Hello Parents and students,
We know what high achieving, successful, happy children, and their parents do. We also know how to develop this in our students….
Just remember this one key – Success is just a HABIT.
Probably the one habit all successful children have in common is they are not only good readers but they read a lot on their own. They also develop the corresponding important habit of Continuous and never Ending Improvement (CANI). You will hear this a lot at Keiko Martial Arts because it is one of our core identities.
So how do you develop a habit, any habit? First, know that it is usually hard work, especially at first. You have to force yourself (and hopefully have someone else’s supporting and holding you accountable) until you make it a habit. This is just another word for “discipline”.
If you child is already a good reader CONGRATULATIONS. We will help you get them to the next level.
If they are not already top readers we have some work to do. Here are some tips:
1. Start Strong: Just like anything else. Do not “kind of” start, “maybe” or “try”. Just do and do it STRONG. Get the books. Set the rules and expectations. Commit. In many cases you will need to be more disciplined than your child!
2. Expect it to be hard: How you pre-frame this to yourself and your child is key. Start with this one – “This will not be easy. This will be a lot of hard work!” Now just commit to doing whatever it takes to get it done. Promise yourself that you will never give up on your child with anything that is important. This is important.
3. Expect them to mess up: Here is another pre-frame to go with the one above. Don’t expect this to be pretty and go smoothly. Have this in the back of your mind – “We are going to mess up!” Then expect it. Know that it is okay and part of the process. You learn far more from your mistakes than things that you get right or come easily. But remember “You never do easy!” So expect to mess up, acknowledge it when you do, then get up, brush yourself off and move on. Failure is temporary, quitting is permanent!
4. Reward approximations of success: When you child attempted to take her/his first steps as a baby and stumbled did you yell at them saying “What is wrong with you? Why can’t you walk?!” Of course not. You probably ran up to them crying with joy and hugged them. They then immediately tried again. If you had yelled at them instead what would they have done? So use this powerful tool - Most kids at young ages have one overriding motivation – to please their parents! Even with small successes praise them!
5. Try to avoid punishment: Punishment rarely works in the long run. And, a tip for our parents of teens, you cannot punish your child into good behavior. Besides, if punishment is the main motivation what happens when the threat of punishment is not around or disappears? Remember your objective is to develop their habit of reading on their own. They will not only stop reading when you are not around but end up hating reading.
6. Catch them doing something right: So what do you do? It takes patience and consistency but just be in the mode of “catching them doing something right”. This takes a lot of work at first but the payoff is huge later.
7. Set the habit: Remember habits take repetition. It takes 60 days to form a habit. You can also easily lose a habit. So once it is in place do not let up!
8. Be the change you want to see in your child: You cannot “tell” your child to be more respectful or work harder. What you do speaks much louder than what you say. You will always be your child’s first and primary teacher. If you really want your child to read more – you need to read more. Try this – read with them!
9. Celebrate : Can you just imagine your child a few months from now loving reading? Can you see them carrying a book around with them all the time. What if they loved reading and excelling at school? What is “visioning”? It is “getting results in advanced”. So just do this. Spend time just seeing you and your child becoming the best readers in the word. Then when it happens, pat yourself on the back and celebrate!
Summer is the perfect time to give your child this priceless life-changing gift. It is the gift of reading. I read far more now than I ever did while in school.
Readers are Leaders!
Have an amazing week!
Keiko Karate – “Actually we do make Ninjas and Superheroes here……………we turn kids into Ninjas and we turn their parents into their superheroes!”