Updated: Mar 10, 2020
This past week’s stripe testing and Dragons/Ninjas graduation was a great example of how we teach your children four very powerful and life changing concepts....
Fear, Hardship, Failure, and Boredom.
I know it may sound like a broken record but children today need more of these four “good” stresses Hardship, fear, boredom and failure…..We know this is good for our children. The reason they need these more than ever is because in our high tech, instant gratification world, our children are not experiencing these important stresses. Everything is coming too fast and too easy for them! Adding to this, parents are unknowingly protecting and shielding their children from everything. Stress is a good and vital component to the development of everything from .your muscles, to your immune system, to your intelligence. Children need to “skin their knees and eat dirt”!
Take a moment and think: Did your children experience any of these "good stresses" today? When was the last time they experienced any of these at a very deep emotional level? They need all four in small and big doses every day!
You cant become physically strong, until you become mentally strong.
Lets take boredom for example....Every time I hear a child say "Im bored" I wring my hands and say..."GOOD!" This one of the biggest growth opportunities your child can ever be presented with because boredom is good, and here's why. It is the mother of invention and a gateway to your child learning to use their imagination, and creativity. It helps build resilience and mental toughness!!
Remember when we were kids. You could give us a couple sticks, a cardboard box and a few rocks and we could play with them for hours. Today, kids have a closet full of toys, video games and tablets but still say “I’m bored”. So what has changed? The world and society has changed. Technology has made many parts of our lives better, but not raising kids.
So why is being bored good for kids. First, it teaches patience and self-control (FOCUS) which later develops into discipline. Has your child ever had a fit or breakdown because they did not get what they wanted?
Second, the stress of boredom stimulates and develops some vital skills in a child. The skills of creativity, curiosity and imagination. Any educator will tell you these are so important in the development of preschoolers. Video and other sophisticated games take all this away. They are actually passive activities because they require little thought and no creativity. You just “plug” your child in and they are actively stimulated (and over stimulated). These games are designed to be addictive.
So why do we do things to keep our kids from being bored? Simple answer. Because is it easier! It is easier than dealing with a bored child (at first)! It is much easier to hand them our smartphone than deal with the complaining and crying.
This is not easy but it will take some hard, intentional work on your part but I can guarantee the hard work you put into your child now will pay off huge later!
So, what can you do? First, just start by noticing. Just notice every time your child is bored. Then just change your perspective. “My child getting bored is GOOD”. It is not a bad thing to be avoided or mitigated. Then just realize every time your child gets bored it is a priceless learning opportunity. Then let them get bored. When they are riding in a car..... just let them sit there. When you are eating in a restaurant.....No phones or screens. When they are eating dinner at home No phones or screens.
We intentionally do two things that directly cause boredom at the dojo. First, with increasing frequency as they get more advanced, we repeat the same drills and routines over and over to force the stress of boredom. Mastery is born from repetition. You master something by doing 5 things 10,000 times, not 10,000 things 5 times.
Second, at the end of every class we make them sit still in silence (MOKUSO) for 60 seconds. This stillness, or mindfulness, is much more powerful than you think.
Here is an easy way to prove it: Try to get a child that is not at our dojo to sit still for 60 seconds!
So....next time your child says "I'm bored" get excited, because that is where the growth begins. Boredom....It is GOOD!
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!”