What if my kid doesn’t want to commit to the training?
I’m so glad you give your child choices. It is empowering and great for their self esteem. They should get choices about which vegetables to eat, not if they want vegetables. They should get choices of doing their homework before or after dinner, not whether they are going to do it at all. They should get choices about bathing before or after story time, not to skip the bath altogether.
Would you give them a choice about going to school? Eating healthy? Going to bed at a reasonable time? Bathing? Wearing appropriate clothes? Speaking with kindness? Learning to swim? Learning to drive defensively when the time comes? Of course not. Empower them with choices when you can, and sometimes we must make the choice for them.
They are children and not qualified to make every decision. If they were, then why not just let them move out on their own at age 8? Because they lack the insight, wisdom and education that we have. It’s your job to say, “No, you are going to class/school/bath/bed.”
This is training that can save their life, and probably will. This is not just an amusing activity for kids. They don’t know that, but you and I do. And if it does nothing else, the positive impact of the training will shape them in a positive way forever. You may not even understand that, but we do, we see it every single day.
“But you don’t know the melt down he will have if we try to force him!” Oh, don’t I? I’ve been doing this for 41 years. I’ve seen those meltdowns in the parking lot, in my lobby, on the training floor and in my own home. Have you met my daughter? The queen of melt downs in her day. Let them melt down, ignore it, walk away from it. Reacting to it feeds into it. When it finally runs its course, instead of punishing by taking things away, you set up a reward system that gives them what they want only if they do what they should. Don’t you get paid to do your job? Pay them to do their job.
“You get tablet time at the end of the day if you do these 4 things. 1. Your chores, 2. Your homework, 3. Practice Martial Arts, 4. Treat everyone in the family with love and respect. You didn’t go to martial arts today but I am sure you can earn your tablet time tomorrow.” Then stick with it, never cave in, be strong or they will learn you can’t be trusted.
This way you aren’t the bad guy for “taking it away.” You are just pointing out that their actions have consequences. What type of teenager or even adult are you going to have on your hands if they only do the things that they are interested in at this exact moment? How is their life going to be if they never learn to work through life’s tough spots and to persevere?
I have attached our Home Sheet. You put this on the fridge and let them know, “Aww, you aren’t going to make it so I don’t get to sign off on your home sheet are you? I’ll be so sad that you won’t be able to earn (whatever the reward is, your next belt stripe, play on the console/tablet. Go to the park. Etc).”
If your child is normal, they are going to struggle to get to class at some point. Remember when they wanted that toy or game? They were going to die if you didn’t get it for them. You caved in and bought it and 3 days later, it was put aside and never touched again. They will do the same with this. They just want to do it because it’s fun. You want them to do it because of the benefits. Aren’t those benefits worth it? Of course they are. Once they are here, they have a great time. They are going to gain so much from this, it’s up to you to get them here. When you struggle getting them here, let us know, we will give them a mat chat and a quick booster class to re-engage their motivation. We are so good at this that we teach it to other schools and it works.
Parent strong, parent smart and get with me if you need help.
TLDR: They are children, you’re the parent. They just want to have fun, you have goals that we can help achieve. You are sometimes going to have to be strong with them.