“I Want To Quit!”
Posted: August 06, 2019
“I Want To Quit!”
Everyone has said, heard, or thought this at one point in their life. When I hear this it makes me excited, this is exactly what I want to hear. Yes I know that sounds weird, but let me clarify. This desire to quit is a good thing, everyone has it at some point in their life. The key is not quitting. Part of becoming a Black Belt is learning to NEVER give up. This is called perseverance. This life skill can only be learned through facing adversity and then having someone provide guidance and encouraging you to not give up. In my opinion this is a valuable lesson that many adolescents are lacking. They go through life giving up constantly, they learn this by being allowed to give up as children. It’s human nature to avoid difficult situations, in children this is especially the case.
Children are pleasure seekers, this means that they will look for things that they like and are easy. As an adult it’s our job to know and teach them that not everything is easy. For example Martial Arts teaches Respect, Discipline, Perseverance, Self-Control, Self-Defense, and Courtesy. Adults know how important these skills are, and many times we simply have to tell the child “No, you can’t quit”. This is exactly what happened to me growing up. When I was a child there were many times I wanted to quit, my parents knew that it was good for me so they didn’t let me. At the time I was diagnosed with ADHD and was on, at some point in time, quite a few of the different ADHD medications. By the time I graduated High School they were no longer needed. Martial Arts had taught me how to have the Self-Control that I needed. Did I hate Martial Arts? Sometimes I absolutely did, but as a child did I know what was best for me? Short answer… NO. If my parents had let me quit every time I said it, I would have never learned how to finish a task. I would have never learned how to be Self-Motivated. And I would have never become a World Champion!
Parents naturally want to “take away” and “fix” the perceived problems of their children. Often we want to give our the child all of the choices, yes it’s good to give children some choice in what they do, but sometimes we simply can’t do that. For example, If you give most kids the choice for whether they want to eat ice cream or broccoli, what do you think they would pick? We know that Ice cream isn’t as good for them as broccoli. It’s the same thing with activities, if a child says to you, “I want to stay home and play video games” what do you tell them? This was a battle quite often my parents fought with me. There were many days I was literally kicking and screaming while being put in the car and seat belted in. Then in class I would do my best to have the worst kicks and attitude which sometimes led to my instructor taking my belt away in the process. Eventually I would get over my stubbornness and earn my belt back. This battle I'm sure was not easy for my parents but they understood that the lesson they were teaching me outweighed the hassle. It took Perseverance on their part to stick to their guns and not bend to what I wanted to do.
So the question I will leave everyone with is this. Do you want to help guide your child to become an amazing adult who perseveres through adversity? Or take the easy way out and let them learn how to give up? I know what I would pick. I choose to help guide all of my Reflex Taekwondo family to have that Indomitable Spirit that I have gained through never being allowed to “give up”.