Parent’s Corner

by Sifu Laurent Bernardin

It’s been well over a year now that our daily lives have been affected by the pandemic, but it feels like the past couple of months have been particularly tough. Schools reverted to an online format and kids won’t be going back until fall. The weather is getting nicer, but it has been difficult to spend time with friends during the lockdown. As a result, I’ve found that my kids are spending a lot more time in front of a screen both for school and for fun. Kung Fu is contributing additional screen time with Zoom classes and, that too, will last for a few more weeks, at least. Here are a few thoughts on ways to get our kids out of their chairs and away from the screen for a bit.

Move a Zoom class outside – You’ll need the backyard or deck space and you’ll need to make sure you have a strong enough Wi-Fi signal but, if those issues can be worked out, it’s a great way for the kids to get some fresh air while doing Kung Fu. It will also eliminate space constraints.

Practice outside – The backyard or perhaps a nearby park can also be a great space for independent Kung Fu practice. Being able to spread out can really help with kicking sequences and forms. However, please be mindful of taking Kung Fu weapons to a public space. You don’t want a surprise visit from the police because someone saw you waking through the park with a broadsword.

Run a family contest – It can be fun getting the whole family engaged in a pushup contest or maybe a daily squat challenge.

Participate in a WKFA social media challenge – If you are looking for ideas, the WFKA Facebook and Instagram pages are a great source for inspiration. Sharing the outcome with our Kung Fu community can add to the fun but is, of course, optional.

Get in the water – If you have access to a pool, challenge the kids to do their Kung Fu forms in the water. Practicing technique like kicks and punches will provide a very challenging workout.

Cross-train – Going for a run, a bike-ride, or even a brisk walk are great ways to get some fresh air and be active.

For our family, some of these ideas have worked but some most definitely have not. I’d appreciate hearing about your own ideas and strategies for coping in these interesting times.