Martial Arts helps kids learn to stick with things and have fun along the way. Through a series of goal setting and learning new skills kids are constantly motivated, inspired and gain competence. I have personally trained 100 or more black belt kids. They all have gained skills like self esteem, confidence, courage, tenacity and perseverance. Parents tell me things like, "Of course the kids have highs and lows in training. Many have wanted to quit along the way. But that's okay. It's okay to want to quit." The real important things is to team up with the parents, child and instructor to make sure the child doesn't quit when that feeling come along.
Quitting. We quit jobs, we quit marriages, we walk out on friendships and sometimes we let people down when the going gets tough. Sometimes it is necessary, even the right thing to do. Our kids quit teams and music lessons, art classes and after school programs.
Sometimes it’s necessary, but sometimes they are bored or don’t like the coach or would just rather play video games at home. Deciding when to let your kids quit something, be it Gymboree, Little League or SAT prep, is a question that never goes away.
My kids have tried it all. I have driven them to sports, found drum teachers, glass blowing lessons, painting and ceramics classes. They have tried their hands at their school newspapers, student government, ESL tutoring and computer programming camp, though why that qualifies as camp, I am sure that I will never know. In the end, they did not commit to most of these activities, but at the same time, I never let them quit a single activity.
Our rule is simple: Try any activity that we have the resources to make possible. Go once, go even twice but if you commit, I told my kids, there will be no quitting. At the risk of overgeneralizing, I think our children have so many choices of ways to enrich their lives that sometimes kids quit an activity as an easy response to frustration or boredom.
I regret many of the things in life that I quit, not because I was enjoying them when I left, but because if I had stuck it out and reached any sort of competency, I might have found that elusive enjoyment. In reality, this meant that my kids had to stick with the team until the season ended or an art class until the sessions ended. There was no walking out on computer camp because it was dumb or quitting drums because we recognized a dearth of musical talent. Every activity was to be seen through to completion.
Why was I so tough on them? Why draw what might seem like an arbitrary line in the sand?
Constancy, commitment and loyalty are all values I hoped to instill in my sons. Learning to endure something even when it became boring or unpleasant, when the coach or teacher didn’t like my kid, or vice versa, seemed a lesson truly worth teaching. I thought that the first time I let them walk away from something just because at that moment it didn’t suit them was the last time I had any credibility about endurance or resilience because the refrain henceforth would have been, “but you let me quit….”
Over time, my kids learned they were never going to be allowed to quit things so they should be careful about what they committed themselves to, because the word commit was going to be taken literally. The result? Good things and bad. Perhaps they didn’t try things they might have, although we usually made clear up front that you could try something (say by going once or twice) but after they signed up we were done with discussions.
But we had bad days, really frustrating end-of-my-rope days. There were tantrums and miserable practices and screaming scenes where I reminded them that this was something they had said they wanted to do. The upside? They had long, enduring relationships with instructors, coaches and teammates who changed and enriched their lives. One high school son has been on the same soccer team for nine years. It is the stuff that childhood memories are made of.
I sound so confident now, but on a weekly and sometimes daily basis I was wracked by self-doubt and misgivings and even now am not sure if what I did was right. The one thing that I have observed is this: My college-age sons have true passions, things they study in school and activities they are involved in outside of the classroom.
Passions are not like dreams for most of us, we don’t wake up one morning and find they have miraculously come to us in the night. Parents often talk about helping kids find their passions. But passions do not always reveal themselves unbidden, as often they are a result of hard work and dedication, the joy that comes of doing something well.
My kids’ passions are the result of endless hours spent learning a subject or mastering a skill. In each case, it is something that in childhood they begged and pleaded with me to quit and in late adolescence they have told me how much they enjoy. I made them stick things out because mastery, even at a child’s level takes time and repetition.
Competence breeds confidence but success and accomplishment breed self-esteem and social well-being. One of my college kids, by his choice, still plays on a soccer team. Yet in a particular parenting low point, I pushed his 12-year-old self out of the car to make him play when the practices had ramped up and become far more difficult.
From Grown and Flown
From The Well Armed Woman
There are some basic defensive tips every women should know and make part of their daily lives.
BE AWARE OF YOUR SURROUNDINGS
Self defense begins before you even know you need it. Always and in all situations, from going to the grocery store to finding your car in a dark parking lot - scan and be aware of what and who is around you and know where you are. Observe and think "what if?".
What if someone jumped out at you from behind that car? What would you do?
