The seeds of their future are sown when children are quite young. Seven is not too an early an age to start. Twenty seven may be too late. This applies to certain practices, habits and behaviors, which, in later years, become defining of a person.
Think of exquisite manners, courtesy and respect. As a parent you shower your little one with love and spoil him or her. In the process, getting across these values is a bit difficult because it means becoming strict and, well, you know how it is with parents and children. It is equally difficult to impose discipline when you shower your children with love and cater to their every whim. Children must also learn the value of regular exercise and keeping fit but, again, parents can be too easy going. It is just as difficult to instill in children the value of having a structure and following a plan and schedule in daily activities as well as in life.
You could try and put them in a class where they may be taught these values. However, children also need to learn more such as the importance of staying fit and defending themselves. When faced with bullies at school or in the street, they should know how to take care of themselves. Being able to do so also instills some sense of pride and self-esteem in them which, in turn, spurs them on to greater achievements. However, teaching them just self-defence or street fighting may not get them to learn about the other factors such as manners and respect. The single solution that trains them to become better, well behaved, upright citizens in future is to get them into a martial arts class after school instead of putting them into day-care centers.
It does not matter when it is karate, taekwondo or better still, jiu-jitsu, the Brazilian version of the Japanese art of self-defense. Why Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu? Jiu-jitsu, an offshoot of judo, is a way of self-defense in which even weaker persons can tackle stronger opponents using the stronger attacker’s strength against him. Being able to do so instills self-confidence in a person and he can walk tall. It is best to start young and you will be doing your children a favor by dropping them off at a martial arts class after their school hours. Instead of simply playing around they get to learn the art of self defense.
Learning the art involves rigorous self-discipline and plenty of exercise. This is what they will be engaged in while learning the right moves at the martial arts school. Practice sessions involve facing opponent and learning to attack, defend, lock and hold. The tutor instills the importance of showing respect for the opponent and this translates to showing respect for everyone. As they progress, they also feel a sense of achievement and pride in the work they have done so far. They have a goal and a plan to work for and that is to become good at jiu-jitsu. Led by the sensei, they also learn how to interact with other co-students and with their trainers. You will notice there is a remarkable change in their behavior. Even at a young age they seem more balanced, in control and mature. It is not that they do not have fun. Excelling in jiu-jitsu can also be exhilarating.
You can let your children do wht they like and pander to their whims. You can choose to mould them with the right values today. They may balk but they will get used to it. They will grumble today but they will thank you 20 years later and throughout life for laying a character-defining foundation. You will be proud that you sent them to an after school martial art program instead of just dumping them into day care.
Also check “6 Fatal Mistakes When Picking a School“