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Author Topic: Question for Parents - LTS Boy in white skates  (Read 2931 times)

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Offline AgnesNitt

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Re: Question for Parents - LTS Boy in white skates
« Reply #25 on: September 21, 2011, 06:53:03 PM »
There's one boy in my LTS class (age 6 - Basic 2) who wears his sister's outgrown white figure skates.  He's very enthusiastic about skating and doesn't seem to know or care what kind of skates he's wearing as long as he gets to skate.  I think this is great and I don't want to discourage him in any way.

However, a new session will be starting soon and traditionally this is when the budding hockey players show up in droves.  I'm afraid that one of them (or one of their dads) will say something to the little boy along the lines of "Why are you wearing GIRLS' skates?).  In fact, knowing the crowd that we usually get, I'm pretty sure someone will say something eventually and it probably won't be kind.

I'm wondering if I should say something to the boy's mother about possbily painting the skates black.  I get the feeling that money is an issue;  the boy's older sister also skates with us and is progressing quickly.  I suspect that if new skates are needed, Sis will get them and Brother will again get her old white ones.

We're only talking Basic Skills here so I don't want to pressure the mom to buy into stereotypes but OTOH I don't want the kid subjected to any form of teasing or ridicule from the occassionally loud-mouthed hockey kids either.  The boy loves to skates, likes spinning and is looking forward to learning the jumps he sees his sister trying. 

Should I say something (heck, I'd even offer to paint the skates myself!) or keep my mouth shut and hope for the best?


As a non-parent, non-coach might I suggest going to the mom and being very straight forward. "Timmy's doing very well and he's really enthusiastic. You know in the next session we'll be seeing an influx of hockey boys. It might be a good time to get Timmy some black boot covers to keep the teasing down. " If she's been around the rink (second child in the skates) she'll either nod wisely and say "Thanks," or say "Oh, we're not worried about that." 

Now everyone can jump on me.
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Offline PrettySk8Dress

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Re: Question for Parents - LTS Boy in white skates
« Reply #26 on: September 21, 2011, 07:54:24 PM »
I'm not an instructor, but I do have extensive training in anti-bullying programs.

 I think telling a child that it is not kind to make fun of anyone, for any reason, and that I do not allow it to happen when I know about it is lecturing, and I will do that.  

 I will not tolerate any kind of belittling behavior.
 

Good for you, Schmeck. I am a volunteer instructor myself, and also have had some anti-bullying training myself.
 Bullying is not just for school anymore, bullying can occur at the ice rink, both on and off of the ice, at the mall, in a public park, at the movies, really anywhere these days. All you need is for a child to wear a different color of boots, or something similar, and have another older kid or adult say something like " As I see things, I'm really Right, I don't like what I am seeing, and so this has to stop Right Now ! ". Ones who care should step up to defuse and neutralize bullying whenever and wherever it happens, and not just look the other way.
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Offline jjane45

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Re: Question for Parents - LTS Boy in white skates
« Reply #27 on: September 21, 2011, 10:10:50 PM »
As a non-parent, non-coach might I suggest going to the mom and being very straight forward. "Timmy's doing very well and he's really enthusiastic. You know in the next session we'll be seeing an influx of hockey boys. It might be a good time to get Timmy some black boot covers to keep the teasing down. " If she's been around the rink (second child in the skates) she'll either nod wisely and say "Thanks," or say "Oh, we're not worried about that." 

Now everyone can jump on me.

I thought it's nicely phrased. But then I am never quite a MYOB person...

Offline turnip

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Re: Question for Parents - LTS Boy in white skates
« Reply #28 on: September 22, 2011, 01:24:33 PM »
I've seen the odd little boy in hand-me-down white skates at my second rink, but never at my home rink. At rink2, they also have a variety of hire skaters, including black skates, so often see lts girls in black skates (or beige or blue or white!)

It isn't an issue. I notice it in the little boys, but think it's fab that they're so keen to skate they'll wear any skates they can.

The colour skates a kid wears doesn't matter. It does not make a difference to his or her future sexuality.

BUT some small minded people will always make life difficult for people who don't conform to what they think is right. And a six year old shouldn't have to put up with it for something so easy to change wth some cheap boot covers or tape. If an adult or teenager wants to make a statement thats great, but its kind of hard to explain to a little kid.

