Most people know or expect me to be a Dance Mom fan. As a dancer, it kind of comes with the territory. Well, I am in fact a Dance Mom fan but more for the dancing elements and a little for the drama. I get more enjoyment out of Mob Wives’ drama than Dance Moms, so it really is more about the dancing.
Dance Moms, for those of you who have never seen it, is a show about a competition dance team run by Abbey Lee Miller. Abbey is a well established dance teacher and owner of a dance studio of her own. She can be really rude and crass. She can also be really mean and verbally abusive to her students. She produces phenomenal dancers but she doesn’t notice how good they really are, or rather, she really doesn’t care unless it’s her favorite dancer Maddie.
This weeks episode featured a guess dancer. JoJo, an eleven year old dancer from another Abbey show, is an okay dancer with no home training. This is a little girl who’s mother allows her to say whatever she wants and feeds into her ego dramatically. She encourages it quite frankly.
I first met this little girl on Abbey’s Ultimate Dance Competition. I was not a fan then and I am not a fan now. She interrupts adults when they are speaking, calls up clothing companies and tells them what show she is on and send her free clothes, and proudly disregards others around her in order to gain as much attention as humanly possible.
Her mother, no prize in my opinion, suggested Abbey replace a team member with her daughter, again a guess, in order to bring the age level down at a competition. At least this was her excuse, she really was just trying to get her kid back in a number she was kicked out of days before, because she couldn’t perform cohesively with the group. She created this display of disrespect and inconsideration with the child, her mother and all the other children in the room.
This woman had no concept of how incredibly inappropriate it was in general, let alone in front of the children. JoJo, when asked, “Would you be okay with replacing a dancer that worked hard all week to perform and is a member?” She replied, “We do pretty much the same stuff. I can do it better than her.” I was dumb founded. Her mother did not step in and correct her child for her rude behavior. She just sat there watching.
I am a stickler for teaching children how to behave in the world. I believe that once they are adults, the world expects certain behavior. If we do not prepare our kids for this expectation, they will be screwed. Notice I said they and not we? As home school parents, we have an advantage over parents who send their kids to traditional schools. We have the time to teach our children well. This child is a home schoooler and is not gaining the home training she needs and deserves.
The proof is in the pudding. Her mother thinks this behavior is cute and will make her child a star. I work in the entertainment industry with Harmonie. I can tell you rude children eventually get iced out. No one wants to work with a brat, no matter how talented they are.
If you haven’t taken a look at your children’s behavior lately, take a look. Are you happy with your results? If you aren’t, remember it is your job to make sure your children develop good character traits. The “I need to be my child’s friend” movement needs to stop. Our kids have to survive adulthood alone. They cannot do that if we do not train them from day one.
How do you home train your children? Do you take out a section of your home school day to go over important manners lessons? Do you practice everyday? Do you let them learn from others? What ideas do you have? Let’s share notes on how to master the proper etiquette game with our kids.