fill five tubs...years of teaching in public schools.

That's why I love working for myself. I get to fire all the really, really undisciplined students!
Posted by: AZNpiano

Re: difficult siblings (non-students) and parents - 02/06/13 01:36 AM

Originally Posted By: Barb860
Mom thought this whole shade-off-the-window issue was "no big deal, you should see what they do at home!" crazy

Ha! This cracked me up. laugh
Posted by: currawong

Re: difficult siblings (non-students) and parents - 02/06/13 04:09 AM

Originally Posted By: AZNpiano
[Hey, I have similar stories to fill five tubs...years of teaching in public schools.
haha, me too. smile
Originally Posted By: AZNpiano
Originally Posted By: Barb860
Mom thought this whole shade-off-the-window issue was "no big deal, you should see what they do at home!" crazy
Ha! This cracked me up. laugh
When I was school teaching I had a mother say gleefully (about her impossible 7-year-old son) "You think he's bad, just wait till his little brother starts school!" I didn't, as it turned out - I'd moved on by that time!
Posted by: TimR

Re: difficult siblings (non-students) and parents - 02/06/13 08:01 AM

We moved to a new school when I was in 4th grade and my next younger brother was in 2cnd grade.

Five years later, the 2cnd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th grade teachers had retired or quit.

Not saying my brother was difficult, but................
Posted by: Morodiene

Re: difficult siblings (non-students) and parents - 02/06/13 08:16 AM

Originally Posted By: currawong
Originally Posted By: AZNpiano
[Hey, I have similar stories to fill five tubs...years of teaching in public schools.
haha, me too. smile
Originally Posted By: AZNpiano
Originally Posted By: Barb860
Mom thought this whole shade-off-the-window issue was "no big deal, you should see what they do at home!" crazy
Ha! This cracked me up. laugh
When I was school teaching I had a mother say gleefully (about her impossible 7-year-old son) "You think he's bad, just wait till his little brother starts school!" I didn't, as it turned out - I'd moved on by that time!


LOL! Thanks for the laughs, guys. I really feel sorry for these kids, though. The parents are ruining them because no one wants to be around them. Undisciplined children are a curse to all who encounter them, and instead of people finding them cute and giving them good attention, all they will get is in trouble or excluded from things (like my studio).
Posted by: AZNpiano

Re: difficult siblings (non-students) and parents - 02/06/13 01:28 PM

I once taught in a classroom on the second floor of a building, and the back windows open out to a small platform behind the room. So I have these 7th-grade chipmunks who enjoy squeezing out of the window and scurrying around the platform. There were no guardrails to prevent them from taking a 12-foot plunge to the concrete below!

I called security and wrote every single one of these kids a referral to the office. But the office didn't do anything to discipline the kids. Instead, it wrote back: "Control your kids."

And forget about calling their parents. They don't speak English.
Posted by: Barb860

Re: difficult siblings (non-students) and parents - 02/06/13 02:53 PM

Originally Posted By: AZNpiano
I once taught in a classroom on the second floor of a building, and the back windows open out to a small platform behind the room. So I have these 7th-grade chipmunks who enjoy squeezing out of the window and scurrying around the platform. There were no guardrails to prevent them from taking a 12-foot plunge to the concrete below!

I called security and wrote every single one of these kids a referral to the office. But the office didn't do anything to discipline the kids. Instead, it wrote back: "Control your kids."

And forget about calling their parents. They don't speak English.


HAHA!
Reminds me of an antic my brother pulled years ago when he was 12 years old:
He and his friend picked up a desk in the music classroom (one of those old, HEAVY wooden and metal desks), during class time, and hurled it out the window, from 2 stories up! Desk hit the blacktop in back of the school. Thank goodness no one was below to get hit! Kids ended up with detention. My parents were never told of the incident eek
Posted by: Morodiene

Re: difficult siblings (non-students) and parents - 02/06/13 09:14 PM

Originally Posted By: Barb860
Originally Posted By: AZNpiano
I once taught in a classroom on the second floor of a building, and the back windows open out to a small platform behind the room. So I have these 7th-grade chipmunks who enjoy squeezing out of the window and scurrying around the platform. There were no guardrails to prevent them from taking a 12-foot plunge to the concrete below!

I called security and wrote every single one of these kids a referral to the office. But the office didn't do anything to discipline the kids. Instead, it wrote back: "Control your kids."

And forget about calling their parents. They don't speak English.


