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ballet moms: bragging, etc.

Guest pink tights

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Guest pink tights

My dd is currently rehearsing for her first Nutcracker with a professional company. I usually walk her into the waiting area of the studio, wait for rehearsal to begin, and then leave as I find the waiting and watching (the main rehearsal studio has a viewing area) much to stressful. I can't stand to listen to the other mothers bragging and one trying to out do one another....it is so irritating. Anyone else feel this way??

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The good thing about bragging moms is they let you know who they are. Then you can identify and avoid/ignore them. :D


If it is any consolation, the bragging moms seem to disappear as their dd's get older. Either their dd quits or their dd banishes them. :wink:



I hope your dd's first Nutcracker is an experience you both can look back on fondly. That's what it's all about: building warm and fuzzy memories for your dd that she can happily look back on when she's grown.

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Thank you for bringing up a subject that is near and dear to my heart. Bragging moms are not only in the waiting rooms, parking lots etc, but they are also online :o .


It is important to remember that at times, some of our kids will be riding the crest of the big wave... :wink:, while others will be trying to keep their heads above water. On the upswing, we are thrilled and may want to share, while we are on the flipside of that, we are dragging ourselves along, supporting our kids and often not feeling our best. We come to BT4D to read and learn and one thing that I have found is that many, many threads seem to become opportunities for parents to toot their horns about their kids current successes, both academic and dance related :D . It is interesting how this is done, often under the guise of responding to a particular topic.


I do enjoy reading about others dk's and how they are faring but sometimes I wish it was more confined, maybe to a specific 'thrills' thread each season. That way, those of us who are not up to it will not be ambushed while reading 'how to break in pointe shoes' (that was just a theoretical thread).


I guess some will say, 'well don't logon to BT4D then', and I suppose that would be the easy solution. But, to remain a valuable resource to parents, we all need to try to stick to the topic at hand without personalizing each post with updates.


Now, back to our regularly scheduled programming....... :wink:

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One of the lessons I've learned this year is that if I listen long enough to the bragging moms, they reveal great insecurities and easily feel threatened. Once I realized that, they no longer bother me, I almost pity them...most of the time. :D


Try engaging them in a conversation...they can't converse...and that's sad. They are so trapped in their fear/dream of their child...whether ballet, football, academically, etc...they have no other interests. They are Stepford moms with very limited programming.


If they aren't the Stepford moms...they're the broker moms who are subconsciously working the big ballet deal for their dk. If one brags long and hard enough...surely the ballet gods will surrender and bequeath the coveted ballet SI, role, level, apprenticeship, scholarship, etc, etc, etc, to the dk.


One the boards, I wonder if members are just trying to validate their presence?They may not really be trying to brag as much as trying to fit in...not realizing they may be stepping on toes.


Interesting thread and discussion.

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Pink tights, I think you are absolutely doing what needs to be done from your perspective right now. If it is not fun to watch, and the stresses and comments you mention are bothersome, then you are absolutely right to go out and do an errand or have some "me" time or whatever.


It is a shame, however, that this kind of atmosphere has to prevail. I've often thought it would be really nice if there were an unwritten (yet respected) rule that we ballet parents could talk about ANYTHING but ballet and our dks while waiting for them! I bet we would all find that some adult time would be beneficial, and that we all have something to offer beyond our roles of drivers and parents of dancers!


That said, for me, the pleasure of watching the rehearsal has usually outweighed the kind of scenarios you describe. Believe me, I've been in situations where a parent will comment about body types and techniques of other kids, a practice that I find beyond infuriating and inappropriate. But I comment by not commenting and staring straight ahead. I think it was Vagansmom who once wisely suggested saying "That's interesting" -- and leaving it at that!


I think the waiting time can be channeled into far more positive things -- a walking group, sewing costumes, or just going out for coffee.


Good luck, and I do hope you and your dd enjoy this Nutcracker and many to come!



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As I write this, my dd is at dress rehearsal for their annual performance (which is on this weekend) and I'M NOT!!!


Some of you may remember that several months ago I declared that I was moving out of the drivers seat as far as ballet is concerned and handing the steering wheel over to dd. It has been GREAT and has definitely given me a much more realistic perspective on HER ballet dreams etc. When dd wants to show me a new combination or how she finally 'got' this that or the other, she has my full attention and she continues to have my full support if she chooses and is good enough to dance professionally, but I don't have to drive the car that takes her there. I still go to the open classes to watch, because dd wants me to know what she's doing and of-course I'll be at the performance (limiting myself to one show only) and will applaud loudly and heap flowers upon her after the show - but I won't be found in the dressing room this year.


While I love and adore her, I have found better things to do with my time than dote on her from the waiting room. I drop her off, kiss her, say "have fun" and off I go. Wonderful!

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You know, bragging moms don't bother me! I am always happy to hear about other kids achievements. I do try not to talk too much about dance with the other moms in the waiting room; I do my dance discussion here, and sadly, I know some have interpreted this is bragging :blushing::( I will try to be more careful of how my posts come across. Sometimes it is easy to forget about the feelings of someone you have never really met.


So, bragging is not a problem, but outright psycho behaviour IS a problem. Sometimes I just get these vibes from people that they would squash my kid like a bug if it meant a better role for their daughter. Sometimes I can just see it in their eyes... :blink: that's when I head for the nearest Starbucks. Fortunately, dd shares my intuition, and knows who to stay clear of! Thankfully, these ones are few and far between, and I have met some lovely moms at our dance school. We have a great time talking about recipes, theatre, travel, school - or anything but dance. :shrug:

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Guest castilloje

hello "pinktights"-


I know what you mean. I've been all over CA. to find the most suitable school for the same reason. You think you have it bad out there in the lobby, some girl are the same in class..


