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To let go or not to let go....


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#31 Aquarelle

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Posted 31 March 2016 - 09:25

Well done. You are right to stick to your guns. good luck with the dad. I have a dad that another forumite christened "Boss Dad." He also wants his son to play concertos before he can manage Grade 4 !  I have "managed" him by a mixture of lying low and big smiles whenever we meet - fortunately I deal mostly with mum who is great. 


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#32 HelenVJ

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Posted 31 March 2016 - 09:28

Sounds like a win all round :). Hope Dad will finally come oin board, and turn out to be an ally. Eventually.


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#33 Misterioso

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Posted 31 March 2016 - 09:46

Sounds like a win all round :). Hope Dad will finally come oin board, and turn out to be an ally. Eventually.

 

....but let's hope sooner rather than later. Being a violinist himself, one would think he would be able to recognise good teaching.

 

Really pleased for you, BabyGrand!  :)


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#34 Dorcas

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Posted 31 March 2016 - 14:14

Yay, result!!!!!  

 

Glad to offer a cheer instead of a hanky  :hurrah:


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#35 BabyGrand

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Posted 31 March 2016 - 18:02

Thank you everyone!   :)    I really hope it lasts!  


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#36 Grace Notes

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Posted 02 April 2016 - 10:30

So glad you got all of this sorted Babygrand....you must feel like a big weight has been lifted.
Just a thought, but might it be worth a little 'fresh start' chat with Mum just to underline your position? New term, new start and all that....? I sounds as though it could have a very positive tone now and might help prevent any slide back into old ways. I am still reeling for you over the behaviour you experienced from these people when you had to deal with a family emergency.

Fingers crossed for you that this working relationship goes from strength to strength xx
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#37 BabyGrand

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Posted 28 May 2016 - 13:55

I just wanted to offer an update on this thread, as I often wonder about how things turned out with students who other teachers mention on here.  

 

It is mostly positive, but not entirely!  

(P is my pupil.)  

 

- P's technique has been improving - slowly, as she finds it hard, but now heading in the right direction, and I know she is genuinely trying, which is all I ever asked for.   :)  Still plenty of attitude, but no deliberate refusals!  

 

- Dad, I think, is finally on board!   :woot:   it's usually Mum who brings P to lessons, but a few weeks ago they both came, and they happened to watched me demonstrating something to her.  Immediately afterwards, Dad said, "Oh, I noticed you doing X when you play.  I saw you wrote in P's notebook that you wanted her to play like that, but I wasn't sure that was what you meant (!).  So....that's what you mean?"  Me: "Yep."  Him: "Why is that?"  Me:"Because.......[all the reasons I've given multiple times before]  Him, "Oh, ok.  Well, we'll work on doing it like that then."  He then even said he'd noticed that a few times at home, he'd found her playing something the way I'd been teaching her to, and it sounded so much better!   :rolleyes:  So, after months of him undermining much of what I've said, apparently he's now understood what I'm trying to do and is helping her to practise the right way at home.  Result!  

 

- Now, for the negative....  Mum has been ok with me for a while.  She even let P take part in an ensemble day during the Easter holidays (which she loved!), and even remained polite when it had to finish early because I became ill.  (She wasn't concerned for me or offering to help, as the other parents were, but at least she didn't complain about it, as I had been worried she might!).  Then, a couple of weeks ago, she took issue over a matter of payment.  She was refusing to pay for something, claiming it was my fault for giving her the wrong information, when in fact she just hadn't been reading her emails / invoices properly.  I tried to be nice about it, and offered a compromise (which I didn't really need to do), but rather than being grateful, she said, "Well, you always fix the problem, like you just have, so why didn't you just get on and fix the problem right away rather than making a fuss and going on about your Ts and Cs to me?!".  (I mentioned the Ts and Cs once, and very politely!)  Sigh.   :(  

 

I am so happy that things are going better with P, and with her dad.  But honestly, I feel my life would be so much better if it didn't have P's mum in it!!  I felt awful all day after that conversation - actually, it took me a few days to get over it.  And, obviously, it's the latest of a number of similar conversations we've had.  I feel like I am constantly walking on eggshells around her, in case something I say or do upsets her, even though I haven't done anything wrong.  It's very sad, but if they decided to leave, I don't think I'd feel much besides sheer relief.  

