Martial Arts can be a positive influence on the life of a child

Children Live what they learn. At home, school and out in the community, children are exposed to many different life changing scenarios. Some are filtered out and some stay with them. These influences are what help to shape and mould their personalities, good or bad.

Many parents look to martial arts as a way of teaching discipline to their child. While this is a positive and constructive method, it is not the only step that needs to be taken. Parents must engage in their child’s progress and continue the lessons at home for it to be successful. It is similar to following up on homework or helping them practice with other sports. Martial arts has much more to offer a student’s quality of life than you might realize.

There are several ways parents can get involved in their child’s martial arts. The most successful is by joining and attending class with him or her. Not only does it reinforce quality time spent together, but it validates to the child that what they are learning is important. “If mum or dad is doing it, then it must be good". This belief system sets the stage to open the child’s willingness to learn other lessons such as character-building skills.

Character building is so important, especially when teaching children. The way to make sure your child gets the most out of a martial arts lesson is by ensuring that what they are being taught in class is taken home and consistently applied in the child’s everyday life. Lessons taught are only as good as those willing to learn and remember them. The time that the instructor gets with them is a good time to plant the ‘seeds’, but consistent ‘watering’ by parents is required in order for the lessons, and the child, to grow.

Another way parents can help with their child’s growth through martial arts is to set the example for their child by living the way they expect their child to live. This is perhaps the most important. Certain rules should apply to both parent and child to avoid sending mixed messages. For example, if a parent smokes but preaches to their child not to do it, that sends mixed signals. Not to mention that it can give the impression to the child that it isn’t necessary to worry about their own health or consequences.

Sending mixed messages not only confuses them but seriously threatens your credibility with them. Children aren’t stupid. They pick up pretty quick what’s going on and can grow up resenting the double standards and mixed signals they get from their parents. So stay consistent in living the rules you set them and lead by example.

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