Parents, How Are We Setting A Good Example?

How do we set a good example for our kids? How do we encourage them to make good choices and live life with integrity? Sensei Ross Taylor explores the answers to these questions and more in our latest “Mat Chat” video.

Hello there! I hope you are having a great afternoon. Today I just want to talk about commitment. I want to talk about perseverance, having self-discipline, focus, putting a hundred percent effort into whatever you do, and producing leaders in our community. I’m specifically talking about kids. We have plenty of adults who train here as well, but the kids are the ones that concern me. They’re our future. They’re the people we’re looking to continue on our legacy in our community, and we want to make sure that they are pretty well set up to continue to do that.

Our job here, as martial arts instructors, is to try and make them more resilient, because they’re absolutely going to need to be more resilient in the world that we’re living in at the moment. There are so many more challenges that are before them these days than ever have been; especially when my generation was growing up at least anyway. So, I’m sort of calling on parents I guess to actually demonstrate the principles that I’ve just read out to you, because you’re the example, you’re the person that actually sets the example to your kids. If they are seeing that you are giving up on things easily or too easily, then they’ll be more inclined to give up on whatever it is that they’re doing too easily. They end up getting a label of being a quitter, and we don’t want them to have that label going through life. We want them to be a doer, an achiever, and to live their best life. And the only way you can do that, speaking from my experience, and I know by no means am I perfect; I’ve started things before and not finished them, but you know what, I’ve learnt from those past mistakes, and I know your kids will too, and I’m just hoping that you can set that example for them. For example, if they sign up for Aikido or anything, that you’ll see it through; at least through the initial stages, and definitely persevere through those hard times that they’ll definitely get in their training or with their training.

So, I’m calling on you as parents to demonstrate to your kids more perseverance, more commitment to whatever they are doing. Show more self-discipline yourself, and that could be anything; from exercising, to eating better, to sticking with something. Have that sort of discipline to stick with doing something. Your actions speak louder than any words that you’ll ever mention to your kids. It’s your actions that count. So, what they see you doing or demonstrating they’ll emulate. So, you’ve got to make sure that what you’re showing is all positive. If you’re more focused on doing things; they’ll more than likely be more focused on doing things. if you show a hundred percent effort in doing something; they’ll show a hundred percent effort, I’m sure, at least close to it. The bottom line is that if they persevere as you do; if they make a commitment to something and stick with it as you do; they show self-discipline, if they show focus, they’re more likely to commit a hundred percent to it and they’re more likely to turn out to be leaders in our community and that’s what we want.

So try to ever think about this; especially when kids, and you know it will definitely happen; after three months, six months to twelve months of training; They’ll say, “ I’m bored with this.”, “I want to do something different.” Try and think about why you put them into the martial arts. Why did you want them (to do this)? You are the parent, you’re responsible for that child and for the child’s future. Think about why you want to put into martial arts. Was it to improve on their character development? Was it to improve their focus, to improve their discipline, their respect, their fitness, their hand-eye coordination? Whatever it was, try and remember back to that first time that you walked into the dojo and committed your children to doing martial arts, and try and remember that. Not only try and remember that but try and stick to that promise you made to yourself and to your child that you’ll stick to it; you will commit to it for a good length of time. And I know when a four or five-year-old joins up they’re always going to be a bit fickle, but what they’re directed by is your thoughts and your actions as you, the parent.

So, stick to your commitments you want them to. Do at least 12 months or at least two years of training. Stick to that commitment. Don’t waver from that. And by doing that, you’re teaching your kids all about those things we just talked about; the perseverance, the commitment, the discipline, the focus, and a hundred percent effort, and you’re showing them that you are a leader as well. I hope that all makes sense. Any questions, don’t forget, you can always come and see me at the dojo and my door is always open. I look forward to seeing you again on the mats.

Thank you


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