One of the number one reasons a child quits an activity like Jiu-Jitsu is because it stops being fun. So, what can you do to encourage your child to continue?
Here are five tips to keep Jiu-Jitsu fun for your kids:
1. Stay focused on learning and the process.
When your child’s Jiu-Jitsu training focuses only on things like competition, winning, and earning awards, kids begin to value such outcomes over individual improvement. Rather than trying to learn and improve their skills, kids focus on the results of a tournament or competition. But, when you emphasize the process and remind your child of how far they’ve come, your outlook reinforces the progress they’ve made. And it takes the pressure off an outcome that is not within your child’s control.
2. Avoid critiquing your own child.
Your kids are more likely to have fun learning Jiu-Jitsu when you don’t critique them. As much as you want to help your child and contribute to their improvement, it rarely leads to a favorable outcome. Let your child learn at their own pace and learn as much as they can from their instructors.
3. Ask questions about their experience.
As a parent, reinforce the importance of fun by asking questions about their experience. For example, instead of asking your child about their place or rank compared to other students, ask them, “What was fun about today’s class?” Not only will you help your child see what’s fun about Jiu-Jitsu, but you’re also sending a message that fun is an integral part of participating.
4. Set realistic expectations.
Set realistic expectations for your child’s performance. At the same time, try to help your child manage their expectations. If your expectations are too high, you can put too much pressure on your child. Expecting your child to become a black belt overnight will likely lead to disappointment for everyone.
5. Be encouraging and stay positive.
The more genuinely positive things you say to your child, the more likely they are to enjoy Jiu-Jitsu and want to continue. If your child makes a mistake, let the instructors provide feedback. Focus on showing support and saying positive things, like “I love watching you work hard.” or “You were so focused during today’s class, great job!”