Your kid is at piano class. After that you only have 15 minutes to get them to swimming. They have to hurry to get home after that for their AP class homework which takes hours. The next morning they have a 0 period class to fit their marching band schedule in so they can spend their weekends at tournaments. Does this type of schedule sound familiar?
Maybe it isn’t marching band, maybe it is football, or soccer, or if I am lucky, training martial arts at West Coast Martial Arts Academy here in 4S Ranch. Either way we have a strong tendency to push our kids as hard as possible. Why is that? Why do we push our kids so hard to grow as much as possible? It’s because we want them to be successful? But what is success?
Earl Nightingale defined succes as, “The progressive realization of a worthy ideal.” In his words anyone who knows what they are doing and where they are going is a success. Based on that definition, you can’t say that tossing your kids into every activity in the world is going to make them successful. In 4S Ranch, I have parents who tell me their kid doesn’t have time for a 30 minute private lesson for their kids. I have had adults tell me they don’t have time for martial arts as well. Now maybe they are just not being truthful, but I think the majority are sincere when they say that.
Do your kids connect all the activities you are making them do with success? I doubt it. This is what we call being involved instead of engaged. If you are involved with your kids you are taking them to all these activities, if your engaged, you talk with them and know how they feel about them, you empathize and find out what they are passionate about. I think that is what we really want. We want to figure out what our kids are passionate about. That’s why we ships them to all these activities. We equate them finding their abilities with being successful.
For me success is a systemized approach to learning. I can teach any kid who wants to learn despite any limitations because I know how to create progress. That’s why I teach, I enjoying seeing my students progress. That’s why we train, we want to get better at something. Are your kids seeing the progress in their activities? one activities just flat out take more time to improve upon. Flexibility is not something that you can just pick up in a week, it takes constant practice, if your goal is to do the splits in a week, you are either going to hurt yourself or be disappointed and quit.
You may want to take a second to consider why your kid wants to learn something. Do they just want to have fun? That is only going to last so long. I have parents all the time tell me that they want their kids to never complain about coming to karate. I hate to say it, but there are days I am tired and I don’t want to train. I have to motivate myself because I know I am progressively moving towards a worthy ideal. Instead of telling me you want your kids to never have problems with motivation, consider what does your kid really want to do, do they know what is in their best interest? Do you know what is in their best interest?