With small children, a big part of learning martial arts is simply about developing self-confidence. Having confidence to put on a gi and walk onto the mats may be easy for some children but certainly not all.
Some children require more reassurance than others. So parents don’t get discouraged if your child needs a little extra time to feel comfortable. The life-lesson is patience. For the parents!
I’ve never met a child that didn’t conquer his trepidation when treated gently. Parents, put yourself in your child’s gi. Walking onto the mats for the first time can be intimidating for adults. Now imagine you are 3’ tall. You can help your first-timer by bringing them to the academy when it is quiet and the mats haven’t filled up with students.
Group martial arts help children learn social skills – waiting one’s turn, showing respect by using please and thank you and not interrupting – that are as important as the techniques they learn.
Don’t stress if your child has a rough first day. Today, they may be the new kid having trouble putting a foot on the mat. Tomorrow, they will be the helper, who brings the new, new kid into the group.