Yoga Teacher Training Forum » Yogic Health (health benefits, issues and constraints of practice) » Yoga for Kids - any concerns?
Kids Yoga and Problems with Parents(14 posts) (12 voices)
I opened two yoga classes for kids, but I just can't take the parents anymore. They don't pay and they drop the kids off on the sidewalk. My studio is on a busy street. Cars go by at 40 mph even though the limit is 25 mph. I worry about the kids. Then parents won't pick them up and it runs into adult class time. Any ideas before I shut the kids classes down permanently with the end of the new year?
Obnoxious problem parents are everywhere. They even get kicked off planes now. All it takes is a few to destroy an entire school, dance center or yoga studio. If you want to put them on notice, send a letter by mail or call them. The kids will loose the notice. Or the parents will claim they never got it. It would be easy to talk to the parents, but not if kids are being kicked to the curb by their parents. It sounds like some of them have decided you are a free nany service. Get rid of them and keep the good families. If you've run out of patience completely, shut kids yoga down for December and make a decision while you have time to think. You may come up with new ideas if you take a breather.
Puzzling how this behavior goes. I heard about this from other studio owners at a local yoga teacher conference. Not going to try yoga for kids. Sounds like a headache.
I had a chance to sort this out when talking to two other teachers this week. This situation is happening everywhere kids can be dropped off. Yoga, dance, and so on are cheaper than paying a babysitter. In terms of delivery - The parents you mention show less care for their kids than Dominos does for a pizza.
What you need are RULES and POLICIES. If you skip it, you could be liable if one of the kids disappears off the sidewalk. Make the parents deliver and pick them up in person or ask them to leave. It's your studio!
That was a tough way to word it, but very true - unfortunately. Negligent parents will pass blame on anyone else because they never learned to take responsibility.
Kind Regards: Raja
Kindly explain to parents that you have created procedures for the safety of all children. They are required to pick up their child in person and on time. There will be a $5 fee for every five minutes they are late. Translation: Show up 30 minutes late and you will pay $30. You have the right to ask that parents act like parents while their children learn yoga at your centre.
Many parents are responsible, but the worst parents are on the daily news. This is unfortunate because a few rule breakers turn you into a rule maker. If you like teaching yoga to children, keep doing so, but put your foot down on the parents who take advantage of your good nature. I'm sorry, but you have to stand up for your own rights. It sounds like you haven't seen Paulji's reading materials for yoga teachers. He explains that some students create the rules for everyone else and how to handle difficulties.
If you have Aura's materials, go back to the books and DVDs. If you don't maybe you should get a coaching session with Aura or pick up some of their materials. I understand that some teacher certification programs don't prepare you for difficult parents or students, but you have to make a stand. If you decide to give up on all children because of a few negligent parents, you let them destroy your community.
What to do with parents who never grew up? Well, the first thing to do is teach them to get over themselves. It's your yoga studio! These parents automatically question the competence of every authority figure they meet.
When you teach yoga to their children, they work to undermine your authority just like they do to public school teachers. This type of parent might be able to listen to teachers who set rules and stick by them. If they detect weakness, they'll try to take advantage of you in a heart beat.
If you like teaching yoga to children, keep doing it. If you can't take it any more, it's no problem. Don't let a few uncivilized parents ruin your program - unless you are past the point of no return.
"Any ideas before I shut the kids classes down permanently with the end of the new year?"
That seems like a threat. That doesn't sound very yogic. I can't believe you are considering cutting a kids yoga class at a time when physical education has been tossed in the dumpster. As yoga teachers we are supposed to be examples of patience. You aren't being patient with these parents. You should explain what they are doing to your school and what could happen if a child disappears off the street. They just need you to understand and help them.
I suppose you could call the misbehaving parents by phone, but nobody likes to be told how to be a better parent. You could speak to Paul or some other yoga teacher coach, but they don't know these parents like you do. I mean, what would anyone know about these parents in comparison to you. You met them in your office and you have a real relationship with them.
If you call in a yoga coach it seems like you are getting a hired gun to clear up a mess quickly. It's easy for a yoga coach to tell you to be rid of troubled parents instantly, but what about the children? What about the families in need? What about the good parents who are made to suffer because you decide to close kids yoga classes over a few bad apples? We teach kids yoga, not military school. Look back at the philosophy of yoga and see if you can live with closing the classes where you teach children.
Think it over carefully.
Many thanks to all of you for your advice in making a decision. Much of what you said are fresh ideas and I wasn't able to think straight. Those few high maintenance parents are always right about everything. I was just thinking about the safety of each child and had no idea I could be pulled into a negligence lawsuit, when it's the parents who drop their children off on the street.
Sewroe: I have decided to call in a "hired gun," but keep the program alive for the sake of the many good families. I'm not opposed to letting the few problems go their merry way in life. Why should I go bananas over a few parents who could drive a saint into fits of anger?
Here’s an UNYOGIC rant for you, but since I’ve got thick skin my heart doesn’t bleed easy. I teach yoga, but I don’t accept responsibility for poor parenting on public display. Most students come to our yoga classes to take a break from the insanity of the rat race. The horn honkers and bad behavior remain outside the studio but yogis can relax and chill out during class time.
As a yoga teacher, I'm not willing to have all the problems of poor parenting spread around for every teacher and society to take the blame. Unlike the teachers in public school, you can set the rules inside a yoga studio. If one of the rules is – pick your kid up on time and in person - that’s not too demanding. If these poor excuses for parents haven’t grown up, that’s not my problem. I can close the door on them any time. I don’t see why Raja should be set up to take the fall for a parent who could care less.
I feel sorry for the kids, but then they’ll be social misfits soon enough and then they’ll bring more undisciplined kids into society. Should society take the blame for generations of poor parenting? Who should take responsibility for it? Parenting is more complicated than being a hatchery. Let parents take some responsibility for a change. These parents have been ducking responsibility all their spoiled lives.
I think closing a yoga school’s doors to bad parents is fine as long as it's open for the good families that contribute to the community. The sins of poor parenting always haunt the children, but who should take responsibility for it is crystal clear.
You win the most unpolitically correct yogi award. But much of what you said is true. I'm sure your message could have been toned down a little.
Gator is right. I've been a single parent for years. My children have social skills and they know right from wrong. There's no excuse for bad parenting. It takes work, but it's worth it.
Gator makes me laugh. Someimes he says things we think, but would never say. No problem, but the truth can hurt.
Raja - let us know how you made out with your yoga coaching session.
Well, time to get back to making sweet potato pies.
HAPPY THANKSGIVING Y'ALL!!!
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