Have you ever had that family that always needed some special exception? Whether it was a scheduling conflict that meant they were missing a mandatory rehearsal, or an adjustment to the tuition schedule, or they asked for a different song or costume...the list goes on and on.
In our studios, because we get to know families on a close personal level, it is easy to feel put on the spot and cornered into a decision we don't really want to make. Sometimes some BS fears come into play without us even realizing it, like the fear of criticism ("I don't want them to get upset and post a negative review on social!"), fear of not being liked or loved, fear of disappointing others, fear of poverty, fear of failure - the list is ENDLESS.
The truth is, letting our fears dictate our decisions doesn't always lead us down the right path. Setting appropriate boundaries or having planned responses to frequent requests, and being consistent with them, will make it easier to say NO when the time comes.
Now, when you say NO to a customer's special request, don't feel guilty. This is especially difficult for people pleasers. You are not being harsh, or insensitive, or unkind. Think of it as saying YES to yourself and your business. You are standing in your power, keeping your integrity, and doing what you said you would do (or maybe just sticking to what has been laid out in writing for all students.) You are also preventing yourself from getting more of the same from that family and others like them.