Both my kid’s best friends are their Karate friends. As a parent, this is a priceless gift. I was never worried about whose house they were at, or who they were with: they’re with their karate friends; they’re with their karate family.
Parents know the impact negative peer pressure has from our life experience. Our kids, when they are young, don’t have that advantage, and no matter how well you teach them, even the strongest of kids can have that “one moment of stupid”. We’ve all had “One moment of Stupid” before. Something you look back and ask yourself, “Why did I do that? What was I thinking?” Our job as parents is to narrow the “Moments of stupid” by building a strong foundation of values that give them a moral compass during temptation and negative peer pressure…. That’s what their karate friends were.
Kids with similar values, backed up by parents who have high standards, took a lot of pressure off my back. The high school drama and pressure to belong did not force my kids to find a group of friends to latch onto…. They had their karate friends, a safety net that they knew would be there. I always told the parents, that if all the training does is help their kids get through those potentially turbulent teenage years, that they owe the dojo forever…
I’m sure those parents who look down and see their kids interacting with others as brothers and sisters would, they agree one hundred percent.
Shihan Cyr – Head Instructor and Founder – Academy of Martial Arts