1. Consistent Attendance in Class
First, make sure your kids are attending classes regularly. If not, you are setting them up for failure. Sporadically going to class will cause your child to lose interest in classes very quickly. If you don’t care about keeping them consistently in class, they know it is not important to you, so why should it be important to them? Second, they will see all of their friends getting better, especially the ones that started about the same time as them, while they basically stay the same or deteriorate. That can be one of the toughest blows to motivation; seeing all of your friends, one after the other, promoted. The reason why is mostly because they come to class more, and have retained more information. That’s it.
2. Rewards for Excellence
Take the time to reward your kids for excellence. Some parents don’t like giving kids “carrots” for performance so to speak, but isn’t that the way most things in life work? On our adult jobs we have carrots too, they are called promotions, pay raises, vacation time and even rewards. Think about it. Give you kids realistic goals and realistic rewards and you will see a change in their work ethic for the better.
3. Watching Inspirational Videos
You want to see a kid get super motivated then show them some awesome, kid friendly videos on YouTube! Every time they watch a motivational video about their martial arts style, you will see their little eyes light up with imagination and possibilities! That is what it is all about! Great times to show them videos are when they are taking a long break from training due to vacation or injury, when you see their motivation waxing low, or even right before a tournament, etc.
4. Bored Before Fun
One of the biggest mistakes parents make is putting super fun activities before class. What kid wants to go to class when they have been watching their favorite TV show, or playing video games before class? I should also mention that this includes sleeping as well. Who wants to wake up from the most fun ever, taking a nap, to go and drill and kick? Do your best to keep kids from having too much fun right before class, and definitely try to keep them from napping. They will be hard to motivate to go to class, and even if you do get them there, they will have a rough start, if they really get into class at all.
So, what should you put before class? The most horrible, tedious tasks ever; homework or chores. Yes, I know some kids love these as well, but they love to get done with them and move on to something more fun right? They will finish their homework and chores like a champ so they can go to class. Hold them to it!
5. Proper Diet
Just like adults, kids need proper dieting and nutrition. Don’t load you kids up on sugar all day and then think they can have a great class. Don’t miss a meal on the way to class and have them try to race a car on an empty gas tank. Either of these cases will cause kids to crash mentally and physically, ruining a potentially great workout. Proper eating, and bringing healthy snacks is a win-win situation for your little warrior!
So, don’t give up your child, they have life issues just like the bigger versions of themselves, us. Find a way to work through the issues and you will see your kids maintain the motivation to build the physical, mental and spiritual fortitude of champions. With these simple tips and steps, you will help them stay on a path that builds character traits that will last a lifetime.
Lastly, remember not every activity is for every kid. Once they have learned the lessons of character and virtue that they can from martial arts, they may find something else that suits them better. As parents and instructors, we have to know that is alright. We have to understand the difference between quitting and moving on.