Sensei Seth Lee
How Parental Involvement Increases Child Success
Parents are an essential element to their child’s success in anything. The enthusiasm and support, or lack thereof, of a parent can make or break a child’s accomplishments. In SKILLZ martial arts, it is even more essential that parents be involved as part of the teaching team since the SKILLZ system applies child development and psychology. This approach can create extreme success for a child when their parents appreciate the program and are involved in the process. Parents that enroll their children in martial arts want to see them succeed but most don’t know what is needed from them to make this happen. Often, children who are in martial arts do not have parents that are martial artists themselves. Parents usually know what the benefits of martial arts are but don’t understand the process of making these benefits a reality. Since the goal of the SKILLZ program is to help children grow to be the best version of themselves, much emphasis is placed on the teaching team of instructors and parents. The SKILLZ curriculum is based on the developmental stages of children. The skill requirements for each level were carefully designed to developmentally benefit the child the most while using martial arts as a vehicle to ensure success. Within this system, the child not only learns self-defense, but also develops physically, intellectually, emotionally, and socially. To help parents prepare for this journey with their child, they receive a parent manual for the level their child is enrolled in. This initiates the teaching team collaboration and sets the stage for success. In the SKILLZ program, communication is essential to helping children be the most successful. Throughout each testing cycle, information is distributed on the skills that are being taught in a specific week. This helps parents to know what is happening in each class so they can initiate a conversation with their child about it. During or directly after class, SKILLZ instructors do a quick overview of the skill of the day, with the parents that watching, so they can gain a better understanding of the benefits of the class to the overall development of their child. Therefore, it is important for parents to be present, as often as possible, when their children are taking class. Since parental involvement is an essential part of this program, the instructors work to educate the parents on the different aspects of the program by providing the quick overviews as well as implementing mat chats during class and using the supplemental program, Parent SKILLZ, as an additional resource. Special class events are also held from time to time, so that parents can participate in class with their child. By doing this, parents are then aware of how they can help their child train at home. This also helps solidify the engagement of the parents in their child’s training, thereby, increasing their child’s excitement and enjoyment of the activity ultimately leading to success. By fostering a good working relationship with parents, SKILLZ instructors make certain that parents have the resources they need to help their child. When parents are enthusiastic and knowledgeable about the instruction their child is receiving, they can better help their child navigate through the training process. As an added benefit, the parent-child relationship is nurtured as all aspects of the SKILLZ program are implemented and reinforced. This ensures success for the child as they develop to be the best version of themselves.