The other day, I was talking to some parents and they were deciding between enrolling their children in martial arts or gymnastics. 

I do agree that it is important to let children pick a sport to try for a minimum of six months. 

When, as a parent, do you think making the decision for the child is important? 

I think every case is different, but in this particular situation, the parent’s should have made the decision for the child. 


When I was sitting down with them, they were looking for more than a physical skill.  In school:  (1) Their son was respectful yet at home, he would lose his temper and hit his parents.  This behavior would not happen in public, only at home.  He was about 8 years old and was a strong kid.  The aggression was not limited to one parent but to both.  They could not figure out how to stop the behavior.

(2)  In their words, their son lacked initiative.  He would not make decisions and would settle for doing the minimum.  He wanted to just get by and would not do homework unless pushed or nagged by the parents. 

How successful do you think a child will be later in life. 

How successful do you think a child will be later in life when he does not respect his parents, loses emotional control and acts out with aggression, and lacks the initiative to strive for greater things?  They have an attitude of doing the very minimum and have a hard time making decisions. 

All parents want to offer their child a chance to compete in the world and create an amazing life.  This means giving them the tools now, to succeed later.  In this case, I believe parents should put them in an activity that builds respect at home, that teaches self-control instead of aggression and that shows him to believe in himself. 

Which do you think would help him more? 

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