The power of your “Tribe” or…..“You become like the five people you associate with most.”
Senseis Weekly Mokuso Feb 7-14th
Hello parents and students,
At Keiko Martial Arts we are fully committed and recognize the importance of providing that special community which surrounds our children with the best teachers, mentors, and adult role models, we could possibly find, and maybe ever more importantly, kind, strong, and high achieving peers.
This week, lets further our series of discussions about realizing our full and unlimited potential by talking about the immense power of our peer groups and mentorship. There really is no way to overstate either's influence on our success, and that of our children. If there’s one good thing to come from this challenging time, it’s the reinforced realization of how important our social and peer connections are to our thriving.
Humans are highly social animals, and there is a good reason why. We are not the strongest, or the fastest animals on earth so we learned to use the one advantage we did have, our brains. We realized if we worked together we could not only survive, we could thrive and did not necessarily have to be the strongest or fastest. Much like our caveman ancestors, we still feel the need to live in “tribes” which is why we like to do things with others. Why we need to be accepted by, and belong to a group. This instinct and drive to be a part of a tribe is not just necessary, it’s hard-wired into our brains.
Remember this saying “You and your child will become like the five people you associate with the most”
The formative years: Ages 3-10
Between the ages of 3-10, the primary motivation for most children is “Pleasing their parents”. You can maximize this by just doing one thing: Express in your emotions and actions what your child does that pleases you, and learn to do this consistently and with the ENERGY!!
In short, Be fully engaged. Nothing crushes a child’s spirit more than when you are disappointed, unhappy or worse disinterested.
Getting super excited for their achievements is much better than just saying you are happy in words only. Inside the home, you the parents, are the number one educators and therefore the biggest influence on your child's development and character. Outside the home it is immensely important our children have positive peer groups, mentorship, and a strong sense of belonging to nurture their growth and development.
Preteen and teen: 11-17
At around age 11 a child’s primary motivation starts to shift to “Pleasing their peers.” (Again, remember we still have the caveman’s instinct to survive in a tribe). This is a critical age were we as parents need to provide a higher more active level of mentorship and guidance for our children to help them make responsible peer group decisions. Even though our teens may not want it?
Can we choose our children’s friends? Most likely not, but we can certainly heavily influence their decision making in this area. And WE SHOULD!! Here again is what to remember when applying this with your child.
“You child will rise or fall to the expectation level of their peer group, and become like the five people they associate with the most”
Think of a high-level sports team, high performing work team, or an elite military unit. Everyone on that team or unit is pulled up by their teammates. To stay in the group, they are compelled to keep up! I know first hand how frustrating it can be for parents whose children are not in the “thriving right away” group. While some kids and adults start there, the vast majority do not.
Most have to learn the skills, habits, and mindset we have been discussing in my previous Mokusos in order to realize their full potential, and I can't overstate the impact peer groups have on the development of these skills.
Mentorship I can’t tell you how many times parents have reached out to us asking “ Sensei could you please talk to “Julie/Johnny”, she/he listens to me, but it means so much more when its coming from you”