As parents, we try to get our children involved and exposed to as many activities as possible. It’s good to have our children involved in traditional activities, which teach team spirit and helps them to have some form of a release for their pent up energy. In some sports a child will excel better than others, and in some sports a child will flat out want to quit. How many times has a child say “Mom & Dad I Want to QUIT?” This can happen whether it’s baseball, soccer, football, cheerleading, dance, and yes-even Martial Arts! We hear many parents tell us “my child tried this and that sport and always winds up quitting!” Even in Martial Arts, when a child reaches a certain belt level, he or she may go through the same scenario of wanting to quit.
Here’s the dilemma that parents go through…
1. “I don’t want to force my child to do something he or she doesn’t want to do.”
2. “I don’t feel like arguing.”
3. “I remember when I was a kid and my parents made me stick to it.” (Which isn’t a bad idea at all!)
The problem is not the child wanting to quit something, it’s parents allowing or teaching the child to quit. At times this behavior is not done purposely. Sometimes it’s easier just to give in to the child when he or she is arguing or screaming and crying about quitting something or not getting his or her way. When at that state there is no reasoning or no perfectly logical answer that will inspire the individual to stick it out. Sometimes talking and trying to reason with the child or even to explain the logic about quitting does not work. After all, our children are our pride and joy, and how can we say no when the child uses those eyes with that puppy dog look. I’m sure it makes a parent feel terrible and causes us want to give in.
Parents, children know you better than you know yourself at times. They are very smart and know what buttons to push when it comes to getting what is desired. As kids we did the same to our parents, we were master manipulators too. A young child does not understand the true value of what affect it will have on them when he or she learns to “QUIT” something. It will have a domino effect later in life. I teach college courses and have done so for the past seven years. Many students quit, even with decent passing grades, because the work required is difficult or as has been said, “class and studying is not fun now.” There is a major psychological impact when a child learns that he or she can quit anything at any time. This behavior will follow through the critical years that form a child’s developing mind. Once a trait is learned, it is a difficult concept to change. Lessons learned, self confidence developed along with strength, balance and coordination are elements necessary if one wishes to mature as a healthy and productive adult.
1. Among their peers if they feel they are not winning a game, they simply just give up.
2. The moment they feel a challenge coming on or experience hard work, they quit.
3. Statistics show that more than 70% of students quit college before graduating.
Parents should treat the Martial Arts like going to school. Education is very important in America to be able succeed as a teenager and adult. The Martial Arts is a valuable tool to help children grow physically, mentally and emotionally. Many children do not know the value of hard work or understand the importance of perseverance; it’s our job as Martial Arts Instructors and as parents to teach them.
We are here to help and assist your child in learning the proper life skills. We understand it can be difficult at times but persevere – DO NOT GIVE UP! If concepts discussed in this article are entering your life, speak to us and let us know exactly what’s going on in your child’s mind and we can help. Many of our instructors are parents. Some have been coaches at the youth and high school levels. We have experienced the stresses that at times to lead people to want to quit. We dealt with many situations where a child wants to quit. It’s just a matter of reconnecting with them with some inspiration and motivation.
It is quite obvious that I wouldn’t be the person I am today if it was not for the education, abilities and discipline that I have learned through my years of schooling and the Martial Arts. Think about the responsibilities that are an important part of being a parent and commit to lead by example and help each child to accept the responsibilities that are going to help each one become the person you hope he or she will become- by taking the less traveled road into adulthood and beyond.