Part of what makes a women vulnerable to attack is the appearance of not paying attention, or appearing uncomfortable. Projecting a confident attentive presence can be a powerful deterrent. We are creatures of habit. It is far too easy to be lax in familiar surroundings and we lose the edge of really checking our surroundings and looking for anything unusual - especially in and around our own neighborhoods, homes, workplaces and cars. Many women are stalked and their habits watched over a period of time to take advantage of when their guard is likely down.
LISTEN TO YOUR GUT
We as women, have powerful instincts - trust them and use them to your advantage. If something or someone does not "feel" safe - you are probably right and should take steps to avoid them. Do not concern yourself with what other's will think that it is a silly, paranoid thought. Listen to your gut and act accordingly.
Have your keys out and ready before starting for the parking lot or your front door. Don't wait until you get in your car to begin the typically long search for your keys in your purse. Don't organize your purchases or review your receipts in the car or do anything that keeps you from locking the doors, starting the engine and leaving immediately. Review your receipts before leaving the store and place your bags in the car quickly. Lock your doors and make sure your car windows are up immediately upon entering the car. Once you enter your home, shut the door and lock it immediately, even if it means making multiple trips to the car to unload your purchases. Take the time to lock the doors each trip. Know where you are going and be ready with keys or whatever you may need before you get there.
BE PREPARED FOR FLIGHT OR FIGHT
Being in the mindset that you will fight to protect yourself and knowing how you will do that ahead of time not only gives you greater confidence but increases your chance of successfully defending yourself. Escape is always the best option. Being aware and thinking defensively will help you to see "the possibilities" of flight or fight before anything happens. I would suggest that if you choose to carry a firearm, that you take an armed personal defense course and if you do not carry a firearm, a basic self defense course is highly recommended. These self-defense programs should include simulated assaults with a fully padded instructor in realistic rape and attack scenarios, to allow you to practice what you've learned.
Just as we teach our children to stay away from strangers, we need to practice what we teach. Keep your distance when walking past strangers and be observant and mentally prepared. If a car pulls up and needs assistance, keep a very safe distance if you choose to offer help - or simply keep moving. With the internet becoming one of the most common ways we meet new people, extreme caution should be used when giving out any personal information or addresses. Everyone and anyone can look and seem "safe" online. Trust no one.
PROTECTING YOURSELF AT HOME
Home invasion crimes are on the rise. The best way to prevent a home invasion is to always keep your doors and windows locked with effective locks and to simply never, ever open your door unless you either are certain you know who's on the other side or you can verify that they have a legitimate reason for being there. Many criminals will dress up as a repair man or even a police officer. You can call the company or the police station to verify before opening your door. In the event that an intruder breaks in while you're home, you should have a safe room in your house to which you can retreat. Such a room should be equipped with a strong door, deadbolt lock, phone (preferably cell phone), and a can of pepper spray, fire extinguisher or safely stored firearm.
Contact us today - we can help prepare you for real world self-defense situations!
According to KidsHealth.org when children feel good about themselves, it sets them up for success — in everything from school to friendships. Positive feelings like self-acceptance or self-confidence help kids try new challenges, cope with mistakes, and try again. Taking pride in their abilities and accomplishments helps kids do their best.
By contrast, kids with low self-esteem might feel unsure of themselves. If they think others won't accept them, they may not participate as often. They may allow themselves to be treated poorly and have a hard time standing up for themselves. Kids who don't expect to do well may avoid challenges, give up easily, or be unable to bounce back from mistakes.
Having low self-esteem can block success. It can leave kids distracted by the stress of how to deal with everyday challenges.
How Self-Esteem Develops
Contrary to what some might think, self-esteem does not come telling kids they're wonderful, special, and great (even though they are!). Giving every child a trophy doesn't help kids' self-esteem. Indeed, it's possible for kids to feel good about themselves even when they fail.
When children compete — win or lose — they see that their own hard work and practice can make a difference. Earning a prize contributes to self-esteem only when a kid knows he or she earned it.
Self-esteem is the result of experiences that help a child feel capable, effective, and accepted.
How Martial Arts training can help
When kids learn to do things for themselves and feel proud of what they can do, they feel capable. Martial Arts is fun to learn and performing moves with a class build competence and then confidence.
Children feel effective when they see that good things come from efforts like trying hard, getting close to a goal, or making progress. Earning belts in martial arts is all about goal setting and teaches kids that hard work and effort pays off.
