Guest Rant by Mary

posted: October 21st, 2015 11:35 am | 0No Comments

If you take a Newport Navigator class with your young child (I’ve been in several 2-3 year old classes lately), please pay attention to your kid and don’t check out!

The instructors are great at what they do but they are there to work with the kids as a group and not one-on-one the whole time. They are there to show games and skills to the kids and not to repeatedly admonish your child to put the equipment back on the ground.

If your child is running around screaming and not listening to the class teacher, Mom step in! Help guide your child back to the group and settle her. Stay close if need be.

If your child is lying on the grass crying, tear yourself away from your conversation with friends and pay attention to your child and help him participate. Or leave. But don’t just leave him flailing on the ground because you can’t pause the conversation.

This applies to the blond mom of W. who talks to a friend all through class and doesn’t even see when her kid throws a ball at another parent.

This applies to the brunette nanny of C. who texts throughout class while her charge wanders around, not quite getting the activities.

This applies to the grandma of K. who sees her grandchild taking items away from other kids (and the coaches!) and can’t be bothered to get up out of her chair.

I think the instructors can handle most situations on their own such as sharing, taking turns, paying attention, inside voices, etc. but if your kid is repeatedly disrupting the class, help out a bit! Out of consideration for the other kids, other parents and your own child’s experience in class.

I know we all need breaks as moms and kids progress through different skills at different paces. Some classes where the kids are clearly able to participate on their own can give moms a 90% break for 45-60 minutes. But if you are there with your kid, be there with your kid and at least keep a 10% watchful eye on the proceedings and step in to help your kid participate appropriately if need be.

Everyone in the room/on the field will thank you.

Addendum from a coach who has taught numerous Newport Navigator classes: It is extremely frustrating when even the coach cannot get the attention of the children because the parents’ conversations are so loud and distracting (this makes me crazy!) When I blow my whistle to get the childrens’ attention and the parents don’t even stop talking, they are modeling to their children that they do not have to listen or pay attention.

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