How can I help my child be the best dancer they can be?
All parents want the best for their children. These 20 rules will guide you how to bring out the best qualities in your dancing child.
1. Simply love them for whatever they do.
2. Don’t compare your child’s dancing with how well or bad other kids do- this may make them feel superior or inferior to others and neither is healthy.
3. When events or competitions are approaching, ask instructors if they need any assistance. Volunteering on these occasions will show your child you actively want to be part of their dancing.
4. Encourage but don’t direct.
5. Support the dance instructor- our priority is to bring the best in your child. Remember, as a parent, you and your child’s dance teacher work towards the same objective.
6. Be calm and relaxed at competitions and dance exams. Your child will inevitably feel nervous and seeing you getting stressed or too excited will certainly not calm them down.
7. Get to know parents and other children at the dance school. You can swap tips or maybe even share travelling to studios or competitions.
8. Don’t look for excuses for poor results at competitions or exam i.e. bad floor, wrong dress, strict examiner etc. Otherwise your child will never learn from their own mistakes and will blame others for them.
9. Avoid the comments like “you need to try harder because mummy works very hard to earn money so you can do all this”. This will only make your child feel guilty and it will certainly not give them a confidence boost. Guilt trip never works.
10. Allow your child to make decisions on their dancing. You can always start with a selection of their own outfits e.g. “out of 5 pairs of dance shoes which pair would you like the most?”
11. Believe it or not but your kid can learn to pack and unpack their dance bag for lessons. Teach them how to look after their dance shoes rather than do everything for them.
12. Praise your child for the qualities in their performance, like beautiful dancing, great effort, working very hard rather than just winning.
13. Leave dancing advice to your child’s dance teachers- no need for you to comment on their footwork, frame or technique. So enjoy to see them grow through success as well as mistakes.
14. Your child will develop at different pace and sometimes they may hit a flat spot (no improvement). Encourage to keep going to develop determination and perseverance- two great life skills in fact.
15. At competitions try to support your child as well as other team members. Cheer for them too and praise. This will show them the importance of “team spirit”.
16. Encourage your child to share with others e.g. bring some extra sweets for them and ask your child to share.
17. Accept that they may not win at every competition.
18. You may love dancing yourself, but be understanding if your child’s passion for it changes.
19. There is time for everything so don’t spend a fortune on the most expensive dresses and outfits for your child. Simplicity goes a long way so always speak to the dance teachers about new outfits.