When kids feel accepted and understood by a parent or someone close, they are likely to accept themselves, too. Their good feelings about themselves multiply as their sensei or teacher praise good behaviors, help when needed, and give encouragement and support. Students in martial arts support and encourage each other. Events like graduations, social events and being part of a team of other positive kids is all part of Martial Arts.
Please call or click here for a free class and tour of our school
• Your child comes home missing things or his property has been damaged
• Has injuries he can’t or doesn’t want to explain.
• Has not interaction with other kids after school.
• Seems nervous taking a school bus or walking to school.
• Finds or makes up excuses as to why they can’t go to school
• Takes alternate routes home
• School grades are slipping
• Appears lonely or sad.
• Complains frequently of headaches, stomachaches or other physical ailments
• Loss of appetite
• Has lost self confidence.
Note: Children with disabilities may be at a higher risk of being bullied than other children.
Noticing signs like these are your cue to talk to your child and his teacher or counselor.
When talking to your child be sure to connect first.
Example - I’ve been seeing a lot of news reports about bullying. It scares me. Is this type of behavior happening at your school? Are you or your friends having any problem with others picking on you? Who are some of your friends at school? Any kids at school you don’t like? Why don’t you like them?
Follow up with the teacher and ask how your child does socially in school? Who he is friends with? Does the teacher think your child could be bullied or teased?
Continue to seek help. If these signs are not those of being bullied you will want to find out what is causing them. If he is being bullied take some action steps to rebuild his confidence self esteem and possibly his self defense skills before things get physical.
To stay healthy or improve health, adults need to do two types of physical activity each week: aerobic and strength exercises.
To stay healthy, adults should try to be active daily and should do:
at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity such as cycling or brisk walking every week, and strength exercises on two or more days a week that work all the major muscles (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders and arms)
75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity, such as running or a game of singles tennis every week, and strength exercises on two or more days a week that work all the major muscles (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders and arms)
A mix of moderate and vigorous aerobic activity every week. For example, two 30-minute runs plus 30 minutes of brisk walking equates to 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity, and strength exercises on two or more days a week that work all the major muscles (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders and arms)
A good rule is that one minute of vigorous activity provides the same health benefits as two minutes of moderate activity.
One training program that's been around for 2000 years (must be good) Is martial arts. Martial Arts combines flexibility, aerobic training and strength training. 2 - 3 classes a week will provide a moderate workout for beginners and a vigorous workout for intermediate and advanced students. But there are bonuses. You will be part of a great supportive community and have the benefits of self-defense.
1. Remind yourself every day it’s a constant improvement
If you tried to sprint a marathon full force you would never make it so to apply the same mindset to maintaining weight loss is not only silly but a set up for failure.
2. Stop buying your problem foods
If you have a penchant for sweet, savory, fried, or all of the above and find yourself saying, “I’ll buy just one package of [insert problem food here] so I can have some when I really want it…”, it’s time to stop. You’re creating a comfort zone for self sabotage. Just don’t buy it, okay?
3. Keep track of your nutrition when you feel you’re losing your grip
Eating too much or eating too little are both equally are the nemesis of maintaining weight loss. The best way to combat that war is to keep track of your nutrition when you feel most out of control.
4. Keep track of your results.Become a “Tracker?”
“That which is measured improves. That which is measured and reported improves exponentially.” -Karl Pearson
If you’ve ever kept a tracking chart for anything you wanted to improve, you know this is true. The effect borders on the miraculous. Trackers find themselves taking enormous action to improve the things they track almost unconsciously.
5. Memorize this phrase, “No thanks, I just ate.”
When you’re trying to make better choices regarding eating, it’s easy to get bombarded with turbulence over, “you can have just ONE” or “I heard not eating can be BAD for you” when in reality they just want you to join in on the fun. When you say “No thanks, I just ate,” it cuts down on the need to defend yourself BIG TIME.
6. Drink as much water as you can
I mean it. Not only will you stay hydrated but your body will be running on all 8 cylinders keeping you constantly tuned up.
7. Ask yourself, “Will I be happy with that decision an hour from now?”
Odds are the answer is no and it helps to focus on the outcome rather than the instant gratification. If the answer is yes, then that’s what you should be doing! Self accountability at it’s finest.
8. Establish an accountability buddy
It helps knowing that someone else understands the struggle of maintaining a healthy lifestyle and having an appointed friend you can call or text in that moment of weakness can do wonders for talking yourself off the ledge. Even if you don’t call/text it’s a great tool just knowing you can.
9. Get rid of all your bigger sized clothing
You don’t need that safety net anymore and when you have no choice to get back on track unless you want to buy a whole new wardrobe, it can be motivating to get back on the health wagon.
