SENSEI DON'S BLOG

Quit Karate
Mommy - Daddy, "I WANT TO QUIT"
How many times have you heard your child say, "Mom / Dad I Want to QUIT?" This can happen whether it's baseball, soccer, football, cheerleading, dance, and yes even Karate! As parents, we try to get our children involved and exposed to as many activities as possible. It's good to have our children involved in traditional activities; it teaches team spirit and helps them to have some form of a release in otherwise pent up energy. In some sports your child will excel better than others, and in some sports your child will flat out want to quit. We hear so many parents who tell us that "my child tried this and that sport and always winds up quitting!" Even in Karate, when your child reaches a certain belt level, they may go through the same scenario of wanting to quit. Here's the dilemma that Parents go through...
1. "I don't want to force my child to do something they don't want to do."
2. "I don't feel like arguing with them."
3. "I remember when I was a kid and my parents made me stick to it." (Which isn't a bad idea at all!) The problem is not your child wanting to quit something, it's us as parents allowing or teaching our child to quit. I know we don't do it purposely. Sometimes it's easier just to give in to our child when they are arguing or screaming and crying about quitting something or not getting their way. When they are at that state there is no reasoning or perfectly logical answer that will inspire them. Sometimes talking with them and trying to reason with them or even to explain the logics about quitting does not work. After all, they are your pride and joy, and how can you say no when they look into your eyes with that puppy dog look. I'm sure it makes you feel terrible and makes you want to give in. Parents, you have to understand that your children know you better than you know yourself at times. They are very smart and know already what buttons to push when it comes to getting what they want. As kids we did the same to our parents, we were master manipulators too. At the age your child is at they do not understand the true value of what affect it will have on them when they learn to "QUIT" something. It will have a domino effect later in their personal life. For example:
1. Among their peers if they feel they are not winning a game, they simply just give up.
2. The moment they feel a challenge coming on or experience hard work, they quit.
3. Statistics show that more than 70% of students quit college way before graduating. Kids do not know the value of hard work or understand the importance of perseverance; it's our job as Karate Instructors and as parents to teach them. We are here to help and assist your child in learning the proper life skills. We understand it can be difficult at times but hang in there DO NOT GIVE UP! Speak to us and let us know exactly what's going on in your child's mind and we can help. Our Instructors are professional Black Belt Instructors and we have dealt with many situations where a child wants to quit. It's just a matter of reconnecting with them with some inspiration and motivation. Once again, thank you for supporting our Karate school and please speak to us if this relates to your situation. Kids are not naturally self-motivated. When your child’s mindset is not in the right place, even the most fun activities can be a struggle to get to. With that said, here are some strategies to help you work around lack of motivation when trying to get your kid to class.
1. Be attentive to what your child is doing in the moment he/she is supposed to get ready for class. If he/ she is playing or having fun with a friend, then be ready for a battle. With that said, have your child participate in a chore or task that’s not as much fun around 10 to 15-minutes prior to getting ready for class.
2. Be attentive to your own projection of emotions as you get your child ready for class. If you are stressed, rushed, or aggravated in any way, this will project the same emotions on your child. With that said, be sure to project positive and upbeat energy as you are getting your child ready for class.
3. Be attentive to how you respond to your child’s overall performance after class. If you are expressing too much emphasis on what he/ she did wrong versus right, then those negative feelings will carry over. With that said, be sure to limit criticism and focus more on productive conversations after class.
4. Be intentional with your goals by communicating with your child’s instructors. The goal is to foster motivation. Let the instructors know about your struggles so that they can be mindful to motivate your child before, during, and after class. It takes a village, so don’t be afraid to ask for support!
5. Prompt motivation by rewarding your child. Remember that children’s brains are still growing, and most of their development comes from positive stimulation and experiences. With that said, pre-frame the proper behavior that you would like to see when going to class, and then set an attainable number of classes he/ she must attend with this behavior, along with a reward for doing so. For example: attend the next 3 classes with the proper behavior and we will grab ice cream on the way home. These tips are not rocket science but are often overlooked. As parents, we get caught-up in the daily grind, so we sometimes forget that situations like this require attentive and intentional parenting. I hope this article sheds some positive light on how to help your child get ready for class. Good luck!
Karate4
Not All Martial Arts Schools Are The Same
Choosing the right martial arts school for yourself or your child can be a daunting task. There are several things to consider before signing up for classes. The first would be to choose a style. Do you want to learn jui-jitsu, aikido, kung-fu, Japanese/Okinawan karate or Korean karate? Do yourself a favor and research each style before deciding as each style has good and bad points about them. Research the school, the instructor and their associations. Now that you have decided on a couple of schools to choose from, go visit the school, talk to the instructor and ask about taking a free class. Don’t decide based on a phone call. Next to consider is price and whether there is a contract to sign. Are you being charged a low price initially and then the price jumps astronomically? Are you being asked to sign a long term contract? Are you being charged extra fees, such as registration fee, testing fees or annual membership fee? Do I need to invest in a lot of equipment? If you answered yes to any of those questions, then you need to consider the value that the school has to offer and what your long term goals and investment will be. A high monthly fee doesn’t necessarily mean that the instruction is better. Extra fees can add up fast so make sure that the value is worthwhile. Remember, that signing a contract locks you into that contract even if you or your child gets sick, injured or wants to quit. Some schools that have contracts have a cancellation fee to let you out of the contract. Month-to-Month schools generally ask that you be respectful and let them know if your situation changes. Learning a martial art can be fun, exciting and rewarding. The possibilities are endless. Don’t let a wrong choice sour your view on the industry.