Author Topic: Kids sports....the incessantly complaining parent...new UPDATE post 39  (Read 14934 times)

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Shoo

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Re: Kids sports....the incessantly complaining parent
« Reply #30 on: September 24, 2013, 09:28:31 PM »
I coached my daughter's minor league softball team one year.  There was one parent who refused to work in the concession stand (a requirement).  She told another mom that working the concession stand was for SAHM's and people who didn't have "real" jobs.  Another time she blamed me for her missing her son's soccer game.  I had to cancel practice one day because it was monsooning, and apparently, she made arrangements to take her daughter to practice so she had to miss her son's soccer game.  So because I cancelled practice, it was MY fault she missed the soccer game.  What a peach, huh?

TootsNYC

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Re: Kids sports....the incessantly complaining parent
« Reply #31 on: September 24, 2013, 10:11:28 PM »
Much sympathy to the OP.  Parents like that seem to be everywhere!  I was the office manager for a dance studio for 2 years ending recently.  There was one mom who complained about EVERYTHING!  She rarely complained to me at the desk...you know...the person who could actually DO something about it.  Instead she complained to other parents in the waiting room (the waiting room for the second studio was on another floor)....she would post on the business's Facebook page about how she didn't get what she wanted ...on and on.

Every year she would come back.  Boggled my mind!  The owner gave her the "you might be happier elsewhere" speech...I did...other parents did.  She is still there after 4 years of complaining.

Problem with parents like that is that their negativity can be catching.  Unfortunately ignoring it can come back in the form of other parents, especially those new to the organization, thinking this is acceptable/normal behavior.  Or, they find her being around so distasteful, they pull their kids.  I strongly suggest the "you might be happier elsewhere" or "why don't you volunteer?" speeches be given.

Maybe it's time to stop talking about the problem and go straight at it. The person in charge formally and privately says, "You must stop criticising the volunteers who work here. You aren't bringing producting feedback, you're just complaining, and you need to stop it. It hurts the community that is created around this activity."

It wouldn't be wrong, in the OP's case, for the head of the team (who happens to be her DH) to formally ask for a meeting with her and then say, flat-out, "You've been complaining a lot to the other parents. I'm going to ask you to stop. If you have a problem, please lay it out right here, to my face, right now. We'll discuss it. And then I need you to not grouse about things to the rest of the team community. It's souring the atmosphere, and it's counterproductive.
     "It's also directly and personally rude to me--it's rude because you don't bring these problems to me, because you refuse to accept any explanation I do give you, and because it's incredibly disrespectful of the unpaid hours I cheerfully put into giving the kids a great experience.
     "It's also very hurtful to your son's progress in the sport--he hears your complaints, and he thinks he shouldn't have to practice on his own. All the kids who are playing more than he is? They practice on their own. Their skills get better than his, faster than his. One of the reasons your child isn't doing well is because of the remarks coming out of your mouth. You are teaching him the wrong lesson--completely counter to what sports is SUPPOSED to teach kids. Kids are supposed to see how powerful it is to WORK toward a goal. To work hard and see progress. You demand progress without work.
    "I don't want to hear again that you are badmouthing me or badmouthing this organization in anyway."

Be authoritative, and be direct.

tinkytinky

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Re: Kids sports....the incessantly complaining parent
« Reply #32 on: September 24, 2013, 11:28:40 PM »
Oh, my! these parents are everywhere!  One thing that they need to remember is that the umpires/referees remember the loud, rude, back talking parents. Not just the comments to the officials, but about the coach, teammates, or the other team.  Unfortunately, this means that they start watching very closely for errors.

Another thing they need to remember, what they say is usually heard at home as well, so her son is probably hearing this and it colors his view of the team. Instead of going out and having fun, he will most likely be trying to deflect his own errors (and they all have errors, even the best of them) on somebody else..."I missed it, but Joey threw it wrong", "Bobby may have made the basket, but I was in the 3-point range and he should have just passed it to me", etc. It can make the whole team tense and take the fun out of it for everyone.

I agree that she needs to be talked to, nipped in the bud. The "sorry this isn't working for you, maybe the other team is a better fit" speech may be the right approach.  It may be your husband that has to give her the speech, though, to make it more official.

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MrTango

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Re: Kids sports....the incessantly complaining parent
« Reply #33 on: September 25, 2013, 10:49:52 AM »
Much sympathy to the OP.  Parents like that seem to be everywhere!  I was the office manager for a dance studio for 2 years ending recently.  There was one mom who complained about EVERYTHING!  She rarely complained to me at the desk...you know...the person who could actually DO something about it.  Instead she complained to other parents in the waiting room (the waiting room for the second studio was on another floor)....she would post on the business's Facebook page about how she didn't get what she wanted ...on and on.

