Raising Strong and Healthy Children: What Not to Say
If you're like me, you like to read a lot about raising children. Although I do not have children of my own, I hope to have them one day. Also, I love working with children, and the responsibility that parents entrust us with, of helping their children to grow physically and mentally, is one that we take very seriously.
One thing that used to scare me is these articles on what NOT to say to kids. Articles like, "10 Things You Should Never Say to Children." The reason these articles scared me was that, as I read the title, I thought, "Oh boy, how many of these have I said before?" There were times when I felt like I didn't want to say ANYTHING, because there were so many things that we, as parents and teachers aren't supposed to say.
However, once I accept the reality that I am probably saying some things I shouldn't be saying, I am able to get some great info from such articles, and to discontinue using certain phrases that do not help our children. Some seem obvious, some maybe less so.
Many, perhaps most, of the things that the experts tell us not to say to children, are statements that we are likely to make out of anger, frustration, stress, etc. Sweeping generalizations such as "You ALWAYS lie!" or "You NEVER focus!" are damaging to a child's self-esteem and help to reinforce the exact behavior that we are complaining about. They give the children a label that they are likely to see themselves as, thus becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Another statement that I read about, which surprised me, is the ol' "Practice makes perfect!" Apparently this sends a different message than what is intended. I found the following on parenting.com:
""It sends the message that if you make mistakes, you didn't train hard enough," says Joel Fish, Ph.D., author of 101 Ways to Be a Terrific Sports Parent. "I've seen kids beat themselves up, wondering, 'What's wrong with me? I practice, practice, practice, and I'm still not the best.'" Instead, encourage your child to work hard because he'll improve and feel proud of his progress."
So, it seems like a better statement might be, "If you practice, you can improve."
This is just the tip of the iceberg. I would encourage you to read more articles on this subject; they are very easy to find online. Just don't be afraid to learn bad news, and don't beat yourself up if you have been using some of the phrases that experts tell you not to use. The odds are that we all have, as they are quite natural.
Once we are aware of the harm that some statements cause, it is relatively easy to stop using some of them. Eliminating those that we say out of anger and frustration require much more self-control. One tip I have found in working with children, especially the younger ones, is to really try to have fun with them. You really have to be able to laugh at anything. Don't expect perfection. Appreciate the differences in the way that their minds work.
If you're looking for Karate in Towson, but require transportation, we've got you covered! Our newly wrapped Ninja Mobile provides after school pick-up from several schools around Towson and Timonium! This is the perfect answer to parents with busy schedules, who need a safe and positive environment and activity for their children after school. Call us today to see if your child's school is on, or could be added to, our pick up list!
I am very excited right now, for many reasons. Hopefully you have noticed the new, rather large kicking bag on mat 1. Since moving to our new location last year, we have used mat 1 sparingly. Now, however, with the increased class sizes, we have been using this mat much more frequently, so we decided it was time to start getting some new equipment for this area. This is just the tip of the iceberg my friends. You can expect to see many, many more improvements to the front mat in the coming months.
We are 100% committed to providing the highest quality martial arts training available in the Towson and Timonium areas. That reminds me; the Hereford location opened up last week to much fanfare. We are very excited to be bringing our unique programs to the Parkton area and Northern Baltimore County.
Don't forget, glow in the dark dodgeball night is on Friday, from 5-9 p.m. There is still time to register, but spaces are filling up fast, so hurry!
For the next several weeks we will be discussing bullying and strategies to deal with it. This is a very tough thing to deal with but I have been reading some great books on this topic, and have several ideas that I am excited to share with out students!
I have a key example of self-discipline that I would like to share with you. To me, taking care of things before they become "urgent" requires tremendous self-discipline. Waiting until the last minute to start studying/cramming for a test would suggest a lack of self-discipline. If you are living a disciplined life you might begin studying even when you know the test is not until next week. Another example would be getting ready to go wherever it is that you are going while you still have enough time, so that you are not rushing like a chicken with its head cut off trying to make it on time.