I would warn the parents that some kids and their parents may comment on their sons skates, suggest boot covers, but emphasise that it really doesn't matter that he has white boots. I wouldn't say anything to the kid himself though.

Offline blue111moon

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Re: Question for Parents - LTS Boy in white skates
« Reply #29 on: September 23, 2011, 08:00:45 AM »
I thank everyone for their comments.  Let me be clear though:  I have NO intention of saying anything to the child.  He's a happy kid who loves to skate and I honestly don't think he cares what color his skates are.  I'm also not concerned about the parents of the kids currently in the program saying anything mean or nasty to the either the child or to the parents.  This is the family's second year in the program (and the second year for the boy in his sister's skates;  I'm pretty sure the sister got new ones for this year and her old ones got handed down for the second time).

I am concerned about the influx of hockey players (and dads) we're expecting in a couple of weeks.  Kids in general aren't known for holding back and it wouldn't take much for one kid start something with a simple statement like "He's wearing GIRLS' skates!"  I know how to difuse and deflect if it does happen in my class.  I just don't want anything to happen in the lobby or the locker room that might diminish this child's enjoyment of skating.  And while the hockey dads that I've met from this program seem pretty nice, a couple of them did mention that there might be some "resistance" from their membership about the program being "run by figure skating women."  There is still a strong mentality around here that boys skate to play hockey.  Mind you, the hockey leagues are only too happy to accept girls who play hockey, because it expands their numbers, but it's still a male-dominated sport - and when you get that much testosterone in an enclosed space like a rink, sometimes the more civilized brain cells end up losing the battle for tolerance.  :)

I'm not sure what I'm going to do about this one boy.  As much as I'd hate to poke a stick into a hornet's nest by talking to the parents ahead of time,  I'd also hate to have said nothing should some situation arise that could have been prevented.

Offline isakswings

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Re: Question for Parents - LTS Boy in white skates
« Reply #30 on: September 23, 2011, 07:45:21 PM »
There's one boy in my LTS class <snip>
Should I say something (heck, I'd even offer to paint the skates myself!) or keep my mouth shut and hope for the best?

I have not read the other replies, so forgive me if this is a repeat. What about a pair of black boot covers? OR maybe a pair with a cool boy print on them??? Just a thought.

Offline isakswings

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Re: Question for Parents - LTS Boy in white skates
« Reply #31 on: September 23, 2011, 07:56:05 PM »

This is the correct answer to my earlier question, IMO, and I agree with you that the burden should not fall on children to already know to " conform " to other adult's predetermined, judgmental attitudes. It is the adults who need to readjust their possible prejudicial attitudes about the appearance of possible gender non-conformity.
I feel that the gender designation as determined by the color of a skater's boots is a valid one. However, there should be an attitude of tolerance and acceptance for those skaters who may be the exception to the boot color indicator of gender. Examples of this would be child skaters who wear a different color of boots than their birth gender due to financial constraints, or due to fit and growth issues. Also teen and adolescent skaters who are or may be transgender individuals and undergoing gender therapy and social readjustment should be allowed to wear the color of boots of their correct gender. Transgender skaters also should be allowed to wear the appropriate skating outfits and clothing of their correct gender, too.  None of these young skaters should be
" teased or ridiculed " by other skaters or adults because of their situation being viewed as supposedly non-conforming, IMO. Especially adult skaters and coaches should take the lead in making the rink or practice sessions a place of welcome and tolerance to all skaters, within reason, the color of their boots or their choice of their correct skating attire notwithstanding.  

When I was looking for my daughter's first pair of skates, I almost bought her a black pair thinking she would not care. She was 8 at the time and wanted nothing to do with black skates. She wanted white skates. I didn't make a big deal about the color of the skates, I just asked her what she thought about the skates and she said she wanted white skate. It really didn't matter to me. Skates were skates, but to her, she wanted white skates. I don't know if it was because her friend had white skates or if she really noticed that girls typically wear white and boys wear black. She ended up with white skates. :) Had we been given a pair of black skates, I would have had her use them... boot covers would have been a must, I am sure. LOL!

Offline SynchKat

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Re: Question for Parents - LTS Boy in white skates
« Reply #32 on: September 23, 2011, 10:18:05 PM »
Kids can be mean.  Some adults are just big kids.  I taught at a club where coaches made fun of kids...I didn't last long there.

