Being a Martial Arts Parent!

When I was a kid my dad loved to throw the ball, shoot hoops, or start my go-cart. He'd cheer me on in the final straight away of my driveway race track. These were our ways of bonding and my dad encouraging me. As I got older, it was wrestling and climbing. He found ways to help me practice or drive me to the gym, encourage me in the difficult times (making weight while wrestling), and showing up to my matches and competitions. I remember these past times, these memories of him supporting and helping me to be the person I am today. Now, it's time for me to do the same with my kids.

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I don't know if fishtailing around a gravel driveway as fast as you can in a go-kart is an approved kid activity anymore, but let's talk about being a martial arts parent.

I think we can agree that supporting and encouraging our children will increase their interest, whatever the activity. Martial arts has so much to offer children. As children progress in martial arts they gain confidence and build self- esteem. It helps with mind development, agility and strength, helping to develop a more unbreakable spirit, and learn to be proud of who they are. In quality programs, children will be surrounded by peers who are also developing the same positive moral values and learning to support each other. These will become their friends for life.

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An in-class experience is only half the journey. As parents, it's important for us to encourage and model the good traits that we are trying to instill in our children. We must be consistent and hold them accountable (i.e. getting them to class on time and encouraging practice). We don't ask our kids if they WANT to go to school. We send them because we want them to be the best person that they can be! (And, no. Not because the state tells us we have too.) It should be the same expectation with martial arts class. They are learning skills. As students, they need to be in class to reap the benefits from the program. They need to keep their training consistent and always have goals for the future. My advice is make the process of going to class a fun experience! Create a "going to class" ritual or routine, like sharing a post-class snack or meal. Ask about class and ask them to show you what they've learned. Kids love to show off, as we all know already.

After every testing, we take our daughter out for a meal to celebrate HER. We invite grand parents and friends to join and cheer her on. They are little rockstars! Celebrate their hard work and let them know how proud you are of them!