As parents, we all want to see our children live up to their full potential. We hope that they will grow up to be happy and capable of handling any challenges that come their way. Sadly though, this isn’t always the case. Often times we see that our children are struggling with a lack of confidence, assertiveness or have become easy targets for bullies. It can be heartbreaking to see your child unable or unwilling to have the faith in themselves to speak up and take charge of their lives, but confidence isn’t something that can just be taught. It must come from experience. This is where an after school martial arts program can help.
Our after school program features these five benefits that are far more important than any particular activity they will participate in. It will help your child:
- Set and achieve goals
- Learn how to project confidence
- Become capable of physically defending themselves
- Meet new friends
- Grow in a positive and nurturing environment
Setting and Achieving Goals
For a child who is lacking confidence, getting them to see that they are capable of achieving their goals is an important step towards improving the faith they have in themselves. And the martial arts are a great way to do this. Beginners must first learn and master basic stances and moves before progressing to more difficult challenges. Not only can your child take pride in mastering each step along the way, but they can look back to where they started from and see how much their ability has grown. In addition to kicks, punches and blocks, martial arts also shows children how to present themselves to others.
The way your child carries him or herself says a lot about them. Slumped shoulders and avoiding eye contact is a sign to others that says “This person lacks confidence.” But if they stand straight and make eye contact with people, they display confidence. Showing confidence is an important skill that can help them throughout the rest of their life in social, work and family life. To be a disciplined student of martial arts, your child must learn to stand tall, make eye contact and speak with authority. It is no coincidence that these traits are some of the same non-verbal cues that people use to sub-consciously asses the confidence level of others. By projecting confidence, it becomes easier to make friends and deter bullies who typically look for kids who might be an easy target.
Learning Self Defense
Speaking of bullies, imagine what it would do for your child’s confidence to know that they can physically defend themselves from bullies and other threats. Martial arts will give your child the tools to feel safe walking the halls and out on the playground as well as guidance on how to properly respond to situations where they may feel threatened. The skills that your child learns in martial arts can be used in the real world so that, if faced with danger, they can keep themselves safe. And when a child feels safe, they can focus more on learning, having fun and making new friends.
Meeting New Friends
Signing your child up for an after school martial arts program will give them another opportunity to socialize with peers outside of the classroom. After they begin to believe in themselves they will start reaching out to other kids, and an after school martial arts program gives them another chance to do so. The more often they have an opportunity to socialize, the more chances it gives them to practice interacting with peers and become more comfortable in social situations.
An Environment that Fosters Personal Development and Growth
The instructors at martial arts schools aim to teach and inspire their students through building a positive atmosphere. Martial arts schools feature a positive learning environment where the focus is built around improving achievement through positive reinforcement instead of resorting to ridicule. In this positive and nurturing environment, a child can feel free to grow at their own pace and receive praise for doing well. With consistent positive feedback, the child’s confidence will grow.
Enrolling your child in an after school martial arts program is a positive step toward ensuring your child can live up to their full potential by boosting their confidence, giving them the tools to defend themselves, showing them how to project confidence, giving them additional chances to socialize with peers and growing their confidence in a positive place.