When your child approaches 6 months old, a whole new world opens up… the land of Mommy & Me classes!
My oldest is 3 years old, so I’m pretty much a Mommy & Me class veteran! I’ve been to my share of parent/child classes from swimming and music to gymnastics and storytime. And through all those weekly classes, I’ve seen the same repeating occurrence: parents not paying attention to their child in class. 🙁
Here are DOs and DON’Ts to help make your Mommy & Me class a success, both for you, your child, and the instructor!
Now, it’s perfectly fine to use your phone to snap a picture of your child’s first time on the balance beam; just wait to upload it to Facebook AFTER class.
Of course you’re going to talk to other moms; it’s a great opportunity to chat with a fellow adult and make a new friend. I’ve made some wonderful mommy friends through my child’s activities, but we used discretion. Speak to your mommy friends before/after class, or between exercises… just don’t do it during storytime or when the instructor is, well — instructing! I respect the teachers who actually STOP class to wait for it to be quiet, even though it’s eating into class time I’ve paid for. Surprisingly, in a Mommy & Me class, it’s usually the parents making the noise.
PAY ATTENTION AND WATCH YOUR KID!
We recently went to a toddler birthday party, where the class instructor had to stop the entire party after repeatedly asking some of the parents socializing to watch their young ones. It’s not just a courtesy to the professional running the class, it’s also a safety issue. I’ve seen kids getting trampled on a trampoline; I’ve had to pull my daughter away from a boy razzing in her face; and I’ve had to call attention to another mom that her child shoved mine out of the way because she was 15 feet away gossiping and was oblivious.
These instructors are there to help our kids learn and they deserve respect. And, when dealing with toddlers, the more attentive hands, eyes and ears there are, the better, to ensure a Mommy & Me class runs smoothly. Depending on the class format, you don’t have to be a helicopter parent, but if you’re across the room, at least keep that eye and ear out from a distance, rather than waiting for the instructor to say something to you. Our little ones are sponges right now, and how they see US act in an instructional setting is just as important as how they behave.
MOST IMPORTANTLY, ENJOY THIS TIME WITH YOUR KIDS!
In our house, we’re already past the Mommy & Me stage with our oldest (it went by so quick!). Now, I have plenty of time to chat with other parents as I sit on the sidelines. However, I’m still attentive to my daughter’s class whether I’m cheering her on, or pointing to remind her to pay attention when I see her going rogue.
I look forward to engaging in round two of Mommy & Me classes with our son beginning next month! See you in class – let’s chat afterwards! 😉