How to gain confidence from failure

word of month character

We must try to remember that failure and the suffering that follows can be a wonderful gift to our children. We have to believe and have faith that they can handle it without falling apart. The bottom line is that we need to have confidence in our children and their capabilities of greatness maybe even in areas that surprise us.
Children are born with self-confidence. They will maintain this confidence as long as we as parents and teachers do not bring up their failures and mistakes. We would never have thought to have said to our one year old, “You failed at walking again!” It is not fair to the child to not allow them the room to have internal dialogue and to explore what really happened and how they can do better next time.
What does this have to do with martial arts? In our martial arts training not everything is going to come easy. We are not going to be perfect the first time we try something. In fact we may fail many times before we get it right. So many times when we are teaching jumping rope, a child will struggle for a very long time and then all of a sudden it comes together for them. I love it when I ask them, “How did you do it?” and they just blurt out “I Practiced”. Practice has a way of building confidence. Not just the repetition over and over, but rather the careful study in practice of what is working and what is not and then making the adjustments.
If we allow our children the opportunity to practice this way the lessons they will learn will be life long ones.

Teaching Leadership

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What do parents want for their children?  When we talk to them this is what we hear.
Parents want to see them learn to be focused, responsible, disciplined, gain confidence, and social skills.   They would also like them to be learning responsibility, tolerance, problem solving, and creative thinking.  While we have been working on those skills here at Balanced Life Skills I believe that over the next year you will see us finding new innovative ways to develop these skills in our students.
We will do this by integrating and imbedding these skills in our culture.  Integrating teaching these skills while we teach the physical skills of the martial arts is one of our goals this year.  As parents and teachers one of the best ways we can help is by modeling the skills we want our children to have.
We can focus on this together as we develop our students into Ultimate Students and citizens of our community.

Winning or losing reactions

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We all know that when we play a game that it is more fun and fair when everyone follows the rules, without having to be reminded and told to do so.  But when the game is over how we react to the winning or losing of the game also has an affect on us and those that we played with.
Even though losing is never fun and winning does make us feel good there are ways of handling this that are fair to other and demonstrate good sportsmanship.  But first we need to get past the question about is it fair if someone wins or loses.  In todays world of children, there are parents and teachers that believe that it will hurt the self esteem of the child if they lose in a game or competition and so they have all sorts of ways of no one having lost, including not playing games that there are obvious winners.
Well the fact is that if we play a game and everyone plays by the rules – then it is fair if someone wins and others do not win.  The question that needs to be addressed is how do we react?  We can teach our children that it is great to desire to win – that is healthy.  In fact for me to want to be the best is healthy.  What is not healthy is when we get down on ourselves, when we decide that we are not good enough or when we cry, pout, throw a tantrum because we did not win.  Thats not fair to others and especially to those that did better on that particular day and time.  And it is not heathy for us, because those types of feelings and reactions do not allow us to go back to work on our game.
These questions are so important for everyone to discuss with their children and think about themselves before we face that situation.  We are not going to win all of the time / nor are we going to lose all of the time, even if it feels that way when we do.  So what is an appropriate reaction?