It never ceases to amaze people just how focussed the kids in our classes quickly become. Kids have a reputation for having a short attention span, and sometimes that reputation leads adults to quickly underestimate just how focussed they can be.
There are several reasons why kids focus well in our classes, and we hope that by sharing what we know, you might be able to apply some of our tips outside of the dojo.
Disclaimer: we don’t presume to have all the answers. Kids can behave very differently in a classroom environment than at home. However, we hope that some of these tips will work for you in the home environment too.
Connecting the mind with the body
In our martial arts school in Las Vegas, we instill in our kids the importance of the mind-body connection. To succeed in martial arts, you need to focus your mind before you can master precise forms and movements.
When kids feel frustration, for example, they let their minds take over with negative thoughts “I can’t do this, I’m no good at this” etc. And what happens? They don’t improve. Over time, kids learn to keep their focus, persevere, and soon they will get it right.
With regular practice, karate teaches kids an excellent life skill: how to overcome frustration and quickly refocus.
If you notice your child getting worked up, simple breathing exercises are a great way to help them get out of their negative thought spiral and back to connecting with their body.
Set realistic goals and reward progress
One way to foster perseverance and focus in kids is to reward them when they do a good job. We don’t expect kids to become a black belt at the end of day one. In fact, there is no set time to become a black belt.
In karate, kids progress through the colors as and when they’re ready and able. We go at their pace and set our expectations on them based on their abilities so that they aren’t burdened with the fear of failure, limiting frustration, and feel a regular sense of accomplishment along their journey. We teach them that perseverance is valued, and if they work hard, they can achieve anything over time.
Channel negative emotions in a productive way
As Mr. Rogers once asked, “What do you do with the mad that you feel?”
Physical activity is a great way for kids to expend the adrenalin produced when they feel angry. Unfortunately, if kids can’t control these negative emotions they can lash out physically in a way that is harmful or dangerous to others.
As part of their martial arts training, kids learn how to channel their excess energy in a controlled way through physical activity, benefitting them emotionally, mentally, and physically.
If you want your kids to learn these important life skills, you can sign them up for kids karate classes at our Martial Arts School, Las Vegas.