Ryan's Mom Driving Parents Crazy-how to Approach?

Updated on November 08, 2010
J.S. asks from Gillette, WY
21 answers

Hi Ladies~ I am not sure whether I am asking a question or venting. My children attend gymnastics 2x a week. This gym is a new gymnastics center. That being said, there is not really a parent section yet. There are lawn/folding chairs set up against one wall for parents to watch until the owner can afford to establish something better. I can respect that and do understand. My problem is with one of the parents. This mom continually is yelling (not in a mean way) to Ryan buddy.... Ryann buddyy...Ryan buddy....ew it is driving myself and other parents and grandparents bonkers! This mom is full of empty threats, she allows this boy 3-4 yrs old to walk with shoes on over the mats, mess with the equipment, run the toys on wheels into the legs and feet of people, takes the gymnists drinks, sometimes even putting his mouth on them. All the while, his mom just sits in her seat yelling over the top of other people..Ryan buddy stop doing that... Ryan buddy...
I did approach the owner of the gym and asked her if she was aware this little boy was playing on equipment with little to no supervision as it could be a liability for her? She hadnt been aware of it because she was and is the only instructor. My husband thought that the owner must have spoken with her regarding her son staying off of the equipment because the mom is now trying to keep him off of the mats and other things. So, Thursday night my husband took our girls to gymnastics. He texted me...Ryan buddy ryan buddy! I knew exactly what he meant! What if anything can be done? I am ready to drop my girls from this class because of this lady. There are other parents there that walk outside just to get away from her. One of the grandparents rolled her eyes and left because she could take no more of Ryan Buddy....Should I talk with the owner again? Does any one have any suggestions? I am at my wits end and now dread going to gymnastics because of this situation.

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So What Happened?

First off, I wanted to thank everyone that replied to my question. So many of you have experienced the same thing! I took a little advice from a couple of you...I did approach the coach and asked if there was a open spot for 2 children in the same class at a different time. It wasnt until I told her that it was for my own children to move class that she told me Ryan buddy's mom would be gone and out of class until January. So, for now the issue has been somewhat taken care of. Apparently she was already aware of the annoyance situation as there must have been others that approached her on the same topic. It appears as if this class shrunk from 6 children to 3 in a matter of weeks, so evidently I am not the only one that was struggling with Ryan buddy! She did say she was not going to hold a spot open for Ryan buddy's sister in this class, or any other for that matter, but will reconsider when January comes whether it is possible for Ryan buddy's mom to enroll her child. Glad I'm not in her shoes!
Thank you again for all of you cute and undertanding comments. I think I was just wondering if I was being crotchety!!

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answers from Philadelphia on

I don't think its the owners responiblity. She is put in a bad spot. She doesn't want any bad pulicty since she is just starting a business and the economy is crummy.
I don't like deaing with parents like that. They don't get it. They have no clue.
You have 2 options. Stay in the class and say something to the mom. Or don't say anything.


answers from Modesto on

Maybe an anonymous note sneakily slipped near her stuff so she can read it.... stating the annoyances? She'll either drop the class or finally shush up. That's all I can think of without anyone having to be confrontational with her, however that may be the better route.

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answers from Houston on

Tell the owner you would do exactly what you said here and threaten to take your children out. It is her responsibility to keep it as professional as possible. As a former dance studio owner, I would have much rather gotten rid of one disturbing family than lose a lot more families because of one family. It happens.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Denver on

I hear you. I can not stand to be around unruly children who don't know what the word "NO" means. I would talk to the owner again and let her know that this problem has not been resolved. Maybe she can send a letter to all parents regarding gym rules and consequences of not following the rules. These rules also need to be posted in very prominent areas around the gym so that there is no doubt that the mother is aware of the rules and consequences. If the owner chooses to not set some rules and consequences and make them known to all, let her know that you will be taking your business elsewhere because it endangers your children who are paying participants.

Some rule suggestions: I'm sure that you might have some you would like to add but the simpler the better, especially for dense people.

1. Tag-a-long siblings are allowed to observe if they are well behaved and within arm's reach of the parent/guardian at all times. If you do not have control of your child, you will be asked to leave immediately and risk forfieting your tuition.
2. Tag-a- long siblings are NOT allowed on the equipment at any time. (see rule #1)
3. QUIET RULE: Parent's, siblings and guests must be quiet or use indoor voices to allow for the students to hear direction from the instructor without distraction. If you or anyone in your group can not remain quiet see rule #1.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Charlotte on


3 moms found this helpful


answers from Little Rock on

Hi I have been in your shoes. All I can say is...I FEEL YOUR PAIN!!!

But don't talk your gilrs out of something they love to do cuz of that inconsiderite mom & unroleing child. I would talk to the owner and tell her that this is a BIG problem that NOT ONLY you have seen but other parents as well and ask her talk to her about all of the issues. If she doen't want talk to her tell her that you will consider taking yuor buisness else where and that there are alot of other parents that might be thinking the same way. I can pretty much say she will have a talk with that lady ASAP. Because if it means money away from her buiness she will do anything to keep the majority. If things don't get better is there somewhere else you can put your girls so they can still do gymnastics?

