Parenting in public - WWYD?

Discussion in 'Childhood and Beyond (4+)' started by eagleswings216, Jul 13, 2015.

  1. eagleswings216

    eagleswings216 Well-Known Member

    I'm sitting here seething, and quite honestly, a bit in shock.  Wondering what others think.
    My boys are in swim lessons right now at a local wellness center.  We are on lesson 5 of 8 group lessons.  Today, a new kid came (not sure why at this point).  My boys are on the hyper side, struggle to listen, etc. (most likely ADHD).  Waiting between turns in hard, so I stayed close, enforcing rules and making them sit out if they didn't listen (splashing, jumping, etc.).
    Today, the three kids were in the pool.  DS1 was having his turn with the teacher, and DS2 was waiting.  I looked away to check my phone message briefly, and all of the sudden, I hear the dad near me (of the third kid) say "Hey, stop that" and point to DS2.  I looked at the dad and said "what happened?".  He says "he headbutted him" in a very mad, rude tone.  His kid was not crying, upset, nothing, but anyway, I told DS2 to sit on the side until his next turn, and reminded him to stay in his own space.  He protested, but I was firm and made him have the time out.
    A few turns later, DS2 was again waiting, floating around.  He accidentally bumped the third kid.  Not hard, not aggressive, no crying, the kid again wasn't even bothered.  The dad yells at my kid, points IN HIS FACE and says "Stop that".  I looked at him and calmly said "I have it under control", preparing to remind DS2 to stay in his space and give him a time out.  The dad gave me a very MEAN look and rolled his eyes, turned back to DS2, stuck his finger in the face AGAIN and said "If your mother can't control you I will".
    At that point I was SO mad.  I really wanted to say something (Like "Mind your own business"), but I bit my tongue and said nothing.
    I have half a mind to report it to the front desk and/or the lifeguard tomorrow, but if I do, he'll know it came from me, and we have 3 more lessons.  Maybe I should get there early tomorrow and give the guard a heads up and ask him/her to keep an eye on things for me?  DH is working and can't go, at least not tomorrow.  He might be able to go to the last two lessons if he can get home in time.
    So, WWYD?  I want to just let it go, but we have 3 more sessions.  I'm considering asking to have those last three lessons in another session or something.
  2. AmynTony

    AmynTony Well-Known Member

    um....just no - not ok.  Would definitely report it.
    1 person likes this.
  3. MNTwinSquared

    MNTwinSquared Well-Known Member

    Yes, report it.  (easier for us to say... )  That dad is out of line.  You said it was an accident.  Perhaps the first one was an accident too.  Are there only three kids in the class?  Tell whomever you report it to that you don't feel safe with that dad around.  He was aggressive towards your kid and rude to you.  Good luck.
  4. miss_bossy18

    miss_bossy18 Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    I have no idea what I would do but I would also be very upset if that happened to us.
  5. eagleswings216

    eagleswings216 Well-Known Member

    Thanks, ladies.  I wanted to be sure I wasn't just overreacting.  I'm a pretty strict parent, and my kids DO have issues, but it really seemed like an innocent thing on my son's part - he was genuinely confused and asked "why is that other dad mad at me?" several times tonight.  I tried to talk to him more about staying in his own space and not talking to the dad or the kid if possible, but I don't know if he has the self-control to do it in the moment.
    I'm really worried about going tomorrow.  I think I'm going to go early and talk to the teacher and lifeguard and at least alert them what happened.  I personally think it is NEVER okay to discipline someone else's kid you don't know.  I work with kids as a counselor who have been abused, neglected, and all sorts of things, and you just don't know what kids have been through or who they are or what their needs and personality are.
  6. eagleswings216

    eagleswings216 Well-Known Member

    Yes, there are only three kids.  We originally had our kids in two different classes, but the one class had 5 and this one had only 2-3 the first two days, so we switched them both to the same class.
    Honestly, I DON'T feel safe and DS1 and DS2 both stated that they were worried he might hurt them.  I assured them I was going to keep them safe.  If we have to, we will leave and ask to roll the rest of the lessons over to the class that starts next week.
  7. kingeomer

    kingeomer Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    I would definitely report it.  That Dad should have NEVER pointed at your son like that, nor should he have made that statement "if you don't care of it, I will!"  If he had a problem with how your son was acting, he should have came to you.  I can understand the Dad being frustrated, we've all been there, but there are better ways to handle that situation and he's being very threatening towards a child...which worries me.  
  8. Katheros

