Every day in every class we have a steady flow and students and PARENTS. The waiting area is filled with interested, involved parents and often grandparents. They’re not like most parents. They go the extra mile for their kids. I’ve given this a lot of thought. Our Karate Kid parents really are special. They’re different. There is something unique about them that sets them apart from most other parents. What is it?
To be sure, most parents want what’s best for their kids. They love their children and want to see them succeed in life. But our Karate Kid parents take it a step further. They are conscious about parenting. They approach it as a plan of action. And our martial arts program is part of that plan. Here is my list of what I think sets these parents apart from the rest:
#1: Karate for Kids Parents Are Highly Involved
Karate for Kids parents are involved, active parents. In many ways, they go beyond other sports and activities since we are a year-round commitment. Remember: the “season” in martial arts never ends. We are often more intense than many activities (and sports) since it directly teaches character development and life skills along with the physical part of training.
We also challenge students with a multi-year goal: black belt. Our parents make the year-round, long-term effort to help their children focus on that distant goal and strive for it. This requires a highly involved, focused and disciplined parent. Our programs are not just a quick two-month-long season or an activity that lasts for the summer. You must commit for the long haul.
Our parents remind me of the parents who raise Olympic athletes: consistent. To hold their children to their goals, they must be just as dedicated, disciplined and goal-oriented as their kids. These parents are the “rock” behind the achievement; the unsung heroes who are content to watch their children shine. They are willing to take a backseat when it comes to basking in the glory. But they are the people, without whom, it would not have been possible to achieve so much. Our parents are highly involved and committed.
#2: Karate for Kids Parents Know the Value of Self-Defense
Our parents know that bullying is a big issue and major threat to their children these days. But they also realize that the confidence their children learn by mastering self-defense techniques isn’t just designed to defend their kids physically. No, these self-defense techniques also prepare a child mentally for any type of confrontation. Some parents call it “mental armor”. It prepares and arms a child for any type of run-in, whether that happens in a school yard or a boardroom.
Our parents know they can’t always be around to defend their kids. Nor do they want to fight their battles. They’re not “helicopter parents” who hover over their kids’ every move. They don’t like to step in and do the work for their kids. Quite the opposite: they chose Karate for Kids to help shape their children into mature, independent, self-sufficient adults.
#3: Karate for Kids Parents Take Parenting Seriously
Our parents are serious about what their children learn. This is true of the physical aspects of martial arts: coordination, balance, strength, fitness, flexibility, agility, speed and endurance. But it’s also true of the “life skills” in our training: discipline, self-confidence, respect, courtesy, honor, perseverance, goal-setting, integrity, positive attitude, self-control and leadership skills (among many others)
Our parents realize the training their children receive is so much more than “just a sport” or “something fun to do”. They raise their children consciously, with an eye to the future. They approach parenting as a goal-oriented, rational pursuit, not a “whim of the moment” or simply an emotional indulgence.
As motivational speaker and business coach, Brian Tracy (also a black belt) said,
“If you raise your children to feel that they can accomplish any goal or task they decide upon, you will have succeeded as a parent and you will have given your children the greatest of all blessings.”
And this is exactly what Karate Kid parents do for their children.
#4: Karate for Kids Parents Equip Their Kids for Life
Our parents equip their children for life: they know martial arts helps build positive routines and healthy habits that will last a lifetime. These translate into the ultimate goal, which is to train their children to become leaders that live happy, productive lives.
Our parents don’t just “talk” a good game, either. They take action. They invest time, money and effort to help their children reach these goals. Even when cash flow is tight at home (as it is for so many right now); they still invest in their kids’ futures because they see the long-term gains. And most importantly….
#5: Karate for Kids Parents Want Their Kids to Rise to the Top
Our parents aren’t satisfied with average or ordinary for their kids. Not at all. They have high standards and big expectations of their children. They want their kids to rise to the top, no matter what life path they choose. Our parents know how competitive the world can be and value our program because it gives their children an edge over all the other people they’ll be competing against in life. They realize Karate Kids is the “ace in the hole” when it comes to academics, career choices, job advancement and personal relationships. It’s an almost
“unfair advantage” for their kids. Think about it: how do other people compete with a martial artists’ discipline, confidence, goal-setting abilities, physical fitness, respect, courtesy and leadership skills? The answer is: they don’t.
Parents in our program know the ultimate goal isn’t kicking and punching, or even self-defense (although those are valuable skills). No, they realize the ultimate goal is to shape children into leaders.
Yes, our Karate Kid parents are the select few; those who really “get it” when it comes to child-rearing and helping their children grow in a mature, positive way. These five traits – being highly involved, understanding the importance of self-defense, serious parenting, equipping their children for life, and shaping their children into leaders – were some of the things that came to mind for me. What traits do YOU recognize in Karate Kid parents? How do they differ from the average parent?
Your Monthly Call to Action
With our life skill – respect- in mind, this month I urge our students to show respect to your parents who do so much for you. They sacrifice, invest in your education and development at Babin’s Karate for Kids and help you learn life skills and so much more. One of the easiest ways to respect your mother or father is simply by thanking them for all they do. It’s not easy being a parent. And if you are one of our cherished Karate Kid parents here, thanks for all you do for your child as well as our academy!
— Senior Master William Babin