I've made it no secret over the years that I feel pretty strongly about training with my sons. It has helped hold both them and myself accountable for our individual training because I am pushed to set a good example, and they can see for themselves that I am not asking them to do anything I am not willing to do myself. It has also helped them to feel more validated in their own training goals because I understand both the passion AND the struggle that is involved in the journey.
As a single mother of boys, it has helped me earn more respect from them because they know that I am not delicate, nor am I a pushover. As boys get older and start wanting their independence, the jockeying for the alpha position within the pack begins. Trust me, when you have to be both the woman AND the man of the household, being a physically capable woman helps when it comes to raising boys.
And-- it has provided us an even ground to see eye-to-eye on when we're unable to see eye-to-eye on anything else. This has been the most valuable aspect to me in regards to training with my kids. No matter the type of relationship (parent, child, siblings, spouses, friends, co-workers, etc.), you're not always going to see eye-to-eye with the other person, and that can be the most difficult time to practice empathy if the lack of common ground causes heated emotions in either party. Parenting becomes most difficult (in my opinion) when your son/daughter reaches the age when they begin developing their own ideas on how to approach life and adopting the culture of their generation because that is when they begin to quit feeling understood-- something that all humans crave regardless of their age. Their taste in music is different. Their taste in movies is different. Their taste in just about everything is different from yours, as is their idea of what's fun and even the lingo they begin to use to communicate with you. This poses a problem for both of you because the more they feel you don't understand their world, the more misunderstood they will begin to feel as an individual.
Jiu jitsu and striking have helped me bridge that gap with my kids. Our individual training journeys, with all their accompanying highs and lows, have served as a reminder to them (and even me sometimes) that in some things -- and perhaps in certain ways the most important thing in life: the human struggle -- we're not all that different after all. When we get lost in our relationship with each other as "mother" and "son", we can find ourselves again on the mats and in so doing, also find our way back to each other as well.
You don't have to have any major goals within the martial arts to begin training. Your major goal can quite simply remain to be raising your kiddo to the best of your ability, in which case I can PROMISE you that signing up for jiu jitsu and/or muay thai or boxing WITH your kiddo(s) will help you accomplish that goal. It is by far the best decision I have made as a parent for myself, for my kids, and for our relationship and entire family dynamic.
A lover of words, magic, and the idea of changing the world by encouraging the pursuit of one dream at a time. Living the dream myself as a professional boxer, kickboxer, and MMA fighter.