Years ago my dad wrote the article below about the parent's role in deciding what activities their children would do, and the reasoning they would do them.
His advice has never rang as true as it does in this moment - the day to day choices we make NOW as parents will have long term repercussions on the mindset & character on our children as they grow up.
Some class is better than no class. Sporadic attendance is better than no attendance. Slow progress is better than no progress.
And all the while the REAL truth is - many kids may progress faster & farther than they would have before because these "obstacles" have forced them to develop new ways of learning, new ways of training, and new ways of succeeding.
But as parents, we must set the tone.
"Take the long view. Make the tough decisions. And let your actions fit your goals”
The Original -
Ask Dr. Thackrey "I don't wanna go to Taekwondo"
Dear Dr. Thackrey, At first my child was really excited about Taekwondo, but lately when it's time for class he says, "I don't wanna go to Taekwondo."
(signed) Every parent
This is not unusual, and it's almost never about the Taekwondo class itself (if there is a specific problem, of course, deal with it). Instead, it's almost always about the kid not wanting to be interrupted while doing something else, or not wanting to do much of anything at all. Getting kids to Taekwondo is not much different from getting kids to do other important things (medical and dental visits, personal hygiene, school attendance, home responsibilities, etc.).
Kids need adult help with big decisions. Grown-ups make the final choice on the most important stuff, and must not default to the child ("I won't make him go if he doesn't want to"). We adults are responsible for our children's social, athletic, and recreational activities, and yes we must even decide what kind of fun our kids can have. No child succeeds without long-term adult guidance, structure, commitment, and support.
Taekwondo is hard work. It's not just for fun. Don't wait till it's almost time to go and then make a hasty, impulsive, or emotional decision. Instead, talk with your child beforehand. Listen to your child, but remember that as the adult you are the one who makes the decision.
If you decide that what your child gets from Taekwondo is important, then be concrete and matter of fact ("we are going to Taekwondo"); know that even when you have to make kids come to class they tend to do just fine once they're here. For some kids a regular schedule is important, for others some variety may help. Perhaps change your schedule, alter what you do before or after class, have a friend or family member watch or take part, arrange a private lesson. Talk with the instructor.
Take the long view. Make the tough decisions. And let your actions fit your goals”
Misha Thackrey, PhD, is Professor of Psychology at California State University, Fresno, Diplomate in Clinical Psychology of the American Board of Professional Psychology, and WTF International Referee.