At Freedom in Motion Parkour Gym, we believe in the transformative power of parkour for children. The exhilaration of movement, the joy of overcoming obstacles, and the camaraderie built with fellow practitioners contribute to a holistic and enriching experience.
However, as parents, you may have noticed that even after an amazing parkour class, a seemingly minor hiccup can dampen your child's enthusiasm. Perhaps your child was frustrated at not achieving a tricky move on their first or second try. This is where understanding and navigating the concept of negativity bias becomes crucial.
Unraveling Negativity Bias
Negativity bias is a psychological phenomenon deeply rooted in human nature. It means that individuals, especially children, tend to give more weight to negative experiences than positive ones. In the context of parkour, this bias can manifest when a child fixates on a single challenge or perceived failure, overshadowing the numerous positive aspects of their training.
Shifting the Focus to Positivity
1. Emphasize the Positive: Encourage your child to share their positive experiences from class. What thrilled them? What skills did they enjoy practicing? By fostering conversations around these highlights, you redirect their focus toward the positive aspects of their parkour journey.
Ask questions like, "What was the most exciting part of today's class?" or "What new skills are you proud of learning?" By doing so, you help your child build a narrative that emphasizes their successes and joys in parkour.
2. Realistic Expectations for Growth: Share stories of your own learning experiences to normalize the idea that improvement takes time. Explain that setbacks are a natural part of the learning process and are opportunities for growth. Reinforce the concept that mastery in parkour, like any skill, comes with consistent effort and practice.
Celebrate small victories together, whether it's conquering a challenging move or demonstrating improved coordination. This instills confidence and resilience, key ingredients for navigating the ups and downs of the parkour journey.
3. Cultivate a Personal Connection: Help your child develop a personal connection to parkour by exploring what aspects they find most enjoyable. It could be the physical activity, the thrill of overcoming obstacles, or the sense of camaraderie with fellow practitioners.
Attend parkour events together, showing genuine interest in their progress. Be their biggest supporter, celebrating not only their achievements but also their determination and effort. When children feel supported, they are more likely to view challenges as opportunities for growth rather than insurmountable obstacles.
Beyond the Gym: Fostering a Love for Movement
While our focus is on parkour, fostering a love for movement goes beyond the gym. Encourage unstructured play, where your child can explore various physical activities and discover what brings them joy. The goal is to create a positive and supportive environment where your child feels empowered to overcome challenges and embrace the journey of movement and play.
Remember, as a parent, your role is pivotal in shaping your child's perception and experience in parkour. By understanding and addressing negativity bias, you contribute to a more resilient, motivated, and joyful young practitioner. Together, let's create a foundation for a lifelong love of movement and play.