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My child wants to quit Jiu Jitsu. What should I say?

My child wants to quit Jiu Jitsu. What should I say? image

Imagine your child comes back home from training and says: I give up, I don't want to do Jiu Jitsu anymore, I want to quit.

What should you do?

Just tell them this: Okay, you can quit, but not today. 

Then explain: We all have bad days when we want to quit. When something feels hard, our brain & body resist because they want us to be comfortable. If we quit on a bad day, we will never become great at something and we might regret this later. So here's the deal: you can quit on a good day. When you have a successful day and you want to quit, let's talk. 

Taking this approach normalises the struggle (which builds resilience) and honours your child's choice to try something else.

As a parent, it can be disheartening to hear your child express a desire to quit something they once loved. However, let us start by saying that it is normal and expected that your child will think about quitting at some point in their Jiu Jitsu journey, like in any other sport or martial arts. 

The journey of mastering a martial art is filled with ups and downs, and it's crucial to teach your child the value of perseverance and resilience. When your child comes home after training and says, "I give up, I don't want to do Jiu Jitsu anymore," it's essential to respond thoughtfully. Instead of immediately dismissing their feelings, consider adopting a more nuanced approach to guide and encourage them to overcome challenges. In this blog, we will explore the benefits of supporting your child through their tough times in Jiu Jitsu and how it can lead to long-term growth and success.

Acknowledge Their Feelings: The first step in handling your child's desire to quit is to listen and acknowledge their feelings. Resist the urge to dismiss or belittle their emotions, as this may discourage them from opening up to you in the future. Let them express themselves and validate their experiences, whether they feel frustrated, tired, or overwhelmed. Understanding their emotions creates a sense of trust and openness, which is crucial for effective communication.

The Power of "Not Today": When your child expresses their wish to quit, respond with a compassionate yet firm statement: "Okay, you can quit, but not today." This response shows that you're willing to consider their feelings without making a rushed decision. Explain to them that everyone faces challenges and difficult days, and quitting on such days may not lead to personal growth or achievement. Emphasize that it's normal to feel like giving up at times, but true progress comes from pushing through those moments.

The Importance of Resilience: Jiu Jitsu, like any martial art, is a discipline that fosters resilience, determination, and mental strength. Use this opportunity to teach your child about the value of perseverance and how overcoming challenges can lead to personal growth. Explain that pushing through tough times in Jiu Jitsu not only helps them become better martial artists but also prepares them for life's challenges outside the dojo.

Normalizing Struggle: By taking the approach of allowing them to quit on a good day, you create a space where the struggle is normalized. This normalization helps your child understand that everyone faces obstacles and that it's okay to feel overwhelmed at times. Emphasize that struggling does not equate to failure, but it's a part of the learning process. When they have a successful day and still consider quitting, engage in an open and supportive conversation about their decision.

Encourage Goal Setting and Celebrate Progress: Help your child set achievable goals in Jiu Jitsu. This could be mastering a particular technique, earning a belt, or performing well in a tournament. Celebrate their progress and accomplishments along the way, no matter how small. Recognizing their efforts and hard work will boost their self-confidence and motivate them to keep going.

Conclusion: Supporting your child through their Jiu Jitsu journey is about more than just encouraging physical activity; it's about fostering resilience, perseverance, and mental strength that will benefit them throughout their lives. By acknowledging their feelings, normalizing the struggle, and promoting goal-setting, you'll be equipping your child with invaluable life skills that extend beyond the dojo. Remember, every challenge is an opportunity for growth, and by standing beside your child during their tough times, you're helping them build a strong foundation for success in Jiu Jitsu and beyond.