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Will karate help improve a 5 year old's confidence?

(15 Posts)
susan198130 Tue 21-Nov-17 12:52:35

My 5 year old son is having a few issues with some of the kids at school. I don't think they're being very nice to him a lot of times, but he seems to just take it and accept it. I've spoken to his teachers about this and they are now keeping an eye on things, but I just wondered if karate helps to build their confidence?

My son can be very shy, so getting him to take part with probably be a battle. Just wondered what your experiences were?

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yasmin05 Tue 21-Nov-17 14:41:22

I never really tried that with my 8 y/o dd but my best friend had her ds enrolled in similar class and it was good exposure. But I think you should focus more on the psychological aspect. While confidence may arise from getting into some sort of physical defense classes I believe confidence is a mental state and comes from within.

namtab17 Tue 21-Nov-17 14:45:18

Watching with interest as my 5 year old DS is the same. He is a boisterous, fun child in many ways but is also very sensitive and passive, and seems to be the target for 2 boys in his class, who he sees as friends. I had to speak to his teacher as every single day for a week he came home and told me ‘A took my play piece today and didn’t give me it back’
‘A punched me hard in the stomach’
‘A pushed me and I fell over and knocked C over too’
‘B kept running up behind me and punching me in the back of the head’
All at breaks and lunchtimes, although the other day it was ‘A was nipping me all through singing today’ (teacher saw this and A was made to apologise).

I was just talking to DH this morning about starting him at a taekwondo class to help build his confidence.

susan198130 Tue 21-Nov-17 15:44:49

This is why I'm wondering if karate will help his confidence, as they say it does, but he's still so young. So not sure if it will be the same for a 5 year old.

I'm having the same namtab17. Last week, his "best friend" told him he couldn't play with them any more. Today, he played with him again. I asked why and he said because he's allowed to play with them when they say he can. I've told him that he should just play with someone else, but he doesn't. So there's not much else I can do. I've spoken to his teacher and asked if they can try and encourage him to mix with some of the other boys in his class, and she said that there are a good few people in that class that she would like to separate, and as much as she tries, they are just drawn together and always end up playing with each other at playtime, lunchtime, etc. I don't like my son being told what to do by other children, or when he's allowed to play with them. It all sounds really bitchy and nasty to me and they're only 5 and 6!

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whyfi Tue 21-Nov-17 16:13:26

It’s awful isn’t it Susan

Sounds like we’re having very similar problems. I have genuinely been (and unpleasantly) surprised by how mean some kids are being at this age! It seems so premeditated to me.

My DS tells me that A&B have secrets and whisper to each other, but DS is not allowed to know what they’re whispering about.

I keep encouraging him to play with other kids but he seems to gravitate towards these 2! He has even asked me why they are so mean to him sadwhen they’re supposed to be his friends.

His teacher has been good so far though, so at least that’s something.

susan198130 Tue 21-Nov-17 16:26:09

Oh, it really is horrible. My son seems to be a bit oblivious to it all, almost like that's how it should be. We've gone through people being the leader and the boss, my son was a follower. I've told him that the only people at school that can tell him what to do are his teachers. Not the children, but he doesn't seem to quite get it bless him.

I always thought boys were more laid back, and left this kind of crap to the girls, but obviously I was wrong. I just want him to stick up for himself. I'm going to give karate a try. It's worth a try I guess.

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whyfi Tue 21-Nov-17 19:04:33

(Oooops thought my name change had worked before my first post)

Bless his wee cotton socks. It’s so hard to think of them unhappy at school. My DS is quite bothered by the way these 2 are treating him.

I’ll let you know how we get on with taekwondo - first class is Saturday morning!

susan198130 Wed 22-Nov-17 09:24:07

Haha I did wonder if it was you! Yes, please update me.

I'm glad my son doesn't seem bothered by it, but at the same time, I don't want him to think this is what having friends is about. You should enjoy playing with your friends, not be wondering whether you can play with them or not.

My son told me he played with these boys yesterday. So I asked him why because I thought he "wasn't allowed to anymore" and he said that he's allowed to when they say he can!! I told him that maybe he should try and make some new friends. They're horrible to another boy in their little group as well.

Good luck with his first class. Hope he enjoys it!

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Twofishfingers Thu 23-Nov-17 10:58:43

Karate is a great sport. It helps with coordination, working the right hand side of the body differently from the left, improves balance, improves listening skills, strength, agility. I do karate together with one of my DSs and it's a fantastic workout.

Also, it improves children's ability to listen and imitate a movement, learn sequences of movements. In some clubs the fighting comes a bit later, but in my club even the little ones start practice fighting straight away.

It does improve confidence in a physical way - but really I am not sure just how much it would improve confidence in approaching other children/playing/social skills. It might do this but it would happen on a longer term.

Twofishfingers Thu 23-Nov-17 11:00:09

Also, when looking for a club, I would choose a club that has classes with mixture of ages. It's great for little ones to look up to the teenagers and for the older kids to learn to be role models for the younger ones.

susan198130 Mon 27-Nov-17 09:08:11

Thanks Twofishfingers. I took him to a football club last week, which he absolutely loved. My younger son is also doing it. So that's going to cost me £50 a month. So I think I'm going to do that for a term, and then I might switch over to the karate.

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MiaowTheCat Mon 27-Nov-17 09:47:28

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

susan198130 Tue 28-Nov-17 10:46:39

Thanks. I think I'll definitely look into karate. I really do want to boost his confidence. I don't know if it will help him to understand when someone is mean to him, but I really want him to learn that. He has this boy at school dictating to him when he can and can't play with them. I've explained time and time again that a friend doesn't do that. That's not nice behaviour and that maybe he should play with some of the other nicer boys. It's only been a week since I've known about this problem, and I'm already sick to death of it. But my son seems to think this boy is the "boss".

The main thing is my son isn't bothered at all by it, but I don't want him to get sucked in and grow up thinking that's what friends are like. It just all sounds so bitchy, especially for 5-6 year old boys! And maybe if he can make some friends outside of school (he has some of my friend's kids as friends but we don't see them often enough), then he'll realise that real friends are.

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sizenines Tue 28-Nov-17 11:10:08

The ethos of karate is to put away the ego and concentrate on personal physical and mental development through practising its traditional actions and philosophy. It's not easy if its to be done properly, it requires dedication and discipline but is very rewarding for self development and confidence.

It's also important to find the right dojo (school) for DS as they can be different. You can start by contacting the Karate Union of GB, if that's where you live, and they will be able to give you a list of dojos.

If you are worried about bullying in the playground, be mindful that training in karate or another martial art will develop skills gradually and is a long term commitment, and right now you may have more pressing problems which need to be addressed with the school.

susan198130 Sun 03-Dec-17 16:45:39

Thanks sizenines. My son actually went to a party today and this boy was there. My mum took him and this boy hit my son 3 times. My mum told him off. I'm going to speak to the head teacher about this, because if he's doing that when my mum is sitting there, god knows what goes on when he's at school.

I just want him to be more confident. I doubt karate will be a long-term thing. I mean pretty much every one did karate when I was a kid, and I don't think many of them (if any) turned into Bruce Lee! I just want him to just be more prepared for as he gets older, just so that he will stick up for himself as well as anything.

What I'd really like him to get into is some form of non-contact boxing but I don't think there are any clubs near me that do that for children until they are about 10.

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