Don’t just put your kids into a BJJ school. You should join too! It’s something that can bring you together. So many parents and kids these days become disconnected because there are no shared interests. Unfortunately our interests drift apart as kids get more independent and parents continue to work and provide for a family. Kids are worried about games, new movies, and what’s going on at school while parents are focused on work, feeding the family, and that dang deck that isn’t gonna paint itself!! However, if two or three times a week you’re doing something with them that you both enjoy then you have common ground on which to further the growth of the relationship.
You become friends with the people that you train with. It’s inevitable. It’s like being on a sports team. You put in the time and struggle with the people around you and a mutual respect starts to grow. This is the kind of relationship that can start to form with a parent and child training together. I’ve heard from parents that train with their kids here at Cobrinha’s that this is the case, and I can see it in their interactions with each other. To the kids their parents are not only talking the talk, but they’re also walking the walk.
So often I see kids with parents that try to push them into sports or a healthy lifestyle of some kind, but then they do nothing but watch Law & Order: Criminal Intent all day, not even SVU!! It’s hard to take what they tell you about needing to be healthy and active seriously because these kids see their parents not practicing what they preach. However, when you throw that GI on, tell them we need to do this for our health and for our safety, and then you go out there and put the time in with them that forms a respect that parents seldom get from their kids these days.
If you’re the type of parent that is physically active then training with your kid can also be very convenient. Instead of worrying about getting them to whatever other sport they might do and getting your workout in too wouldn’t it be easier to just have one stop to make? The academy can be your home away from home. Even if your kids aren’t old enough to train in the same class as you that’s fine. At Cobrinha’s we have kids that do the kids class then hangout in the lobby and color or eat while their parents train in the adult class.
The point is that in a time where children and their parents are so often disconnected from each other BJJ offers a way reconnect. It gives parents and kids a chance to bond and share something they love with each other. Unfortunately kids aren’t going to be into that cool H&G show and parents don’t know what Mindcraft means, but BJJ is something transcends age boundaries or generational gaps. It’s a ride that you can both be on together and support each other on. It’s a struggle that you both can share. It may also lead to, “ok if I tap you out I get to use the car tonight, and if you tap me out I’ll mow the grass tomorrow,” but that’s a bridge you’ll have to cross on your own!
Written by Zach Smith