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What's wrong with parents and their kids???

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  • What's wrong with parents and their kids???

    This is kind of a spin off of the how do you handle your clients. How the heck do handle your hormonal teenage students??? And why don't their parents do anything about it?

    I have been having a really hard time with some attitudes of my teenage riders. I typically just speak to a rider after class that their attitude was inappropriate and unappreciated.

    Lately they have been getting catty and rude to each other in the barn. As well as having episodes in class. Either being uncooperative, or taking anger out on a horse through jerking on the mouth or smacking inappropriately with a crop.

    Now if it's yanking and pulling, I take reins away. If it's the crop I take that and make them do with out.

    However they are getting mean to each other, possessive of their regular mounts, and disrespectful during class. (I actually kicked one rider out of class and then when she had put her horse away had her come back out and be jump crew)

    I am just dumb founded that parents make excuse and allow their children to get away with this. I speak to the parents as well, either tell them what I talked to their students about, or talk to the student with the parent so there is no misunderstanding. All I get is. "She's tired" or "We had a long weekend" or "she's scared" and by scared I mean they are on a horse that is making them work a little more then point and go so now they are mad not scared like they are incapable of controlling their mounts.

    If I had ever treated another rider like that my mother would have yanked me of my horse so fast I wouldn't have a chance to blink! If I had treated or spoken to instructor in that manner I would have never ridden again. And here I am totally left to fend myself!!!

  • #2
    My first response to your title was "everything"

    Parents try to micromanage their child's life. If their child does something wrong I find that parents are quick to blame it on the teacher (Education major here who is in the process of doing A LOT of field experience). Sorry that you're going through this
    No hour of life is wasted that is spent in the saddle. ~Winston Churchill
    For Hope, For Strength, For Life-Delta Gamma
    www.etsy.com/shop/joiedevivrecrafts Custom Wreaths and Other Decorations

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    • #3
      And the sad part is that you probably get more respect and obedience from them than their parents do!
      I can remember parents asking me to come over to their house to see what I could about getting their kiddo to clean their room!!!

      Try to remember that what these kids do when they are with you is a PRIVELEDGE!
      You can always tell them that if they continue to misbehave when they are in the barn, you will ask their parents not to bring them anymore.
      I've known plenty of parents who remind their kids of that very thing on the home front!
      The cattyness and cliques are just bound to happen, and all you can really do is tell them that you know it's going on, and that they better not bring it into the ring.

      Maybe try the old "Team" theory. They may have their differences, but they are all on the same TEAM and they should really try to get along.

      Good luck with those raging hormones....

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      • #4
        I doubt its necessarily their parents fault; as someone else mentioned, they're probably being much better for you than for their parents...

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        • #5
          I know what you mean - I've got one now who was always a rather moody kid & now is really hormonal. Plus she has a boyfriend, which makes it worse. I banned her mother from lessons when she first started with me, as her mother made her nervous. She also was one of those continually making excuses for the kid. I told her her daughter needed to learn to deal & told her daughter not only did she need to deal or find somebody else but also for a while every time she started whining and complaining about her horse or started yanking on him I'd remind her that it's a privilege to ride and even more of a privilege to have her own horse. Then I'd tell her the lesson was over & I'd simply leave. Might not work for everyone, but I have a bit of a reputation here for being tough & she has improved a lot in attitude. As far as the kids being mean to each other, we've got a pretty good group of teenagers here who are all friends. Several years ago, though, we (the BO, my daughter and I) had a sit-down meeting with the parents and kids who were making trouble and laid down the law - it ends, or the parents would have to be on the property every minute their little darlings were there. Repeat offenders would be asked to leave. After three of them were asked to leave, things got better. Found out later via the grapevine that the two sisters who were the worst had been kicked out the another place.
          suze
          http://www.cafepress.com/horses_by_hawk

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          • #6
            UGh, hormones!

            All I can offer is that watching a hormonal girl is SO painful for Moms! I have actually told mine to get off the horse, you are FINISHED! Our trainer has also made kids get off and given them barn chores instead. I'll never forget the time the trainer told one girl to go pull weeds up in the giant arena, but then forgot to relieve her of that duty. Of course I don't think there was ever a second time that kid had to be removed from a horse.
            Just because I talk slow doesn't mean that I actually AM slow.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by nlk View Post
              This is kind of a spin off of the how do you handle your clients. How the heck do handle your hormonal teenage students??? And why don't their parents do anything about it?
              Because if Emily doesn't love them anymore, then they only have the one kid to fall back on and they just had to scold Dillon for cursing out his soccer coach, so he's pissed at them right now. It was probably easier being a parent when you had a pack of children and all you cared about, day to day, was preventing them from realizing they outnumbered you. Guilt-tripped, workaholic, achievement-oriented parents are going to be hard to deal with. But if you want to have students who can pay for the kind of riding lessons it sounds like the OP gives, you are going to have to deal with them. They tend to have the money. I would have died as a child or teen before mouthing off to an adult, but the meek do not usually get quality h/j lessons or their own show horses.

