People bring their kids to Jiu Jitsu for a lot of reasons. Usually its to try something new and have fun. Sometimes its to bring them out of their shell a little bit. Often times its because there is some character or discipline issue they are hoping Jiu Jitsu will help with.
Jiu Jitsu can work miracles. I’ve seen it in my own life. But at the end of the day, your child will spend more time on the couch with you than they ever will on the mats with me. As coach, I do my best to help kids grow through struggle and challenge. But sometimes when I am hitting a wall, I get curious about what is going on at home.
I don’t mean some dark suspicion of abuse or neglect, I mean simple habits. Unobservant kids often have at least one unobservant parent. Kids with poor emotional regulation sometimes have one authority figure in the home who needs more self control. This isn’t always the case, but so much child behavior is a learned characteristic.
Kids are very legalistic and they are creatures that crave regiment. You show up late once, you show up late twice, now its “my dad always shows up late”. Because they don’t have very much experience, they are extrapolating way in the future based on what they see. The data they get is hyper meaningful.
If you want your kid to improve, you must improve. If you want your kid to learn empathy, you must display empathy and not just when they are looking, but all the time. Kids are amazing lie detectors. They don’t always cognitively know but they can feel the truth.
As I have taken my own training more seriously, I can see and feel my students last year doing the same. Our habits are so contagious, especially to young kids.
Its easy to look at problems as external things. Its harder but ultimately a better use of your time to look inward.
If you love your child and I know that you do, you need to love yourself enough to improve and grow so they can draft off your example.