Parent’s Bill of Rights

  1. Parents have the right to feel safe.  At no time should a parent feel that their safety, or the safety of their child, is threatened.
  2. Parents have the right to be treated respectfully. While parents may not be hockey experts, they are experts when it comes to their own children. They are the ones who are paying the bills, and they deserve to be treated in a courteous manner.
  3. Parents have the right to be told the truth. Coaches should not lie to parents in order to persuade them to sign a contract. They should be honest about what they are willing and able to offer each player, and they should be diligent about setting realistic expectations.
  4. Parents have the right to calmly and respectfully advocate for their children. Parents should feel free to discuss concerns with the coaches, and they should expect to receive feedback and/or assistance from the coaches. Coaches may expect older players to self-advocate, but parents of older players should still have the ability to ask questions and offer constructive feedback to the coach.
  5. Parents have the right to parent their children. A parent’s primary responsibility is to their own child, and while it is reasonable to expect parents to support the team culture, it is not reasonable to expect parents to be equally concerned for every child on the team. Coaches should recognize that the job of a parent is different from the job of a coach, and they should make an effort to see things from the parent’s point of view.
  6. Parents have the right to expect coaches to be committed to the team. While coaches will sometimes have family and work commitments that may interfere with their ability to attend every practice and game, chronic absenteeism is disruptive to the team and should be avoided. Coaches should disclose any anticipated conflicts or changes in circumstances to the parents as soon as possible, and they should be willing to address any parent concerns that may arise. Clubs should avoid creating excessive conflicts by over-committing their coaches, and they should disclose any potential conflicts to the parents.
  7. Parents have the right to receive support from coaches. Sometimes parents will need to make judgement calls and prioritize other obligations, such as family or academics, over hockey. Coaches may not agree with these decisions, but they should recognize that parents have the right to make decisions that concern their children. Coaches should support the parent’s decisions in front of the child and discuss any concerns directly and privately with the parent. Coaches should avoid putting the child in the middle of an adult disagreement by badmouthing the
    parent or punishing the child for something over which they have no control.
  8. Parents have the right to a life outside of hockey. While regular attendance at practices and games is critical to the success of the individual player and the team as a whole, parents are not obligated to put hockey above everything else in their lives 100% of the time. School, work, and family responsibilities will sometimes conflict with hockey, and as long as absences are kept to a minimum and are communicated to the coach in a timely fashion they should not be held against the player. Coaches should be respectful of families’ outside commitments when scheduling last-minute team events.
  9. Parents have the right to receive support from administrators and leadership. If a parent encounters a problem that cannot be resolved directly with the team manager or coach, they should seek and receive help from the appropriate personnel at the club, league, or District level.
  10. Parents have the right to be informed. Parents invest a significant amount of time, effort, and money in their child’s hockey experience, and they should be made aware of what they can expect in return for their investment. They should be able to ask questions and receive honest, thorough answers.