Teach them to fall off rather than point (if appropriate) - you can always point higher later.
Also teach them to communicate everything they do other than maintain course and speed.
It's not a matter of point of sail (though in this case we had another small obstacle to Leeward, called Alcatraz!). I wouldn't want them to fall off without letting out sail either.
I was hoping the other boat would move and/or we would get a header and could maintain trim/course.
I do teach them to communicate when maneuvering, and they do when tacking, gibing etc,.
As I indicated, this almost seems subconscious on their part. As if subconsciously they think: "I'm concerned about that obstacle in the distance and I'll just ease around it and no one (including the laws of physics) will notice". It's hard to believe, but I honestly don't think they know they are doing it. I've seen it too often to be coincidence. I think it relates to the fact that most of their experience is behind the wheel of a car.
1. They don't calibrate that on a sailboat (unlike in a car), that obstacle is a long way off.
2. In their car they simply turn the wheel to avoid an obstacle and apply the brake or gas as needed. We of course know that changing course without trimming amounts to taking your foot off the gas and (eventually) your hands off the wheel. Regarding brakes, well....they weren't an option on my boat.