It has been said, time and again, that for a child to learn what is most important, lessons must be taught by example, not by words. And, if we want to cultivate certain traits within our children, we must first develop those traits in ourselves.
I have been teaching martial arts to children for a decade and a half and have discovered something amazing about children: they want to learn what is expected of them. Despite all the resistance to ‘pushing buttons’ to their wishes and other things, children want to know the rules and have a deep, almost inherent need to ‘get it right’.
Unfortunately, I also discovered that many of the parents who bring their children to our programs live by two deeply ingrained desires. And even though they express their wishes for their child to develop more trust, discipline and respect, not to mention the ability to protect themselves from the dangers they know exist in the world, they will almost always fulfill these wishes by default, even though it means that it is possible. may your child never develop these important traits and abilities.
What are these wishes?
1) May your child never get mad at them., Y,
2) They never want to have to say “no.”
Is this true for all parents? Of course not. But it is true for many.
Even without these words being spoken, the message is simple and clear when presented in the following ways:
“She doesn’t want to come to class and I don’t want to force her.”
“In reality,” I say. “And why not?”
“Excusez moi?”, comes the answer. “I do not understand.”
“Good,” I add, “Don’t you force her to do other things she doesn’t want to do?” “I’m sure you force her to brush her teeth every day, to go to school even when she says she doesn’t want to, and probably a dozen more things every day, right?”
“Yes, but that’s different” is often the answer.
“Different?” I ask, “How is that?” “Don’t you think this is important?” “Isn’t it still as important today, as the day you brought her in and said she needed to be confident and learn to protect herself?”
Here’s another one that my staff and I regularly hear about.
“I will not commit my son to a year (or three years) Program. That’s too much for someone his age. He does not know what he wants “
Again, my answer is that the father is missing something in the logic, if it is logic that drives it.
“Is your child in school?” I ask.
“Of course,” the answer comes.
“So, do you think education is important and will it take a considerable amount of time to prepare your child for the real world?”
“Yeah. I don’t see what that has to do with karate classes.”
“It has everything to do with karate classes, because this is also an education. One that your child will not get in school or in a textbook. And what he learns here in the form of trust, discipline, pride, respect. and the ability to stand up for what is right will affect every other part of your life, for the rest of your life. “
Again i hear “But this is different.”
“How ?,” I ask. “He will go to school for the next eleven to thirteen years, not counting college. And I’m sure you will make him go, even on days when he doesn’t want to. You will have all the right reasons to explain why this is important, Right? No sir, this is no different. It is exactly the same. And, if it is important for your child to learn the lessons that you brought here to learn, it is less important whether he likes it or not. And, as for not know what you want, that’s why we are here as parents and teachers, right? To guide, provide opportunities and give our children what they need, even if it is not what they want. “
Actress Bette Davis was quoted as saying: “If your son has never hated you, you have never been a father.” I believe this because I believe that my job is not to be friends with my son, but to be his guide, mentor and teacher to face the challenges of life. If I don’t, who will? And besides, there is a lot of time to be their friend after they have grown to adulthood, have had the same experiences in the world, and can relate to each other as adults. There is a big difference between being ‘friendly’ and being ‘friends’.
For many, I am sure this all seems harsh and many, I am sure, have already stopped reading altogether. My point is simple. We, as parents and teachers, are teaching your children regardless of whether we open our mouths and say the words of the lesson or not.
If we are going to teach our children to do what is important, not just what feels good…
… if we are going to teach them the value of committing to an effort that is worth it because it is worth it, not just because it’s easy or convenient…
… if we go to teach them not to leave In the game of the life …
… we must instill the lessons if like it or not.
How else can we teach and get our children to practice things like commitment if we never give them the opportunity to commit Or do you allow them to quit because something is not fun? When was the last time our creditors allowed us to stop paying our bills because doing so was not fun?
Edward, the English monarch, once condescendingly commented that we have the problems that we have because American parents obey your children rather than the other way around. After a decade and a half of observing and helping parents help their children, I don’t know if he’s right, but I do know, parents who are most committed to their children’s development, regardless of the daily vagaries of the child … This entity that is changing so rapidly that it doesn’t want the same things from one moment to the next, let alone from one year to the next, generally has much more successful adults to be proud of when their children grow up. Are the ones commit to teaching commitment, and a hundred other lessons, that have been blessed with an adult child who can commit to themselves and others and who can be counted on to ‘be there’ when the going gets tough.
You can imagine? What world would we live in if everyone we met were people like this.