HAHA!
Reminds me of an antic my brother pulled years ago when he was 12 years old:
He and his friend picked up a desk in the music classroom (one of those old, HEAVY wooden and metal desks), during class time, and hurled it out the window, from 2 stories up! Desk hit the blacktop in back of the school. Thank goodness no one was below to get hit! Kids ended up with detention. My parents were never told of the incident eek


That actually sounds like fun. LOL
Posted by: MaggieGirl

Re: difficult siblings (non-students) and parents - 02/06/13 11:58 PM

Your partner needs to be the one to stop her lesson and tell the family in the hall that they need to be quiet right away. It might take 6 interruptions and her asking them to wait outside for it to make a difference. Your lesson should not be the one suffering.

The parent is oblivious. Your partner needs to make them aware they are not the only clients in the building.

You can't teach a parent to parent once they have hit the oblivious stage. They are the folks who expect the school to handle it.
Posted by: Morodiene

Re: difficult siblings (non-students) and parents - 02/07/13 07:44 AM

Originally Posted By: MaggieGirl
Your partner needs to be the one to stop her lesson and tell the family in the hall that they need to be quiet right away. It might take 6 interruptions and her asking them to wait outside for it to make a difference. Your lesson should not be the one suffering.

The parent is oblivious. Your partner needs to make them aware they are not the only clients in the building.

You can't teach a parent to parent once they have hit the oblivious stage. They are the folks who expect the school to handle it.


Actually, she is going to tell them they are not allowed to stay during her sister's lesson. The mom will have to take them elsewhere. She couldn't hear from her room what was going on, and I told her after the fact. So hopefully, that's the end of that. smile
Posted by: R0B

Re: difficult siblings (non-students) and parents - 02/07/13 09:26 AM

I feel so blessed, that in my teaching world, I cannot relate to any of the above smile
Posted by: Morodiene

Re: difficult siblings (non-students) and parents - 02/11/13 08:34 AM

So turns out my partner is not too keen on talking to the mother. Apparently she's afraid the lady will get offended and have her daughter discontinue lessons. I'm not too happy about the fact that she's backing down on speaking to her, which can be done in a respectful manner but still effectively.

Here are my thoughts on how to resolve the issue myself:
-Teach in the large room that she has been using for her student during this time. It seems she's not bothered by the noise as this room is farther away, so why should my students be affected?
-Bribe the kids. I have some cool stickers and I could show them to the kids and say, "If I don't have to come out of my room to tell you to be quiet for 30 minutes, then you each can get a sticker. But if one of you is noisy and I come out, then neither of you get a sticker, so help each other to stay quiet."

Any other suggestions on how I can solve this? I see them today.
Posted by: bmbutler

Re: difficult siblings (non-students) and parents - 02/11/13 09:18 AM

Have your partner teach somewhere else. This is her responsibility. She doesn't want to deal with it? That opens up more issues than you might want to see.
Posted by: Minniemay

Re: difficult siblings (non-students) and parents - 02/11/13 09:22 AM

I think the first option is the best. If it's her clients that are being disruptive, it should interfere with her lessons, not yours. Perhaps that will be enough for her to speak up.

Perhaps the two of you could talk to the mother in question together.
Posted by: rocket88

Re: difficult siblings (non-students) and parents - 02/11/13 09:41 AM

Morodiene, do you have any activities available for children who wait?

I think it is unrealistic to expect energetic (and perhaps undisicipled) children to sit quietly for a full lesson of their siblings.

Where I teach there is an area for kids stocked with crayons, coloring books, and reading material for youngsters, and with reading material for adults.

Doctor's offices have similar areas, even with a small TV programmed for children's shows, with the volume and channel changeable only from a remote (that is kept away from the tv).

Just a thought, but it might solve the problem.
Posted by: Minniemay

Re: difficult siblings (non-students) and parents - 02/11/13 09:45 AM

That would be nice, but ultimately, the behavior of the children is the responsibility of the mother. I imagine that, even if there were things to do, they would still be loud and unruly doing them. Call me a pessimist, but I'm seeing crayon drawings on the walls . . .
Posted by: Morodiene

Re: difficult siblings (non-students) and parents - 02/11/13 09:48 AM

Originally Posted By: rocket88
Morodiene, do you have any activities available for children who wait?

I think it is unrealistic to expect energetic (and perhaps undisicipled) children to sit quietly for a full lesson of their siblings.

Where I teach there is an area for kids stocked with crayons, coloring books, and reading material for youngsters, and with reading material for adults.

Doctor's offices have similar areas, even with a small TV programmed for children's shows, with the volume and channel changeable only from a remote (that is kept away from the tv).

Just a thought, but it might solve the problem.




I agree it's unrealistic. The weather down here, of course, is perfect for the kids to be outside at a nearby park. The mother doesn't want to bring them there, however, she'd rather force them to stay inside. The brings things for them to do, but it's the loudness of their doing things that is the problem. The mother usually just leaves the kids and goes outside to talk on her phone.

