My child complains about coming to class; What should I do?

July 2018


Sometimes parents, especially the parents of very young children, mention to us that the kids complain about coming to class. The parents acknowledge that the kids like the class once they are there; yet they think maybe the child is losing interest.

In many cases, the child is not telling you they doesn’t like their classes. Often, they are demonstrating that they are “present focused.” At early stages of development, kids are not always able to project their thinking into the future, or weigh the potential for future enjoyment. For example, if you offer a young child a dollar now, or five dollars in a week, they probably will choose the dollar now, and the immediate gratification.

To deal with this, first

of all, understand that the child may be delighted with the lessons, and still demonstrate this “complaining behavior.” Secondly, talk with your child... not when they are complaining, but at a later time. Explain to your child that you will no longer accept complaints about this commitment to karate... that if they have a specific complaint, they should speak to their instructor. By doing this, you are eliminating any complaining that is just complaining; at the same time, you give your child the opportunity to address any real issues.


 July 2018 001 Newsletter

( Ducking a focus pad is a good idea for Sensei Altwal at a Mall demonstration with Shihan Mason. Ducking class is always a bad idea. )


Next, follow through! If your child complains again, hold up your hands and say, “Wait! If you have complaints about your classes, let’s set up a time for you to speak to Shihan Mason!” And when your child does come without complaining, let them know how much this pleases you.


Being firm and consistent will get good immediate results... and in the future, as your child matures, they will be better able to understand delayed gratification. Without perseverance nothing of real value can be achieved. In the process of self-discovery, that we achieve through regular practice in Mudokai Karate, there may sometimes be distractions, and at times frustration. With encouragement students can overcome these issues as long as the parents of our young students will persevere and help us to keep the youngsters “on task” towards Black Belt excellence.

© 2018 Shihan Robert H. Mason