Being new to posting I am the one who broke the rule recently by mentioning that it exists. Oops!
I will compare this to my experience as a basketball coach and then an administrator for my basketball program. I started a few basketball teams and coached them all (this is how I meet Christy). I had a very happy program and never got any complaints.
My program grew and grew to the point that I needed to hire coaches to coach the extra teams. From my own success as a coach I turned into an administrator of the program. My coaches where all high school coaches and we were coaching 3rd-8th graders so my staff was highly qualified.
As the administrator my experience changed the parents started to come up to me and complain about their child's experience and how frustrated they were with the coach. Later, I would talk to the coach about the situation and they would be confused. They would say - that parent loves what I am doing and they are my biggest supporter. They would ask me if I was sure that I was talking about the right parent.
I couldn't understand the disconnection that I felt from the coaches perspective and the administrators view that I now had. I felt that my program was falling apart and I didn't know why. My coaches were having the same relationship with the parents that I had - where everything was going great.
The coaches were blissfully unaware that the parents had any issues or concerns at all and thought everyone was extremely happy. And I was hearing all of the grumbling from the parents and watching my program struggle.
Finally, one parent said something to me that made me understand what was happening. She told me that she didn't want to bother me with the situation and would talk to the coach - but - she didn't want to get the coach upset with her and then have the coach take it out on the child.
As the administrator I was a safe person to talk to about her concerns. She could share them with me and then I could share them to the coach without attaching them to an individual child or parent.
The parent could get her feelings and concerns across without tainting her child to the coach who was in charge of her child's experience. This allowed the coach to get the information through a buffer. And the parent/child/coach relationship could still be healthy.
In this situation, it is not a balance of power that is hanging on the line and the parents don't feel out of control. Nobody's life is at stake. The parents are just trying to figure out how they can make sure that their child has the best experience possible playing basketball. And will do anything in thier power to make that happen.
Some of them even bring the coach cookies......