In the modern era, doctors are far too quick to prescribe medication to adolescents with behavioral problems, such as ADHD. Often, the doctor doesn’t even recommend counseling or therapy and while the medicine can be effective, it leaves a disturbing legacy of a child dependent on pills to make it through life. Instead of going down this road of quick fixes, medical practitioners should read the studies that show the effectiveness of martial arts when it comes to improving the behavior of adolescents. Martial arts provide a great outlet for a child’s excess energy while improving their self-esteem and enhancing focus.
Children growing up in this generation are exposed to arguably the most competitive era in history. This may be one of the reasons for the growing numbers of children reported to have behavioral issues and feeding them medication is not the way to improve the situation. One of the great things about martial arts like Karate is that they teach mental focus, discipline, self-control and ensures that kids develop a commitment to their goals. As well as being a fun way to spend an afternoon or evening, martial arts classes give your child a competitive edge that will transfer to academic studies and other parts of his life.
How ‘No Child Left Behind Act’ Affected Schools
The No Child Left Behind Act was signed into law in 2002 and resulted in more schools engaging in high stakes testing. While the intention of the act was to improve educational standards in the United States, it ensured that many schools cut physical education programs. This is a sad outcome, especially since it has been noted that children who engage in fitness activities regularly and have a ‘normal’ Body Mass Index (BMI) range perform better on language arts and mathematics test. It would appear that physical fitness can actually help a child’s mental acuity. Kids that perform poorly in school are more likely to have behavioral issues than those that perform at a high academic level.
Respect for Oneself & for Others
Many children with behavioral problems have low self-esteem and are either a bully or victim of bullying. It is obvious that learning martial arts will help your child protect himself as he has the confidence to avoid being a bullying target and the ability to fight back if he is attacked. What you may not know is that martial arts training actually stop bullying behavior on behalf of the aggressor. As you should know, bullies also have low self-esteem and an inability to control their temper. With martial arts classes under their belts, bullies will develop discipline and a respect for others that will result in a cessation of their unfortunate conduct.
Keep this in Mind
Ultimately, behavioral problems among adolescents will never be permanently solved though medication. At best your child will get short-term results and at worst, he will develop a dependence on medication in adulthood. Martial arts is a fun and healthy way for your child to develop self-confidence, self-respect and respect for others, a high degree of physical fitness and a level of discipline that will carry over into other areas of his life.