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      10 Mental Health Benefits Provided by Martial Arts Programs

      Many people enroll their children into a martial arts program so they can have a physical activity and spend their time more productively. Did you know that there are also many emotional and mental health benefits for children who participate in martial arts? In this post, we’ll discuss the mental health benefits that practicing martial arts can provide.

      1 – Social Skills and Friendship

      The ability to make and have friends is a major factor in a child’s satisfaction and comfort level in school. It is also a key factor in their abilities to interact with the world as they get older. Martial arts provides children the ability to feel incorporated in a nonthreatening family environment. Dojos are extremely structured and facilitate a family-like atmosphere. Ultimately, that makes it a perfect environment for shy children to begin to open up and make friends. Martial arts training also teaches the concepts of compassion to opponents, patience and conflict resolution.

      2 – Discipline

      Having discipline will help a child in many ways. Discipline will allow a child to learn how to structure important aspects of their lives to accomplish tasks and goals. In martial arts, discipline is a foundational practice. Martial arts instructors are keen on not tolerating disruptions, excessive talking or goofing around. This type of discipline is especially important if the child is not receiving it in school. The discipline taught in martial arts also teaches how to control anger, how to diffuse situations without fighting and how to be self-accountable.

      3 – Respect

      Along with discipline, respect is another foundational practice taught in virtually every martial art. Children are taught to respect their instructors, their co-students, opponents and themselves. Respect is deeply engrained in martial arts and it is a lesson that it taught from day one until the end of practicing martial arts. The respect associated with martial arts comes from the close interaction students have with their teachers. Naturally, as the student learns more from the instructor they begin to increase in belt ranks, which also facilitates respect for their techniques, knowledge and abilities.

      4 – Confidence

      Learning new skills, self-defense techniques and how to acquire higher level belts provides a system of accomplishment that rewards the child with increased confidence. Because there is a competitiveness within martial arts, the ability to face an opponent and win also allows the child’s self-confidence to grow. Because it is a one-on-one sport, the child becomes more self-aware in a loss than in a team sport environment. These factors combine to boost the confidence of children, which is something that can help them become more daring in their future dreams and wants.

      5 – Awareness of Personal Safety

      Martial arts provide children with the ability to be self-accountable in an adult world. This dynamic not only makes a child more confident, but more aware of their personal environment as well. For children, many dojos will teach about stranger awareness and what to do when encountering a stranger. While parents also teach these rules to their children, their martial arts instructor also reinforce that from different angles as well. Ultimately, children taught about stranger awareness and personal safety in dojos can come away learning better decision making methods.

      6 – Physical Fitness

      Physical fitness is a growing concern these days when it comes to children. Because of technology, downgraded quality of food and busier parental schedules, children are becoming more sedentary. Martial arts provide an avenue for children to work on their balance, posture, coordination and an understanding about the importance of health and fitness from an early age. Studies have shown that physical activity is incredibly helpful to a healthy mind.

      7 – Focus

      A child with a strong attention span is one that will do better in school, have more discipline and have the ability to better handle situations without feeling overwhelmed. Martial Arts teaches children how to focus on a particular task, set of moves and reactions to an opponent’s moves. This also goes together with the discipline built through martial arts.

      8 – Responsibility

      In many dojos, children are required to maintain the cleanliness of their uniforms, the dojo and to be punctual. Along with the personal responsibility children have in memorizing moves, these elements impact their ability to achieve higher belts. Ultimately, that system of personal responsibility is important in the independence felt by a growing child.

      9 – Listening

      Listening to instructions from martial arts instructors is a vital aspect of the success a child will have in their martial arts program. Because children need to listen to their instructors, clear lines of authority and respect are drawn. By listening to their instructors, children are taught that following directions, accountability and focus are important to success.

      10 – Attention to Detail

      Martial arts are all about details. When children learn moves, they will learn how important every little movement needs to be and how it can impact outcomes. This emphasis on attention to detail helps a child increase their focus, concentration and memorization.

      Martial arts are great for boosting a child’s physical and mental health. Many of the positive aspects of healthy mental health are incorporated within the martial arts system of respect, rewards, accountability and confidence.

      How Martial Arts Can Help Your Child in School

      How Martial Arts Can Help Your Child in School

      The problems that children have in school can be academic, social, or some other challenge. Involvement in the martial arts can help with any of these kinds of problems. The following are the specific problems that your child may face in school and how the martial arts can help to resolve them.

      Bullying

      Lately, the problem of bullying has received a lot of attention in the news. Children are being bullied both in school and on social media. Some children have even taken their own lives as a result of severe bullying. The martial arts can help with this problem in two ways. First, your child will learn how to defend himself or herself. This means both that your child will be able to engage another child in a fight if they must, and that they will be able to avoid or deescalate a fight if they can. Second, your child will grow in self-confidence and self-esteem. This will help your child to feel impervious to the verbal abuse that other children may heap upon them. This self-confidence is built through achievement in the martial arts. Also, their martial arts teacher will teach them how to respect themselves and others.