3 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Yes, talk with the owner again, and tell her how upset the other parents are and that you are thinking of withdrawing your child because of this.

The owner needs to get strong with this parent and insist that the child stop doing this stuff. Hopefully knowing that she might lose customers will give her the strength to do this.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Las Vegas on

It sound like she has corrected the kid on the equipment and all you are concerned with now is her big mouth. Not much you can do about the mouth. If he is still climbing, you can let the owner know it is a concern & danger to all of you. If that kid falls or pulls equipment on himself, you certainly don't want to be the one to pull the equipment off of him. You just don't want to see anyone get hurt.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Sacramento on

Mom, this is simple tell the instructor privately b4 the next class or call her and ask that she call you. Tell her you and your husband want to come to watch your girls/boys in lessons, but there are some big distractions with other parents who have young children there that are continually being reprimanded. Owner needs to needs to step it up and remind parents that there needs to be quiet from observors in the wings so the girls can hear the instructions from the teacher properly and no one gets hurt. Tell her that if this continual distraction from Ryan Buddy's Mom keeps happening, you are considering withdrawing your children. Is there another area or office that she can turn into a waiting room for kids that has toys and books outside of the teaching area? You may suggest this to her. If she is a good manager/owner, she will be concerned about losing her customers. If she doesnt want to do this consider leaving, or kindly tell Ryan's Mom to please take Ryan outside to to another area not in the gym, you can say he is distracting the kids taking lessons and parents who are there to watch lessons, then thank her assuming she listens and does so. I would do one of these in a second and stand up for myself . Good luck Mom

Added- I disagree w/many responders who say it is not the instructors job to settle this problem. It is completley thier job as a businss owner, not the parents. The instructors need to have full control of the classroom during lesson time and it is their responsibility to prevent distractions to the children in the lessons and parents who want to observe quietly. At the beginning of each class he/she needs to let the parents know by addressing them announcing that since there is no sound proof window and waiting area yet that parents and siblings can watch from ( like most professinal gymnastic/tumbling studios have) she needs full cooperation from all parent to limit talking during lessons. She can say it is for the safety of the children in class, they need to hear all that they are being told by the teachers so that no accident occur. When a distruption occurs by "Ryan Buddy" it is management's job to nip it quickly and ask Ryan's Mom to take him out of the gym politley but firmly. He and Mom are being a distration. She also has liability if he is hurt or another student is hurt when he/she cant hear the instructors. My not teen daughter has taken both tumbling and martial arts from age 3- to age 11 and the instructors who were excellent and professional, made this very clear at the beginning of each class by politly going to the parent/family area in the same room and asking for quiet during lesson time. No parents are offended unless they are the offenders. , go in and talk to the owner b4 class next time. I'd call to make and appt and voice your concern in a nice way. Good luck with this

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Allentown on

That's infuriating! Our gymnastics class has recently asked parents not to stay while class is in session because the kids are too distracted. The kids are 3 - 5 and they stay just fine with the instructors. However, there are a number of teenage instructors to keep an eye on them. If this isn't an option at your gym, ask the owner to have a word with the mom to stop yelling.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

We ran into this w/one of my daughter's karate classes and it is really unfortunate because it's not really the instructors place. It's kind of the parents in a way. The instructor is there for the children, not to babysit the audience. I'm not trying to be harsh. They can't enforce rules and try to teach the class at the same time. I would run it by the insturctor first and bs ure he'd be okay with you saying something & If there isn't another class that your daughters can get into, you may need to say something. Just be polite and explain to her that you all feel that you can't really pay attention to all that's going on w/her constantly reprimanding the little buddy. I'm honestly not trying to be nasty, but trust me, I have a 7 &13 yr old girls & it doesn't get any easier - the next thing u know the kids are climbing on things & walking down the bowling allies. It amazes you how some people are when it comes to consideration. Good luck.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Richmond on

at this point you could not get through to this woman with a hammer , so dont bother, instead get the names of all the other parents that have problems with this ryan, then take your kids out of the class, and suggest to the other parents to do the same, because if the person running things cant or wont keep this kid off the equipment, then it is only a matter of time before he gets seriously hurt and then blames the manager for his injuries then call the person who owns the business and they them they they have just lost a boatload of money because of this other child, and you and your kids and your wallet will be going somewhere else.
K. h.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Columbus on

