How parents can help
As kids navigate friendships and cliques, there's plenty parents can do to offer support. If your child seems upset, or suddenly spends time alone when usually very social, ask about it.
Here are some tips:
Talk about your own experiences. Share your own experiences of school — cliques have been around for a long time!
Help put rejection in perspective. Remind your child of times he or she has been angry with parents, friends, or siblings — and how quickly things can change.
Shed some light on social dynamics. Acknowledge that people are often judged by the way a person looks, acts, or dresses, but that often people act mean and put others down because they lack self-confidence and try to cover it up by maintaining control.
Find stories they can relate to. Many books, TV shows, and movies portray outsiders triumphing in the face of rejection and send strong messages about the importance of being true to your own nature and the value of being a good friend, even in the face of difficult social situations. For school-age kids, books like "Blubber" by Judy Blume illustrate how quickly cliques can change. Older kids and teens might relate to movies such as "Mean Girls," "Angus," "The Breakfast Club," and "Clueless."
Foster out-of-school friendships. Get kids involved in extracurricular activities (if they aren't already) — Martial Arts is a great choice. Martial Arts schools are Bully Proof Zones, kids treat each other with respect and kids are part of a positive team of role models.
You are invited to try a risk free 30 day trial of our kids Leadership Program , for self defense, fitness and fun. Please register here - spaces are limited!
So there's a lot to gain from regular physical activity, but how do you encourage kids to do it? The three keys are:
Choosing the right activities for a child's age: If you don't, the child may be bored or frustrated.
Giving kids plenty of opportunity to be active: Kids need parents to make activity easy by providing equipment and taking them to classes and other active spots.
Keeping the focus on fun: Kids won't do something they don't enjoy.
When kids enjoy an activity, they want to do more of it. Practicing a skill — whether it's swimming or riding a tricycle or martial arts — improves their abilities and helps them feel accomplished, especially when the effort is noticed and praised. These good feelings often make kids want to continue the activity and even try others.
I have been involved with teaching martial arts to children for more than 40 years. Over those years I had the opportunity to teach thousands for kids and help other martial artists develop programs to inspire kids to train, develop positive beliefs, gain confidence and self esteem. I don't know of another sport or art that does these things as effective as martial arts. Classes are fun, kids get positive encouragement, learn to over come challenges, learn sportsmanship and goal setting. If you are looking for an activity with a purpose contact a martial arts school that specializes in kids classes. You and your child will be glad you did.
Guest Post by Greg Silva - Kenpo Black Belt and Master Instructor.
Imagine taking your child to their first day of year 1 at school...to discover they will be in a class with a variety of kids from years 1 through to 7, all being taught different levels of lessons at the same time...by just one teacher!
Sounds like a recipe for disaster, right?
Common sense tells us that in order for a child to have a rewarding learning experience it is much better if the lesson time is conducted in a focused, unified fashion.
Traditionally though in martial arts the crazy scene we painted in the opening to this blog post is pretty typical of what sometimes goes on. Several different belt ranks, needed to be trained in several different respective sets of material, all at the same time by one instructor!
Inevitably this leads to frustration on the part of one group of students or another, forever waiting for their share of the instructor’s attention. Is it any wonder the studies show 90% of kids who start martial arts quit within the first 10 months?
A popular way to make classes more effective for junior students that we use at Family Martial Arts in our Leadership Program for kids is a rotating curriculum. Unlike the traditional accumulative curriculum method used elsewhere, a rotating curriculum means everyone in class is learning the same material at the same time for their current belt rank requirements.
Since the material is laid out in a rotation, every student will in time learn all of the material – they just won’t necessarily learn it in the same order as other students. Wherever they start on the rotation is fine!
Another benefit for the students is it enables the curriculum to be presented in an engaging and easily understood thematic way. Our Elements Curriculum breaks the qualities of a great martial artist into 6 areas and relates each to one of the classical ‘elements’: fire for intensity, earth for strength, water for flexibility and so on.
This time spent to focus and reflect on the value of each quality empowers the student to apply the success lessons learned in the academy to every area of their life.
Admit it. You’ve watched and wondered: Is my kid a bully?
Not all the time. Not most of the time. But some of the time. The rough-handed grab, pushy attitude, resentful looks. Is it a bad day, a phase, or something more? Maybe no one has told you to your face you’re raising a bully, but sometimes you can’t help but wonder if other parents are talking about it behind your back.
So how do you make sure you’re raising a kind child, and not a bully?
You’ve heard all the usual talk about what causes bullying – overly permissive parenting, violent video games, abuse. What might surprise you is how even the most well-intentioned parents – parents just like you – are unknowingly sabotaging their efforts to raise kind, caring kids.
Bullying starts and ends with an imbalance of power. Too much or too little, the results are often the same: bullying behavior is simply a means to gain more power.
Here are eight ways you may be unknowingly encouraging bullying.
