Not sure if I could find the article again but I did read about kids who hated sports during school, because the parents weren't supportive in the right ways. The teenagers or young adults that were interviewed spoke about their parents coaching after games (you need to work on your ball control/your shooting/your fastball/etc), calling out the refs/game officials on bad calls (or any call against their precious Timmy), or trying to discuss the game (what do YOU think you could improve on/have done better?) at all in some cases. They mentioned that there was a significant difference between their parents comments and their grandparents comments (with age comes wisdom?): the grandparents simply said "I love watching you play," and that's all the kids wanted to hear: that their parents enjoyed seeing them do what they loved.
As a teenager, I was huge into the piano. Had my dad simply said "I love hearing you play," instead of "learn this song, learn that song, work on your timing, let it come from the heart, you're not playing songs anyone likes, etc," I definitely agree that I would be much more interested in taking more music classes in college than I am now.
Excellent work Devil.
When I moved to the gym where I currently teach an adult's class, they initially asked me to help out with the kid's after a few months of me being there. My son was already attending the kid's class. I found that I did best by letting the other instructors discipline my son. I stuck to telling him to pay attention when he was distracted, just like I did with the other kids. I did this because I have a tendency to be too hard on him, and I don't want to drive him away from the sport.
Most days he wants to go to BJJ, but when he tells me he doesn't, I listen and we don't go.
I no longer have the time to teach the kid's class due to a change in my work schedule. Most days my neighbor takes him to jits along with his daughter. When I do get there in time to watch him, I follow Devil's 1st rule. After all, it's printed out on the sheet that every parent gets when they sign their kid up for class.
It's difficult sometimes because I really do know what he's doing wrong, but rules are rules. Plus, we often work on problem areas on the off days.
I tried this rule as well unfortunately my son tried to test my resolve and just not choose anything. So he comes to class with me a few times a week If he wants to do something else he can. I do worry that it will ruin bjj for him later in life but a line needs to be drawn.
Originally Posted by Devil
Originally Posted by csharp.negative
This is the kind of **** I worry about, actually. Would my kid be better off if I never said anything about his training except "Good job?" I don't know. I definitely do plenty of that - positive dialogue, letting him know I like watching him, I'm proud of him, etc.... But I do encourage him to work on certain things, give feedback on things he did well and things he should focus on and soforth.
I think too much praise can be a bad thing too. A couple months ago he did really well at a tournament. He didn't even win his division but it was the best jiu jitsu I've ever seen from him - better than other tournaments where he's won his division. I really heaped the praise on because I was genuinely impressed. After that he went through a lazy streak for a while. It was almost like he felt like he was the **** so he didn't need to work so hard anymore. He's through it now, mostly because he's been rolling with bigger kids a lot that can push him. But it made me think about the impact of too much praise.
The other thing is that the examples you gave are only one perspective on effective coaching and parental encouragement. I was reading an article in the Wall Street Journal a couple weeks ago about this hardass music teacher who had a ton of students go on to be accomplished musicians during the course of his career. The central theme of the article was that touchy-feely, praise heavy teaching is less effective than a rigid training atmosphere with stingy praise. Think Tiger Woods' dad jingling the change in his pocket to distract him while he practiced as a child.
I won't pretend to have the right answer. I'm feeling my way through it. I'll let you know how it went ten years from now.
By the way - on my one year rule. My son is over a year of training and he hasn't expressed any desire to quit. He seems to enjoy it and doesn't complain about going to train so everything seems to be good so far.
Originally Posted by Devil
I don't think we can do better than that -- examine our motivations and talk to them. Parents who do too much praise or push are focused on what they want their kids to be like, and don't bother to communicate with the kids to find out what they are really like and what they really need, because it may not square with the parents' fantasy. Besides, whether we praise or push changes from time to time, even for the same kid, and you have to stay on top of the situation to really help out.
Great article. Reminded me of the time I was judging a kids TKD tournament and a mom came up to me after a match, handed me her business card and in a serious tone told me that if I called her she would be happy to buy me a pair of glasses.
On the general area of praise one bit of advise that I took on board that I feel works is to praise the effort rather than the results,
for example don't say "I am really proud you won/passed/got a good score" say "I am really proud of the hard work you did that enabled you to win/pass etc" the idea is to avoid the lazyness that praise can create by focusing on the fact it was the hard work that made the difference rather than just the end goal.
Good one. That was another primary theme of the article I mentioned from the WSJ. Praise the hard work.
Originally Posted by Pharabus
What ever you do, dont track where your 21 yo son has his first boxing match, watch the first round, than in the second when things get heated up a bit barge into the ring screaming the fight is over, that you wont have him fight no more...That can cause some testicular shrinkage, especially when the whole thing is in a deep bomb shelter converted to an old school Russian boxing gym filed with Russians.
They where surprisingly cool with it though. (Did not happen to me, i was in his corner).
My son is 2 months old and I have been thinking about this allot.
Two months? What the hell are you waiting for? He should be a purple belt by now!
Originally Posted by PDA