Three Pieces of Advice for the Strong Parent/Coach Relationship


Bree Hafen wrote an amazing blog post called “8 Things Dance Teachers Wish They Could Tell Dance Moms”.  Substitute dance for gymnastics and it is chock full of great advice for all of us.

As I read and re-read Ms. Hafen’s marvelous post, I drew from it three general pieces of advice that all of us can use.

Here they are:

  1. Don’t take things so personally.  The world does not revolve around your needs and not everything that has an unsatisfactory outcome for you was designed to make your life difficult or to hurt your feelings.  Most things in life are not about you (or your kid).
  2. Assume good faith.  If I ever got a tattoo on my forehead, it would say “assume good faith.”  If we all gave each other the benefit of the doubt, went with the kind explanation instead of the cruel one or simply just believed that everyone is doing the best that they can think about how much more peaceful life would be.
  3. Parent instead of fix.  As parents it is our reflex to rescue our child from distress.  But each time we fail to allow them to struggle, to deal with the consequences of their choice or negotiate their own relationships at a developmentally appropriate level, we rob them of the chance to learn and rob ourselves of the chance to parent.  Teaching our kids how to cope with the inevitable disappointments of life, the frustrations, the unpleasant consequences and, yes, even the unfair moments that come their way is what we as parents should be doing.  That doesn’t mean we leave our kids hanging to cope alone or that we don’t step in when a major injustice occurs, but it does mean allowing them to do for themselves as much as they can.

If we apply these three rules of behavior I think we have an excellent chance reaching Ms. Hafen’s goal: to keep the peace and work toward the best parent/teacher (c0ach) relationship possible.