First, let me say that I am a parent of kids ages 11.10,8 and 18 months. I have to schlep my toddler around to all of their sporting events, guitar lessons, etc. It's torture for me and my toddler. I bring toys, books, snacks, etc and she wants nothing to do with them. She wants to run on the stage at the school gym, play on the bleachers, run down the hallway... you get the idea. We have no family or babysitters to help with this, really, so I am constantly running after her. It sucks. Big time. I want to watch my older kids, but there's no way.
That being said, there has got to be a better way. This mom MAY feel like I do and want to watch her other child do gymnastics. (It wasn't clear if there's an older sibling who she's there watching or if this toddler is, in fact, in the class - I'm assuming he's the sibling) However, she can't do that at the expense of everyone around her. Maybe a well-intended suggestion that consignment stores often have the Leapster games for great prices - it might keep Ryanbuddy busy. OR, tell her what activities/games/books, etc your kids loved and that Ryanbuddy might like them as well. I have noticed that if I bring toys for my daughter, she's not interested, but anyone else's toys, she loves. You may not want to extend such kindness to this lady, but you could bring in some toys/books, etc to see if it keeps him busy. It would be a nice gesture in the least. It kind of sounds like she is a) just too lazy to run after him and keep him in check or b) completely exhausted by running after him all day. I would try to suggest things, first, then if it doesn't get better, tell her Ryan is a distraction and it's not fair for everyone else who's trying to watch their kids, too. If you don't like the idea of confrontation, telling the owner is the only other way to go about it. Like already mentioned, the owner isn't going to want to lose customers over this, so she'll have to come up with something. Is there a playroom or area the owner could throw together, to help contain the smaller spectators? If not,she may have to come out and tell the mom, Ryanbuddy is too much of a distraction. I wish you all luck with this!!!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

There is a good parenting rule:
once - say, twice - act! Means, that first you adress the behaviour verbally, then you act - remouve a child fron the cituation, give a time out, come and look them in the eye, etc.
May be you can share with this Mama this wisdom.
Say something like:
"It is exausting when they do not listen, isn't it?"
I am sure she will agree,
then you can say: "My friend taught me a little trick, and you tell her about the rule above and ask her to try...."
That 'is a nice way....
I am sure you can think of tons of hard ways to tell her to controll her kid.
Hope that helps.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Denver on

Is she yelling "Ryan Buddy" during the class? At that age the parents really should not be involved - quiet, unobtrusive watching is one thing, but the child should be left alone to pay attention to the coach (I am a climbing coach). You should speak with the owner and tell her your concerns. Children behave differently when their parents are too involved in this way - they try to perform for the parent, or act out in response to the attention, etc. It's just a bad idea. I always allow parents, perhaps, one class a term to be closer to the action, otherwise, they are as out of the picture as I can get them to be! If this doesn't change, move your girls.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Columbia on

How old are the children participating? Is this for your children to have fun or is it competition? Why don't you just drop your children off if this is a class for them. You don't watch them at school so what is the big deal if your not there everytime?

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

Talk to the owner and tell her you are ready to take your kids out and why. If she doesn't stop the situation then leave.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Denver on

I so feel your pain with "Ryan Buddy" we had to suffer through a "Jesse Honey". Those kids tend to be the worst too! If I were you, I would let the owner deal with it. Just tell her that you and some of the other parents are ready to walk and she will get the message. As a new owner and working to build her business, the last thing she can do is keep the bad egg and let the others walk. The owner needs to be direct and tell this lady that her and her child's antics are pushing business away and are a huge liability. She needs to either wait in the car, leave the kid home, or drop her from the class. Sounds harsh but good grief!

Now the other option is to approach the mother yourself and let her know on a personal level how they are affecting the enjoyment of everyone else. Either way it is a tough situation to get through. You could get good or bad response from her, you just never know. I vote you let the owner deal with it, if she cannot get it handled, find a new gym.

Good luck!

P.S. Is there another class your child can join so you are there at a different time?



answers from Chicago on

Have you considered talking to the lady yourself, not relying on the center owner? Tell her how distracting it is when you're trying to watch your own children in the class to hear this over and over. Tell her the kid is disrupting the actual class time for everyone else and she needs to consider taking him out of the room for a time out when he misbehaves, or hiring a babysitter to keep Ryan at home if she's there to watch an older child in the class. I couldn't tell if this Ryan is actually IN the class or a younger sibling but I thought perhaps he's a younger brother.



answers from Erie on

Have you thought about just going over to ryan buddy and removing him from the equipment??, If anyone said anything you just say you were concerned for his safety as you are sure mom also would not want him to get hurt. Either redirect him or pick him up and bring him back to mom, you m ight need to do it 20 times during that session but i doubt mom would come back.



answers from Boise on

Suck it up. Your child is in a class that is open to the public. Unless there is a sign posted stating "No annoying parenting during class" then you have no place to say anything OR ask the instructor to say anything. We all have to deal with annoying people all the time and we don't often get the chance to do anything about it. I would even venture to say that if the instructor didn't notice it until YOU pointed out that you are creating more of a problem for the instructor than Ryan's mom. Take your child to a different class or drop him/her off and go or continue complaining about it with your spouse but approaching the coach or the mom because you are annoyed is not appropriate. She deserves to be there as much as you do. Also, don't continue acting as if this is concern for the gym owner and her insurance liability. While yes I can see where this could be a concern it is none of your business and only an excuse to try to justify approaching the instructor when it is not your place to do so.

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