When I started taking my kids to take boxing lessons, most parents in school threw harsh words against me and my wife, saying we were encouraging our kids to become aggressive and that they will petition the school to have us kicked out. This made me furious because it felt like I was blamed for doing something good for my children. And here are the reasons why I think it’s a good thing.
As you might have heard as well, bullying is one of the major issues students all over the country are dealing with these days. The social and cultural climate is simply auspicious to this type of intimidation, and only a small percentage of parents actually find out about what their children are going through. The cause of that is either fear, or the fact that children are tricked to believe the fact that they carry a part of the guilt, that there really is something wrong with them that attracts aggressive behaviour from the bully.
My oldest son had this problem in his first year of school. There was a boy who constantly picked at him and enjoyed throwing my sons belongings in the dirt and name calling him. I never learnt about it but until the boy left the class, and when I asked my son why he never said anything, his response almost made me cry: he said it was his fault, because he was too goofy. I then decided to do everything in my power to make my children realise of their rights and power as human beings, and I feel boxing can help me get there.
Aside from the discipline and self control my kids are making progress with everyday, they are learning that they have their own strength that can be cultivated and used in a fairplay manner, and that they deserve to be treated with respect. Physical exercise seems more fun to them if it’s presented in the form of boxing training, and I’ve never seen them more eager to make the beds and finish up breakfast than in the mornings before practice. But what really makes me happy is how proud they look when they return home. It is the look of a self-assured child who isn’t going to be intimidated anymore.
Certainly, we can’t always get them to the gym, so we wanted to give them the opportunity to practice at home. We bought a small free-standing heavy bag and placed it in the garage. They also are obliged to wear the protective gear at all times, even on the house training sessions. They have their gloves and headguards (even if the bag won’t punch back, I want them to be accustomed to always protect themselves). I also bought each of them his own pair of weighted jump rope to enhance their speed and strength.
In the end, even with all the malicious commentaries, I think my kids are happy and I’m glad I found them a hobby that they love and that shapes their mind and body in such a positive way.