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Habits and Commitment

New year, new goals. I think all of us have set goals in the past and maybe have reached them or are still working on them :)

Sometimes as a parent, we get so involved in helping our children reach the goals we set for them, whether it's behavior or academically, that we lose focus on their goals. Over the many years of teaching, I've noticed that one of the hardest things to teach is consistency.

Many parents come to our program looking for an activity that will help their children become better listeners, focused, confident, and other behavior based improvements. These are all behaviors that can be improved upon, but consistency is key.

Ever wonder why our kids can be great for others, but for us we get the tantrums and whining episodes? It's because our kids are very comfortable with us. But it's not just that, it's also because we all get into habits. As a parent, we already assume our child will fight with us with bedtime or cleaning up, even before we ask. We already come into the situation, knowing we have an hour worth of whining and tears. Unknowingly, we have already set the tone for our child's reaction and behavior. I know this is one of the hardest things to overcome.

So this year, if you want your child's behavior to change, try coming into the situation from a different point of view. It's not easy. This is where another point of view can be very helpful. This is where you use your village- teachers, martial arts instructor, aunts, uncles, etc.. In all of our classes and after school programs, students are seen as individuals. They aren't coming in, labeled the "bad kid" or the "lazy kid" or the "uncoordinated kid". They are seen with fresh eyes and our program teaches each student that "I can't" is a bad word :) Instead they are taught, "why not?". With practice and a postitive attitude, behaviors start to change.

As with any habit, things take time to change. It's not going to happen overnight and we will all have times where things don't go so smoothly. It's just like losing weight and adding an exercise routine. You won't see big results in a week or a month. Things start to change in about 3 months. Then you re-evaluate and change things up to keep reaching new goals. It's a lifetime commitment.

But old habits are easy to fall back into. This is where consistency comes into play. When we are tired, we can easily fall back into our old routine. It happens, we've all done it (guilty as charged). But teach your kids it's ok to mess up. Just get back on track. Take a step back, breathe, and try again. Ask for help from your martial arts instructor, at Red Tiger Martial Arts we are happy to support you and be part of your village.

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