Author Topic: I will need to use this soon, but I need advice *update post#23*  (Read 9160 times)

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Stranger

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BG/ I volunteered to coach netball at my children's school, after the teacher asked me to become involved. I have never played netball, therefore I put a *lot* of time and effort into educating and training myself to be a proficient coach. I am not a teacher, I do not get paid for the coaching, but I enjoy it *tremendously*.

I moved to this country just over a year ago, and often feel that I don't fit in, because "we" (homecountry) do things a little different than it's done here. It's been small gripes, though, like co-workers not reciprocating greetings. I also often feel that the local people are rude and abrupt, but I know they aren't, they just communicate differently to what I am used to.

The coaching is one afternoon a week and parents have to be present as we have no indoor facilities, and a high probability of rain every day :-) Not all parents are present though - but that's another story for another day. End BG/

I have a kidney infection and have to take two strong antibiotics. The netball coaching went very well today, until it started raining. We herded the girls under a small canopy to get out of the rain, and decided that we would call it a day, as it didn't look like it was going to clear up.

There were 18 girls at practice, and three adult women standing around, in addition to myself and another parent who also volunteers as a coach. I didn't want to get wet (and cold) as my back is sore, and I also didn't want the children to get wet. I know rain can't make you sick, but the children aren't allowed outside when it rains during school hours, and I wasn't about to let them run in the rain contrary to school rules.

There was one little girl who kept on running onto the court, dancing in the rain. As soon as her friends spotted her, they followed suit. I retrieved them twice, telling them that we all have to wait under the roof so we don't get wet. The girl (Jessica) told me that she is allowed to play in the rain, to which I answered "no, I am saying you are *not* allowed. All of us will wait under the roof for the parents to get here."

Not 20 seconds later, Jessica was in the rain again, calling out to another girl to join her. I retrieved them both, saying "you have to stay under the roof like I told you to". Jessica refused to take shelter (it was raining HARD) so I said "Jessica, I will have to tell Mrs Principal that you are being insubordinate if you don't come here now."

The other coach and the parents chuckled and didn't look at all upset with my behaviour. Please note that I never raised my voice or use a mean tone.

Jessica burst into tears (a bit of an overreaction, imo) and ran to an adult. Who turned out to be her mother. Who then proceeded to YELL at me that I have to talk to *her* if I have a problem and not "threaten" her child. He screeched on and on and on about how scared Jessica was of me, and that I have no right to "threaten" her child after she said her baby can play in the rain.  

This upset me so much that I was shaking (I go into hide mode when people yell) so I walked away. I couldn't go far, the roof is small - about 3 x 3 meters. She followed me to my bag, where I was crouched to get some tissues, stood over me and YELLED that I have to stop making a scene, and that I have no right to "threaten" her child as I am the child's teacher.

At this point I was so upset that I could.not.speak. I just wanted to hide, but I couldn't leave, as there were 10 girls waiting for their parents to collect them. My DS (who is 8 years old) came to stand next to me, and this woman pushed him away  :o Not violently, but as if to say that he should stay out of it. I couldn't even react to that.

She stopped screeching after two million years a minute or two, turned on her heel, and walked off.

No for the question:

I am not prepared to coach this little girl any longer. I did not threaten her, I did not raise my voice, I am an excellent volunteer coach. And I will not be falsely accused by a raving lunatic of things I simply did.not.do. I can't help to think what her next accusation will be!

How do I politely tell her that I won't be possible for me to act as couch for her child any longer?

And I still wonder how grown women can watch a verbal assault and do or say *nothing* to stop it, but I have seen that it's the way things are done here. If it doesn't affect you directly, you pretend you don't see it.

*le sigh*
« Last Edit: August 13, 2010, 06:13:22 AM by Stranger »

goblue2539

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Re: I will need to use this soon, but I need advice
« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2010, 07:44:34 AM »
Is there anyone in charge of the league or group or sport that you can get to back you up on that?  Not that you need it, but if this woman is that unstable, it might help to have someone with "authority" supporting you.

**hugs** I'm sorry you had to experience that.  It's not etiquettely approved, but I'd be tempted to return the "raging lunatic" behavior if she ever laid a hand on my child.

Kaymyth

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Re: I will need to use this soon, but I need advice
« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2010, 11:33:40 AM »
Ahh, yes, the Parental Special Snowflake, whose spawn is the very epitome of perfection, so how dare anyone try and make her conform to any sort of foolish rules?   ::)

The mother was entirely in the wrong.  I know you know that, but it probably helps hearing it from someone native to the culture that's spinning you around in loop-de-loops.  I wouldn't be surprised if she felt that you being From Somewhere Else made her think of you as an easy target.