Every year she would come back.  Boggled my mind!  The owner gave her the "you might be happier elsewhere" speech...I did...other parents did.  She is still there after 4 years of complaining.

Problem with parents like that is that their negativity can be catching.  Unfortunately ignoring it can come back in the form of other parents, especially those new to the organization, thinking this is acceptable/normal behavior.  Or, they find her being around so distasteful, they pull their kids.  I strongly suggest the "you might be happier elsewhere" or "why don't you volunteer?" speeches be given.

Maybe it's time to stop talking about the problem and go straight at it. The person in charge formally and privately says, "You must stop criticising the volunteers who work here. You aren't bringing producting feedback, you're just complaining, and you need to stop it. It hurts the community that is created around this activity."

It wouldn't be wrong, in the OP's case, for the head of the team (who happens to be her DH) to formally ask for a meeting with her and then say, flat-out, "You've been complaining a lot to the other parents. I'm going to ask you to stop. If you have a problem, please lay it out right here, to my face, right now. We'll discuss it. And then I need you to not grouse about things to the rest of the team community. It's souring the atmosphere, and it's counterproductive.
     "It's also directly and personally rude to me--it's rude because you don't bring these problems to me, because you refuse to accept any explanation I do give you, and because it's incredibly disrespectful of the unpaid hours I cheerfully put into giving the kids a great experience.
     "It's also very hurtful to your son's progress in the sport--he hears your complaints, and he thinks he shouldn't have to practice on his own. All the kids who are playing more than he is? They practice on their own. Their skills get better than his, faster than his. One of the reasons your child isn't doing well is because of the remarks coming out of your mouth. You are teaching him the wrong lesson--completely counter to what sports is SUPPOSED to teach kids. Kids are supposed to see how powerful it is to WORK toward a goal. To work hard and see progress. You demand progress without work.
    "I don't want to hear again that you are badmouthing me or badmouthing this organization in anyway."

Be authoritative, and be direct.

In my mind, saying "Best of luck finding another [group/team/studio] that better suits your needs" is tantamount to kicking the offending party out of the current group/team/organization.  When I suggested it earlier in the thread, that's what I was thinking.  It's not intended to be a suggestion that the offending party should consider leaving, it's telling the offending party that they're gone by wishing them luck finding their next group.

TootsNYC

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Re: Kids sports....the incessantly complaining parent
« Reply #34 on: September 25, 2013, 11:54:23 AM »
True, but it's not quite as direct--I can see them staying and complaining anyway.

And, you also that the idea that now they're going to complain to everyone that you kicked them out.

MissRose

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Re: Kids sports....the incessantly complaining parent
« Reply #35 on: October 09, 2013, 08:51:46 AM »
My sister was a competitive gymnast from age 10 to 17 (high school graduation) for the local gym during middle school then the high school team.  My mother was highly involved: driving my sister to practices and competitions (and sometimes taking a few of my sister's teammates), participating in fundraisers, keeping scores, video-ing competitions, help with tear down and setup of equipment when the high school team hosted a multi team invitational meet yearly, booster club meetings - just to name a few items.

Some of the parents had an issue with even coming to competitions and/or a few booster/parent club meetings - they thought paying the fees for coaching, practices, leotards, & other stuff was enough, plus drop off & pick up of their kids.   Its one thing if parents have to work a lot, but most of the parents did not have to work weekends from what my mother learned.  The kids who did better in competition were the ones whose parents made an effort to be there compared to those parents who made few or no appearances for no good reason.

On the other hand, my sister did tell me my mother was pushy and critical of her performances.  My sister was very talented and did the best she could.  My sister told me that the scathing words of my mother would make her go hide in her huge closet and cry.  Keep in mind, my mother was NEVER a gymnast and was never given the chance to participate in organized sports because: #1 her father would not allow it at all, and #2 it was not overly accepted for women to be involved in sports in the early to mid 1960's so I believed my mother was trying to live out her unfulfilled dreams via my sister.

zyrs

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Re: Kids sports....the incessantly complaining parent
« Reply #36 on: October 13, 2013, 11:42:05 PM »
They break into hysterics at body noises.

To be fair, so does my wife.

Mine too.

On topic;  I agree with TootsNYC.  It's time she was sat down and talked to.

Optimoose Prime

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Re: Kids sports....the incessantly complaining parent
« Reply #37 on: October 15, 2013, 06:30:34 PM »
In my case, it was my husband.  Our son was playing "coach pitch" baseball at age 8.  My husband thought the coach wasn't doing things right but luckily, he only complained to me.  I told him to either volunteer or shut up.  He got the message.

RegionMom

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Re: Kids sports....the incessantly complaining parent
« Reply #38 on: October 15, 2013, 06:39:56 PM »
http://1061evansville.com/chicago-area-parks-department-posts-signs-at-little-league-park-with-rules-for-parents/

Park put up a sign warning parents not to fuss.