The only indoor space we have is our waiting area, which is right outside my door.
Posted by: Morodiene

Re: difficult siblings (non-students) and parents - 02/11/13 09:49 AM

Originally Posted By: Minniemay
That would be nice, but ultimately, the behavior of the children is the responsibility of the mother. I imagine that, even if there were things to do, they would still be loud and unruly doing them. Call me a pessimist, but I'm seeing crayon drawings on the walls . . .


This is very likely what would happen. As I mentioned before, they've already drawn on my tablecloth with pencil.

edited to add: I'm also hoping that by switching rooms with my partner that the student gets upset with the interruptions and complains to mom. That might be more effective than me complaining.
Posted by: dumdumdiddle

Re: difficult siblings (non-students) and parents - 02/11/13 10:46 AM

Not sure if you've done so already but you might want to include a small paragraph in your studio policy about waiting family members and what happens when they are undisciplined and disruptive in the studio; that other arrangements will need to be made. This way, if Mom is offended that you've banned the kids from the studio and she quits all of a sudden, with 2 lessons still to go in the month, then too bad for her.

Something I've learned over the years: undisciplined children have undisciplined parents.
Posted by: MaggieGirl

Re: difficult siblings (non-students) and parents - 02/11/13 11:22 AM

Stickers will not improve behavior. IF they even earned one, you'll find it stuck to something (window, mirror, wood floor).

Ha! I'm leaning more towards moving the waiting room furniture to each studio room and asking parents to wait IN their kid's lesson. Then they only annoy their own kid's lesson.
Posted by: Peter K. Mose

Re: difficult siblings (non-students) and parents - 02/11/13 11:45 AM

Your partner might not want to speak to this mom, even alongside you, but you could simply speak to this woman yourself, since you are the teacher who is being compromised.

You'll adopt a good tone with her, I have no doubt. Make it clear that you are operating a small music school, where listening and sound are paramount. Your waiting room is just that, a waiting room, and her children are disrupting your teaching. Ask her what could be done about this, since it is compromising your school's mission.

Might not help, but you could at least try treating this mother as if she is a responsible adult.
Posted by: Overexposed

Re: difficult siblings (non-students) and parents - 02/11/13 02:08 PM

Morodiene,
Your partner is neglecting her responsibilities. If she is not willing to speak with the mother, then I would tell your partner to hire a babysitter. There needs to be a responsible adult/teen supervising the kids.

I would not set kids loose with crayons, especially these poorly supervised kids. But I have found that LEGO's provide a lot of fascination for kids age 5-10.

Moving down the hall may help avoid solving the issues for now. Nothing wrong with you and your partner having a little time to sort through how to work effectively together.
Posted by: Jeff Clef

Re: difficult siblings (non-students) and parents - 02/11/13 02:21 PM

"...Might not help, but you could at least try treating this mother as if she is a responsible adult..."

And having tried the high road--- well, no doubt, that approach will work. Shame on your business partner, for shirking from her clear responsibility to take this unruly woman and her sassy brats lovely cherubs in hand.

I would be tempted to have a water pistol somewhere near to my hand in the studio. You need not interrupt your lesson to vainly ask for quiet and consideration, when cracking the door open and squirting the guilty culprits a few times will communicate your wishes as well, or better. Don't spare the mother and her cell phone, either. And if the racket doesn't stop, open the outer door, and show them into the February air... at watergun point.

She will spread the story, grotesquely exaggerated of course, but people will consider the source: a known pest. You will drive out one class of client and attract a better all in one squirt, for there are parents who like and expect their kids to be kept in hand... short of striking their kids, wringing their necks, or pulling their tongues out.

You will have to face the music with your business partner, but she needs to face her own music; better sooner than later. Maybe she will take a lesson, and prefer to step up to the plate and handle things her own way, in the future.
Posted by: Peter K. Mose

Re: difficult siblings (non-students) and parents - 02/12/13 11:18 AM

Originally Posted By: Jeff Clef


I would be tempted to have a water pistol somewhere near to my hand in the studio. You need not interrupt your lesson to vainly ask for quiet and consideration, when cracking the door open and squirting the guilty culprits a few times will communicate your wishes as well, or better. Don't spare the mother and her cell phone, either.


Love it. You might ask the kids first if it's ok to squirt their mom. I think they'll be on your side, for the first time ever.
Posted by: rocket88

Re: difficult siblings (non-students) and parents - 02/12/13 01:05 PM

Hope you guys are joking, because squirting water on people is a crime.

Pointing the gun at someone is considered assault, and squirting them is battery, in many jurisdictions, and/or disorderly conduct.

Lots of google results...here is one:

http://www.eagletribune.com/local/x1625119513/Two-arrested-in-squirt-gun-assault

If your squirt gun looks like a real gun, as some do, you could be shot.

And, some people put liquids other than water in their squirt guns. Ugh.

A real dumb idea.


