As parents, we strive to be motivational, but we don’t want to be pushy. As kids get older, their attention span and patience wane. Though they can tell the difference between being motivated or being pushy, they will still push you away if you do it too often. So how do you motivate your child in the martial arts?
First and foremost, it is important to keep things in perspective. Your child is probably not training to save the world, just out of their own personal desire to get better. Yes, it’s a great goal and we should all be striving for it, but that doesn’t mean that every time there is a training session, your child should have a personal motivator. That will push them away and make them feel like you’re always there monitoring their movements.
This is a fine line to walk and can be hard to do. When it comes to martial arts, we want our children to enjoy themselves, but we also want them to improve. How can we do both?
- Praise Them
Sometimes, we tend to focus on the mistakes rather than the good. We need to remember that it is often the mistakes that allow our children to learn and improve. When they do something right, acknowledge it. A simple “good job” or “that was great” will go a long way.
- Encourage Them
When they do a kick or successfully block, praise them. Encourage them and then ask them to do it again. This will make your child feel good and want to do it again. This leads to improvement.
- Recognize Their Improvement
It’s easy to look at our children and see where they need improvement. We tend to focus on that and that’s okay. We need to keep that in mind when we are motivating them in the martial arts. We want them to see how far they’ve come. It may seem like they haven’t done anything, but they have made improvements.
- Give Them Space
The martial arts can be a stressful sport. It can be intimidating especially if your child is a beginner. Sometimes they just need a little break. As parents we need to give them this. It’s okay for them to miss a practice or not feel like practicing. It is okay for them to be tired and want to go to bed early. It is important that we take their feelings into consideration and help them through it.
- Don’t Judge Them
This is easy to do as a parent. We see our children make mistakes and it’s easy to judge. However, we need to remember that they are making a lot of mistakes and it is okay. They are not perfect and will never be. We need to keep this in perspective.
- Be Honest
This is a hard one. We don’t want to be hurtful and tell our kids their first punch is garbage and it’s okay if they cry. As parents, we should be honest. We already know they aren’t perfect, but we also know that there is potential. We need to tell them what they are doing right and what they need to do better. We need to be honest about it, but don’t be mean.
Motivating your child in the martial arts can be a challenge, but it’s important not to push them away. Children will push back if you do, but understanding their needs and keeping things in perspective will keep them motivated.
Pride Martial Arts Academy can help your child grow in a positive environment while honing their martial arts skills. Let us help your child unleash their inner potential. Call us today for more details.