At the end of the girls' first competition team summer dance class a few weeks ago, there was a mandatory meeting for parents and kids to review policies and rules. As I sat in the meeting and watched the girls' faces and reaction to what was being discussed, I realized that I had set them up for success. Most of what was reviewed wasn't a big surprise or intimidating because it's how I've taught them to approach dance class these past few years. In fact, it's how Rich and I have taught them to approach other aspects of life, such as school.
Be on Time
When you're late, there's a good chance you've missed something. You're also probably disrupting the entire class. A friend of mine told me her rule is that you're late if you show up at the time the lesson/class begins. Suppose your kid has dance class at 6:00 and you pull into the parking lot at 5:59. In her book, you're late. I'm not a timely person - I used to run for the train at least three times a week - but I've really pushed for the girls to be at class early.
Dress for Success
Up until a few years ago, our dance studio had a fairly relaxed dress code (except for shoes.) However, too many kids were showing up in street clothes (such as jeans) so a written dress code was put in place. The girls know the dress code and follow it.
No one likes a bully.
Follow the Rules
Rules are in place for a reason and should be followed. In my opinion, there are too many people out there who think the rules don't apply to them and it's obnoxious. (I know there are always exceptions, but you know what I'm talking about here.)
Try Your Best
This doesn't mean you need to be a superstar 24/7 but I want you to try your best. Don't half ass your way through it.
If the girls are contagious sick or stomach sick, then it's a given that they need to miss class. There have been a few occasions when someone's been recovering or maybe had a headache or pulled a muscle but she still dresses for class and we let the dance teacher know that she may have to sit out part of the class. The studio wants kids to do this. At least if you're there, you can follow what's going on and not be completely in the dark. (I want to note that I would never send them to school or dance or any activity if I thought there was a chance they would puke or spread any illnesses. We follow the 24+ hours vomit and fever free before returning to school and activities. For stomach illnesses, I usually extend it to 48 hours.)
The girls can't do this alone. They're ten years old. They don't have the means to travel to the dance studio - I have to drive them. Likewise, I need to make sure they have the appropriate shoes and dance attire in their closets. They do their part by getting ready on time and dressing in the correct clothes.
How does one measure success? Well, that's up to you and, I believe, different for each person. Success doesn't always mean you win. Success sometimes simply means that you're happy with the outcome.
(I'll never win a parenting award but at least I've done some things right. I know, I know. My children are loved, they know they are loved, they live in a safe home, they've never gone without food or medical care. I know.)