I don’t know about you, but something that our family has a hard time with is enforcing discipline outside of karate class. Not stay with me, I’m not saying that my child doesn’t listen or do things when he is asked, but he could do a bit better. Here are a few ways to help your karate kids outside of class.
Encourage the use of sir/ma’am
When a child is asked a question, they should address the person asking the question appropriately by using sir or ma’am at the end of the answer.
They should also practice looking people in the eyes while addressing them. This is a great way to instill confidence in your little one as well. Something we struggle with is that Cayden will respond appropriately but he’ll look at his feet while doing so. I know this is a skill that makes me uncomfortable sometimes, so I understand why he acts that way. We make it a point to practice this skill together.
Give them responsibility through chores
At ATA Karate Denver, parents are supposed to give their child 3 chores to complete during the day or throughout the week to earn one of their belt stripes. But here’s the kicker. They are supposed to do these items without being reminded of them. These are the chores that Cayden does each week:
- Pick up the living room
- Bring dirty clothes to the laundry room
- Pick up his bedroom (including making the bed)
Take a guess at how often he does those things on his own. It’s not that he doesn’t want to help, but rather that he has a hard time remembering.
Something I suggest is at the end of the day, ask them “did you remember to do your chores today?” When I do this, it follows with Cayden smacking his forward and exclaiming “oh yeah!”. Then he runs off to do them. I’m glad that he has gotten better at remembering and the answer at the end of the day more often than not now is a whole hearted “yes!”.
Take time to breathe
Alright parents. We’ve all been there. The kids are bouncing off the wall and we have no idea how to get them to just chill out! A phrase that has become used often in our home is “who is in control – you or your body?” Usually this is enough to get Cayden to take a deep breath and center himself.
When it doesn’t, we have a contest to see who can sit still the longest like we do in class. This is a great way to ground your child when they are getting a little wild. Especially if it’s close to bedtime and they still have a few things to concentrate on getting done.
There’s a lot of techniques out there about how to help your child outside of their karate class. This just happens to be what works best for me. I’d love to hear what works best for you in the comments!