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              • #8
                If they are being mean and catty to each other in your presence put a stop to it, give one warning and then take the offenders sturrips away. You can choose what you will and will not tolerate. If the parent wants to make excuses, all you have to say is, "I'm sorry that she is tired, hormonal, busy, scared, etc., but that does not make her behavior exceptable. I will not tolerate that behavior here. Part of growing up means learning to behave appropriately regardless of how you are feeling. Better she learns to do that now then when she needs to hold down a job and support a family."

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by vacation1 View Post
                  Because if Emily doesn't love them anymore, then they only have the one kid to fall back on and they just had to scold Dillon for cursing out his soccer coach, so he's pissed at them right now. It was probably easier being a parent when you had a pack of children and all you cared about, day to day, was preventing them from realizing they outnumbered you. Guilt-tripped, workaholic, achievement-oriented parents are going to be hard to deal with. But if you want to have students who can pay for the kind of riding lessons it sounds like the OP gives, you are going to have to deal with them. They tend to have the money. I would have died as a child or teen before mouthing off to an adult, but the meek do not usually get quality h/j lessons or their own show horses.
                  ROTFLMAO!!!! That is why I have 8, there is usually someone who still loves me at any given moment!!!
                  Since my kids ride with my mom and I , and have grown up around horses ( not just weekly lessons turning into horse ownership) things for us are better. BUT there are a total of 5 girls who ride every morning at our farm ( minus our 5 yr old) a few weeks ago we started to have horse issues ( kids wanted to ride different horses , other did not want to trade ect) we laid down the law and things have been better. But managing 5 different hormonal personalities is NOT easy. They have their good and bad days. We don't have mouth yanking issues just some cattiness, or quiet bitching. ON the whole they are all friends , go to the same school , take the same classes and ride together everyday.
                  all I can say is GOOD LUCK growing up in a barn full of about 15 teenage girls was TOUGH, you usually have your bad apples who start the trouble and then you can really have issues!
                  Kim
                  If you are lucky enough to ride, you are lucky enough.

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                  • #10
                    The hormonal crap is BS in my opinion and I am teenager. \

                    There is no reason just because your hormones are messing with you for you to lose all manners and behave uncivilized. You may feel like saying/doing something mean but you still have a functioning brain.

                    I highly respect my trainer and know that she chooses to teach me and I work hard to prove that I want to be in that ring. Yes sometimes the hormones increase sensitivity (I've been known to end lessons in tears for no reason) but too many girls think that because they are teens they are exempt from the the rules of life.
                    “It's about the horse and that's it.” - GM

                    !! is the new .

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by *JumpIt* View Post
                      The hormonal crap is BS in my opinion and I am teenager. \

                      There is no reason just because your hormones are messing with you for you to lose all manners and behave uncivilized. You may feel like saying/doing something mean but you still have a functioning brain.

                      I highly respect my trainer and know that she chooses to teach me and I work hard to prove that I want to be in that ring. Yes sometimes the hormones increase sensitivity (I've been known to end lessons in tears for no reason) but too many girls think that because they are teens they are exempt from the the rules of life.
                      Thank you JumpIt. You nailed it on the head: Behavior (any type) is a CHOICE.

                      Had a potential student come "test" ride with me. Got attitude and whiney right away. Made it clear: You can choose to keep your mouth shut, ears open and attitude in check OR I can choose to remove you from my horse, property and lesson. Which do you choose?

                      I gave her about 15 seconds and when no reply was made, except for wide & blinking eyes, I said "Good, now let's continue." She finished her lesson, did quite well actually. Alas, never saw her again.

                      Oh well!

                      So Nik: "Psychologists" tell parents it's good to give children choices. So do just that: "Choose to behave appropriately with respect OR I choose to put a muck fork in your hands.... Which do you choose?"
                      <>< Sorrow Looks Back. Worry Looks Around. Faith Looks Up! -- Being negative only makes a difficult journey more difficult. You may be given a cactus, but you don't have to sit on it.