I read the other members advice & its most likely the same for the rest of the moms out there. There needs to be a book to advice us of such this and what to do with those "bragging moms" :( ... well guess what my school did this year... they added blinds on every display window & we only get to watch the last week of their 11 week session on open house. I defiantely agree to it & some moms dont because "yes" you got it, they cant see their bragging daughters or no other moms can see them. So just hang in there & one thing I have noticed is that I'm usually in my little corner reading a book & my daughter is the only "ethnic" in the group.... so its obvious who is my daughter.. thats when the questions come & they ask "how old she is" , "how long has she been dancing", etc. thats when I know she's good! :shrug:

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I have not experienced much bragging at our dance school, so this comment may not apply. But sometimes I think people are only guilty of having poor judgement in deciding who to share their excitement with.


For instance, if I called my sister on the phone and said, "Guess what? My daughter and your niece has straight As again, won the solo in the band concert and is the youngest to ever earn the role of Sugar Plum in the Nutcracker. Can you believe it? Everythings going her way!" The aunt who loves her, and me, would join in the celebration. But if you said the same things to a semi-stranger in the lobby of the ballet school, you're definitely a nightmare mom. I'm sure some bragging moms have malicious intent, but sometimes I think they are just proud parents who happen to have poor judgment as to whom to share their excitment with.

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Pinktights--now would be the time to go out for coffee, read a book, look busy or take a walk. Invite the quiet mom in the corner to go with you. She is probably looking for a way out also. The bragging does always seems to intensify with casting and rehearsals and lessen other times. Sort of a rite of passage.


I'm going to be devil's advocate here and say that there is a fine line between sharing, bragging and putting on a pedestal with a spotlight. Personally, sharing doesn't seem to bother me at all. Bragging on a small scale doesn't bother me either because I like seeing all kids accomplish things not just my own. It's when bragging starts building that pedestal that it becomes an issue for me. However, we need to remember that there are times one person hears bragging and another hears sharing from the same comments. The difference is not only in the intent of the bragging mom's but in the ears/mindset of the "hearing" moms. So what's a parent to do? You can't really win. If you talk about your child, you're bragging. If you don't, you're standoffish. My advice would be for you to spend time with the people at the studio you enjoy and not with the people you don't. Just as you would anyplace else.


*edited to add mom1 you posted at the same time I did and what a wonderful slant on this discussion.


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I guess We have a really great studio. (or I am blind) There is no waiting room for parents so everyone is usually dropped off. If any parents are hanging out in the hallway the conversations are not ballet related. I have never heard anyone brag about their DD. The girls support each other and when one of my daughter's friends got Clara this year, she was hugged and congratulated by her friends. Some of the other poster's studios sound like a nightmare.

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Guest pink tights

Thanks for all of your input and advice; I love Ballet talk! It's nice to know other rational people exist in ballet world. I don't think it is healthy for parents to sit around and scrutinize the dancers...believe me they feel the tension. I can remember from my own Nutcracker days, a particular mom coaching (criticizing) her daughter and the heated arguments that would follow. And how certain moms would 'campaign' to have their DD's cast as Clara--I was always so happy that my mother stayed out of it. Cast assigments are out this weekend--A, B, or C cast and I'm sure lots of hysteria will follow! Annoying yet fascinating...I'm just happy my DD has an opportunity to perform with a profesional company!!

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Shouldn't we also respect the parents (and dancers!) who want to share exciting news and successes? After all, if not here, where? You can't really get across the thrill of a triple pirouette to anyone but a dancer or dance parent. Other people are like, what?! ALL our kids work hard (almost) every day to improve at a skill that is challenging, painful and exhausting. We willingly listen to others' "lows", why shouldn't we listen just as kindly to the "highs", which, at least in DD's ballet life and the lives of her friends, come few and far between. Although there are a FEW horror parents out there, most bragging parents are so excited to be able to communicate their delight in their children to an audience who actually UNDERSTANDS. And most are looking for a little validation for the time and money they spend, and the hours and work their child expends. Give them a break, because someday, hopefully soon, that will be your or your DD or DS. And to be honest, to hear that someone's kid has done x, y or z DOES give me, and DD, faith that someday, someday, she'll be able to do it too! We all, even the most bragging parents, know the long odds and the days/weeks/years of just barely getting through the day. We all want to believe there are magic stories out there, and we all need to know that just the small thrills are enough to make it all worth while. After all, maybe not so many of our kids are going to "make it" in ballet or dance, but they are all working harder than many of their peers to enrich their lives, dedicate themselves to something, and broaden their horizons. If every single one of them quit tomorrow, it would still have been worth it, for the kids AND for the parents. Give the braggarts a break - smile, nod, and go about your life, for next week, that might be you! (Although my friends have promised to pour cold coffee on my head should I ever spout some of what we hear in the waiting room!)

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Since DD dances at school, I don't often deal with ballet parents bragging and like Dancer1soccer1 and momof 3 suggested, I try to give people a break. I teach in a college of education and always to a role play activity with my student teachers before parent conferences. One is the parent whose child can do know wrong and is bragging and the other is the parent who only critizes the child.

I then like to point out that neither behavior is healthy - BUT for the child whose parents have no faith in them and don't believe he/she is a great kid life must be very sad.

If parents cannot an do not take joy in the success of their children, who is going to acknowledge them. Yes, the bragging parent is annoying and can be hurtful to others at times, but talking with parent who sees no joy in what his/her child does is very painful.

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It's quite possible to take joy in your child and his/her accomplishments without bragging.


And children can be delightful without being accomplished.


Are parents expressing delight in their children, or are they expecting to be admired because they are parents of such marvels?

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