Maybe Martial Arts Should Not Be a Choice for Your Child.
If I took your child, or you, to do something amazingly fun twice per week, like ride a rollercoaster, no matter how fun, you will eventually be tired of going and guaranteed I’ll be tired of taking you.
But, rollercoasters don’t change lives, Martial Arts does. I know it sounds like a sales pitch, but unlike most salespeople, we live by a code of honesty and integrity, we aren’t lying to you to make a buck, plus we see it every single day as students move up the belt ranks and grow inside and out. It happened to us too, that’s why we do this.
If your child needed to learn to swim, which they do, would you leave it up to them? Of course not, we live in Florida, there is water everywhere, your child not only needs to be able to swim, but they also need to be able to do it very well. But what if they didn’t want to do it? You would make them go and encourage them to learn because you are a great parent.
Also living in Florida, your child needs to learn to drive defensively. You may even go so far as to enroll them in special driving classes to lower your insurance and to make sure they are safe. We did. We love our kids, and I don’t want to lose them to some moronic Snowbird who is driving around, looking for the liquor store or a farmer’s market while trying to see through the steering wheel. My kids are very defensive and safe drivers.
You came to us with a problem. Maybe you wanted your child to have better confidence or improve their self discipline. Maybe you are aware the world is a violent place, and your child needs to be able to defend themselves, especially our daughters. No matter what that reason, it is big enough that a child should not be making the decision.
The human brain doesn’t develop the frontal lobe, the area for rational thought, until we are 25ish. Until then, we rely on our parents to help us make rational decisions. Without them, how would our diet be? Would we have finished school? How about taking care of our teeth, or personal hygiene? Would we have ever done chores or homework? Think about the mistakes your child has made. If only they had listened to you, if only.
You love your child and want the best for them, it is why you brought them to us. We want the best for them too, it’s why we work so hard to provide the very best martial arts training experience. Is it always fun? No, but that gives us the opportunity to teach your child the important character trait, perseverance…your welcome. Is it fun once your child is in class? Yes, they love it once they are here and in class, so stop giving them a choice about whether or not to do martial arts with Ancient Ways. Empower them with choices, but make sure the choices are grooming them for success. “Before martial arts you have time to either do the dishes or knock out your homework, which would you like to do?”
There is going to be a time when your child will not be excited about coming to class. That is a very good day. Bring them anyway, tell us about the struggle. We will have a quick booster class with them, and it will re-motivate them. They will learn how to persevere through life’s plateaus and how to get tough when life gets tough. I’m not sure of any activity your child can do that teaches it nearly as well as martial arts, and rewards them with the physical reward of belt ranks to permanently reinforce the lesson.
I will add this, no one ever earns their Black Belt and says, “Darn you mom and dad for helping me earn my Black Belt.” Be that parent who guides your child to success. Help them make the tough decisions.