by Dr. Robyn Silverman, creator of Powerful Words
We’re coming upon the summer months and the end of the school year.
This often can mean a change in routine and the adoption of other activities and programs in your child’s daily schedule.
While summer is a wonderful time of year to relax and try new things, it’s important for your child to maintain a balance of structured and unstructured time.
It’s advisable to keep some consistency in your child’s activity schedule so that the transition back at the end of the summer is not jarring or difficult.
As a Child Development Expert, I’ve been asked about whether a child should or shouldn’t “take a break” from karate during the summer. Obviously, there’s no one answer since no child is the same.
However, in my experience, maintaining at least 1-2 classes per week during the summer helps a child to feel a sense of accomplishment and stability.
At the same time, they’re able to strengthen their character and keep their commitment to learning alive. This helps them to be classroom-ready when school resumes.
Children get very uneasy if they feel that they’re missing something or that someone is advancing ahead when they are “on a break.”
This can negatively impact children’s confidence levels and make them feel reluctant to rejoin once the break is over.
Of course, if a week long vacation is planned, a prepared parent can side step any negative ramifications by having their children take an extra class before leaving or an extra class when they return.
Frontloading classes (without overwhelming) can ease the feeling that they are “falling behind” or someone else is “getting ahead.”
In addition, getting a tutor, such as a more advanced student or a willing instructor, can help a child to stay on the path to success when a vacation is planned.
Sometimes children become intrigued by what their other friends are doing, playing, or saying while your children are participating in their karate class.
This can be difficult for children because again, they don’t want to miss anything.
It’s important to prepare your children for these feelings by talking openly about priorities, effort, commitment, and time.
Helping your children make good well-thought-out choices that strengthen character will be much better in the long run than if they make poor decisions based on short-lived temptations and whims.
Remind your children that they only have the opportunity to enjoy karate a few times per week for just a few hours (or less).
They have the opportunity to spend time with friends during the many other hours available in the week.
Parents, too, need some time off. You deserve it!
We certainly appreciate your devotion to your children’s physical and mental development. Please know that we have your children’s best interest in mind.
It’s in that spirit that we ask you to help your children keep their commitment to karate throughout the summer and assist them in frontloading or making up classes if a vacation is anticipated.
We’re dedicated to your children’s advancement in both curriculum and character.
We sincerely appreciate being your partners in success.
About Dr. Robyn:
Dr. Robyn Silverman, child development specialist, body image/body bullying expert, sought-after speaker and award-winning writer, is known for her no-nonsense yet positive approach to helping young people and their families thrive. Her ground-breaking research at Tufts University on young women is the foundation for her book, “Good Girls Don’t Get Fat: How Weight Obsession Is Messing Up Our Girls and How We Can Help Them Thrive Despite It.”