If you feel money is a problem you could maybe give them a roll of black skate tape and say "hey I was wondering how easy this stuff is to use and what a pair of skates fully taped would look like...wanna be my guinea pig?".  Kind of win win. 

And I'm pretty sure when my brother started skating my mom spray painted white skates black for him.

Offline blue111moon

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Re: Question for Parents - LTS Boy in white skates
« Reply #33 on: September 26, 2011, 07:36:48 AM »
I have not read the other replies, so forgive me if this is a repeat. What about a pair of black boot covers? OR maybe a pair with a cool boy print on them??? Just a thought.

The question is not what to do with the skates;  it's whether or not to approach the parents about doing something with the skates.


Offline fsk8r

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Re: Question for Parents - LTS Boy in white skates
« Reply #34 on: September 26, 2011, 08:25:32 AM »
The question is not what to do with the skates;  it's whether or not to approach the parents about doing something with the skates.



Given that you're worrying about it, then I think you should say something, but I'd add it in to a conversation you have with the parents about the boys progress. Best to sandwich it in, so you're praising his skating, express this concern, and then tell them how you think he's making wonderful progress. It lessens the message you're telling them but makes sure they're aware of the issue.

Incidentally I've seen quite a few black skates on ebay advertised as being ladies skates. I've yet to see white skates advertised as male. But I wonder if they're ladies skates because they're figure skates and not hockey skates?

Offline Skittl1321

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Re: Question for Parents - LTS Boy in white skates
« Reply #35 on: September 26, 2011, 08:53:41 AM »
But I wonder if they're ladies skates because they're figure skates and not hockey skates?

Very likely.  My BIL went ice skating with me (because his 3 year old wanted to go) and I went behind the counter and got them both skates.  After we skated for about an hour he said to me "I've never tried figure skates before.  Those are a lot easier to balance in, but scary once you remember how to skate and start going fast, because of the toe pick." 

Then, I realized I had never asked him if he prefered hockey skates (oops, I bet he would have.  I would have insisted the 3-year old be in figure skates though).  But the counter guys always hand hockey skates to boys and figure skates to girls.

Offline kssk8fan

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Re: Question for Parents - LTS Boy in white skates
« Reply #36 on: September 26, 2011, 08:37:42 PM »
with this economy, if the kid's skates have decent blades and they fit, it shouldn't be a big deal at all!  In fact - I've seen kids with horrible skates (the one's you buy at sporting goods stores) and personally, the kids would skate better in rentals!  Color shouldn't matter....the fact that he's on the ice is good enough.  He'll eventually outgrow them and chances are, he'll get black ones next time.

Offline blue111moon

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Re: Question for Parents - LTS Boy in white skates
« Reply #37 on: September 27, 2011, 07:48:08 AM »
I know color SHOULDN"T be a big deal, and to me, it isn't.  I don't care what color the kid's skates are as long as he's having fun and progressing, which he is.  This is his second year in the program - and his second pair of the white skates.  He's wearing the ones his sister out-grew last year; she got the new ones.  I don't know if it's a question of money for the parents.  They seem like nice people but they don't hang around the rink much before or after the lessons so my contact with them is limited, since I'm on the ice teaching.  I don't know if they have a gender-neutral parenting philosophy. 

I do however have some experience with young hockey players - and their parents - and generally, tact is not a part of their make-up.  :)  It could only take one smart-mouth comment at the wrong moment to destroy this boy's enjoyment of an activity that he he happens to be pretty good at.

But who knows?  The kids could also just blow the comment off and go merrily on his way, white skates and all.  Maybe over the summer, the little hockey players - and their parents - have all learned tact, discretion and tolerance and no one will say anything at all.  I truly hope I've been worrying for nothing.


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Re: Question for Parents - LTS Boy in white skates
« Reply #38 on: October 19, 2011, 08:07:29 AM »
Didn't Michael Weiss start in white skates, handed down from his sister?
According to Audrey Weisiger, his coach, the answer is "yes."  They called them "speckled skates."



The video shows coaches from Ft. Dumont's LTS program displaying used skates donated by Rachael Flatt for the free program.
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Offline Query

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Re: Question for Parents - LTS Boy in white skates
« Reply #39 on: October 19, 2011, 01:51:59 PM »
Cover the skates with sparkles. No one will see the underlying color.

Are there sparkly boot covers?