It’s best if parents, grandparents and guardians sit on the designated bleachers to watch their children.  During my lessons, I do not allow parents to hover or sit on the deck near their children, as this is disruptive and a distraction to my students.  Typically, if the parents stay on the sidelines for a lesson or two, an apprehensive child will calm down and become interested in what is happening and not be focused on when mommy / daddy / grandma / grandpa is going to come and “get me out of here.”

Once parents are allowed to “hover,” they often begin to micromanage.  For example, parents will start to shout, “Hey, paddle your arms harder!”  This undermines the teacher’s ability and authority. At some point, parents must step aside and allow the teachers to do their jobs.

Please do not constantly take pictures and / or videos.  This can be very disruptive and the child may feel that he needs to “perform” or that he needs to entertain his audience.  Please ask your teacher when would be a good time to take a picture or video.

whatnottododuringlessonsOn the other hand, there also is the parent who is so busy playing Candy Crush on his iPad that he misses his child rolling over to take a breath or diving into the pool the first time.  Sometimes, a parent leaves the pool and walks outside for whatever reason. Parents do need to pay attention and be available. Trust me, your child knows if you are watching him.  And you certainly do not want to miss the smile on your child’s face when he finally “gets it.”