All parents want the same thing. We want our children to be happy, healthy and well-balanced. We want them to be successful and have leadership qualities to match. Lehigh Valley Martial Arts recognizes this, and strives to teach children the skills they need to attain these virtues in life during classes.
As a parent, you are working towards these goals on a daily basis. Working together with the LVMA instructors to focus on these goals is the next step in reinforcing the positive character traits we all want our children to learn. So what can you do to assist your child to succeed in the dojo?
1. Show your child that you trust the teacher leading the class. The best way is to watch the class, allow the teacher to teach, and refrain from interacting with your child during the class. Although this can be difficult, it is essential in helping him or her succeed.
2. Equally as important as the first part, but more challenging for us as parents is, have patience with your child. As your child starts out in class, you may notice them spinning on their spots or wiggling around, seeming not to pay attention while other children remain completely still and ready to get to work. Don’t worry! There is no reason to feel uncomfortable or embarrassed about what your child is doing. There is no reason to intervene. We have seen it all. These are things that our instructors are fully trained to handle and will over time. Take a moment and be patient with your child. Remember this is new to them, so they need to learn the ropes.
3. After class, tell your child about something very specific that they did really well in class. Not a general, “Good job”. Instead try, “You did a great job standing at attention” or, “You responded so loudly in class just like the teacher asked, that was awesome!” or, “You had great listening ears today” or, “I was proud to see you raising your hand in class”. Even though these may feel like small things to you, your child will love to hear specific praise. They know you were paying attention to them throughout the entire class and are interested in what they are doing.
By offering positive reinforcement, your child will progress easily and with confidence week after week because they know you are there and they know that you are watching them. They don’t need to hear you throughout the lesson to learn skills. It is enough that you are there, paying attention to them and letting their instructor instruct them.
Children want to be loved and accepted. By continuing to praise their efforts after class, they will continue to amaze you with their personal growth and achievements week after week. By working as a team with the instructors in this way, not only will your child learn martial arts skills, but also build confidence, learn respect, and improve focus and self-discipline.