Teach My Child – Or Not?

teach my childShould I teach my child or not? Whether it be school, karate, ballet or swimming and as a ballet teacher with a daughter, this question has often entered my mind.

Luckily my good friend teaches with me, so I send my daughter to her for the ballet, and I teach her the Modern and Hip Hop. I only teach her the ballet on occasion when my friend has to go away to examine.

I really have to make sure I don’t push her any harder than I do the rest of the class, and sometimes it is tempting, as she is sometimes lazy.

I would just hate to become one of those pushy mother teachers, who insists on perfection from her daughter. I have enough of those types of mothers in the studio as it is, and don’t want to be labeled one myself. I want my daughter to choose for herself what she wants to do, whether it be ballet, music or sport. At the moment, she still loves her dance and doesn’t play too much sport, as she would rather not miss dance classes.

Here are some of the teach my child pro’s and cons that I have found over the years.

Teach My Child Pro’s

  • You can monitor their progress better.
  • It is something you share an interest in and do together.
  • You know your child better than anyone else, and can see her faults and correct them with ease.
  • Your child normally has the same body limitations as you do, which lets you teach her from your own experiences.
  • You can spend extra time discussing her progress after hours with her and have something in common to talk about.

Teach My Child Con’s

  • Your child sometimes does not listen to you as well as she would somebody else.
  • She could back chat you or correct you in class in front of her peers.
  • She probably will not enjoy correction from you in front of her peers.
  • She may not push herself as hard as she would for another person.
  • She may try and show off or play up in front of her friends.

History shows that there has in the past been extremely successful parent and daughter scenarios. Take for instance Marie Taglioni, who was known to suffer tremendously under the strict training of her father, but he made a world famous ballerina out of her. I don’t know if many teenagers today would put up with what Marie had to put up with from her Dad.

I also know a lot of teachers who have successfully trained their children, and some of them have gone on to be great dancers or even great teachers. It may be in the genes, or it may be that the parent pushes the child a little harder, in order to achieve the same successes that she had.

There shouldn’t be a problem with teaching your own child, although I prefer not too. The problem may come in later as the child gets older. He or she may express a wish to go to another teacher, or may feel victimized by you in class, or not like being corrected in front of his or her peers. In this case, it may be best to look at the situation from his or her point of view and try to be objective.

Please leave your thoughts on this topic of whether to teach my child or not below.

2 thoughts on “Teach My Child – Or Not?”

  1. I know I showed an interest in playing piano when I was young. My mom pushed me to go have lessons and go to recitals. It began to be a chore rather than just playing for fun. In my experience, pushing a child to do something may have the opposite effect. If I want to do something I want to have my free will to do it. Some kids who get older have issues emotionally or mentally because what you do or say to a child is ingrained in their head for the rest of their lives.

    • Thanks for your input Sofia. I think you are right there, but children also change their mind from one minute to the next. If the child tries the activity for a reasonably period of time and still hates it, then perhaps you should find them something else to do. It is hard though if you are the teacher, but you have to see it from your child’s point of view.


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