Want to raise a mean girl? Act like one. If you wouldn’t include your child in a conversation, you shouldn’t have it within earshot of them. Kids hear everything. The first time my daughter got hold of my phone to mimic me was truly eye-opening. My little cutie-pie morphed into a gossip girl. Eyes wide, hands waving, hips sashaying, screeching, “Wow! No! Hahaha!” She wasn’t even 2 years old yet. It was sobering to see myself through her young eyes. Catty comments are no better than outright bullying. It’s indirect bullying, and many of us do it all the time. At some point in your life, someone probably decided you weren’t “cool,” and you didn’t get a say in the matter. Didn’t feel so good, did it? Remember that feeling. Then do your best to shut off your inner gossip, especially in front of your kids.
2. Being too busy to show you care
You love your family. But relationships have their ups and downs, with the direction often being down after children enter the picture. When was the last time you told your partner or family members that you loved them? In front of your kids? Not, “I love you, but…,” but just, “I love you.” Positive displays of intimacy in the home are the basis for our kids’ relationships. You’re busy, but a simple hug and kiss for each family member on the way out the door in the morning is a great start toward teaching healthy intimacy. Show them you care, so they can show others they care.
3. The “I hate mys”
You hate your job. Those last few pounds you struggle to lose, or dealing with that messy house, or frizzy hair – your attitude reflects how you view the world. And when we act like we can’t change the outcome, we act helpless. How you feel about life has a long-lasting impact on your kids. They hear their hero (you) act helpless and that will make them feel powerless too. If your kids feel powerless, they may act to reclaim that lost power through bullying behavior. Save the negative talk for after the kids go to bed (or better yet, channel your frustration into a hobby you love). Let your kids be kids.
4. Mini-me syndrome
Kids today are ever more mature at an ever younger age. Current culture encourages us to treat our kids like mini-adults. But we forget that we are adults (trying to be, anyway), and most of us took decades to be able to even partially manage all this stress. Fully disclosing financial burdens, family illnesses, and work issues all the time just adds additional layers to our kids’ stress.
And an outlet for stress? Bullying.
5. Over-scheduling your kids’ activities
We are scared our kids will be at a disadvantage if they don’t participate in everything. So we rush to register them for ballet, karate, soccer, and so much more. But the only thing they miss out on if they have a slower schedule is anxiety and depression. If your child has a passion, by all means allow them the opportunity to explore it in more depth. But kids need unstructured free time. Play time, creative time, quiet time. The damaging effects of full schedules are well documented. Over-scheduling quickly leads to stressed kids. Stress leads to anxiety, anger, and aggression, which paves the way for bullying behavior.
6. Inconsistent rule enforcement
The last thing I want to do after a long day of pickups, drop-offs, work, and errands is deal with rule breakers, time-outs, and temper tantrums. So we choose to enforce as few rules as possible. But we enforce those few rules all the time. Inside those boundaries lies freedom. Lay the ground rules, enforce them, and give your kids permission to be themselves within those boundaries. They’ll feel a healthy sense of power and independence, and they won’t feel the need to bully in an effort to regain lost power.
7. The triple-play: wincing, waiting, watching
Bullying happens at every age. Every time you watch someone or something happen that you could help prevent with word or action, you are a peer to bullying. You are allowing it to continue through inaction. I understand the appeal of the squirrel launching rocket videos on YouTube. Really, I do. But the more you watch, the less you care. Turn it off. The long-term effects of desensitization are very real. Watch and laugh if you must, but remember your child is learning how to react to life through your actions. Make what you do count.
8. Forcing your kids to share
Sharing is a learned skill that takes time, maturity, and encouragement to develop fully. Ripping a toy out of your kid’s hand to give it to another kid? Bad idea. Talk about sharing, encourage sharing, but most importantly – teach sharing. Offer to loan your child something he’s been wanting to explore. Offer a bite of your dessert. Offer to help with a difficult chore. Forced sharing only results in a feeling of powerlessness. (Taking turns is something different. Don’t confuse the two.) Don’t make your child search for ways to regain their power.
Because who’s the most powerful kid in class? The bully.
As parents, we want our kids to grow up happy and successful. But putting happiness and success before caring is raising a generation of bullies. A recent Harvard study discovered that our kids are on to us. The majority of 10,000 kids surveyed believed that achievement and success were their parents’ main priorities, rather than caring for others. We need to change that. You know your child’s true personality. Deep down, you know if they’re a bully or testing boundaries. Be the person your kid wants you to be, so your kid can be the person you want them to be.
Guest post by Ashley Trexler: dedicated to debunking parenting myths and helping parents raise kind, caring kids. She can found at LiesAboutParenting.com.
July 8th at 2 pm make sure you are at the academy for our second junior graduation for 2017!
All students will need to register by June 17th: all family and friends are welcome - please fill in the attendance sheet at the academy so we know how many guests to expect!
When someone falls victim to negative thinking, they develop what Zig Ziglar referred to as the “Loser’s Limp.”
You know what the loser’s limp is if you’ve ever seen someone in competition that creates an excuse as to why her or she didn’t win. One of my favorite examples is where an athlete or the team blames the referee for making a bad call that lost them them the game; or worse yet, goes on and one about how bad the referees were. In fact they were so bad that they shouldn’t even be allowed to referee in that league ever again! An athlete that develops the Loser’s Limp will mentally injure himself or herself more so than any physical injury every could.