      Coordination

      Many children have difficulty in sports activities because they lack certain motor skills and coordination. This makes them feel uncomfortable when they must perform in physical education classes or participate in sports during recess. The martial arts directly work on a child’s coordination skills to produce a person who is graceful in their movements. Physical coordination is not just an inborn skill. It can be taught.

      Learning the Value of Hard Work

      To succeed in the martial arts, it takes commitment and a lot of hard work. A person must give 100 percent of their energy to make progress. Your child’s martial arts instructor will emphasize that this is the case with any goal in life. As a result, your child’s commitment to goals in school will intensify.

      Discipline

      Not only does it take a lot of hard work to succeed in the martial arts but also an attitude of discipline. Discipline means that a person keeps to their training schedule no matter what kind of obstacles intervene. This obviously transfers to school, where the child must have a stick-to-it attitude to excel.

      Mental Toughness

      Many times, a child will feel timid because of their size or a lack of certain innate abilities. The martial arts teach that even a small person can be trained to overcome a big person in a confrontation. This is achieved by both practice, strategy, and a self-confident attitude. Whatever challenges your child may face in life, the martial arts can give them the tough attitude that they need to persevere.

      Focus

      A lack of focus has infected the younger generation. We live in a culture where everything is designed to conform to a short attention span. To succeed in the martial arts it takes focus and concentration on what you are doing. This is a trait that can be improved on. The martial arts instructor will lead by example, and their traits will transfer over to your child. Even if your child has subjects in school that are hard for them to focus on, they will be trained to focus for success.

      Confidence

      Many times, it is difficult for a child to excel because they lack the right amount of confidence. It has nothing to do with their innate abilities. A child’s martial arts instructor can teach them to develop confidence by appreciating the achievements that they make. Mastery of a level of martial arts can be slow, but eventually with hard work almost everyone succeeds. The instructor will challenge your child to overcome any barriers that they have towards succeeding. This ability to inspire is a special trait that martial arts instructors have.

      Working Under Pressure

      School can be difficult for many children because they must work under pressure. Not only does your child have to perform well, but also they must do so under a time constraint. The martial arts develop the ability to think on your feet and react fast to situations. There is no time to deliberate and make a slow response. For this reason, a child will learn how to work well under pressure and time constraints. They also will be taught how to remain calm in various types of pressured situations.

      Respect

      Children nowadays seem to have no respect for anyone, including themselves. One of the outstanding features of the martial arts is that it teaches people why they must respect others. It does this by giving them an appreciation of the worth of others. For instance, you should respect your teacher because of the level of knowledge and skill that they have. In this way, respect is not only based on authority but rather on the true value of other people.

      A Philosophy of Peace

      Finally, the martial arts can develop an attitude of peace and serenity in your child. The martial arts are not only a physical training and discipline. A beautiful philosophy of peace, harmony, and serenity goes along with the physical aspects of the training. This philosophy is something that can help your child attain happiness in school and life in general.

      Conclusion

      The martial arts can help your child with every aspect of their life. This is particularly the case with issues that come up in school. Right now, it is early in the school year. The process of developing the benefits of the martial arts is a slow one as with anything that has true value in life. Therefore, it is good to get a head start on enrolling your child in a respected martial arts program.

      4 Steps To Raising Confident Kids

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      Raising confident kids is not as easy as one might think. There are so many factors that go into nurturing this mindset that it is easy to overthink the process.

      The one thing to remember is that parents are their children’s first teachers, and in that regard, they are the ones who reinforce good behavior. So how does that translate into teaching children how to be confident and secure little people?

      Here are some tips for doing just that:

       

      1. Let them do it.

      It is so hard to watch children struggle through something, whether it’s tying their shoes, building a LEGO model or solving a word problem, but it is important that they develop the skills necessary to reason through the problem.

      Without their own logical deduction system in place, children will depend on their parents for even the most mundane tasks for longer than they should.

       

      2. Scale back the praise.

      This may sound cruel, but praise, just like anything else, can feel empty if it doesn’t fit the action.

      As children get older, they can tell when they are getting and exorbitant amount of praise for something that doesn’t require it, and they begin to tune it out. This backfires when they do a good job on a difficult task – they may not hear the genuine praise given at the time because they have become desensitized to it.

       

      3. Choose optimism over pessimism.

      Showing a child that there is a bright side even when they are having trouble helps them to readdress their thinking patterns and reactions to stressors. This is helpful if the child becomes distraught when things don’t go their way.

       

      4. Display the rule of choice and consequence.

      Letting children make their own decisions is difficult. Parents often feel concerned that their children won’t be happy with the outcome of some of the decisions they make. That is a fact – sometimes children will decide on a course that will disappoint them. But children must learn that their actions have consequences, and the best place to do so is at home.

      Instilling confidence in children is one of those difficult parental jobs that continue on for years. Parents play an important role in their child’s future behavior, and by addressing concerns like these early, children have a better chance of adjusting to life’s challenges.