Posted by: Morodiene

Re: difficult siblings (non-students) and parents - 02/12/13 02:08 PM

Originally Posted By: rocket88
Hope you guys are joking, because squirting water on people is a crime.

Pointing the gun at someone is considered assault, and squirting them is battery, in many jurisdictions, and/or disorderly conduct.

Lots of google results...here is one:

http://www.eagletribune.com/local/x1625119513/Two-arrested-in-squirt-gun-assault

If your squirt gun looks like a real gun, as some do, you could be shot.

And, some people put liquids other than water in their squirt guns. Ugh.

A real dumb idea.




I doubt anyone would be fooled by this one:

Mini Soaker Squirt Gun
Posted by: rocket88

Re: difficult siblings (non-students) and parents - 02/12/13 02:14 PM

No, that wouldn't fool anyone!

But they could be fooled by this one:

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national...ticle-1.1082554

In any case, when you have to squirt water at your students to get them to behave, perhaps things has deteriorated beyond where it should. laugh
Posted by: dumdumdiddle

Re: difficult siblings (non-students) and parents - 02/12/13 04:00 PM

Originally Posted By: rocket88
No, that wouldn't fool anyone!

But they could be fooled by this one:

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national...ticle-1.1082554

In any case, when you have to squirt water at your students to get them to behave, perhaps things has deteriorated beyond where it should. laugh


Geez....
Posted by: Jeff Clef

Re: difficult siblings (non-students) and parents - 02/12/13 04:12 PM

There was a discussion on the forum, some time back, of the case of a woman who was arrested for playing the piano in her home. Pretty stiff sentence, too. Of course, that "California man... arrested Saturday night for strutting around town, with a water pistol he turned into a real shotgun," [rocket's second news story] was not really funny, and as a felon he had no legal right to have a gun anyway... AND, his buddies in prison will have a real horse laugh at his 'piece---'

The teenagers who were cruising the streets and doing water pistol drive-bys, squirting innocent elderly ladies in the face, for amusement (rocket88's first cited news story), probably needed a little vacation at the Youth Authority--- and to have their X confiscated. Anyone knows that elderly ladies do not like to have anything happen to their make-up and hair, and they're subject to heart attacks at the mere sight of even a water pistol. And some of them might have vengeful grandsons, possibly even lawyers.

I hardly think either case could be fairly compared to Morodine's (except that we could be asking, "Where were the parents?")

Rocket88's warning was meant for the best, and I guess Morodine knows hyperbole when she sees it. I guess we're all pretty jumpy about guns these days, with gun deaths of 30+ each and every day. And I haven't forgotten about the young student at his piano lesson, who took a stray bullet in the spine, from a drive-by across the street--- still paralyzed.

Still, if it happened that she caught the young delinquents' action on her waiting-room CrimeCam--- and of course it would be played in the courtroom, and later on cable news--- what judge would do more than laugh out loud, and caution her for the future. That is, as long as the mother didn't pull a real pistol out of her purse and shoot her dead; I suppose that's worth considering as a possible downside.

It's no more than a feverish sit-com daydream, for--- as I said in the first place--- I'm sure the civilized approach is going to work JUST FINE for her. It is not the first time that these people have been permanently barred on the grounds of their behavior, and it will not be the last, either, unless the mother smartens up.
Posted by: Morodiene

Re: difficult siblings (non-students) and parents - 02/12/13 10:01 PM

Originally Posted By: rocket88
No, that wouldn't fool anyone!

But they could be fooled by this one:

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national...ticle-1.1082554

In any case, when you have to squirt water at your students to get them to behave, perhaps things has deteriorated beyond where it should. laugh


It's not the student that is the problem, but the parent laugh
Posted by: Morodiene

Re: difficult siblings (non-students) and parents - 02/19/13 08:23 AM

A follow-up post:

The student was sick last week so didn't have lessons, and this week was the frist time she was back. My partner talked to the mom and the children saying that they needed to be quiet. Of course, I didn't have a student while they were there this time, but the mother stayed with them rather than going outside and talking on the phone the whole time, so the kids were fine. Hopefully, this problem is resolved. smile
Posted by: Peter K. Mose

Re: difficult siblings (non-students) and parents - 02/19/13 09:50 AM

But what about the PW-endorsed squirt gun idea? You could have filmed it, put it up on YouTube, and made us all famous. I was thinking there might even be royalties....
Posted by: Morodiene

Re: difficult siblings (non-students) and parents - 02/19/13 10:22 PM

Originally Posted By: Peter K. Mose
But what about the PW-endorsed squirt gun idea? You could have filmed it, put it up on YouTube, and made us all famous. I was thinking there might even be royalties....


Well, I was armed and ready to squirt, but sadly, they were actually behaving. Drats! smile