Accept the Situation
Martial arts for kids has grown in the last few decades from a fad to a mandatory youth experience. Children train for a few months like they would any sport, in seasonal fashion. Martial arts and karate, I would argue, are not just seasonal sports. The benefits your kids receive from them can be integral in how your child acts as an adult.
Here is a list of the top 5 skills your kids should learn from training. I am going to leave out self-defense for a few reasons I will write about in another article. Mainly because of my Master’s degree in Criminology, I know who is usually the most dangerous to my daughter. A close family member, boss, spouse. Often times these situation’s cannot be resolved by learning krav maga, and kicking someone in the groin. When your boss blackmails you or husband is not treating you right, karate skills can help, but I would argue not because you know how to knock him unconscious.
Now are there places of travel, places you can live, and situations to learn self defense? Of course! I am not against learning how to defend yourself. I also do not believe that a martial art can give you any skills if it is not rooted in actual self defense. Still, when I walk on the mat to teach a class I would much rather be developing the skills people consider values, the martial arts is simply a vehicle.
I would argue it is the most important thing on my list for character development. Without honesty you are up a creek without a paddle. Honesty is how we identify problems not only with ourselves but in our day to day social interactions. Being true to yourself and others is how we affirm it with our kids karate classes. Ourselves being the most important. This is more than just teaching our kids not to steal. That is such a superficial understanding of honesty and probably part of the problem in society today. It is a great starting point for children, but not as adults. Honesty means you do not turn a blind eye towards a situation, it is the “older brother” of acceptance. If you cannot look at a situation honestly you can not learn to fix it or move on. When your child is being bullied, hoensty matters. If the kid being bullied refuses to be honest about the friendship, the bullying continues.
My daughter drives me crazy on this one. Keep in mind I will always teach my kids to act in a socially acceptable way. I would never want my daughter to lose a friend because she is too aggressive or violent, socially acceptable behavior needs to be learned at an early age. My oldest daughter is never going to betray social norms. I tell her to go for the groin with any kid that is making her uncomfortable partly because I know she never will. But my daughter also is not able to be honest with herself. Far too often she runs up and tells me someone is not being nice to her, and I tell her they are not her friend. She cannot accept this. She continually tries to befriend this kid from pre-k who has no interest in her. If you have a hard time at four realizing someone is never going to be nice to you it does not get easier at five. Accept the situation.