If you’ve been rocking PT classes for a while, chances are you know there are certain parents you see more than others! You love your involved parents, but sometimes it can get a little challenging to coach a class of two-year-olds while managing parents too. There are some simple strategies to make every coach feel more confident about teaching one of the hardest classes in the gym! *This post is meant to give you a giggle and be helpful. My intention is not to offend anyone with stereotypes! :)
[Drumroll please…] Introducing, the parents you’ll meet (and manage) in every PT class….
Amped Up Dad: You know him. He brings his child 20 minutes early for class and never misses a day. He jumps on the tramp before his child gets up there. He throws his baby into the pit with reckless abandon, then jumps in after him. He swings on the rings and tries an iron cross. You love his energy, but you’d like him to dial it back just a bit.
Amped Up Hot Tip: Give overzealous dad a job. Ask him to help you carry to parachute or lift something heavy. Giving him a purpose and a challenge will focus his attention and energy.
Cell Phone Mom: If you need her, she’ll be taking super cute selfies with her little gymnast and posting them to her Instagram. Or checking in on FB. Or facetiming grandparents into class. Cell phone mom has lots of enthusiasm, but you need her involved in class.
Cell Phone Mom Tip: Post a sign that class is a cell phone free zone. Educate parents on the importance of being active and present in class, not on the phone. Conversely, give cell phone mom a specific time (warm-up) to use the phone, then put it away. If you’re feeling bold, ask her to post her pics on your facebook page if she’s willing. Last, have a ‘say cheese’ day for your PT classes where everyone get to bring their phone and take as many pictures as they’d like. Design each station as a good photo opportunity.
Chatty Parent: Chatty parent loves to talk and visit with you, even though you’ve got a class of 10 gymnasts and parents in front of you. You love to tell stories and connect, just not during class time.
Chatty Tip: It’s possible chatty parent is home with their two-year-old all day and shows up to class ready to talk to actual grown-ups. Try to connect chatty parent with another parent in your class. Yay for mommy/daddy friends!
Very Pregnant Mama: Oooooh you feel for her. She’s very pregnant, but still wants to come with her child to gymnastics. The problem is, she can’t do much, given the human she is growing.
Preggo Tip: You’ve simply got to help pregnant mama out. Take over for her and spot her child when needed. Even better, ask a junior coach to come and help out (it would be a wonderful learning opportunity). Let very pregnant mama go at her own pace. Afterall, you don’t want her going into labor at the gym!
Competitive Daddy: This dad pushes his child to try crazy stuff, way outside of the child’s ability and desire. This dad does not settle for what you show parents to do, he takes it one step further. Competitive Daddy is probably a former athlete and loves competition.
Competitive Daddy Tip: Drop some child development knowledge on competitive dad, including the 2-year-old milestones. By pushing his child past their comfort level competitive daddy is actually doing more harm than good. Plus, the class won’t be fun for the child!
Love The One You’re With It would be so boring if every class was the same. Embrace what different parents bring to your classes. Just like with the kids, we meet parents wherever they are. Getting some new ideas and tools in your class management repertoire will allow you to have more fun teaching your parent tot classes. In turn, your baby gymnasts will love their class even more!
Happy Parent Totting!
Who did I miss? Leave a comment or hit reply to let me know “who” else I missed!