 

Anyway, just thought you might like to know how things have been going!  


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#38 BadStrad

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Posted 28 May 2016 - 14:11

Really glad to hear you got dad on board. As for mother, just don't try to be nice, or compromise again (if you can do that, I realise it's easy to say, harder to do). It obviously isn't worth it and the more you give the more she will expect to be able to take.

Over all though it sounds like things are much better.

Thank you for letting us know.
:)
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#39 ten left thumbs

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Posted 28 May 2016 - 16:57

Yes I think sometimes we compromise hoping others will return the favour. But some people don't, they just take advantage. They haven't read the T's and C's, they won't, they don't care about your studio. They are not evil, they just see things from their point of view only. You've got to play it by the book. Not caring if you keep the student or not. 


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#40 BabyGrand

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Posted 28 May 2016 - 17:58

I'm sure you're both right.  Thank you.   :)  I am naturally a people-pleaser and a peace-maker, so I always want to find a fair solution keep everyone happy.  But I guess you just can't please some people!  

 

Fwiw I didn't give in and give her a refund, I just tried to find a way of keeping the fee she owed me and still keeping her happy!  

 

I honestly don't understand the way some people's minds work.  Surely it's not rocket science to realise that the more kind, considerate and understanding you are with someone, the more likely it is that they will behave the same way back.  If it had been a parent who never quibbles over money and I thought they had made a genuine mistake, I might well have chosen to refund the money as a gesture of goodwill.  I could do that because I would know they would be very grateful, and they would not have been expecting me to offer it - in fact, I think many would actually refuse it if I offered, knowing it was their fault.  With her, every time she treats me like this, she just makes me less and less willing to offer anything in the future.  But she just doesn't see it.  She told me during one incident that I shouldn't ever mention my Ts and Cs to her, because it was insulting to bring them up since we 'get on well'.  But if we actually had a good relationship, I wouldn't have to mention them, because she'd just pay what she owes and not complain about it!!   


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#41 BadStrad

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Posted 28 May 2016 - 20:51

There are many people, who are not necessarily bad people by general standards, but who will take whatever you give and then expect more. That doesn't mean you have to be unkind or lacking in understanding, but it does mean you have to be assertive and keep to your contract if you want them to stop.

Put another way, "How much is your yes worth, if you never say no?"

For the naturally unassertive (and by that I mean those who were trained to put others before themself) it takes practice to say no to demands, or to assert themself, but it gets easier with practice and people do learn not to take the .... if you are consistent.
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#42 BabyGrand

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Posted 28 May 2016 - 21:27

Yes, I learned from this forum to make Ts and Cs and stick to them, and I have been doing that for a few years now, and been very proud of myself for doing it too!!   :)  So I don't give into people like her, but I do find standing up to her extremely stressful, and feel shaken for days afterwards.  I suppose the problem is that the people I feel confident asserting myself with are the people who I don't actually need to assert myself with!   :rolleyes:   At the same time, knowing that 99% of my students/parents are quite happy to follow the Ts and Cs and don't react badly when I have to (for example) ask for payment for a missed lesson, gives me the confidence that when someone like P's mum reacts badly, the problem must be her, not me.  But it's still a stressful experience having to stand my ground to someone like her, when what I really want to to do is run and hide!   :ninja:  


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#43 Cyrilla

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Posted 29 May 2016 - 22:18

I really wouldn't keep this pupil on.

 

The situation is just too stressful and life is too short...


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#44 Norway

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Posted 30 May 2016 - 08:40

I really wouldn't keep this pupil on.

 

The situation is just too stressful and life is too short...

:agree:


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#45 BabyGrand

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Posted 30 May 2016 - 18:22

Thank you Cyrilla and Norway.  I do like the idea of letting the family go, I just don't know how I would go about it.  I'm afraid P's mum could react very badly...  I can't think of a reason I could give that she would accept.  Unless I can find a reason no longer to be free when P has her lessons!  


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