Parents Advocate for Your Child When Needed
As parents, it is important to know when to stay out of a “situation” and allow your child to work out and resolve a problem and when it is appropriate to step in and advocate for your child. Parenting Aces shares a situation where a rule or an official’s interpretation of a rule did not work in the best interest of children.
In this event on an extremely hot day, 3 backdraw matches were scheduled to be played with an hour rest between matches. After the first match, which lasted 2 1/2 hours, the parent spoke to the official and asked for extra time between matches, so her son could refuel and re-hydrate appropriately before his next match. The official granted an extra 15 minutes over the one-hour mandated period. After he won his second match, the same request was made and he was again given only 15 extra minutes. In the third match’s second set, an official recommended that he come off the court and retire due to heat illness.
The parent shared, “It turned out that every single boy who had to play 3 matches that day either lost or retired during their 3rd match. It was just too much tennis in that heat!”
This parent wrote to the appropriate head official of the competition and shared his response which was, ” that the next time, I could use his name and insist on at least as much rest time as the length of the previous match. He told me that I needed to be my son’s advocate and make sure he wasn’t put into a situation that would jeopardize his health or well-being.”
As parents, it is important to recognize that the safety, protection, and well-being of your child is your primary responsibility. You are entitled to question rules that endanger your child’s health and to share your concerns, experiences and suggestions with the appropriate officials. When needed hold the officials accountable to change the rules to protect the health and well-being of all tennis athletes.
For more information: Advocating for Your Child
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