In sports, many parents think that yelling from the sidelines will help their child focus more. The child will listen, however, the outcome that the parents want can be delayed. From my experience, parents usually take their children to martial arts lessons, not only to learn self-defense, but to enforce discipline from another source. In addition, they would like to increase focus. If a martial arts instructor is teaching a lesson and trying to reinforce technique but hears a parent commenting from the sidelines, do you think that will help a child focus? Not only your child, but other children?

The child already needs to focus on the instructor(s), especially when learning new material. If the child hears background noise, we won’t get the results we want within a short period of time because the child can’t focus on one person.

Some parents think, well if I’m encouraging positive reinforcement, isn’t that good? The answer is, no. It goes back to the focus. The positive reinforcement or any type of reinforcement should be done after class. Commenting during a class does your child (and other children) a disservice.

As a parent, I know I comment from time to time. It’s something we can all work on. But from my experience, children do best when parents keep their mouth shut.