Sensei’s Weekly Mokuso
Onegaishimasu Parents and students,
We see a fantastic opportunity because of this unique time to refine our culture of character development, and help develop in your child one of the most essential success skills missing from soooooo many children today.
Delayed gratification or patience.
A common question we get from parents is: “How do I make my child more focused….more disciplined?
Well parents, from my experience there are three basic ingredients to developing a highly focused and disciplined child. I look at these like muscles. You have to continuously exercise and stress any muscle for it to grow and develop.
Here are the 3 Discipline muscles and how you can develop them in your child.
1. The Delayed Gratification muscle: Make your child earn or wait for everything. Does your child constantly interrupt you when you are talking to someone? Do they become easily frustrated when told no? This is by far the best and most abundant opportunity we have as parents to exercise this skill in our children. Set the ground rules now for your expectations surrounding this behaviour. Be firm in your decisions and don't negotiate. Children are master negotiators right out of the box and can talk you out of everything if you let them.
Beside this, there are dozens of opportunities in our daily lives to develop our delayed gratification muscle with our children. Start with small amounts of time and then work your way up. Teach them to wait their turn. Be creative and refine it to fit your family culture. We do it with our character packs, stripes, belts etc etc…and now we are doing this is with their grading results and belts.
2. The struggle muscle: This where indomitable spirit comes from. Does your child quit things at the first sign of resistance or when they view something as “too difficult”? Want your child to learn to persevere in the face of adversity, and to never know the meaning of giving up…..Make them struggle and do things they don’t want to do and often!
How many times have you heard this from your child: Ahhhhhhh...do I have to do that? I don't want to!!! If you hear this from your child get excited because you are definitely exercising the STRUGGLE muscle! This can be difficult for parents because our first instinct is to help….DONT! Don’t back down and don’t do it for them. Certainly help them with significant tasks that require supervision, but all to often parents rush in to save their child and end up doing everything for them. Make them struggle, and often.
3. The Repetition Muscle: Doing the little things, and forming daily habits (do the reps!!) and finishing tasks. Finishing what they start and developing the habit of doing it repeatedly.
A great example is making your bed daily. Teaching your child to make their bed every morning before they leave their rooms. Cleaning up their toys immediately after using them, Putting their clothes away and not leaving them in the laundry basket after being washed, putting the dishes away and not leaving them in the rack or the dishwasher overnight. These may seem like little things but they are HUGE things in developing discipline. Again there are literally dozens of opportunities in our daily lives to exercise this muscle. Get creative make it part of your family culture.. This is just how we do it in our family.
By the way……This is just how Black Belts do it, and this is just how we do it at Keiko Martial Arts.
HABITS become DISCIPLINES, and these seemingly small things add up to huge things in your child’s development.
What would your child’s future look like if they had the same highly developed muscles mentally, spiritually, and physically of a hugely successful person.
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!”