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#132852 - 11/27/03 11:31 AM Parents in the dojo

I have always had the policy in our dojo that any parent/guardian/sister/gran etc. may watch any lesson/course/grading that their child is taking part in.

I did this originally because, as a parent, I believed that if I had this open policy, the parents would feel more comfortable leaving their child with me.

This has, indeed, been the case, but I have found it has brought many other benefits:
Firstly, quite a few mums, dads and siblings have become students themselves (one mum that started alongside her son is now training to be an assistant instructor).

Secondly, having other adult witnesses in the dojo at an all childrens classes is great. A child once hurt himself jumping around being silly after I had told him to sit down for misbehaving. His parents made a huge fuss and said they would "take action" The parents that were watching were all witnesses in my favour on the accident report I sent to both the primary school where it happened, and to my association.

Thirdly, because they watch, they have become interested and supportive of their childs training and will drive them all over the place for special lesson. The father of one student is currently busy making several pairs of padded nunchukkas which he is donating to the club. There have been many instances like this over the years.

And fourthly, I have made some very good friends among the parents, quite a few of them came to my wedding.

The reason for telling you all this is that my son wants to join a boxing club where parents are not allowed in AT ALL because it distracts the kids from their training. I am still letting him go, I have checked the club out and spoken to the coach and some other parents.

I have no intention of changing my policy, but I wondered what you all thought of this. What do you think the pros and cons are? And what is the policy on this at your dojo?

#132853 - 11/27/03 11:43 AM Re: Parents in the dojo
Bossman Offline

Registered: 08/25/03
Posts: 1785
Loc: Chatham Kent UK
Hi Sharon

We encourage parents to watch for the same reasons as you. It's important to have an "open" policy for your own protection. I would be highly suspicious of any instructor who didn't want parents watching what he was doing with their kids.

#132854 - 11/27/03 12:02 PM Re: Parents in the dojo
Yoseikan Student Offline

Registered: 05/02/03
Posts: 1166
Loc: UK
Its not something I'd agree with, but its not a totally unreasonable policy. I can understand why someone would choose to run their gym like that.

Give him my best, its a tough sport!


PS advice from another karateka/boxer- remember to duck, and whatever you do, don't kick him in the head when it all starts to go pear shapped in sparring! [IMG][/IMG]

#132855 - 11/27/03 03:24 PM Re: Parents in the dojo
Reiki Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/30/02
Posts: 3403
Loc: MiddleEarth
We have a similar open door policy to yours and in quite a few cases [including myself!] the parent/s have joined in and started training.

As a fairly new dojo, most of our senior ranks have come from parents that started training.

I would be rather hesitant to let my son train where parents weren't welcome to watch...

#132856 - 11/27/03 08:40 PM Re: Parents in the dojo
CanuckMA Offline

Registered: 11/06/03
Posts: 570
Loc: Toronto, ON, Canada
I train with my kid. I'd be reluctant to let my kids train in a contact sport where I could not observe the action.

#132857 - 11/27/03 09:10 PM Re: Parents in the dojo

Having experienced the level of stupidity,whininess and ugliness parents are capable of, thanks to the local baseball leauges, I can see why parents would be barred.

Our school allows parents to be present during classes.They are all well behaved, and have no interaction with the kids during class.

I believe if the parents are well behaved, the rules for their presence are laid down and enforced from the get go, it is ok for them to be present.

#132858 - 11/28/03 01:58 AM Re: Parents in the dojo

lol Alec, he has already said himself that not kicking will be the hardest thing after training karate to 2nd kyu.

CanuckMA, I was dubious about this too, but the coach has his wife present during training and an adult I know and trust trains there (not fighting the kids obviously). The other parents speak highly of the coach, who I liked when I spoke to him.

This policy of no parents is apparently quite common, our local dancing school and local gymnastic school also allow no parents even though some of the kids there are very young (my son is 13).

#132859 - 12/03/03 05:27 AM Re: Parents in the dojo
UKfightfreak Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 01/08/03
Posts: 2599
Loc: San Francisco
I would personally prefer a parent to be present, mainly to cover your back - you can get accused of anything now and as a point of safety fot not only you/or instructor other adults in the form of parents is perfect. As if accusations are made wether they be of neglect, abuse etc. etc. having lots of witnesses is very useful.

I would also make a point of having a parent or other adult present during private tuition - I wouldn't dare teach anyone without someone else present. It's just not worth it!!!

#132860 - 12/03/03 07:10 AM Re: Parents in the dojo
CanuckMA Offline

Registered: 11/06/03
Posts: 570
Loc: Toronto, ON, Canada
I have to agree. I'd want parents for contact sports just to have witnesses.

I can't imagine something like dance or gymnastics schools, where the instructor has to touch the students to correct forms, not wanting parents present.

A complaint from a contact sport can result in a nasty civil suit. A complaint from dance or gymnastics can results in criminal charges. Just not worth it.

#132861 - 12/11/03 07:55 PM Re: Parents in the dojo
KarateB Offline

Registered: 12/10/03
Posts: 4
Loc: Suwanee, GA
At my studio we have a room just for parents where it is one big window so they can see their child while being separated from them at the same time. This has worked great! But at my studio we want karate to become a family activity, one way we do that is we will have every student go get their parents and bring them out on the floor to help them with a particular kick/punch/self-defense move. This has proven to be very successful as far as teacher-parent relations go.

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