Years ago when I first began teaching Karate parents would enroll their kids in and no matter what made sure they got to class. These days not so much as it would seem. A few months ago I had a parent come in who had enrolled their kid in classes. The child had been enrolled for about three months. It seemed the parent wanted to pull their kid out of classes for no other reason than the child threw a fit whenever it was time to go to class. Sadly this is very common today and it is setting your child up to fail…yes, let me repeat that…to FAIL in life.
Children need to learn the value of hard work and commitment if you want them to become successful teens and adults. In the 26 years I have been teaching Karate I have watched many parents who let the child make the decision to quit classes. This comes after the child made the commitment to LEARN and so did the parents. Instead of being the parent they allow their child to just quit when the fits begin about coming to class. What this instills in your child is the understand when they don’t want to follow through on what they commit to they can just throw a temper tantrum and everything will be alright. Now, tell me, when in life, will that actually work without dire consequences…the answer is NEVER.
From the ages of 8 to 12 years old your child is forming who they will become as a teenager and as an adult. These years are very important times in the development of your child. Allowing them to start and not finish things, regardless of the excuses, is helping them to learn how to fail in life. I hear it all the time, the excuses, the “I don’t want to force my child because I was forced” and etc…
I was enrolled in Karate classes at a young age and even when I didn’t want to go I had to go. Even if I threw a fit we went…dragging me along to class. There were many reasons behind what I was going through but I am darn glad my parents didn’t allow me to just quit. Here’s some of the things that I used as an excuse to avoid going to class…
- It is boring. Well so will be getting an education, during your job and relationships at times…
- Karate got hard and tough…it wasn’t as easy as it used to be. This is how life will be. You can’t just walk out on things when it gets tough if you want to be successful.
- During the summer I wanted to play rather than go to class. Sorry but that is not how discipline, self discipline or commitment works. You can’t just not do something in your life because something more fun comes along.
- I got in trouble and knew they would tell Sensei so I throw a fit. This is the best time to bring Jr to the dojo. My parents did and it re-enforced what was right in my mind, heart and actions. Double accountability is what they call this and it works great!
- I got my black belt so now it is time to slack off and do more what I want to do. Nothing could be further than the truth than when I tried to pull this. Karate isn’t like riding a bike…you have to keep training to actually get good at it and black belt is just the beginning of real training. Life is this way too. Most occupations your child will grow up to become they will have to continually improve. They can’t slack off once they get that promotion or they will get fired…that is a fact.
There are many more than I can think of but in essence these are typical ones that I still see today…with one difference…the parent allows the child to skip classes or quit. So, in doing so, the parent has just taught their child that it is alright to be a quitter…at many things in life…and then they wonder why Jr is 24, living at home, can’t hold a job and dropped out of college…well this is the true pattern and it is setting the child up to fail.
Most people who know me understand that I am not politically correct. I have a very low tolerance for excuses and quitters. Primarily because that was exactly who I was as a young a child…full of reasons not to do something I agreed to and to quit whatever I didn’t want to do. Luckily my parents parented me…not the other way around. Let me state that again…my parents PARENTED me.
Now, before all the steam pops the top from those reading this realize that you when you get upset you are probably made because you know this is the right way to raise a child and letting the child make decisions to that go against learning to be self disciplined and committed to what they begin is the wrong way. I am not talking about tough love. I am talking about true love to teach your child the proper attitude that will propel them in life to succeed at ANYTHING they do. Most kids simply do not have this today with all the participation awards for doing nothing out there.
Me, personally, I am forever glad to my parents for dragging me to classes…for teaching me the value of commitment and to my Sensei for re-enforcing it in his teachings. I wouldn’t exactly say I am as successful as I could be I will state I am heading that direction and have been since I was a young adult.
As we say in the dojo…the first discipline is to show up to class…all the rest will improve your life each time you do.