Living the Black Belt Lifestyle is NOT easy. It’s EASY to give up and make excuses. It’s EASY to develop “THE LIMP!” Don’t let that be you. Acting like a Black Belt takes work – especially when everyone around you seems to enjoying limping around.
Black Belt champions are disciplined and stay focused at the task at hand. Black belts understand that just because you’re a black belt doesn’t mean that you will never fail but it does mean that you will always put forth your best effort regardless of the outcome.
Are there any areas of your life where you may have developed “a limp?” If so, write down all of the reasons why you feel you can’t overcome the obstacle. Don’t miss anything. Then, once you have completed the list crumple up that piece of paper and throw it away!
Now take out a fresh sheet of paper and write down as many solutions as possible. If you run out of ideas ask someone else that you respect and admire that has a positive attitude to help you think up a few more. Once you have your list, TAKE MASSIVE ACTION; nothing will change unless you decide to “Lose the Limp!”
If you enjoyed this message please share it with your friends and family. You can also see more great posts like this by visiting us at familymartialarts.co.nz
Rubber bands are useful only when they are stretched!
What separates a great martial artist from a mediocre one? Is it talent? Is it athleticism? Sure all of those things play a part but the real difference between someone who is good and someone who is outstanding is discipline, determination, and drive!
“If you won’t be better tomorrow than you were today, then what do you need tomorrow for?”
What can you do to grow to the next level? What can you learn? Who might motivate or push you to grow?
I hope you enjoyed this week’s message on the Law of the Rubber Band. Please share it so we all continue to stretch ourselves to become better human beings.
• 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.
Our holiday schedule for junior students starts tomorrow – Monday January 16th.
We will be having fun with some combined classes – playing with prep skills for the first two seasons of this year!
Monday, Wednesday, Thursday – Leadership and Dragons – 5.30pm to 6.15pm
Saturday – Leadership and Dragons – 11am to 11.45am
Sunday – Tigers – 3pm to 3.30pm
Full timetable resumes January 30th!
If your child is overweight, chances are you want to help him get healthy. But sometimes that means ignoring popular diet advice. Often, what works for adults may not be best for kids.
“Children have their own set of nutritional needs for healthy growth and development,” says Tamara Melton, a dietitian and instructor at Georgia State University.
The best way to help a child lose weight? Work with his pediatrician to make sure that he slims down in a safe way. But you can also think about these simple steps to help your child — and the whole family — live a healthier, fitter lifestyle.
1. Find the right weight goal. Many younger children shouldn’t actually shed pounds. “Since they’re still growing, they may need to maintain their weight or gain at a slower rate,” Melton says. Older teenagers may be able to lose a half a pound to 2 pounds a week. Your child’s doctor can let you know what you should aim for.
2.Say “no” to diets and supplements. Your first impulse may be to put your child on a diet. But unless her pediatrician recommends it, avoid these kinds of major calorie-cutting plans. They may mean she won’t get the nutrients and calories she needs to grow. Plus, many diets may teach your child that certain items are “bad” or off-limits, which can change how she sees food later in life.
Weight loss drugs or supplements aren’t a good idea either (except when the doctor prescribes them). There’s little or no research on how these pills affect children, so they may not be safe.
3. Get the rest of the family on board. Instead of singling out your child, have a conversation with the whole family about how you’d like to make healthy changes for everyone, including yourself.
“Kids learn their habits from their parents,” Melton says. So it’s important to lead by example. One study found that children were much more likely to lose weight when their parents also slimmed down.
4. Start small. Don’t try to overhaul your family’s diet all at once. Instead, try making a few changes at a time. Small, manageable tweaks are more likely to last for a lifetime, Melton says.
Try not to eat at restaurants or fast food joints more than once a week.
Buy more fruits, vegetables, and other healthy snacks and fewer chips, cookies, and candy. If these high-calorie foods aren’t around, your kids can’t eat them. And while you shouldn’t declare any treats “off-limits,” help your kids learn to have them in moderation.
Keep an eye on portion sizes. Large plates and glasses encourage eating more, so you may want to downsize your tableware.
5. Eat meals together. When you sit down as a family (and not in front of the television), you’ll encourage healthier habits. One study showed that children who shared three or more family meals a week were 20% less likely to eat unhealthy foods and 12% less likely to be overweight.
At the start of each week, schedule a few family breakfasts, lunches, or dinners. If you can, get everyone involved in planning and cooking the meals.
6. Fill kids up on fruits and veggies. Produce is generally low in calories and high in nutrients. Children need 1 to 3 cups of vegetables and 1 to 2 cups of fruit each day. Sneak in servings with these strategies:
7. Get moving. Experts say kids need 60 minutes of physical activity every day. If your child isn’t active already, you can help them work up to that goal:
Make exercise a family outing. Go on walks, hikes, or bike rides together.
Help your child find an activity she enjoys, whether that’s soccer, swimming, dancing, or simply running around the playground.
Encourage her to spend time outside instead of in front of the TV or computer.
Our martial arts school would like to invite you to a FREE one on one lesson. Martial arts is one of the best ways to get your kids active. Call us today and get in for the start of Term One!