    Katheros Well-Known Member

    Well the first thing that popped in my mind was to trip him on the concrete pool deck, but that's probably not a good idea.  :laughing:
    I would sit closer to them\ boys during the next few lessons, either in the pool itself or sit on the side right close by.  That kind of confrontation would definitely get my anxiety level up! 
  9. ljcrochet

    ljcrochet Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    You need to report this.  They should be the ones to switch not you.  
    Let us know what happens next after you speak to the teacher/lifequard.
    1 person likes this.
  10. monica77

    monica77 Well-Known Member

    This guy sounds weird - I am sorry you and your boys had to go through this.
    I hope you can switch also - it's not good for you or your boys to be around that guy during lessons. So what he would know you switched because he made you uncomfortable??? HE REALLY made you uncomfortable - you didn't make it up - so he might as well deal with it.
    I hope your boys are not too affected by this incident.
  11. eagleswings216

    eagleswings216 Well-Known Member

    I don't care if he knows we switched.  I don't want to make a report and then go back to the same class.  That would be very awkward and might make things worse.
    I'm going to see how it goes today. My kids have mentioned it a few times, but haven't said again that they are scared or anything.  DS2 did offer to apologize to the dad and the kid.  He is a really sweet kid, just over active and doesn't always pay attention to personal space or how he is impacting others.  And it's not like the other kid was even upset.  We only have 3 more classes so part of me hopes we can just hold out.  The other classes they are offering are difficult with things we have going on other days/times, too, so it wouldn't be easy to switch it around.
    Ugh, why do people have to be like this??
  12. eagleswings216

    eagleswings216 Well-Known Member

    Well, I may have lucked out.  He wasn't there today.  I asked the teacher if she knew if they were coming the rest of the week, and she said she wasn't sure - that he said yesterday he thought lessons were only on Mondays, and not Monday-Thursday, so he might not be back this week.  I explained to the teacher what happened yesterday and she was very shocked and couldn't believe it, and said I should definitely tell the lifeguard.  The lifeguard is someone different every day, so I'll have to check in again tomorrow.
  13. kingeomer

    kingeomer Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    Do tell the lifeguard or the person who runs the program.  I am glad you spoke to the teacher.
  14. rrodman

    rrodman Well-Known Member

    Definitely report it. I would have said something in the moment, but I'm more confrontational than some.
  15. Oneplus2more

    Oneplus2more Well-Known Member

    I hope the rest of the week has went smoothly. Didn't the teacher or a life guard hear this while it was going on?
  16. sharongl

    sharongl Well-Known Member

    As a swim instructor, there are many things here that bother me.  First of all, how did the teacher not know what was going on?  I have taught up to 26 kids at one time, and have been aware of all my students at all times.  Even with my 7 5 and 6 year old girls, I am on top of their behavior at all times, and if they don't wait their turn, they sit on the side, so stuff like you described doesn't happen.  
    That said, the father was out of line getting that close to your son, but again I question why parents are allowed that close to a lesson to begin with.  I know when my kids took lessons (I currently teach at a camp, so parents watching is not an issue), parents were only allowed in the pool area once a month, as they were a distraction to the kids and it made it harder for the teacher to maintain their focus.
  17. eagleswings216

    eagleswings216 Well-Known Member

    Sharon, we have done swim lessons two different places in our area now, and this seems par for the course around here.  The teachers take turns taking each kid up and down the pool practicing, and the others are left hanging out while the teacher is away with no behavior intervention at all.  I tried staying away the first few lessons, and my kids were not following the rules consistently (which is hard for them in any setting), so I moved over closer to intervene myself.  Most of the parents hang out on a bench that is a few feet from the kids while the lessons are going on, as it's really the only place to sit while waiting for the kids.  (The first place we tried for lessons had 10 preK kids in one class with one teacher, and my kids got nothing out of it and basically just goofed around the whole time, so we tried this place.  This time they had 3-4 kids in their class and actually started to learn how to swim some now.)
    Anyway, the dad didn't come back thankfully!  DH came with me to the last two classes just in case and because the kids wanted Daddy to see what they were learning, too.  On the last day, I reported what happened to the front desk.  I didn't know the dad's name, but they said since it was a small class with only 3-4 kids each day, they would look it up and monitor when that dad came back.  Since it was my two kids, one kid whose name I DID know, and that kid, it made it easy to narrow down.
  18. cheezewhiz24

    cheezewhiz24 Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    Our classes out here are like yours to a T. I hate sitting on the sidelines but it's the only place to be.
  19. mama_dragon

    mama_dragon Well-Known Member

    Parents watch from a window at our kids classes.  I have one (tested for autism and waiting on results) who is a problem child especially in water.  The teachers do a great job.  They do not expect any of the kids to be perfectly still in the water.  They understand that just isn't going to happen.  I am okay sitting on the sidelines.  Its hard sometimes because I want to step in and make them mind a bit more than some teachers but they are learning, they do get in trouble if they are too disruptive and it all works out in the end. 
  20. sharongl

    sharongl Well-Known Member

    Sorry to come back to this, but it really bothers me that an instructor cannot pay attention to 3 students at one time.  I would really look at the certifications of the instructors if this is the case.  I am certified as a Red Cross Water Safety Instructor, and a large part of the training pertains to group management and keeping an eye on all students at all times.  If an instructor can't do this, the safety of the students is at risk.  If the person is not comfortable doing this, then they should have an assistant in the pool to keep the other kids occupied and keep an eye on them.  Yesterday, I taught a group of 6 5 and 6 year old boys.  Even when I was working one on one with one of them, I was tuned into what the others were doing.  Just my 2 cents as an swim instructor.
    1 person likes this.
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