I think we've all been there. I can remember more than a few nights when I was attending Towson University that I stayed up into the wee hours of the morning preparing for a test that I should have been preparing for well in advanced. Sometimes things out of our control cause us to be late or unprepared. Maybe we forgot about the assignment, which might be a separate (but related) issue.
However, in most situations, I believe that we don't really feel a sense of motivation until things become urgent. Most people can bring themselves to study for a test the night before said test. Fewer people will have the discipline to begin studying a week in advance. Yet these are the people that will thrive. Once things become urgent, we have probably already waited too long.
A much better approach would be to do a little bit of studying at a time, well in advance. This will allow our minds to process and understand what we have studied; we will actually learn it! As the test approaches, we can simply review what we have learned, and walk into the classroom full of confidence.
Long ago, the martial arts were considered a lethal, esoteric art, which would allow a 10-year old black belt to mop the floor with a whole gang of thugs. Then, the martial arts became known more as a fun, physical activity; a great way to stay in shape and learn some important life skills and values, and an exciting theme for birthday parties.
Now, I think we are entering an exciting time where the arts still provide those amazing fitness and character building benefits, but the skills that students develop are real, and extremely valuable.
Look at the way the arts are being practiced more and more these days. Students are learning potentially life-saving skills. Take mount escapes, for instance. With techniques like these, students learn how to get out of very bad situations, situations in which, if the students do not know what to do, their geese are basically cooked.
I’m not trying to scare anyone; I’m just pointing out how incredible the martial arts can be. Hopefully we never need to use these skills, and in today’s society this need is generally very rare for most of us. However, simply knowing that we are learning how to deal with such adversities is what makes the martial arts so empowering.
Our Summer Camp and Summer Tournament are right around the corner! Our students have been working hard to prepare for this magical time of year! We will be starting our day classes once school lets out! Come in, get a great workout, and then go jump in the pool!
Because of the added day classes, evening classes tend to get a little bit smaller in the summer, so now is a great time to get even more individual attention than ever!
Also, our Hereford location just opened up last week to great fanfare! Stop by and check it out! Our original location is continuing to serve Towson and the surrounding areas!
Recently we began letting our students select the topics for our daily “mat chats,” which we discuss for a few minutes each class. We find that this is a great way to ensure that we are addressing topics that are relevant and important to our students. Students may recommend a topic to one of the instructors before or after class.
So far we have had many great ideas, please keep them coming! We are also very open to suggestions from parents! Depending upon the number of suggestions we receive, it may take us several weeks to get to your particular topic, but rest assured that if it is important to you, it is important to us! Thank you for your input!
That’s right, our amazing Black Belt Club just got even amazinger! Yes, I know that’s not a real word, but our new Black Belt Club certainly is real, and many students have already joined. Hey, that reminds me, I need to order more of the big patches for the back of their special Black Belt Club uniforms, and more special Black Belt Club belts!
What is the Black Belt Club? I don’t have time to list all the benefits here because I have to go make some special Black Belt Club test certificates that members receive when testing for their belts, but I’ll try to touch the tip of the iceberg here:
First of all, starting May 1, we are going to be holding a special Black Belt Club class on Wednesdays emphasizing special advanced material that is not covered in our other classes! Black Belt Club members enjoy discounts on various items/activities including summer camp, training equipment, and birthday parties! Black Belt Club members can enjoy unlimited classes, oh, and do you know that new bag that everyone is raving about? That’s for use in the new Black Belt Club class!
Those are only a few of the benefits BBC has to offer, speak with an instructor to learn about the others!
So, what are you waiting for, the ink to dry on your new special Black Belt Club certificate? See Sensei Greg or Ms. Candice to sign up for our new and improved BBC TODAY!
We have beautiful new certificates which students now receive when they earn any, belt, bar, or progress star! A sample certificate can be found on the wall behind the viewing area near mat 2. This is to help certify that you are an official Maryland Martial Arts orange belt, blue belt, black belt, etc., and help to make the belt promotions even more meaningful and momentous!