Competitive dance is full of excitement and other emotions. This includes students, coaches, and parents. If you’re a “dance mom,” you need to make sure you have some heart-to-heart talks. These are five conversations competitive dance moms should have their kids.

It’s Okay to Lose

Anyone who competes in any activity should be prepared to lose. This doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t try, but that they should accept the possibility that they won’t win. Your kids should understand that losing is just as important as winning. When you lose, it might hurt, but the wound can heal and you can come out stronger.

How to Be a Good Winner

So much time is spent teaching kids to not be poor losers that we can forget about the importance of teaching them to not be poor winners. While winning is great to experience, it should not mean you have a license to be rude. Remind your kids to show gratitude and decency towards the competition in the event that they win. This kind of maturity can last through their entire life, whether or not they continue dancing.

Body Positivity

Because dancing is so based on movement and physical ability, competitors can start to compare themselves to each other and find fault in their bodies. This can be very psychologically damaging if not addressed. It can even lead to eating disorders and eating disorder treatment facilities if it gets bad enough. Encourage your kids to be open with you about any insecurities they might have. Reassure them that their concerns are not uncommon and that there is nothing wrong with their bodies.

Emotional Health

Dance competitions can take a serious emotional toll on participants. The long hours and complex routines are taxing for anyone, but especially for young performers. You should be providing emotional support from your kids so that they can remember there’s more to life than just dancing. Tell them about how proud you are of them for how hard they work and offer them encouragement whenever they need it.

Dealing with Instructors

The relationship between a dance student and their instructor is unique, and it can take time for a bond to develop. Instructors need to focus on discipline, but they also need to show respect to students. Talk to your kids about how to speak to their instructors and the importance of respect for authority figures. They should also know to come to you if an instructor speaks to them in a way that falls into abusive territory.

Dancing might be about movement and not speaking, but you still need to talk to your kids about these important matters. The intensity of competitions can really weigh on your kids, and you need to show that you’re supporting them, regardless of whether or not they win. Competitions and prizes come and go, but the love from a parent to their child should be everlasting.

Author's Bio: 

Rachelle Wilber is a freelance writer living in the San Diego, California area. She graduated from San Diego State University with her Bachelor's Degree in Journalism and Media Studies. She tries to find an interest in all topics and themes, which prompts her writing. When she isn't on her porch writing in the sun, you can find her shopping, at the beach, or at the gym. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook: @RachelleWilber;