The number one reason that a child quits an activity like martial arts is it stops being fun. Here are five tips to keep martial arts fun for your kids:
1. Focus on the Process
When your main focus is on things like competition, winning, and earning awards, kids begin to value these outcomes over their individual improvement. Rather than trying to improve their skills, kids are too concerned with the results of a tournament or competition. However, when you remind your child how far they’ve come and emphasize the process, this outlook reinforces the progress they’ve made. Rather than worrying about winning, kids can shift their focus to something more productive.
2. Avoid Critiquing
Some adults might end up being a child’s martial arts instructor and parent. However, it can be hard for a child to accept critiques in this situation. If there is another adult who can instruct your child, then consider that option. Otherwise, if you’re not the instructor, then avoid critiquing. It rarely leads to a favorable outcome. Your kids are more likely to continue having fun when you don’t critique them.
3. Ask the Right Questions
As a parent, you can reinforce the importance of fun by asking the right questions. Instead of asking your child about their place or rank compared to other students, ask them, “Are you having fun?” or, “What was fun about today’s class?” Not only do you help your child see what’s fun in the sport, but you’re also sending a message that fun is a valuable element.
4. Set Realistic Expectations
Set realistic expectations for your child’s performance. At the same time, help your child manage their expectations. If your expectations are too high, then you can end up putting too much pressure on your child. Expecting that your child will become a black belt overnight will likely lead to disappointment. If your child knows that you expect this from them, they probably won’t enjoy martial arts as much and will worry about disappointing you.
5. Stay Positive
The more positive things you have to say to your child, the more they’re likely to enjoy martial arts and stick with it. If your child makes a mistake, let their instructor provide the feedback. Focus on saying positive things, like “I love watching you work hard.” or “You were so focused during today’s class, great job!”
At The Way Family Dojo in Magnolia, we focus on creating a positive community that you and your family will love being a part of. To learn more about how to get started, contact us today.