I Need Some Privacy! 

By Marnie Sisson, ProSmart's Hockey Mom

Why parents are not always welcome in the change room

Twelve-year-old Jimmy was just about to change out of his base layer, when Nathan’s mom walked into the change room. He immediately became self-conscious and sat there until she left. Meanwhile, Jimmy’s mom, who is waiting outside the change room, is wondering what is taking so long. Jimmy finally emerged and was noticeably bothered but didn’t want to talk about it.

At a certain age (Atom & Peewee), children don’t like changing in front of their own parent let alone someone else’s. This goes for boys and especially girls. As parents of pre-pubescent children, we need to respect their need for privacy, including in the hockey change room.

Parents have great intentions for wanting to be in the change room

Their child is not able to tie their skates tight enough

  • By the time a child is in Atom, they should be able to fully dress themselves as well as lace their skates up. If they are still struggling to tie their skates, here are steps to help them learn.

Tight timeline to get to next activity

  • Allow for 30-minutes post game for your child to listen to their coaches re-cap, socialize, and get unchanged. The change room is where team bonding occurs, which enhances your child’s hockey experience and builds team camaraderie.

Congratulate them on a great game

  • We are all excited for our children when they play well but so is the team. Allow them time to celebrate together, your child is bound to replay the game with you on the way home from the rink. Save the change room for his friends.

Waiting outside the change room is the best practice

  • Players will have the reassurance that someone won’t be “popping-in” unexpectedly
  • It provides them a sense of privacy to safely change in and out of their hockey equipment or, for that matter, have a shower
  • Coaches will have the players undivided attention when discussing a practice plan or game strategy
  • A player’s sense of independence is strengthened

Keep all these things in mind next time before opening the change room door. Think about whether it will embarrass your child or how the other players might feel. The change room is a sacred place for a young player where eternal friendships are formed, let's keep it that way!


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