Mrs Sarah and Mr Hakan Provide 5 Useful Tips and Strategies on How to Prevent the bored, tired and lazy habits that could potentially be formed in our kids.
1. Tackling the issue before it gets too large
2. Positive reinforcements of the benefits of training
3. Maintaining the Discipline of Attendance
4. The value of routine
5. Instilling the importance of goal setting
Hakan: Hi I am Mr. Hakan.
Sarah: And I am Miss Sarah.
Hakan: Are we are both head instructors and managers here at the Australian Martial Arts Academy. Today we are shooting a video to provide you all with some tools and strategies you can implement at home with your child.
Sarah: We are going to be looking at the five steps to overcome your child becoming lazy or bored or tired when going to activities.
Hakan: Absolutely, now personally, doing martial arts for over 25 years, I remember starting as a young child and working through the days and years coming to class. And for those that don’t know, the master happens to be my father as well, so we had this back and forth consistently. I remember being a young kid, showing that resistance to coming class. And I would look for every excuse to ensure that I would not come to class because I wanted to choose the easy way out, so whether it be staying at home, watching TV, sleeping, playing sick, pretending to sleep, any excuse, you name, I have tried it. But looking back, I am very happy my father instilled those positive strategies and applied the tools we are going to go into today.
Sarah: Perfect. I guess it is really normal then for everyone.
Sarah: We work with children, although if you have children, I am sure you notice it is not just martial arts classes, it could just be at your school, getting ready for school in the morning, going to supper on the weekends, swimming lessons, tutoring…
Sarah: And it is not necessarily something that they like or dislike but today there is a lot of resistance to get kids to actually to do things that even that they enjoy and I guess it is hard because children these days, they have so much entertainment at home and some comfortable with their home time, yet they still do not have enough time to do exercise and to take care of their body and their mind and focus their energies,
Hakan: That is very important, health factors, exercise and basically forming the positive habits they need going into their teens and adults years as well. So the first issue we are going to talk about is tackling the issue before it gets too large, so we want to ensure that, that first negative vibe that we get or that first bit of resistance, we want to ensure that we prevent it then and there.
Sarah: That is it. So what a lot of parents I see do is that they recognise that oh the child doesn’t want to come in today or they don’t want to do something, they say, “oh this hasn’t happened before, okay we will listen to the child and we just won’t go.” And I find that almost doesn’t teach the child how to overcome any obstacles or resistance. And so it is really important that we can make sure that from there, and then we find out if there is an issue and help them how to overcome it rather than just giving up and staying at home.
Hakan: Fantastic. So we are going to go now into the second point which is positivity and reminding them of the fun times and the benefits martial arts training or any activity applies to their lives.
Sarah: Positivity is so important and your child really needs to hear from yourself as well as the instructors, that what they are doing is great and to get a little bit of feedback that they are doing really well. So reinforcing how far they have come, so we have members here who have been here for one week and we have members who have been here for 10, 15, 20 years. So it doesn’t matter if they actually have got an opportunity to get a black belt and be amazing at it yet, but what is important that we teach our child that when they did this, they improved, they got better and they enjoyed it or they learnt something from that experience and children will read through your energy levels and how you relate it. So if you got a negative vibe about getting them ready or dressed, they are going to pick up on that too.
Hakan: Yeah, let’s face it, sometimes you know we can be having a busy day and it could be, it could be that we just have a couple of hours off by not bringing into class. However, that could have impacts further down the track, so we want to really avoid that negotiation phase between.
Sarah: Almost bargaining time, right.
Hakan: Bargaining with them, that’s it. So you want to try and tackle the issue before it gets to that.
Sarah: That’s right and I guess when we start bargaining with children, what it does is it devalues the positive message that it has and it also almost becomes something that is not good for them…
Hakan: it becomes a chore.
Sarah: That’s right it becomes a chore. And so you want to reinforce, this is a great thing, let’s get excited to go and see where you go from here.
Hakan: Now there may be times where you know, the kids may have had a busy day at school, they could have a sports carnival, it could be a very hot day, and issues like this, I think it is important to do back to the discipline. Now one of the benefits martial arts has to offer is that discipline and it really has to be enforced by all support networks, through the academy, through parents at home. So in these instances, where they are tired, where they can have a minor injury, what we really encourage our parents and kids to do is just to show up to class and try and do the best they can. If it is only the stretching they can do, then get them to do that for the first part of the class. If it is reading the curriculum, then I think that is what is important also. That discipline element is an area that we most reinforce both as parents and as instructors as well.
