One of our many jobs as a parent is to push and challenge our children to experience new and sometimes scary situations so they can grow and develop essential life skills. But how do you make kids or teenagers take up an activity willingly? Martial Arts has so many benefits for your children but if they are reluctant how can you convince them to give it a decent go.
1. Give them choice
With all the different options out there it is important that you position martial arts as simply one option. Try to not already have a school or type of martial arts in mind. They need to feel they have a say in the type of class they go to. But do mention that martial arts and karate are something you think they would enjoy and they will look cool doing it. Kids do actually listen and take their parents opinion into consideration plus they will also like the idea they make look cool to their friends.
2. Watch a Martial Arts movie
Things like Kung fu panda and The Karate Kids, (both original and remake) are great movies to sit and watch with your child. The karate kid is a classic with a story that is still relatable today. Highlight with them about how the story is all about a kid being bullied and how he learns karate and overcomes many challenges becoming the cool kid.
3. Reassurance of your support
You are still the most important thing in their lives (whether they say so or not) and having your full support and you being proud of them goes a long way in their minds. Whatever activity they choose as parents you should support them. But you can place emphasis on how if you were a kid you would take it up, or maybe even agree to take it up if they do. If it is ok for you then they will feel reassured it is good for them. Plus it is something in common you can both share your journeys on together.
4. Competition is healthy
It is not about winning all the time and it’s not about being better either. Learning how to win and more importantly how to lose is the key to better humility, compassion, and confidence. In karate and martial arts, there is no such thing as winning and losing a fight. Losing actually gains much more and wins more lessons that the winner. All students develop at their own pace which is a valuable lesson that while you may not be good at this today you can be better tomorrow.
5. Many options and challenges in Martial Arts
There is a class for everybody with so many diverse styles within the Martial Arts. If you don’t like the look of Tae Kwon Do, then try Karate, if not that then Brazilian JuJitsu may be more your style, What about Judo?
Try classes and spend time researching together different styles available in your area. Like all sports choosing the right martial arts class to fit your child’s needs and personality is crucial. Don’t be afraid of trying other options if a class is not the right fit.
While Martial Arts and Karate are not for everyone it does provide many life skill benefits. As parents, we should support our kid’s decisions and don’t be disappointed if they disagree. However, we should always look to challenge their comfort zone as complacency is an important trap to not let them fall into. Or simply it may be not the right time so what other activity/hobby do they want to try.
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