San Diego Parents,
Weâve all been there. You enroll your child into a new activity, and eventually, theyâre going to say something along the lines of âI donât want to go.â How do we handle that as parents? Every parent will have their answer, but itâs something we have to consider when signing kids up for classes.
Even as adults, there are many days we donât want to go to the gym or a class. After a long day at work, weâre not motivated to go to the gym; weâre motivated to go home and relax. But becoming great at something isnât about motivation, itâs about discipline. Of course, discipline is a core component of martial arts. After that long day at work, you discipline yourself to go to the gym because you want to be healthy, be fit, etc. But itâs ok to give ourselves passes now and again, so we donât burn out. I suggest the same with children.
Even my children, who I have to brag are pretty sharp in their skills, have days they donât want to come to the dojo. When I hear things like âIâm too tiredâ or âI just donât want to today,â I know that 99.9% of the time when I take them, they are glad they went afterward. However, I will give them a pass now and again when they donât want to go. Now and again being maybe once a month.
We donât want to teach our children to give up on things when they are hard, or when they just donât feel like it. We want to teach strength and discipline and doing things that are difficult to help with that. I suggest at least two classes a week, so theyâre picking up excellent skills and practicing, but maybe three is too much for some, so we avoid burnout and fewer moments of them trying to skip class.
I can remember when I was a child, and my parents took me to piano lessons. I hated it. Iâd rather play video games than sit in front of the piano. However, that experience leads me to learn many more instruments and to make music another love of my life. I recently started teaching our kids piano and thrilled that I can pass that on. Iâm sure every parent has a similar story. Iâm sure every adult has aI wish I would have but didnât story.
Later in life, I thanked my parents for making me stick through it because of what music taught me over the years. I believe even more so in the useful skills and emotional intelligence that will come from kids practicing martial arts. Having your kids stick with it will benefit their lives in numerous ways!
- Be ready for the âI donât want to goâ moments with your kids. I suggest coming up with your way to tell them that theyâre still going to class, but check in with them afterward and see how they enjoyed it. I can guarantee you that almost 100% of the time, they will say they had fun! â¦and remind them that they didnât want to go, and now theyâre glad they did.
- Take them to class regularly, but avoid burnout. Give them a pass now-and-again, but let them know itâs a limited pass. Talk to them about how being disciplined helps them grow as a martial artist and as a person, how it makes them stronger.
- We all want the best for our children, but sometimes they will not see that until years later when they thank you as adults themselves.
See you at the Academy!
James Martial Arts Academy
2356 Fletcher Parkway
El Cajon, CA 92020