10. Never give up on yourself
Believe you are the person you want to be already. You just may have gotten a little off track. You need to love yourself in order to want the best for yourself
From an article on BigLifeJournal.com
We all know that setting and achieving goals is a life skill necessary for success and happiness. But it’s one that even adults REALLY struggle with: Studies say that only about 8% of people achieve their New Year’s resolutions!
How can we teach children to set realistic goals—and actually follow through?
Make it fun!
Research shows that children learn best when they’re playing and enjoying themselves at the same time. Fun experiences increase levels of endorphins, dopamine, and oxygen, all of which promote learning.
Here are 5 activities that can make goal setting more fun and effective.
1. Make a Bucket List
Typically, a bucket list is a list of accomplishments, experiences, or achievements that someone wants to have during their lifetime.
To teach your kids goal-setting—and have fun in the process—you can create a YEARLY bucket list.
It’s even more fun if the whole family gets involved.
Here's what to do:
Throughout the year, your family will have tons of fun accomplishing items on the list and checking them off.
As the year progresses and you start to notice several items remaining, you can talk about if you still want to accomplish each of these goals or if your family’s goals have changed. If you still want to accomplish them, how can you go about doing so? What steps will you need to follow?
Research shows that in addition to learning through play, children also learn effectively through experience. Keeping track of and planning toward goals will be a valuable learning experience for your child, and it’s a fun way for your family to bond as well!
At the end of the year, you can look back over all of the things your family has accomplished. You may even make creating an annual bucket list into a new family tradition!
2. Draw a Wheel of Fortune
The idea for the “wheel of fortune” was created by Dennis Waitley, author and authority on personal development.
Here’s what to do:
As your child reaches her goals in one segment of the wheel, do something to CELEBRATE, then repeat the process above for each additional segment.
Over time, your child will improve in many aspects of her life, all while learning to set and reach goals.
3. Create a Vision Board
A vision board is a great way to help your child visualize her goals. Your child will also have fun with this meaningful arts and crafts project.
Here’s what to do:
Making the vision board helps your child think through her goals, and it also serves as a powerful visual reminder of everything she would like to achieve.
Revisit the idea of the vision board often. Ask your child what different pictures represent and how she plans to achieve her various dreams.
If the goal is a big one, help her break it into simple pieces. What are some small steps she can take now to achieve her long-term goals in the future?
Your child will learn to set goals, think critically, and plan ahead. She’ll also develop the understanding that what she does now and throughout her life does matter and can positively impact her future.
4. Play 3 Stars and a Wish
3 Stars and a Wish is a fun way to get kids thinking about their goals while also providing some positive affirmation.
Here’s what to do:
Make sure that you or your child write everything down. If your child is old enough, it’s a good idea to have her write about her progress toward her wish on occasion.
Psychology professor Gail Matthews found that writing down your goals on a regular basis makes you 42% more likely to achieve them.
Having your child share her hopes and dreams with you makes her more likely to achieve them too. Dr. Matthews found that people are even more likely to achieve their goals if they share them with a friend (or parent) who believes they will succeed.
5. Ask Fun Questions
Asking your child questions about what she would like to accomplish is a standard component of the goal-setting process.
However, you can get creative and make the process more enjoyable with fun questions like:
Of course, some of these questions may prompt unrealistic answers from your child, but you can help her tweak them to be more achievable.
Then discuss that she may not win the lottery or find a magic genie, but she can take her fate into her own hands by making a plan to achieve her hopes, goals, and dreams.
It’s common for kids to be uninterested in setting goals, and even more uninterested in pursuing them to fruition. You can try to change that by making the process more fun with the following activities:
If you can get your child interested in setting and achieving goals, you’ll raise a determined and successful individual!
Hey parents, according to KidsHealth.org, kids ages 6-12 need physical activity to build strength, coordination, confidence and to lay the groundwork for a healthy lifestyle.
School-age kids should have many chances to participate in a variety of activities, sports, and games that fit for their personality, ability, age, and interests. Brainstorm with your kids on activities that feel right. Most kids won't mind a daily dose of fitness as long as it's fun.
