So now I’m a referee (either that, or those stripes down my shirt are tire tracks)

Well, that was fun.

Remember that fight I talked about yesterday? Well, today one of the parents came over and asked to speak to all the kids involved. My first thought was, great! We’ll all sit down around the table and hash this thing out, maybe come up with some solutions. And hey! Parental involvement – one of our goals!

Uhm, not so much. Turns out, she just wanted to take the “other girls” to task for coming around to her apt after homework club and doing whatever it is kids do when they’re feuding – ringing the doorbell and running, calling the other kid out, hanging out conspicuously, etc.

While I appreciate her frustration and share her concerns, to be honest it wasn’t exactly an appropriate way to handle this. For one thing, the activities she was upset about didn’t even happen in the club or during club time, and for another, I doubt she’d care to have the other girls’ mother coming down on her kid in her absence.

Sarah and I did our best to diffuse the situation quickly and get everyone back on track (the whole club was basically put on hold while we dealt with this, since we both had to be there, which was another inappropriate result). And to her credit, the mother was calm and civil – it’s not like we had a beatdown going on or anything. But it rather caught me by surprise, and it shouldn’t have been allowed to happen at all. If I’d known her intentions (or, you know, gotten past my initial excitement and asked more carefully), I would have tried to find another way to deal with it.

But to be honest, I feel like I was ambushed (although I doubt that was her intention), and I resent being put in that situation. This should have been between her and the other girls’ mother, and handled outside of the club. Granted, she did feel that the problem was coming from the club (it’s not – the two girls came in all prickly from the bus ride beforehand), but that still doesn’t make the club the place to deal with outside hooliganism. Especially when we have a full house of now hyper-excited and way too interested kids we are supposed to be supervising being pulled away from their homework and crammed into one room so we could keep an eye on them while we dealt with this in the next room.

Hopefully, we can work this out in a civilized manner and it won’t be an issue going forward. We’ve worked out an alternate-day attendance option we hope will diffuse the tension. Cross fingers and hope for the best.

On another note, still not doing well with direct confrontation. And holding really still to escape detection doesn’t work when the “predator” is an righteously angry mom, LOL.

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