Getting your child ready and willing to come to class
Your child loves karate. They love the learning, the instructors, the fun. And you love all the benefits they gain from doing the martial arts. Once they get to class, everything is great. The transition of getting ready for a class, on the other hand, sometimes turns into a battle of epic proportions. Here are some tips to help your child be ready and willing to go to class when it’s time to head out the door.
The evening before class
Remind your child they have karate the next day. Show that you are happy and excited about it! Kids pick up on their parents’ emotions. If karate class is just another thing in your hectic schedule, they will start to feel the same. Have your child help you get their gi and belt together in a place where it is ready to go (or, if you child is older, have them do it themselves).
Make sure everything is prepared so that things don’t feel hurried and rushed the next day. Again, kids pick up on that stress and it may trigger negative emotions while leaving for class. Have a conversation about what your child is learning in the martial arts. Ask them what they need for their next stars or if they’ve tried using their belly breathing or ‘counting out’ outside of the dojo to help them stay calm and focused.
The morning of class
Give your child another reminder about the fact that they have karate after school. Help them understand the schedule of the day so they are prepared.
15-30 minutes before class
If you go directly from school to karate class, there isn’t much time for this so the morning reminder becomes essential.~If they have some time to play or do homework before class, help them understand how much time they have. Sometimes, kids get frustrated when they are in the middle of something and are told to suddenly drop it and go on to the next thing (just like adults!). Giving them a couple of ‘heads-up’ before its time to go will ease the transition.
Many parents have found it’s best if they don’t let their child get too involved in video games or television just before it’s time to leave. Children live in the moment and if they are half-way through a SpongeBob episode it can be hard for them to pull away. It may be best to turn off the tv or video game at an easy stopping point 10-15 minutes before it’s time to go so the transition to leaving is smoother.
Give them a high-five and a smile as them come out of class!~Ask them what they learned or what their favorite part of class was. Most parents spend an average of 15 minutes of quailty time with their children a day, that’s it. You bring them to karate because of all the valuable lessons they are learning. Right after class can be a great time to discover what has impacted them and the benefits they are gaining from the program. Your little martial artist works hard in class. Let them know you are excited for them and proud of them!