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 Commitment now, is immeasurable later!

Dear Parents,

Just recently I was approached by a parent who explained that their children were not wanting to come to karate class. They asked what can we do? My question was, do you think karate classes are good for your children?”, of course, their answer was yes. Many things are good for children but yet parents still let their children determine what they want to do or not do. So, I went on to explain that it is important for them as parents to be committed to what they want their children to do.

I understand we don’t like to hear whining children and sometimes it is easier to just not fight the fight. You can always give in and let them have their way.

But this is showing them a couple of things,

1. If I whine enough I’ll get my way

2. I don’t need to stay committed to anything because my parents will let me quit.

Helping children to learn what a commitment is and how to stay committed to a task or goal is huge for their growth and development to become successful and responsible adults.

Never forget that your model of hard work and commitment to your family will pay big dividends in your child. They will observe your standards and your commitment to excellence, drawing strength like water from a well.

In our karate school we are always focusing on their attitude and their effort. Making sure to repeat that they should always try their best, especially when things get difficult is important. I can’t say this enough but speak with your child about commitment, what it is and how it reflects on the things they do now and in the future. Developing the skill for commitment can make the difference between a successful person and one who will believe that quitting is okay when challenges arise.

Don’t let your children be the ones that fall into the anonymity of the herd. As a parent you must model the behavior you want for your children. Show them the things that you have done and how you managed to do it. Explain that it isn't easy to be successful but that the rewards for staying committed and following through are all worth it. Make sure to talk to their level, ask them questions about what they want, why they set the goal and what was expected from the very beginning. 

When setting goals and tasks help your children learn how to get them done. Walk them through how they can accomplish the goal or task and what is expected, then make sure they follow through. Make these things visible to them. Write them down on paper and put them in a place that they will see them daily.

Here are some ideas for helping your children learn about commitment:

1) Get them involved in daily household chores.

Chores are a great way to tangibly teach kids about the ongoing commitment to keep the family home running. Make sure to use age appropriate chores for your children.

2) Have them take care of a pet.

Whether it’s caring for farm animals, a family cat or dog, or even a fish, the daily responsibilities of animal ownership certainly teach commitment.

3) Work together on a big home project.

What great treasures can be learned from tackling a kitchen remodel as a family or maintaining a garden together!

4) Teach them that daily practice is important.

Daily practices teach both commitment and the joy of accomplishment.

5) Play difficult board games or put puzzles together.

Even learning to play chess or putting together a 500-piece puzzle teaches commitment. There’s great value in finishing something, especially when it’s difficult!

6) Offer regular challenges.

We parents must master the fine art of encouraging kids just beyond what they think they can do. Perhaps that’s asking them to complete a difficult math problem, asking him to read especially challenging literature, or even taking them on a short-term mission’s trip.

7) Develop a schedule for your child.

Have your children create a schedule of their daily and weekly activities. Then make sure they agree and make a pact to stick to it. This is a great way to teach how commitment works together with planning and self-management!

8) Show them love and encouragement.

Being a good parent requires a tremendous investment in time, energy, and unconditional love. Being a parent is a responsibility that continues throughout your child's life. The caring support you show to your child as an infant and a toddler, from elementary school through high school, to college and beyond, is expensive and important. But the reward of watching your child grow into a responsible, caring adult is priceless.

Nurturing children involves raising, training and guiding and doing all these things in a loving way. Nurturing means nourishing a child's body, mind and spirit. The well-nurtured child feels unconditional love along with support for his or her developing accomplishments. 

Thank you for reading and I hope this message helps in some way.

Yours Truly for Awesome and Amazing Kids,

Sensei Randy Kopke



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