We don't have any hard and fast rules for attendance but if you want your little one to get the most out of class, here are some pointers-
🔘 Children take their attentional cues from you. If you're on your phone or talking to the person next to you the whole time, you're sending the signal that whatever the teacher is doing isn't important and they don't have to tune in either. The occasional text and conversation is completely fine- we want class to be a relaxed environment where you can make friends and let someone else entertain your child for a while! But just know that the more you pay attention, the more they will too. Trust us, we get bored singing The Wheels On The Bus for the millionth time too (in our case it's probably the billionth), but if you dance along and focus on the experience you're creating for the children in the class it's new every time.
🔘 Participate as much as you can. It REALLY doesn't matter if you can't carry a tune (we're certainly not here to judge you, and kids don't care one bit). Again, your child will be taking cues from what you're doing, so at least grab an egg shaker and tap out a beat. Wiggle around and work on those dance moves you'll enjoy using to embarrass them as teenagers. There's a huge boost in the energy of a class when the grownups are involved in creating the music- everyone has a better time and the kids are much more focused.
🔘 Don't force movements on a child. Sometimes it takes a while for a kid to start singing and dancing during class. It's pretty common for a child to sit silently and watch what's happening, and then go home and test out what they've learned much later that day in the crib or the playground or the bathtub. For whatever reason their brains need to observe and absorb first before they participate, so show them by demonstrating on your own person and let them come into it naturally.
It's also really common for kids to wander around when they first learn how to crawl or walk. Exploration and gross motor development is their main priority but don't worry, they're paying more attention to the music than it seems. So many times we've seen kids spend a couple of months climbing the walls only to come back front and center with all the words and moves memorized. As long as they're enjoying themselves and they're not putting themselves or others in harms way, don't feel like you have to force them to sit and listen the entire time. Simply make sure they're safe, try to encourage participation when you can from whatever side of the room or lawn they're on, and trust that they have their own reasons for doing their thing.
🔘 If your child is having a meltdown, please pull them aside and give them some time to calm down. It happens to the best of us! But whatever your parenting philosophy on how to handle a screaming child may be, it's very hard to sing over it (and lots of kids are sympathetic criers). You'll be doing everyone a solid by pulling them outside or the room or simply away from the group until they can catch their breath.