We love it when parents observe classes. We keep chairs in different areas of the dojang where you can get up close and personal with what your child is working on.
I understand that as a parent, you are used to teaching and disciplining your own child, and if you see your children not doing what you think they should, you automatically want to jump in and make corrections.
However, please allow your child to learn without interference. The bottom line of observing a class where your child is a student is the “bloody tongue” approach.
That is, when you have the urge to say something to your child during class, bite your tongue. And keep it bit for as long as it takes for you to accept that your child can learn without your help, even if your tongue bleeds.
Generally, if it is a technical error, it is better to let the instructor make corrections, even if you are also taking classes and know that something should be fixed.
If it is a discipline problem, if your child is not working as hard as you think s/he should, or could, feel free to speak to the instructor outside of class, privately, where your child cannot hear, but please do not do it in front of your child.
And believe it or not, your child most likely prefers it that way. Criticism from an instructor can be taken on its technical merits, helping a student to improve. Criticism from a parent can hurt a child’s motivation and attitude.
As a parent who has ended up teaching classes my children were taking, I know this from personal experience in martial arts.
For some parents this may be the most difficult rule to follow. It is hard to resist coaching from the sidelines.
Remember also, most parents do not have the time spent in martial arts and the belt rank to qualify them to coach, and can very easily give incorrect advice without realizing it.
Consider if you were observing your child’s class in school. Would you correct your child’s math problem? Would you tell your child to behave when their teacher is already there and responsible for your child?
The same holds for karate class. We have a more relaxed atmosphere than school classrooms, but we do have our own discipline and structure.
Thanks for listening!