Physical activity guidelines for school-age kids recommend that each day they:
• get 1 hour or more of moderate and vigorous physical activity on most or all days
• participate in several bouts of physical activity of 15 minutes or more each day
• avoid periods of inactivity of 2 hours or more unless sleeping
"I have been teaching martial arts for 44 years and I don’t know another sport that gives a child everything her or she needs. Two to three sessions a week give kids a structured time schedule for fitness, fun, self defense and protocol. Classes begin with respect and courtesy followed by stretching, strength building, aerobic training, jumping, kicking and learning self control and self defense. Everything the medical community recommends with a healthy dose of fun", says Master Greg Silva from Black Belt Schools International.
This is a great time to start kids with training. Many parents are looking for an indoor activity to keeps kids active all winter. Contact us for more information on our Karate for Christmas program!
Young children may often blame others for their own actions. At this age they are often aware of rules and if they break them they may try to shift the blame to others, or say it was out of their hands. However, learning to take responsibility from an early age can teach your child that she has control over her life. She may feel more invested in the choices she makes and the actions she takes because she begins to realize that she can affect the outcome of events.
Try using “we” frequently in conversation. Teaching responsibility at a young age can start by using the word “we” when speaking with your child. For example, “We put dishes in the sink after dinner,” or, “We pick up our toys before bed,” and even, “We treat others the way we would like to be treated.” This creates a home culture (how you do things in your home), which can help give your child confidence about her place in the family. Belonging to a family unit (whatever that looks like) can become a point of pride for a child. Taking responsibility at this age can center around small household tasks like helping pick up toys, washing fruits and vegetables for dinner, or even helping sort whites and darks for laundry.
Responsibility is also about others, and your child should be learning how his actions make others feel and how he affects others. Even from an early age, children can hurt each other’s feelings by name-calling or forming cliques. It’s important to teach your child that everyone has the right to their own feelings and opinions and that they are valid even if they are different from his own. Teach him that no matter what his feelings or opinions are, he does not have a right to treat others unfairly. Also teach him to apologize when he hurts another person, which allows you to show him the value of taking ownership for his actions.
Give your child the opportunity to make reparations when she hurts someone. Maybe she forgot to invite a friend to her birthday party, or she didn’t sit by a friend at lunch like she normally does.
Suggest to your child that perhaps that is the reason why her friend is upset with her, and that one way to remedy that would be to apologize. Learning to say “I’m sorry” — and to mean it — is another valuable skill for your young child to learn. To help your child further her understanding of apologies, have her work on saying something after “I’m sorry” and taking steps to prevent the wrongdoing in the future. For example, if your child breaks a sibling’s toy, you could ask her to think of a way she could make her sibling feel better. An apology could be “I’m sorry I broke your toy. I know it hurts your feelings that it’s broken. Next time I’m playing with your toys I will try to be more careful.”
Children often first tell lies when they break something by accident or take something that doesn’t belong to them. How you react to your child’s wrongdoing is critical, as she may be more or less likely to continue to tell you about the wrongdoing based on your reactions. Try to remain calm and even take a few minutes to address your child if you need to. One way you can support your child’s responsibility is to tell her ahead of time that you won’t love her any less for her mistakes or accidents. Tell her you’ll admire and respect her even more if she’s honest with you from the start. For example, try saying, “I am very sorry to hear you did that, but I am pleased that you told me honestly. That was not easy to do.”
From KidsHealth.org and comments by Greg Silva President of Black Belt Schools International
It takes confidence to be a kid. Whether going to a new school or stepping up to bat for the first time, kids face a lot of uncharted territory.
Naturally, parents want to instill a can-do attitude in their kids so that they'll bravely take on new challenges and, over time, believe in themselves. While each child is a little different, parents can follow some general guidelines to build kids' confidence.
Self-confidence rises out of a sense of competence. In other words, kids develop confidence not because parents tell them they're great, but because of their achievements, big and small. Sure, it's good to hear encouraging words from mom and dad. But words of praise mean more when they refer to a child's specific efforts or new abilities.
Martial Arts Instructors call this "Stacking". When students first come aboard we talk to parents about avoiding comparing their kids with other kids. In martial arts students real opponent or competition is themselves. "In the beginning instructors are "good finders" pointing out each child's strong points and praising them while challenging they to do something more" according to Grand Master Silva.
Once the journey begins kids gain competence at basics, kids, drills, patterns, self defense and free style. They earn and are rewarded belts, stripes and awards for practicing, patience, courtesy, goal setting and more, This "Stacking" of success references gives kids confidence to try new things and reach new levels because they are accomplishing things very few of their peers will ever do. A child that becomes a Black Belt is like a scout that becomes an "Eagle".
Martial Arts is also just fun, healthy, great for fitness and more. The gift of martial arts lessons is a gift that will go a long way.