Seemed right to put up here.

At our church, we respond to complaints with, "Oh, I see that you have a problem with how Volunteer Mom works item xyz.  In what way would you like to volunteer yourself, so as to help all the children?  Thank-you so much!"

Sometimes the parent does not realize/remember that we are all volunteers. 
Fear is temporary...Regret is forever.

GrammarNerd

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Re: Kids sports....the incessantly complaining parent
« Reply #39 on: March 25, 2014, 11:20:12 PM »
UPDATE:
This is an oldie but a goodie.  Thought I should give a little update.

My son got a great coach this year.  We've had this coach before, and my son really likes him, as do I.  He has it all together, and he knows what he wants to do and how he's going to do it.  The coach and his assistant have been around for a lot of years and are very well respected. 

Of course, as luck would have it, Complaining Mom's son is on this team too.

However, I KNOW this coach can handle complaining mom.  In fact, when I saw that the son was on my son's team, I thought 'this is going to get gooooooood.'  He tells it like it is. 

Of course, the mom probably won't have anything to complain about with these coaches; like I said, they're awesome.  We had a parent meeting and they made a lot of good points.  One of the things that was key was that the one coach said that a player will not play certain positions until the kid has demonstrated the ability to be able to handle that position.  In other words, playing that position has to be earned.  Bravo!

The coach even touched on the volunteer aspect, and said that everyone HAS to volunteer; it's part of the league.  He wasn't mean, but matter of fact, that volunteering is a requirement. 

I've known the coach for several years, and we've had a lot of good talks.  I told him later (in private) that this mom likes to complain a lot, but I told him that I knew he could handle her.  He chuckled and said that if I didn't notice it, the whole meeting was basically a preemptive tactic to stop that type of thing before it ever got started.  I got it.  And man, if she complains at all, she should just quit the sport, b/c her kid is on a team with the best coaches out there, and if they aren't good enough for her, nobody will be. 

This should be really interesting. :)

Roe

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Re: Kids sports....the incessantly complaining parent
« Reply #40 on: March 26, 2014, 02:08:43 PM »

I told him later (in private) that this mom likes to complain a lot, but I told him that I knew he could handle her.   

TBH, this seems a bit rude on your part.

I'm sure if she's as bad as you say she is, then the coach would've figured that out on his own. 

My dad (and my DH in later years) used to coach all sorts of teams and if I came across a mom who "warned" the coach of this or that,  I was equally cautious of that parent.  Seems a bit gossipy to me.

TootsNYC

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Re: Kids sports....the incessantly complaining parent...new UPDATE post 39
« Reply #41 on: March 26, 2014, 02:15:34 PM »
I'll confess to a similar reaction. I also think those things are not really polite to the person like the new coach. He's really on the spot.

AbbyW

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Re: Kids sports....the incessantly complaining parent...new UPDATE post 39
« Reply #42 on: March 26, 2014, 04:35:58 PM »
I would normally agree, however when both people have a leadership position, I view it has sharing important and confidential information that may give insight on how to manage the team.  If she had said it to another parent, then I would view it as gossiping.

GrammarNerd

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Re: Kids sports....the incessantly complaining parent...new UPDATE post 39
« Reply #43 on: March 26, 2014, 04:42:12 PM »
He knows me, and has for years.  I'm not worried that I came off as gossipy to him.  To anyone else that I didn't know as well?  No, I probably wouldn't have said anything unless I was asked specifically.  And it was already mentioned to my husband by a mutual acquaintance/friend that the coach should be warned about this mom, more of a heads-up.  Yes, a friend of hers wanted to warn the coach, so that says something right there. 

And yes, AbbyW, that's kind of how I viewed it too.  There are other problem parents that we've dealt with in the past, and if the coach doesn't know about them, someone in charge usually gives the coach a heads-up that the parent could be looking for trouble, so the coach can plan accordingly.

But thank you for your insight (really, not being snarky).  I don't intend to say anything further to the coach; I'm just going to cheer loudly (but respectfully) for the kids!  And I don't think complaining mom will have any complaints about this team, but if she does, then I will certainly consider putting some of the previous comments into play.

bopper

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Re: Kids sports....the incessantly complaining parent...new UPDATE post 39
« Reply #44 on: March 27, 2014, 04:21:16 PM »
If the Coach knows about the problematic parent, then if a typical parent said "I can handle planning the half-time snacks if you want" he would probably say "great". But if the problematic parent volunteered and he had foreknowledge about how they micromanaged the process and upset other parents, he might say "We can rotate, I already have a plan" or "Sure, I will let everyone know that Oranges are fine for the snack".