Kids,Gradings,Rank and Self esteem
My daughter had a judo grading on the weekend. She's 14 and i still think of her as a kid, but also understand that it depends alot on maturity level and there are alot of other teens who would not be considered kids.
Judo gradings at her club are ALWAYS tough. Nobody gets a free ride,including the kids. As an example, the weekend grading my daughter attended had about 20 kids attempting to grade,aging from about 7-8yrs through to my daughter who's 14. Of the 20 kids, 15 were attempting to rank from yellow to orange. Only 3 managed to meet the standard and rank up (the rest were awarded belt tabs,except 1). There were a few tears,but for the few who managed to rank? they KNEW they had earned the rank and really did deserve it. My daughter was one of the 3 to rank up,and she was over the moon. She's never been a natural fit for judo,she has to werk hard at it,but she also loves it because she knows she's earned her ranks and can do it.
My main question though is: Is it better to award the kids a whole belt rank to boost their self esteem,which in turn encourages them to become better,to persist and enjoy martial arts,even though they aren't really at the standard "but its ok cuz they're kids and its only the first couple of belts",or to learn the value of hard work paying off and knowing that you really earned the rank,knowing that not everyone can or has?.
Are kids even capable of making the distinction of really earning a rank,or just getting a rank??? How much does age matter?? do little kids care?? do teens really understand the concept of not just ticking the attendance box to get a rank??
I'd really like to hear from any other dads or instructors with kids.