Tips To Raising Black Belt Leaders
Dear Parents, We have a “method” that most people say is crazy. You will notice that your child’s Karate teachers understand that in order to build self-esteem, they cannot be too concerned about performance … in the beginning!
I know our methods seem “crazy,” because they sometimes elicit these types of comments: “My child doesn’t seem to be trying!” “She never wants to practice!” “I look at the other students techniques, and my child’s seem so sloppy, by comparison!” Occasionally, I hear comments like these from the parents of beginning students. They compare their child’s performance to that of other (often, more experienced) students, and feel that their child is not doing well. There is a tendency, of course, to look at our own children through a microscope … analyzing each technique, each individual effort … and, often, watching carefully in case any negative behavior appears. It’s hard for a young child, with a normal, age appropriate, wandering attention span, to withstand such scrutiny.
I’d like to raise another point, however. I have virtually never had a parent bring a child to our school, and say, “I want my child to be an expert Martial Art practitioner.” It is more typical that a parent comes to our school, and says, “I’ve heard you can improve my child’s self-esteem.” Or, “We’ve heard that you do wonders with children’s focus.” In other words, parents tend to bring children to our school because they want them to BENEFIT … not because they want them to be great performers. It becomes easy, to focus on performance… because that is what you are looking at when you watch your child in class… even though that’s not what you brought your child into Martial Arts for. So … here’s my point: Your child’s ability to perform in class has absolutely NOTHING to do with whether or not he or she is benefiting! Our “crazy” methods WILL build your child’s self-esteem.
So my suggestion is that you watch carefully for signs that your child is BENEFITTING from the lessons. Is Marcus gradually becoming more respectful around the house? Easier to get along with? Is Heather sometimes listening a little more closely to what you say? Is Amber becoming a little more courageous about trying new things? When we discovered this “crazy method,” we were, of course, pleased. Imagine how pleased we were when we discovered that there was a bonus benefit to this system: that kids with improving self-esteem become excellent Martial Arts performers. Just take a look at the Brown and Black Belts. You will see what I mean.
To yours successful kids.