Sarah: Definitely. I think discipline is about turning up and the best thing we can teach our child is not that we have to necessarily fix their problem, if they are tired, they don’t need to go home to bed straightaway, maybe they turn up but they ask for help. And something that we do really well here at the academy, if there is a child in need of help, you bring them straight up to one of the instructors and they can ask for some help but sometimes all your child needs to hear is, “you are a little bit tired, do you want me to keep an eye on you today?” And they know okay, I do have a bit of support and if I do get too tired, I know where to go for help.
Sarah; I think that is a great message for children.
Hakan: that’s right. We have had children who have come in with particular injuries and we have been able to alter that training curriculum to make sure that it is tailor made for their situation.
Sarah: And that they are safe obviously.
Hakan: Going on to point number 4, and I think that’s a routine. Be it a routine before class, weekly routine, daily routine, I think kids thrive off this weekly schedule and I think we sometimes forget how important it is in their lives because they you know, they remember what they do every day and going back to the previous point if we kind of break that routine, it could look like a win or a ticket in their column so reinforcing that this is something that they committed to, so keeping up with that routine is going to really help them to develop positive habits going into the future as well.
Sarah: Remember we like things when we are good at them, it is human nature. So when we are going to the gym every week and we see ourselves getting better, we like it. We haven’t been in a while and it is hard work to get motivated and kids, they are just little humans
Sarah: So we really want to say, “Okay, well what are we doing to get you into a routine. Do you have regular days that you attend your classes? Do you have something that you do to get them help and prepared for their session?” So for example, if they are coming straight from school do you have a little lunch box ready for them after school, do they maybe only have on their martial arts day so other sports days. Is there some time to have a sit down and watch that or do they get to come straight and get to play 5-10 minutes before class? Some areas that I find is that especially if you got lots of children, it is not easy these days, they are coming in rushed, there is no rule in our academy that says they can’t come in late, what is really important is that we create that routine and that we teach our child if we break routine, if we are late, if we are doing something, what are the rules and how do we follows them?
Hakan: Absolutely, great points there Sarah. Going on to point number five we are going to talk about instilling the value of setting goals into our children.
Sarah: Very important.
Hakan: So here at martial arts we have those goals set out for them to get their next belt, the next technique, the next pattern, the next weapon, whatever it may be to get them excited and motivated to continue their martial arts training. However, it doesn’t end alone here. We need the parents; we need adults to instil the importance of goal setting and that rewards system into our children as well. And I think this is a great way to wrap up the points we spoke about earlier and bring it all together. Because once we do that, that goal setting is going to really help them see what is ahead. Sometimes, other activities can have that one figuration where you are not really able to measure your progress…
Sarah: You are a little bit faster
Hakan: That’s it.
Sarah: If everyone else is a little bit faster, that kind of thing.
Hakan: Yeah, so I think with martial arts the curriculum that is set out of them and I think if we remind them, practice with them at home, it will really help them.
Sarah: I think when parents can reinforce, “well, actually you could not do these kicks or punches when you started.”
Hakan: It means a great deal to them.
Sarah: Yeah. “You could not be that flexible, actually you didn’t practice at home when you were going to be a white belt, now you are going to be a black belt, you are practicing.” Those kinds of things and pointing them out are important and often because you see your child all the time, maybe you forget to notice them and it is really hard these days to take that time and actually say, “Hey, yeah you actually couldn’t do this before.” And even if it has taken your child 6 months to get it or a 1 year to get it or 2 years to get it.
Hakan: It is just that positive reinforcement.
Sarah: You are actually getting better and when we have that goal to work towards it is always a little bit more fun, it motivates us to try a little bit harder and to really do our best.
Hakan: Hopefully those strategies have helped you and you can start implementing them. We want to ask you, what strategies do you implement to get your child to class? Hopefully you guys have enjoyed that video and we look forward to seeing you all soon.
Sarah: We look forward to reading your comments down at the bottom.
Sarah & Hakan: Thank you.