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                      • #12
                        In loco parentis

                        That's latin for "You get to be the parent while the kids are at your barn."

                        You are "undoing" whatever poor parenting has allowed your teens to think that they get to take out whatever anger they have on horses and other people.

                        Lay down the law: That's never acceptable. They get that truth explained once and then they are taken off the horse if it happens again. It doesn't matter why they broke one of your (really, horsemanship's) commandments, but there must be consequences delivered for that.

                        Other posters are right that these kids are probably better behaved and more respectful with you than at home, or perhaps even at school. You will be doing *everyone* a favor to stick up for the kind of behavior that you think is right, even if it seems you are the only authority figure in these kids' life to do that.

                        You can quietly explain your position to parents. They pay the bills and if they don't like it, they are welcome to take their kid and business elsewhere. Chances are kid who is the instigator of bad behavior toward horses and others also has the biggest "piece of work" parent behind her. Lose that one customer, but make your barn a more pleasant place to be. That will also attracted more and better customers in the future.

                        Best of luck to you.
                        The armchair saddler
                        Politically Pro-Cat

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by *JumpIt* View Post
                          The hormonal crap is BS in my opinion and I am teenager. \

                          There is no reason just because your hormones are messing with you for you to lose all manners and behave uncivilized. You may feel like saying/doing something mean but you still have a functioning brain.

                          I highly respect my trainer and know that she chooses to teach me and I work hard to prove that I want to be in that ring. Yes sometimes the hormones increase sensitivity (I've been known to end lessons in tears for no reason) but too many girls think that because they are teens they are exempt from the the rules of life.
                          Thumbs up!
                          http://www.youtube.com/user/supershorty628
                          Proudly blogging for The Chronicle of the Horse!

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                          • #14
                            i know what you mean...at my barn there use to be this girl who thought she was simply the best and didnt need to listen to the trainor. The horse she rode was an amazing horse but she just couldn't ride him. the assistant trainor would put her on hi just so she wouldnt complain but the acuall trainor would put her one the slow beginner horse (she wasn't a very good rider) I took the mare i took lessons on to a show and lets say I didnt get passed the first jump. My parents were pissed because they are paying all this money for a show and im not getting around a course! So my second choice for a horse was the one that this girl rode. And my trainor put me on him and took her off. The girls mom went to my trainor and said "if we don't get to ride this horse were quitting" and my trainor said "you can buy him but until you do hes my horse and i have to do whats best for the horse and your daughter. Your daughter was ruining my show horse and its best for your daughters saftey if she rides someone eles or doesnt ride at all." she quit. worse thing is that she blamed me for "stealing her horse" and she goes to my school and gives me dirty looks. lol but it worked...and now the horse is doing better than ever!!

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                            • #15
                              Losing control of teenagers is a dead-end street. Blaming it on parents won't help you. You are the one who needs to maintain discipline at the barn, not parents. Barn rules are your rules, and treating others respectfully should be a given.

                              With older kids, you probably need to develop more effective strategies than taking sticks and reins away--those are strategies that work with 8-10 yo's, not teens.

                              It occurs to me that if your riders have time to make remarks at all during lessons that you might want to step up the action level. Shorter lessons, fewer students per lesson? Schedule things so there is way less down time in the day?

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Losing control of teenagers is a dead-end street. Blaming it on parents won't help you. You are the one who needs to maintain discipline at the barn, not parents. Barn rules are your rules, and treating others respectfully should be a given.

                                With older kids, you probably need to develop more effective strategies than taking sticks and reins away--those are strategies that work with 8-10 yo's, not teens.

                                It occurs to me that if your riders have time to make remarks at all during lessons that you might want to step up the action level. Shorter lessons, fewer students per lesson? Schedule things so there is way less down time in the day?

                                Bottom line is probably that it's hard to lay down the law if you think they might leave, but eventually no one else will want to join your program if the atmosphere is known to be unpleasant.

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                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by *JumpIt* View Post
                                  The hormonal crap is BS in my opinion and I am teenager. \

                                  There is no reason just because your hormones are messing with you for you to lose all manners and behave uncivilized. You may feel like saying/doing something mean but you still have a functioning brain.

                                  I highly respect my trainer and know that she chooses to teach me and I work hard to prove that I want to be in that ring. Yes sometimes the hormones increase sensitivity (I've been known to end lessons in tears for no reason) but too many girls think that because they are teens they are exempt from the the rules of life.
                                  Encore!

