When you have a child in karate it can be a great feeling. Seeing your child shine, stay active, and find the rewards in preparation, discipline, and hard work can be an incredibly proud moment. Still, some parents have a tendency to push their kids too hard or encourage habits that do not align with the ethos of karate. Here are some tips on how to be a good parent to your little karate kid:
What to say before karate practice
Before your kid steps into the dojo for a fun and energetic hour of karate, you want to encourage and motivate your child in the right way. Even well-meaning parents can say things that slowly turn their child away from positive pursuits. Remember that your child is their own being. Success is wonderful, but the primary goal of participating in karate (or any activity) should be fun. So when you drop your child off at karate practice, remind them to have a good time and enjoy themselves. Encourage them to do their best, and tell them that you love them.
What to say after karate practice
When your kid is finished kicking up a storm in karate practice, you can also say some encouraging words. Ask them if they had fun. Your child will probably be so excited they’ll go through every move the sensei taught them. Enjoy this bonding time and relish their excitement. Karate families like the Stewarts are evidence of how martial arts can benefit the whole family. “We are never at a loss when communicating,” say the Stewarts. “We have something we are passionate about, something that brings us together and gives us that family time.” Compliment your child on their progress and achievements, but also encourage them if they’ve stalled a bit. Avoid pressure statements or expressions that make your child feel burdened by your expectations. Tell your karate kid that you’re proud of them and that you love them.
What you can do to help
Karate is all about your kid’s enjoyment and personal growth, but there are lots of things you can do to be the best karate parent you can be. Be active in the karate community, attending practices, belt ceremonies, and other academy events. The best karate parents are present and engaged. The main thing is to lead by example. Respect and safety are paramount in the dojo, and they should be the foundation of home life as well. Set a good example for your kids by maintaining an active and healthy lifestyle and being passionate about everything you do.
Karate is based on a foundation of principles that can positively transform your home and family life. When it comes to parenting a karate kid, keep these principles in mind and you’ll see how karate makes everything better.