Coaches: How do you deal with out of control PARENTS?
 
 

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Coaches: How do you deal with out of control PARENTS?

This is a discussion on Coaches: How do you deal with out of control PARENTS? within the English Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category
  • How does a coach deal with parents out of control
  • How to handle out of control parents that want a coach fired

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  • 1 Post By DejaVu

 
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    09-01-2011, 04:54 AM
  #1
Foal
Coaches: How do you deal with out of control PARENTS?

I'm sure many trainers deal with parents that are disruptive to lessons in various ways. Obviously you cannot control a parent but at the same time they shouldn't be allowed to create uncomfortable or potentially hazardous environments. So how have you handled sticky situations?
     
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    09-01-2011, 06:53 AM
  #2
Trained
My coach can be a bit over-the-top about parents getting involved. He's great about my mum but I was in a group lesson with him at a PC rally and he stopped one of the girls to show her about half-halts. The mother thought he was adjusting the cheek pieces on the bridle and told him not to, and he went off at her. That said, my mum only gets involved to ask questions, it's up to S to know what he's doing. If he wasn't getting the results out of me and Monty, we wouldn't keep going back.
     
    09-01-2011, 06:23 PM
  #3
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by catsandhorses    
I'm sure many trainers deal with parents that are disruptive to lessons in various ways. Obviously you cannot control a parent but at the same time they shouldn't be allowed to create uncomfortable or potentially hazardous environments. So how have you handled sticky situations?
It depends on the situation, really. Are they bothering private lessons or group lessons? Is their presence unnecessarily distracting? Are they trying to teach the lesson?

I'm not a riding instructor, but I was a swimming instructor for several years and dealt with parents that would coddle their scared-to-swim kids, disrupt class, etc. Normally, I would just have a word with the parent and how their actions were disrupting class, distracting their kids, etc. But sometimes I would ask if they could sit in the parents waiting area -- located behind a glass wall where they could watch, but not speak.
     
    09-01-2011, 06:50 PM
  #4
Weanling
My trainer just always says an innocent little, "I'm the instuctor here". That usually quiets the parents. For a little while atleast.
     
    09-01-2011, 07:40 PM
  #5
Showing
^ That. I have had one who was absolutely over the top. Worst letdown I've had giving lessons. Her daughter was very timid & nervous. She had been riding with me for quite some time & had started asking about having her own. Her mom asked me when she'd be ready. I told her the list of things I expected her to do on her own and the one left to conquer was canter comfortably. The very next lesson her mom let me know she wanted to try. I asked the girl and she wasn't ready at all. Then I had mom screaming "YOU CANTER NOW OR I'M DONE PAYING FOR LESSONS" This sent the poor girl into a hyperventilating crying fit that I couldn't talk her down from. I lost that student.
     
    09-01-2011, 08:40 PM
  #6
Banned
First, parents were only allowed to watch one lesson in four. Second, they were allowed to watch from the vantage of the barn, not from the ring or from any distance that would allow them to coach from the sidelines.

By the time we got to competing, the parents and I were usually on the same wavelenglth. If not, they pretty quickly found another trainer.

I was very lucky, I had a program and a location that were in demand and had a waiting list. If parents didn't want do "get with the program" I could easily replace them with someone who did.

That said, I very much like Dejavu's trainer's method, as it's subtle but to the point. My less tactful version was something on the order or "You need to listen to your parents about doing your homework, your chores and your bedtime. You need to listen to me about your riding."
     
    09-01-2011, 09:18 PM
  #7
Showing
We are usually very forward with parents. We say "your child is here to learn and if I see them falling apart or being distracted, I will ask you to leave."

Some parents get very angry with us but at the end of the day, the difference in the child's demeanor after the lesson in comparison to before is worth its weight in gold and parents just accept that's the way we do things.

As a side note, I work with autistic children.. but parents are parents are parents :)
     
    09-01-2011, 11:26 PM
  #8
Weanling
Generally I have always had very involved parents. My mother was very involved when I first began riding and it has been a huge help. I like to make sure they are comfortable around horses and understand what their children are doing.

However, when it comes to them trying to teach I am very upfront from day one. I explain where the parents are welcome to watch from, and if they have questions or concerns to only bring them up during breaks or after the lesson. I focus very much on the student, especially early on, keeping a dialog and their attention.

Maura I think I have said exactly what you say (I'm also pretty sure it was said to me very early on). And if I need to say it, I make sure the parent has heard me. I have only come to blows once with a overly pushy parent. She was bent on her child jumping when the child was barely comfortable cantering. I stood my ground and explained why a student needed the foundation her daughter was receiving and she would advance when I decided she was ready. They took her elsewhere, and that was just fine with me.... felt bad for the kid, she eventually got hurt.
     
    09-02-2011, 12:21 AM
  #9
Trained
I would watch my children's lessons 1st few times, just to make sure everything was safe & instructor was ok. After that, kids were on their own, they didn't watch my lessons, I didn't watch theirs, worked out well. MHF, that is sad, probably turned the child off from enjoying horses :(
     

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