Definitely speak with the teacher who recruited you.  Tell her what happened and exactly how it made you feel.  Ask her what the options are and how she thinks this is best handled.  She's no doubt had a lot of experience dealing with difficult parents, and since she asked you to take this on, she should be the first one to back you up.



wheeitsme

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Re: I will need to use this soon, but I need advice
« Reply #3 on: July 29, 2010, 12:22:41 PM »
Ahh, yes, the Parental Special Snowflake, whose spawn is the very epitome of perfection, so how dare anyone try and make her conform to any sort of foolish rules?   ::)

The mother was entirely in the wrong.  I know you know that, but it probably helps hearing it from someone native to the culture that's spinning you around in loop-de-loops.  I wouldn't be surprised if she felt that you being From Somewhere Else made her think of you as an easy target.

Definitely speak with the teacher who recruited you.  Tell her what happened and exactly how it made you feel.  Ask her what the options are and how she thinks this is best handled.  She's no doubt had a lot of experience dealing with difficult parents, and since she asked you to take this on, she should be the first one to back you up.

And don't forget to mention that this parent physically pushed your child.  That is not acceptable behavior. 

Stranger

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Re: I will need to use this soon, but I need advice
« Reply #4 on: July 29, 2010, 03:52:19 PM »
Thank you for the advice. I will most certainly speak to my recruiter  :) and yes, I will quit coaching if I cannot refuse to coach children with abusive parents.

The SS-Parent with extra special SS-offspring reference made smile, thanks!

JoieGirl7

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Re: I will need to use this soon, but I need advice
« Reply #5 on: July 29, 2010, 05:06:54 PM »
Well, no wonder the girl kept doing whatever she wanted to!  She had her mother's tacit approval.
 
Isn't there something that parents and players sign when they sign up to participate?  If not there should be.  And one of the things on that sheet should be a signed agreement to abide by the rules of the school including directions given by the coach (you) who is a representative of the school.
 
I think the fact that this parent undermined your authority, put her hands on your own child and was verbally abusive to you means that neither she nor her child can participate.

Stranger

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Re: I will need to use this soon, but I need advice *update post#7*
« Reply #6 on: July 30, 2010, 12:55:06 AM »
Well, no wonder the girl kept doing whatever she wanted to!  She had her mother's tacit approval.
 
Isn't there something that parents and players sign when they sign up to participate?  If not there should be.  And one of the things on that sheet should be a signed agreement to abide by the rules of the school including directions given by the coach (you) who is a representative of the school.
 
I think the fact that this parent undermined your authority, put her hands on your own child and was verbally abusive to you means that neither she nor her child can participate.

I completely agree with you.

I had a meeting with recruiter-teacher (Mrs K) today. She was very apologetic, and horrified at the mother's behaviour. She said that she would never have approached me if *she* thought I would have problem relating to the children, and she believes that I was not rude or threatening in any way (I also have three witnesses to back me up if need be).

She will provide me with code of conduct sheets which each player and their parents have to sign, and she will ban this mother from the courts if I still feel the same way after the weekend.

I feel so much better.

I mentioned to Mrs.K that I was very concerned about possible future allegations, because this mother had no problem making a serious untrue accusation in front of people who have witnessed the "event" - who knows what she would say if I was ever placed in a position where there were no witnesses. She agrees that it is a big problem, and she will help me whichever way I choose.

I am leaning towards having a frank talk with the mother, where I will tell her that it will never be possible for me to coach her child if I am the solo coach for the day. She will have to take her child home, as I am not prepared to be in a vunerable position. Her child can stay in the team, provided that both child and parent signs the code of conduct.

She will also have to issue a sincere apology to my child. Where I can hear it.

How do I explain my requirements in a polite way?

Animala

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Re: I will need to use this soon, but I need advice
« Reply #7 on: July 30, 2010, 01:24:35 AM »
I'd simply remind her of the code of conduct, that her actions before were completely unacceptable and that if any breach of the code of conduct happens again then XYZ will happen.



To be frank though parents like this rarely get better.  I would just have her removed.

JoieGirl7

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Re: I will need to use this soon, but I need advice *update post#7*
« Reply #8 on: July 30, 2010, 01:51:27 AM »
I don't think you should allow yourself to give into fear where this mother is concerned.  There are others out there--you can't avoid every one.
 
I don't think the problem was with you relating to the kids but with the fact that this mom was undermining your authority and you likely didn't even know it at the time.
 
