“I want to quit.”
As a parent these are not the words you want to hear from your child who has been progressing through their martial arts journey. Globally only 2% of karate students ever make it to black belt, in the UK it is less than this, only 1 in 300 manage it.
At some point your child is going to utter the words “I want to quit.” It is natural for any child who is finding the journey difficult to want to take the easy option and just give up. Mrs D-A and I had this with our own son but we refused to let him quit even as a teenager.
We believe allowing a child to quit just because it becomes difficult is a very slippery road to go down, it sets the precedent that it is okay to quit anything just because it is hard.
Had we allowed our own child to quit, he would have wanted to use that extra 2 hours per week to play on his Xbox which he already spent more than enough time doing.
Most students want to quit once they hit the green to blue belt mark. This is when it begins to get harder and we expect more from our students.
So, what should you do if your child tells you they want to quit?
We can’t tell you what to do but this is what we did.
- We reminded ourselves that as parents we knew what was best for our child and letting him quit for no other reason other that wanting to give up just wasn’t an option.
- We spoke at length with our son and reminded him of how close he was to achieving his black belt and how much he had achieved so far in his martial arts.
- We reminded him that he was only doing 2 hours per week and he had the rest of the week to do as he wished.
- We made it clear to him that unless he could give us a logical reason for quitting and found another activity that would be healthy for him to do for 2 hours per week then he would continue training.
This was a tricky time for us, he moaned before every class when it was time to get ready and come away from the Xbox but we persevered and eventually he came around and even though he never admitted it to us, we could see that when he was on the mats training, he did enjoy it.
Not only did he reach black belt in Karate but also in Kickboxing and he now helps out in classes.