Mom watching lessons (not mine!)

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Mom watching lessons (not mine!)

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    09-14-2010, 10:47 AM
Mom watching lessons (not mine!)

Looking for advice - should I just mind my own business (probably )?

So yesterday I got to the barn while a lesson was going on, and stood at the fence watching. I'm friends with both Girl taking the lessons and Mom sitting on the chair watching. I'm about halfway in between them in age.

So Mom was grumbling about Girl's attitude, and it was clear there would be a "discussion" later. The instructor was handling it fine, patient as could be, standing up to her when he needed to. There was certainly nothing dangerous happening, and personally I didn't even see anything that bad - I think Mom was oversensitive.
Now, I'm not a parent - but I HAVE been friends with plenty of riding instructors over the years, most of who wish parents would just let their kids be and let them learn to deal with it on their own. Also, many say that the kids act worse when a parent is watching.
I think the best thing for Girl would be for Mom to drop her off for her lesson and leave. I know that won't happen, but it would help if Mom went off elsewhere instead of just watching.

If you were friends with Mom, would you say anything to her? If so, what would you say? Or would you just mind your own business and ignore it?
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    09-14-2010, 10:50 AM
Honestly...mind your own business. The relationship between mom and daughter is a delicate one and an outsider telling mom to go away will be met with anger.
    09-14-2010, 10:50 AM
I am confused, was the mother interfering with the lesson or just grumbling on the side lines?

I have no problem with a parent that has consequences at home when they kid is being sassy to their riding instructor.

I do have a problem with a mother that interferes with a riding lesson in a manner that it ruins the experience for the other people participating.

Would I come out and say something? No. None of my business.

The riding instructor needs to make the rules, if there need to be rules.
    09-14-2010, 10:56 AM
Originally Posted by Alwaysbehind    
I have no problem with a parent that has consequences at home when they kid is being sassy to their riding instructor.

I do have a problem with a mother that interferes with a riding lesson in a manner that it ruins the experience for the other people participating.
I agree.

Our lesson rules specifically state that the parents are not to coach from the sidelines during the lesson. If they do - the lesson stops.

I will put a stop to arguing between people - even family - at the barn if it is making others uncomfortable. But after they leave - it is none of my business.
    09-14-2010, 10:57 AM
Green Broke
Unless it is interfering with the lesson I'd say let her watch. When it becomes distracting I'd suggest that she not watch.
    09-14-2010, 11:04 AM
Thanks, all. I'll stick with my gut reaction and mind my own business.

It doesn't interfere with lessons - I'd leave that up to the instructor to take care of. I'm just concerned that Mom is being overprotective of Girl. Girl already has a lot of confidence issues.
    09-14-2010, 11:07 AM
You can not fix their life while you are spending an hour with the mother at a riding lesson once per week.

And nothing you say will miraculously change how the mother treats her daughter.

The only thing you could that might help is lots of "wow, Molly sure is an amazing little rider" and "I am always so impressed how Molly picks up new skills in her lessons", etc.
    09-14-2010, 11:10 AM
Originally Posted by Alwaysbehind    
You can not fix their life while you are spending an hour with the mother at a riding lesson once per week.
Just to clarify, I see them several times a week, sometimes for hours at a time. We all board at the same place, and spend lots of time with our horses. We spend long hours in conversation, about all aspects of life. I consider them both to be good friends.

Now, I know I can't "fix" their lives, even with that. But this isn't a once/week distant relationship, either.
    09-14-2010, 11:38 AM
Most instructors have a policy regarding parents watching lessons for exactly this reason.

One barn allowed parents to watch one lesson per month, the riding school I attended as a child allowed parents to watch the last 10 minutes of the lesson only, when we were mostly cooling down.

I allowed parents to occassionally watch lessons from the barn (a distance from the ring) and not from ringside so they wouldn't distract the kids.

I completely sympathize with your desire to intervene, but also agree with most of the advice already given. If you absolutely must do something, the most productive thing would be to have a quiet word with the instructor and suggest she institute a policy about parental observation.
    09-14-2010, 12:06 PM
Green Broke
My lil kiddo takes lesson and I am right there for nearly every second of it. I stay out of it unless my kid is having confidence issues and then I'll join the instructor at telling her how well she's doing because if my kid hears it from both of us, her whole lil face lights up.

There are days I've sat on the sideline grumbling to my dog (he watches too! LOL) and then had a "discussion" with my child later. Unless my kid is downright rude, I wouldn't interrupt the lesson but you better believe we've had a few times where 10 minutes after the lesson ended my child is over apologizing to the instructor for their unacceptable attitude.

My kid is little and although I trust our Trainer and the lesson horse, I like to watch myself. Plus, I get all sorts of pictures and videos, which I send off to all the relatives. Nothing boosts a kiddo's confidence like a favorite Uncle calling from whatever foreign country the Navy has him in to tell her how proud he is of how she's doing (all relatives are completely non-horsey, so unless it was a video of her flopping off, they think it's GREAT!).

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