Being a parent can be the hardest role ever but also the most rewarding gift that happened to me in life. It’s not hard to describe my son’s personality: he has had tons of energy since he was born. Since he was a toddler, he never liked to walk with me or my husband, always on his own. He has never liked to stay still, always active and running around hectically. He often behaved uncontrollably when things did not go his way.
I could go on and on to describe my son’s character. He is a boy, just a kid, and I understand that he embraces his world differently than us parents. That’s why my husband and I started looking for a great type of sport to calm him down and discipline his personality. I always believed that any professional sport could change your kid’s outlook, strength, and future perspectives.
One day we were passing a Taekwondo studio and decided to stop by and talk to the coach. We liked Master Lee from first sight. His program of coaching fascinated us with its highest of standards and strongest knowledge of what and how he coaches and trains his students. His ethical personality and educational background in child psychology impressed us and gave credence to Master Lee to this day.
Gordon was three and a half years old when he started taking Taekwondo. Imagine, a little nugget in a cute white Taekwondo uniform walking down the street confidently but still goofy. He was open for a new adventure and full of emotions felt only by children. I remember how he was excited and happy to start his new journey. There were so many questions he asked me on the way to the Taekwondo center. “Mommy, will I make many friends there?” or “ Mommy, will I grow big and strong?” I think it is so substantial for kids to conquer fears and grow confidence. That’s why we decided to introduce him to martial arts, and we have never regretted it.
There are various reasons why my husband and I introduced our son, Gordon, to martial arts.
Some parents might think about martial arts as pushing a sport and hesitate to sign their kids up for Taekwondo classes. In my opinion, it is not only about kicking or punching. Taekwondo’s program teaches our kids to grow into responsible, respectful, and confident young adults. Also, a kid’s life outlook changes to a higher standard that helps them to set goals and achieve them. It is not a small thing. It is a tremendous success that comes from constant work that we parents must stick to till the end.
The main benefits, among many others, that my son developed were
I always tell my son to be himself, learn and meet his goals, and execute them at his best. At first it was a challenge for him to stand still. Of course, he was only three and a half years old, and at that age it is impossible to do. He wanted to run around, giggle, and laugh, and I was amazed by Master Lee’s patience to tell and show him one hundred times what he must do. The goal was achieved over time. His discipline standard was changing gradually. Master Lee taught the hardest moves and how to control his emotions and techniques. Controlling emotions is not an easy job for kids. Control comes from within, which is not easy for kids to accept at first. Master Lee taught my son how to gain physical control through his mindset. Soon I started noticing his first self-control and young confidence coming out. My son and I together realized that with accomplishment came discipline.
- Stronger self-esteem
He started to enjoy being himself in everything. I first noticed that he was practicing natural leadership abilities when he was playing goalie at soccer and instructing the other four-year-olds how to position themselves and where to go. I feel that this confidence was a result of the self-esteem built in martial arts, and it was fantastic to see this developing outside of the Taekwondo studio. I realized that the accomplished discipline and developed self-esteem came with two other benefits.
- Socializing skills
- Leadership skills
These skills are so important to have. There are so many kids who struggle to express themselves, keep their hands to themselves, or overcome their shyness. My son benefited tremendously from being involved in martial arts. He learned self-leadership, as well as how to lead others. Ranking higher in belts motivated the goals that he set for the future. And we parents should always choose to support our kid’s standards that will make them better, stronger, and healthier. Gradually I got closer to another benefit that is very significant.
- Physical activity
Childhood obesity is a global epidemic. Sports are always a great way to keep your kid active and healthy. Taekwondo includes structured physical activities such as kicking, running, stretching, and punching. The warm up and taekwondo physical structure assist our kids in
- natural development
- building muscle tone
- increasing strength and stamina
- improving flexibility
All these important aspects are valuable and take us parents and kids to another level of achievement. I am happy that my son fills his life with goals and works hard to become better and inspirational. Being an inspiration for others, he needs to understand what respect is and set an example by embracing the final benefit.
- Respect for others
It is very important to respect one another in friendships, life, school, or work. It is very important to show the sentiment of respect, because it means that your kid has established a valuable core that comes from within. It took some time for my son to realize what respect really means. Not because he does not have any manners, but because respect is deeper than daily behavior. I told my son that respect begins when your advice, behavior, or suggestions are significant for you first. Than all this respect at the core will grow into greater and deeper values for others on a daily basis.
Standing strength, responding with manners, respecting the Taekwondo uniform and belt value, listening with tact to your coach and others are great examples of building respect and reverence.
It has been an amazing journey for my son and us, as his parents. Taekwondo is a long-term challenge, but it can lead to new possibilities, advantages, and opportunities. My son still has a way to go in Taekwondo. I know he will gain and digest new directions and challenges in the future. I know his confidence and self-esteem will vary as new ups and downs approach. But I know one thing: the first fundamental bridge was built reliably. It will give him a stable foundation to build success and confidence as he becomes a man.