PARENTS

Parent Guidelines

 

Welcome parents and guardians to the Odyssey of the Mind journey! You are about to witness your child do some extraordinary things such as use their ‘noodle’ in a creative way, write a humorous skit, build some awesome sets, make some cool costumes, and solve problems of various sorts left and right! As involved parents you have always been there to lend a helping hand, be cheerleaders, and offer support, but now your child is saying things like, “You are not allowed to help!” and “No Outside Assistance!” There is some truth to this, as the very core of OotM is its Outside Assistance rule. But there are ways you can support your child and his/her team. Below is a guideline to the dos and dont's for parents and other team supporters. Also, feel free to ask your child's coach how you can be of assistance. 

CAN DO

 

Transport the team to buy things

 

Transport the props 

 

Teach the team members a skill IF the team asks, such as 

● Sewing 

● Woodworking 

● Carving 

● Art 

● Electronics 

● Engineering 

● Principles of simple machines 

● Welding 

 

Help find “experts” to teach skills 

 

Help provide snacks 

 

Bring spontaneous problem supplies

 

Help get props into the building for the 

tournament, even to the staging area

 

Open attics, closets, basements for “garage sale value” materials 

 

Provide lots of encouragement 

 

Provide a place to meet/store props 

 

Get everyone and everything to the 

tournament 

 

Applaud A LOT

and help get props offstage afterwards

 

Practice spontaneous problems 

 

Ask questions 

CAN'T DO

 

Suggest what to buy 

 

Repair props if broken in shipping 

 

Suggest to the team which skills to use to solve a problem 

 

Suggest to the team which skills would result in a better­looking or better functioning solution 

 

Give the teams any ideas for their problem solution

 

Sew anything, paint anything, do anything to contribute to the team’s problem solution 

 

Analyze why something failed 

 

Expect perfection from a solution not done by adults (or from a solution done by adults, for that matter!) 

 

Suggest what materials to get from the attic, closet or basement 

 

Pack props for the team for easier use on stage 

 

Fix anything that breaks 

 

Criticize any part of a team’s solution 

 

Ask leading questions 

 

Put emphasis on scores instead of fun

Being a hands-off and zipped-lip parent can be very, very hard!

But Remember:

 

By stepping back and letting your child navigate this “odyssey” on his/her own you are allowing your child the opportunity to grow into a confident, self-reliant, team­playing, creative thinking, problem solver!

 

How Awesome is That!

 

For more info on how OotM works, check out our FAQ page and these websites:

 

Odyssey of the Mind

NorCal Odyssey of the Mind