By a long-time karate mom
Parents, your support of your karate students is priceless. All the instructors appreciate your encouragement and involvement at the dojo. However, please do not coach or talk to your kids while they are in class.
The only exception is in the unlikely event that an otherwise undetected safety situation is imminent and your interference would prevent injury. In that case, by all means talk, yell or even come on the mat!
Normally, though, when you talk to or coach a student in class, it does not let your child learn to be accountable for their own actions. Talking or signaling from the sidelines is very distracting to both students and teachers. Sideline coaching can be, in itself, a safety issue.
As guardians, we are serious about our responsibilities of guiding our children and keeping them learning. I know first-hand how difficult it can be to watch silently while my child is in karate class, or in testing, and doing something other than what I want. I had to learn to restrain that parenting instinct, just for that time while my child was in class. That way he was able to learn that there are consequences for his actions, he is capable of participating in karate on his own, and his success is up to him. Those are valuable life skills that my son has learned to apply to other areas of his life, and that has helped him.
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