It wouldn't surprise me if mom was even prompting the repeated trips of her daughter out in the rain.  It's not like a single child to just disregard the instructions of the coach and do something like that.  She knew she wasn't going to get in trouble.
 
Let them all sign the code of conduct sheets and then the first time this mom doesn't back you up, take the measures necessary to disallow her from being at practices.  And if her child causes problems, take the measures to kick her out of the activity.
 
Don't back down.  Backing down is an invitation for more abuse.
 
The teacher who recruited you backs you up.  Make sure you have that same kind of support from the principal and go forward.  You have the authority, don't let others step on it now that you know who the one is who will try.
 
Probably if this mom tries to say you did something for which there were no witnesses will find herself not being taken seriously after her behavior in this incident.  She unwittingly gave you better credibility.  Now, people know that she will undermine authority and lie about it.

missmolly

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Re: I will need to use this soon, but I need advice *update post#7*
« Reply #9 on: July 30, 2010, 02:50:07 AM »
I definitely think you should pursue an apology from this woman, however, I would be prepared for the possibility that she will either refuse or offer a non-apology, ("I'm sorry you feel that way").

Basically this woman is a bully and a hypocrite. I doubt there's much sense floating around her brain.
"Any idiot can face a crisis, it is this day-to-day living that wears you out". Chekhov.

sweetgirl

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Re: I will need to use this soon, but I need advice *update post#7*
« Reply #10 on: July 30, 2010, 11:33:30 AM »
Stranger the mere mention of netball makes me believe you are in Ozzie land would I be correct? Or is that just an assumption on my half? Us aussies are a different lot thats for sure.

I would not,under any circumstance, allow another human being to degrade you or try and overpower you both physically and verbally ever again. The fact that she would stand over you as you knelt in her bag proves that she was trying to enforce herself as a superior to belittle you. How dispicable.

Is the recruit teacher the big kahuna person or is there somebody else thats even higher? Along with getting the parents to sign the code of conducts sheet I would try and get them all together to explain the paperwork in every detail so that there is no misconstruding what this means or that they didnt understand that. It also means that whilst explaining to the parents, the children are also being explained what this means and that its not what mother and father say they "can" do. When they are under your supervision then thats it, they do as you say regardless.

I'm stunned that the mother would make such a scene. Its quite obvious that the daughter only burst into tears when she saw her mum but surely common sence would prevail. Netball courts outside are prone to get uneven from time to time depending on age, and can get slippery with the materials they use. What would she have done if daughter had slipped over and hurt herself or tripped and broken her nose or a limb? Would she accept the whole "daughter said she had your permission" excuse?

I would get another person to go with you and talk to the mother and make it clear that when daughter is under your care that she is under your care and is to do as she is told and not to act like a brat. If the mother doesnt that then she is free to take her daughter to another netball team. The daughter would not be able to get away with acting like that in school, and even though its an extra curricular actvity, its the same precidence. You do as teacher says and directs you too. You know the dangers that they are not aware of with silly behaviour, and they should be doing what every child should be...listening too and respecting their elders. The mother needs to know that she cannot and will not be tolerated with that kind of behaviour


ShadesOfGrey

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Re: I will need to use this soon, but I need advice *update post#7*
« Reply #11 on: July 30, 2010, 12:07:34 PM »
If she does apologize to your son, I'd coach him on what to say.  Many times, we feel pressured to say "that's ok" and the truth is that it's *not* ok.   I might have him say something about how it made him feel, and how he hopes she doesnt do it again.
Words mean more than what is set down on paper. It takes the human voice to infuse them with shades of deeper meaning. - Maya Angelou

I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. - Maya Angelou

kherbert05

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Re: I will need to use this soon, but I need advice *update post#7*
« Reply #12 on: July 30, 2010, 12:41:05 PM »
I would add one thing to what the others have said - let the school know that this woman is NEVER to be allowed to be in charge of your children even with staff members in the room.
Don't Teach Them For Your Past. Teach Them For Their Future

Orisha

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Re: I will need to use this soon, but I need advice *update post#7*
« Reply #13 on: July 30, 2010, 10:04:12 PM »
POD to advice above.  And if this woman shoves your child again, I'd call the police and report her for assault. 

Roe

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Re: I will need to use this soon, but I need advice *update post#7*
« Reply #14 on: August 03, 2010, 10:46:45 PM »
Any updates on this?

I'm so upset on behalf of the OP.  I'm sure her son was just standing next to her because he was scared for his mom..it's not like he was going to jump into the argument/yelling.  My goodness!  I hope you refuse to coach this lady's daughter.