When Moms Hit the Mats: The Power of Karate Parenting

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When Moms Hit the Mats: The Power of Karate Parenting

Mom and kids in karate uniforms work on worksheets

Moms. They deserve all the respect in the world. They get but a fraction.

Karate moms? They get a wee bit more.

A woman in a fighting stance with fists up.

Knuckles up.

There’s a few reasons for that. First, there’s just something a little intimidating about a mom who knows how to kick and punch do lots of pushups. The “yes, Ma’am’s” come a little more readily when you’re asked to clear the table.

Second, moms work to educate and discipline. You’re telling/shoving (guiding?) your kids all the time to make smart decisions, act respectfully toward adults and their peers, eat right, listen, do their homework, not put sharp objects in their ears.

If they violate the rules, there are consequences. Just like in karate, right? Snap. 

Third, (and here we kick it up a notch): When your kid has a lapse on the mats (goofs off, doesn’t listen, lets that sidekick droop….), it’s not your job to get them back on track. It’s the job of the instructors (hooray!). You can bet their eyes are out, keen, watching. And while class is in session, their authority is supreme.

What does this mean for moms? For one, it means letting someone else yell at your kids for a little while. Attention! Bow! Position! Student creeds! Every kid is held accountable, right from the start.

so are you.

Here’s the fourth reason karate moms get more respect: Your kids see you obeying the same rules that hold them in line. It’s a role reversal that psychologists recognize as key to helping kids respect themselves and learn how to command respect from you. A mom bower is Mom Power (excuse the pun-ed.).

You spend your whole day telling your kids what to do (in their best interests, of course). It’s nice to have someone else with authority get your kids in line (literally: ever heard Mr. Worth’s “White belts, line up!”?).

Think about it: When else are you on a level playing field with your kid, where the expectations are the same, the rules are the same for grown ups and teens and toddlers. Working on the same moves, the same stretches and disciplines and worksheets and routines.

It’s different from being on the sidelines. In karate class, your authority’s reinforced from all kinds of angles, and that transfers back to school and home.

Thank you Moms. Respect this May and beyond.

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