Courtesy of Elizabeth Wickham
During 15 years as a swim mom, I’ve watched parents make mistakes with the best of intentions. Maybe there are perfect swim parents out there, but some of us need to remember that swimming offers many life lessons. Step back, let your kids learn and have fun. You will, too.
Here are three tips on what swim parents should never do:
Take your swimmer’s side all the time. Your child tells you the coach was mean to him. Singled him out, or yelled at him. Your first reaction? Get really upset with the coach. Your child would never do anything wrong. After all, they have been perfect their entire lives.
Don’t bother to find out why—or what happened. After you’ve expressed your frustration about the coach to your swimmer, tell your child you’re going to have a word with the coach. Your child begs you not to.
Talk about it on deck. You follow your swimmer’s wishes and stay out of it. Instead, you talk about it with other parents on deck, during a meet or practice. You get sympathy, but you’ve dampened the team’s morale and undermined the coach.
The story doesn’t end there.
How about taking your complaint directly to the club president or write a letter to your LSC? Or, the A.D. if it’s a high school coach. Whatever you do, don’t talk to your kid’s coach and find out the entire story. If you did, you might find out something that you didn’t want to hear.
Elizabeth Wickham volunteered for 14 years on her kids’ club team as board member, fundraiser, newsletter editor and “Mrs. meet manager.” She’s a writer with a bachelor of arts degree in editorial journalism from the University of Washington with a long career in public relations, marketing and advertising. Her stories have appeared in newspapers and magazines including the Los Angeles Times, Orange County Parenting and Ladybug. You can read more parenting tips on her blog: http://bleuwater.me/.