February 27, 2012


Lovie's been taking a Gymnastics class ($) on Saturdays since the end of October. It's an excuse to get out of the house on the weekends and a great excuse to keep her active in the colder months.

The class is at a little kid gym place where there's lots of free play time with the different gym equipment (big exercise balls and smaller balls, a ball pit, trampoline, slides, stuff to climb, etc), but there's also some structured time as well. Early on in the hour, there is "circle time" where everyone sits in a big circle and says their name (or the parents do) and stretches and learns a new tumble for the week. Then there's free play, then there's some new equipment brought out that the kids go one one on with the teachers help (tumbling mat, hanging from the bar, etc). More free play. Etc, etc. Unless you go during and Open Gym class, they gear the classes to age groups and because we can only go on Saturdays, Lovie's in a class with 22 month olds- 3.5 year olds.

We went on Saturday like normal (we've only missed one or two classes and once was per Lovie's request- which was weird to us but whatevs). When we got there we took off our shoes and socks and went and played with the big exercise balls, bounced on the trampoline, etc. Daddy reminded Lovie that "circle time" was coming soon and that we'd have to join the circle soon. He did this several times because the past couple of classes, she's been making us sweat while we try keeping her in the circle. When it was time again for this week's "circle time" Lovie didn't want any part of it. Again. Sigh.

They don't require the kids to partake in circle time but I'm not sure why, we as parents who are paying for the class, wouldn't require the child to participate. I mean, why not just go to the playground if it's OK for the kid not to participate? That's how the hubs and I see it and I'm so SO grateful we're on the same page with these thoughts.

Lovie not only was trying to run free (again, normally I don't have a problem with her doing her own thing except that we're paying for this class and they're trying to teach and she needs to learn to listen even if she is only 2), she added screaming to the mix. (Coincidentally or not, during last week's class, there was a screaming child who didn't want to participate during any of the class when asked and her mom threatened they would leave but they never did and the child did as she pleased... and she's not alone; there are generally about 3 or 4 kids {out of 15-20} that are running around- so I totally understand why Lovie wants to as well.) So I immediately removed her from the circle to talk to her. She wanted a snack. I told her it wasn't snack time. I told her she could choose between going home or playing in the circle. She didn't say anything but stopped squirming so we made our way back into the circle and she started thrusting her body and screaming. I walked her right back out of the circle again and started to get her coat and shoes on. She fought it (all while DH was holding her) and said she would listen so I gave her one more shot at joining the circle. We made our way toward it just fine and just as we were about to join, she started screaming.

Lovie is truly not a screamer (thankyousweetlord).

I immediately removed her and handed her to the hubs who held her (still screaming and crying and jerking around) and talked very calmly to her while I wrestled to get her coat and shoes on (not enjoyable in the least and something I should've done the very first time around).

We left.

Lovie cried and screamed for 10 minutes at least. We calmly spoke to her through it all, assuring her that we loved her and that it was OK to play before and after the circle time and that we would try again next week.

Like I said, we've been going to this Gym for 4 months now. Lovie had her 2nd birthday party there. She loves it and talks about going and looks forward to going!

It sucks that no other parent really forces the issue with their kids so that she sees other kids playing while she's expected to listen. Of course she wants to play, too. She's 2 for crying out loud. But. She does need to learn to listen, too. And wait. And that she can't always have her way or what she wants the instant she wants it.

I know the teachers were surprised to see us leave. One of them quickly came over to us once they saw we got Lovie's shoes and coat on to ask if we were going. And I'm certain some of the parents there (or reading this) were probably bothered by the way we handled it- maybe thinking we're way too strict or something. Or maybe not. Maybe nobody even noticed we left since we removed the screaming child right away. I don't know. I don't really care to be honest. She's my kid. I'm her Mama. Yes she's just a kid. Yes she should have fun and play and explore. But she also has to learn things like listening and waiting and if we don't help show her how, then who will? And when?


  1. I think you totally did the right thing! That's something that J and I try to be firm about (but obviously don't always succeed)--following through on what we say the consequence will be.

    I mean, if you say "If you don't sit down, we'll go into the hallway until you are ready to sit", then you do that if they don't listen. But if you say the consequence will be to go home, you gotta do that too!

    But doesn't it suck when the consequence seems to be worse for us than it is for the kiddo, ha?!

  2. Okay, I'm certainly no expert since I don't yet have a child, BUT, I feel that setting these parameters (even if she is only two) is such a great gift. Yes, it is unfair to watch the other kids do as they please, but whatever. She will learn that just because everyone else is doing doesn't mean it's acceptable. There is a time and place for structure, and I'd say this qualifies as that time. My experience in life with ungrateful, entitled, and self absorbed college students has made me tip my hat to every parent requiring their children mind. I would imagine these battles are far easier to win with a two year old than with a 16 year old. Good for you!

  3. I completely understand and think you did the right thing.

    We're not dealing with exactly the same issue with Emily and dance, but let's just say she hasn't been the model dance student. Some parents would probably just say quit taking her. But we are trying different techniques and are continuing to work through it. After all, it's about the lessons we are learning more than just the activity.

  4. thanks so much for the feedback, guys! really appreciate it. :)


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