Help your child succeed in their Martial Arts Journey
As parents, we seek to help motivate our kids, but we don’t want to take it too far. There is a fine line between the two, and it is important not to cross that line. We never want to cause our children to discomfort to the point that they want to quit something that they love. So how can we as parents be supportive in our child’s journey, without hindering their love for the arts? Just a few of our tips for some guidance!
TAKE INTEREST: Ask your child about their classes afterward. Ask them what they learned, what was fun, If there were any highlights, etc. Try and come and watch some of their classes. This way, after class you can tell your child how amazing they were and what they need to work on to improve.
INITIATE PRACTICE TIME: If your child struggles with finding time to practice at home try to make practice more engaging. See if they want to show you something they learned in class, or see if they want to teach you something. Teaching can be a fun way to learn from a different perspective. If your child is one that likes media you can offer to film them on your phone camera and play it back so that they can see what they look like while they practice and use this to pinpoint where they need to focus their practices. You know your child best, nothing is perfect for everyone so utilize your child’s interests to create a fun at-home practice experience.
COMMITMENT: Kids are curious by nature, which makes it sometimes difficult for them to stick with one thing. It is important for kids to have the opportunity to try new activities so that they can find the ones that they love most, but it is also important to instill the value of commitment. If your child reaches a point in their martial arts journey where they want to miss a class, or even quit altogether, this is a great time for a conversation about why. Use this time to share with them the value of commitment. Do they want to skip a class because they don’t enjoy the sport as much as something else they are pursuing? Or does it have to do with something else that can be remedied?
DON’T COMPARE: If your child discusses their efforts in comparison to other students in their classes be sure to stress the fact that everyone learns at different speeds and comparing isn’t a positive method of growth. Insist upon positivity and guide your child away from the negativity surrounding their art. Frustrations and disappointments may occur, this is normal, but talk to your child about the root of their frustration and then calmly help them to create a positive resolution to their feelings.
YOU’RE NOT ALONE: Finally, don’t forget that you’re not alone! As a parent, it can feel daunting when you have never delved into the martial arts world before, but thankfully you have the other parents at the school to look to for advice! Speak with the parents of the other black belt students, speak with the parents of your child’s classmates and set up playdates outside of class so that your child and other children in the class can get together. Take advantage of the ample support system within the school!
Don’t forget that all children are unique, what works for one child may not work for another. Use these tips as a guideline while knowing what your child does and doesn’t respond well to. Find a balance between being supportive and not being too overbearing and you and your child can grow together through their martial arts journey!