One of the greatest gifts you can give your children is to experience true Martial Arts. Martial Arts helps children combat obesity, develop coordination and balance, improve self-esteem and confidence, assist in focus and concentration, and learn discipline.
But just like any other childhood activity, it is often hard to keep your little ones interested and continuing down this helpful path. Here are 4 simple tips to help you keep your little ones involved:
- Spend time getting to know your child's instructor
Don't treat Martial Arts as simply somewhere to drop the kids off, leave and forget them. Spend some time getting to know your child's instructor. One of the things I love is when parents are involved with the school and classes. The parents that invest this time to not only be involved in the school but also come talk to me regularly are those that also tend to have children who are most enthusiastic about the Art.
Now, with today's busy schedule, you may not have this level of time to invest in becoming involved in the school. That's what I love about modern technology. Majority of us have email. It can be done at any time of the day. And by simply dropping an email and sharing your thoughts / concerns / interests for your child, you are helping to develop a relationship with the instructor.
- Show interest in what your child does
Children ultimately crave your attention. They are also great at detecting your true feelings. So be genuine and show interest in your child's training. After class, children love to share with you. Take the time to listen and open the doors by asking:
- How was your class?
- What did you learn?
- Can you show me?
- Don't make it a chore
When we have rough days at work and then have to turn around and take the kids to class, we reflect our frustration onto our children. Unfortunately, when going to class becomes a chore for us, it becomes a chore for our children.
No one likes to do chores!
As hard as it can be, try your best not to make it into a chore. If you must, find ways to leave your hard day behind and just enjoy the fact that you're doing something positive for your child. Try to find the positive and hopefully it will reflect through despite the negative day you've had.
- Participate with your child
The ultimate way to help your children stay involved is to go to class with them. Being on the floor with your children is the best way to lead by example. Children are extremely receptive to this form of learning. In this instance, not only are you doing something for your child, you're also doing something for yourself.
By participating with your child, you are actually taking care of all the other suggestions above in one fell swoop. And if money is an issue, speak with the teacher to see if there might be a family discount available or some other means to share the costs between you and your child.
In general, children love to share and participate in conversation. Most children I've meet also love to be challenged as well. They like to show how well they can do something or how much better they have become. Give your children the chance to become better by challenging them to show you what they are doing. You may be surprised how much more they pay attention and try to learn if you do.
Hope these tips helps to keep your kids involved in Martial Arts. Encouraging your children to stay involved in Martial Arts is one of the best things you can do to help them grow up to be strong and healthy adults. It is worth the effort. If you're struggling or have tips to share, please feel free to post them in our forums or on our Facebook pages.