The mom standing in the door, "coaching"
The mom pushing her kid to finish her ISI tests, so she can compete at US Nationals (true story)
The new skater who wears her tights OVER her spanky pants
The beginner tot in the freestyle blades
The beginner in "we found them in granny's garage" four sizes too big and with blades so rusty they're black
And then there's the bad behavior: The mom screaming at, or worse, hitting her skater because of an error, or getting off the ice early, or losing her guards, or whatever; the monitor who breaks the rules for her kids, or her coach's other students; the overheard conversation of a coach telling some clueless mom a pack of myths and lies; the dad explaining that "only girls figure skate; men play hockey."
It's an enormous social gaffe in our culture to "get involved" but it's painful to watch especially newbies to the sport having to figure all this stuff out for themselves, or to have to tolerate bad behavior, knowing that these idiots are modeling this behavior for our children, or knowing that they're being fed a line of hooey.
I can't tell you how many comments I've gotten on this blog that start "I wish someone had told me...." I've said it often myself. It was one of the reasons I started the blog.
The problem is, that the classy moms, the ones from whom you'd get really good information, stay out it, while the evil moms feed you horse hockey ("Coach Mine only works with the best students, and if you're not with Coach Mine, clearly he doesn't think you're up to snuff", or like the coach I overheard telling her very very talented student that ISI tests were the way to get to USFS Nationals.)
And I confess, I don't have the solution. I see a lot of well-meaning mothers offering bad advice, like Mom A with an advanced little one (skater about 7, working on PreJuv test) telling a beginner 7 year old's Mom B that she needed to get "good" skates, rather than the perfectly acceptable beginner skates that she already had. She then showed her the freestyle blade, explaining that this was a "proper" figure skate. And yes, I stepped in, and yes, I got reprimanded for it–by Mom A's coach. (!! She claimed I was trying to solicit that skater, rather than that I was trying to correct misinformation. My guess is Coach had sent Mom A, in fact, to solicit Mom B.)
So this is the minefield we're all skating through.
A coach hearing another coach lie to skaters has literally no recourse. If you say something to the coach, they can make your life miserable; if you say something to the mom, you're tampering. You can't file a grievance with the PSA unless a child is in risk of harm, or the situation directly affects you. Otherwise they'll just laugh you out of court.
A mom on the skate-tying thread was thankful for a more experienced mother stepping in over aging out of mom's help, but another mother would have been offended (as in fact, several people in that thread clearly were, and I'm not even confronting them directly!).
So I'll open it up to you–what advice do you wish you'd gotten from a trustworthy mom? Did you ever get unsolicited advice that you needed, or had someone step in to help? Have you been the victim of bad information, or had an intercession that annoyed you? Tell us your stories.
****Oh, did I say prize? On Valentine's Day I'll select from the comments using the widget at random.org. Winner will get a "Yes I'm THAT Mom" t-shirt (designed by @rinksidedamned from Why Me, St. Lidwina).