We see and hear many reasons and goals for parents enrolling their child into martial arts. Here are a few reasons why parents might enroll their children in our martial arts program:
- Teaching them to concentrate more effectively so that they can become better learners.
- Enhancing their coordination so they can become better athletes.
- Reinforcing the foundational qualities of cooperation and trust.
- Teaching them basic martial arts and self-defense skills.
- Teaching them strategic self-defense (bully-proofing and stranger alert skills).
Like many activities out there, we want to support and help our children succeed and, most importantly, have fun and learn. Although martial arts is a bit different from other extracurricular activities, you will find that helping your child flourish on the mat isn’t so different or difficult.
Here are several strategies that every parent can utilize to help their child experience success with their martial arts training:
- Think long term. Help them set the goal of black belt.
- Give them ample warning before it is time to leave for class.
- Never ask your child if they want to go to class. Just like school, even when they don’t feel like going, they go anyway.
- After class, anchor in your child’s enthusiasm by asking questions and reminding them of how much fun they had.
- Do your best to keep your child consistent, but if they miss some classes…don’t worry, everyone does upon occasion.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you feel your child needs it.
- Understand that during the first year of martial arts training, structured home practice might not be required but is never discouraged. Remember, initially the most important thing for your child’s success in martial arts is for them to develop a habit and love for coming to class. You want them to, above all, enjoy martial arts and the overall journey their training will take them on.
- Pushing home practice too soon and too hard can sometimes be counterproductive because it might lead to boredom and burnout.
With that said, if you want to encourage your child to practice at home, here are five points that are important to keep in mind:
- Be consistent. It is best if you can designate specific practice times and stick to them.
- Keep practices short. 10-15 minutes is plenty of time; even less is acceptable for beginning students.
- Reward effort. Be as encouraging as possible so that students will enjoy practice sessions.
- Don’t be too picky. Slowly but surely form will improve, so don’t expect too much too soon. Try to find two good things for any correction you make.
- Make it fun. This is the single most important factor in long-term success for students. You can keep practices fun by having your child teach you what they learned in class that day or by using various training aids, such as curriculum videos and pads, that offer more diversity for practice sessions.
For more help in encouraging your child to continue their martial arts journey, reach out to your instructors at the academy, and they will be happy to spark more inspiration and techniques to help your child train longer.
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