How Dance Parents Can Teach Their Dancer Accountability
April 12th, 2017 by Roy Patterson
By StarQuest’s resident behavioral specialist, Dr. Marcie Beigel.
As parents, you want to guide your child to success. However, do you know where the line is between guidance that is productive and guidance that is destructive? Here is the tricky part: that line is unique to each family!
To find this edge for your small being ask yourself, “Can my small dancer do ____ by herself?” If the answer is yes, then you need to let her do it herself. If the answer is no, then you should still provide that support.
Let’s say that your dancer is 10 years old. You may do all of the following activities for them: wash her dance clothes, pack her dance bag and make sure it is in the car before you leave the house, gather snacks, drive her to class, get her organized and prepped for class, and watch through the window the entire session before driving her home.
Is there anything that your small dancer can do independently? Giving her independence will help her grow in ways far beyond those simple tasks.
Let’s look at each one:
- Washing her dance clothes: There are a lot of variables in this task from water temperature settings to dryer specifications. You may need to keep doing this task a bit longer or else do this with her.
- Packing her dance bag: She is most likely capable of doing this herself. If you’re worried that she would forget an important item, then you can make her a checklist of everything she needs and then have her put the bag together herself. This will teach her to be accountable for her own materials. After forgetting the right dance shoes once or twice she will be sure to pay more attention.
- Putting the bag in the car: This is such a lovely act of kindness as a parent, however it is also teaching your small dancer they don’t need to be aware of their preparation. By age 10 they should be able to remember their dance bag and to carry it themselves.
- Packing snacks: Their ability to do this depends on what the snacks are. Are you just grabbing a bag of pretzels and an apple? That is certainly a task a 10-year-old can do. If you are making something more complex – like homemade smoothies – you may still need to get this ready for them.
When your dancer knows she needs to be accountable for her dance “stuff”, she will feel accountable for her dance skills as well.
- With your dancer, make a list of what tasks you complete to ready her for dance class.
- Determine what tasks your dancer is ready to take responsibility for, and hold her accountable for doing so! Don’t forget to reward them for a job well done!
For a free e-book with Dr. Marcie’s best strategies please visit: http://bit.ly/drM-ebook
Want more behavior tips? Click here for a free gift for StarQuest subscribers!
Dr. Marcie Beigel is a behavioral specialist based in Brooklyn and author of the #1 bestselling book Love Your Classroom Again. She has worked with thousands of families for close to 20 years and has condensed her observations into her practice and programs. www.BehaviorAndBeyond.net