                                  OP, kick their butts and inform them that unless they act like adults and follow your rules on X, Y, and Z, their privilege of working with you will be revoked. When Mommy says "But Susie is tired" look her dead in the eye and tell her that her behavior, namely being rough to the horse, has no excuse, that it is bad horsemanship, and that it will not be tolerated. Then don't tolerate it, for the horse's sake. You may have to have this conversation a couple of times before it sticks.
                                  "I'm not always sarcastic. Sometimes I'm asleep." - Harry Dresden

                                  Amy's Stuff - Rustic chic and country linens and decor
                                  Support my mom! She's gotta finance her retirement horse somehow.

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                                  • #18
                                    I have several tweens/teen girls at the barn. Very rarely do I ever have to fuss at any of them. From the get-go, I have been "Miss Rachael" and will be addressed as such. They know that Miss Rachael makes the rules and that rules are to be followed. Period.

                                    One of my girls is affectionately known as Saitlin, as she can be rather difficult sometimes for everyone. Almost two years ago she cussed at me during a lesson. I literally yanked her off her horse and said "I'm done with you. You are not my child. I do not owe you a thing. You are here (as a working student because mom could not afford to pay for lessons/boarding/etc) and now you are gone. Call your mom to pick you up and get your horse ready to ship. I'm taking him back to your house (which is where the horse lived before he came to our farm)." The mother showed up in tears and begged me not to evict the child from our farm claiming that the kid had nothing else in her life and that she was truly benefiting from our program. I informed the child and her mother that this was her only chance. If she even remotely did something I did not approve of, child and horse were getting sent down the road. To this day, the kid is great for me. She still mouths off to everyone else, but is always on her best behavior when I'm around or during lessons/shows.

                                    Demand full respect from everyone and don't give them an inch. Children/teens need boundaries and actually prefer to have them. Once you have their respect, the rest comes naturally.
                                    #JusticeForSunshine

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                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by nlk View Post
                                      What's wrong with parents and their kids???
                                      The same thing that was wrong with parents and their kids 30 years ago! Honestly, I don't see that much of a difference between now and when I first started teaching (although IME these days kids are less likely to focus solely on riding, so we trainers don't have to deal with them all day every day like we used to!)

                                      I've got a pretty respectful group this year, but one kid crossed the line the other day, talking back to me and being a general snot. I told her to get off her horse (at a show), take a walk, and come back to me when she was ready to act respectfully to her horse and her trainer. Mom was standing right next to me, and I was thinking, if mom said a word about me being too hard on princess, they'd be asked to find a new barn. Guess what? I turned to mom and she nodded, smiled and said thank you. It could just as easily have gone the other way, but I really don't need that in my program and it's better to just nip it in the bud. Kid returned 5 minutes later with a great attitude and we had a pleasant day...

                                      It doesn't always work this way, but I find that I only have to play the bad guy every once in a while...should be calm for at least a month after that episode.
                                      Please don't sabotash my conchess.

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                                      • #20
                                        If they take it out on the horse, ground them...meaning, get off the horse right now. Please don't be afraid to stop being the child's/teen's friend and be the adult. Kids EXPECT you to take control, check their behavior, and will RESPECT it if you model professionalism.

                                        I'm a high school teacher of 8 years (not riding instructor), so granted, it's different. You're dealing with parents right there to "DEFEND" their child come hell or high water (I'm in my classroom wih 25 other kids watching to see the end result). And that's really tough.

                                        You've taken the first step: recognize there is a problem. Now, gather the teens/parents and lay out your rules. Tell them the consequences. Let them choose to break the rules. If a kid becomes disprespectful or ignores the rules, follow through every time. If a kid throws a fit, no big deal. They do that...they EXPECT correction. They'll forget all about being pissed at you by tomorrow. Be clear and confident, don't get mad...just note the problem, explain why it's a problem, follow through on the consequence (verbal reprimand is probably enough if it's not hurting horse (ground her) or openly disprespectful to you or another student (ground her)). Very matter of fact. I also think that having kids apologize for bad behavior is a good lesson in life and manners...very hard for a teen to do, but a good life lesson.

                                        Finally, don't argue with them. They chose to break the expectations that you outlined. There's no arguement about that. Teens can be AMAZING argue-ers, so don't engage that.

                                        I also think occasionally pointing out GOOD sportsmanship like behavior goes a long way...for those kids in your barn who are doing it right and with the right attitude (regardless of whether or not they are winning). You've got to reward the behavior you WANT as well (not materially, just a verbal compliment)

                                        I promise, they will respect you MORE in the end.
                                        Last edited by HollysHobbies; Jul. 14, 2009, 10:23 AM.

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