Martial Arts are Good for Your Problem Child

Disclaimer: I am not trying to tell parents how to, well, parent. Individual styles and rules differ from family to family and I would never presume that I know better than any parent. But I do hope you will consider the following before you take your child out of martial arts, or sports, as punishment.

Many children who do not behave in school, or maybe don’t do their schoolwork, or have a failing grade, actually behave well in our classes and work hard. This is partly because it is something they want to do. Because of this, taking it away from children who do misbehave in school, seems a good punishment.

Many parents believe that if children know they will lose karate as punishment, they will behave. This seems like sound logic, except that we are talking about children. Children WILL misbehave. They will be lazy, will be careless. They will think they have the best excuse and maybe don’t think they are breaking rules.

Sometimes they will even break rules intentionally. Not cleaning their room because it doesn’t seem dirty to them, only mom or dad, so why should they? Not doing homework because they don’t understand it and don’t want to admit it. Or just because they don’t feel like it. I had one child, a girl who was one of our most well-behaved and talented students, spend a month’s worth of lunch money on snacks. She definitely needed to be disciplined.

In general, children do need to learn the discipline to perform those tasks properly. But consider this. Bringing them to class, having them not miss classes, helps instill in them a fulfillment of commitment. The classes themselves, as well as teaching your children martial arts, teach self-discipline, coordination, goal-setting, and physical fitness. Staying at home will bring little of that. Attending karate classes will not end the behavior but it can help with learning the necessary skills.

In my most humble opinion, it would be better to take away things that only have entertainment value like video games, movies, television, eating out, computer free time, action figures, etc.

To me, taking away martial arts is like punishing them by taking away salads, from a child who like salads, or not allowing your child to do housework because they enjoy doing housework. I personally believe karate is something you should MAKE your child go to, like school and homework. It is GOOD FOR THEM!