Cannot cope with dance parent

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Cannot cope with dance parent
« on: October 15, 2020, 04:48:38 PM »
I have posted about this woman a long time ago on here, but I am sitting here at the moment and I can feel my cheeks burning as my blood pressure rises with the stress of it all. To cut a very long story short, my 8 year old daughter has attended a dance school since she was 18 months old. She's there three days a week, it's her life and she loves it. She refers to it as her second home and until this year she had grown up with a very close bunch of kids who all love it as much as she does. In the midst of all this, there is one parent who I would describe as the Queen Bee. Self styled. I didn't notice this initially, as she comes across as friendly, in the know about everything and really encouraging and willing to help....until she's not. So I guess I was initially accepted into her circle. I got the coffee invites while they were in class and the group of kids did loads of things together in between classes and outside of classes.
Then things changed as they got a bit older. My daughter started winning at competitions maybe more than this woman thought she should and things started to change. Suddenly, she was organising groups for competitions and my daughter was excluded. This really upset her but we brushed it off as an oversight, a bit insensitive at most but probably not meant. But it continued.
Then I noticed that suddenly I wasn't invited to coffee while they were in class anymore and she would actively avoid me or talk to anyone else in the room. Publicly, she was keen to praise my daughter in front of other people or join in praise for any achievement but if there was no audience, she would look right through me. It became clear that I was out of her circle and had been replaced by other mums. It hurt a bit, it felt like I was back at school but I let it go. We didn't need to be friends.
However, it's getting worse and now it involves my daughter. Repeatedly over the summer holidays and now this holiday we currently have, this woman organised meet ups where every one of my daughter's peers were invited, except her. She would then post all of these pictures etc talking about "the team" and my daughter could see all of this because they have social media accounts as part of the dance school. In reality, my daughter has no access to that account and I monitor it, but this mum doesn't know that. I kept letting it go and then one day she messaged me because she was organising a birthday present for one of the kids (she always organises everything to show how caring she is) but she wanted a specific item that she knew I knew more about because my daughter already had it. I took the opportunity to ask her if anything that had happened that I should know about - this was because she sent me a message saying it had been so long since we had spoken (knowing she had organised multiple meet ups that she had never once asked me to attend) - as I was aware that my daughter was never invited and I just wanted to check that nothing had gone on that I needed to talk to my daughter about I.e. bullying or name calling or something. It was a very diplomatic, plain message. She immediately over reacted and said she was absolutely shocked at receiving such a message and she would call me the next day. I have no doubt that she then discussed it with her circle of mum's. She did call me and repeated again how shocked she was. I explained that I just wanted to check because it was clear that my daughter was now being excluded repeatedly and that if she was to see all of these posts it would really upset her as it was social exclusion, so I just wondered if there was anything I could do about it. She went into overly nice mode saying she was so sorry and of course that would be awful for my daughter and that she had simply just forgotten to ask her because she had so many groups going that she forgot all about it. First of all, they've been friends for 5 years seeing each other four days a week and more when they have shows etc. Secondly, I was removed from all of these new groups that she is talking about. She even went so far as to tell me which group she had categorised me in on Facebook which was why she had forgotten!! She then totally changed the subject and began to gossip about two other mums, which I shut down immediately, and then she made a comment about how the parents were worse than the kids (which she was very pleased with herself about and which her husband laughed at in the background).
So, since then, it has just continued. I suspect that she discussed it all with the other mums and there was some sympathy as my daughter was invited by someone else in the group to attend a recent meet up. But there are still meet ups being organised which she continues to exclude my daughter from. She makes sure that she is the social organiser. I suspect that other people don't realise that my daughter is never invited. I also suspect that the dance teacher (who is friends with her) has agreed with me as this mum has been keen to publicly like any Facebook posts etc I have whilst at the very same time messaging other people to invite them to meet. So it feels very much like she's setting up a public persona but continuing to sneak about behind the scenes.
It's really stressing me out and getting me down. My daughter is now beginning to notice these things and is beginning to feel the effects of being excluded from her peer group and there's only so many excuses you can make for it. I hate that this woman seems to have the power to destroy my daughter's relationships in her second home and ruin her experiences there. I also cannot stand being around the place now because I dread bumping into this mum and having to deal with the fake niceness but also having to remain civil and polite.
I just don't know what to do anymore or how to cope with it. It reminds me of being at school and also reminds me of my nmil, so the whole thing is very triggering. Not to mention that it's my daughter so it makes me even more angry and defensive on her behalf. Any suggestions would be hugely appreciated.
I should also add that I've suspected for a while that this woman has narcisstic tendencies - it became very clear even when I was friends with her that she loved drama and gossip. It was all she was concerned about. Not a conversation would go by where she wasn't imparting some damning gossip about another parent, even about her closest friends there (which was when I began to become wary of her). I also began to notice that she was Careful to say all these things but not give her opinion, so she would tell the story and wait for you to say oh that's awful or whatever but she would never directly say anything bad about the person herself...of course I then suspect that she would pass on to someone else that you had said X,y and z without ever mentioning that it was her who had told you about it in the first place. There were a lot of red flags and I began to become wary and careful of what I said, which is probably why she no longer has any use for me and instead I've become the person she uses for drama and gossip with others. I think her whole life revolves around the dance school, she definitely wants it more than her daughter, but her need to control everyone is making it a really toxic environment.
« Last Edit: October 15, 2020, 05:20:34 PM by mayaberry »


Penny Lane

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Re: Cannot cope with dance parent
« Reply #1 on: October 19, 2020, 12:18:33 PM »
I'm so sorry this is happening and that your daughter is seeing the repercussions.

Is it possible to invite the other girls for more like one on one playdates? I know that hasn't happened up until now but that doesn't mean you can't start.

Honestly if your daughter weren't so invested in this school I would seriously consider switching.

This also might be an opportunity to teach your daughter in age appropriate ways about PD behaviors and to not take it personally. When someone is unproductively and unnecessarily mean, it's almost never about you but rather about them. Etc.

Barring all else, if I were you I would never try to talk about this with the other mom again. Practice intense medium chill. Don't be rude, say hi, but don't engage with her on anything. Maybe go get coffee yourself during dance so you don't have to sit there watching her act like a mean girl? Just ... mentally check out from the drama, remember it's about your daughters, and eventually they'll be old enough to handle their relationships themselves without this mom being able to get in the middle of it.