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  • Self-Discipline Isn't Fun

    Self-Discipline Isn't Fun

    "Self-Discipline isn't Fun" Isn't it great when we enjoy something? It's fun to do and the time passes quickly. Much of life just isn't that way though. Former students contact me from time-to-time to ask my advice. This particular student is losing interest in training in Martial Arts. I'm the green voice in the pictured text. I urged him to ask himself the "why" he does it. And it can happen when the thing we once loved, we've grown less passionate about. However, there are times, more often than not, when we need to set aside our feelings and do what is required. What if we didn't feel like taking out the trash, finishing our homework, or waking up in the morning? Children must ....

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  • Try Not to be Offended

    Try Not to be Offended

    "Try Not to be Offended" I recently heard something that was so profound, yet I couldn't find an attribution to anyone. It goes something like this:"I was taught to give no offense, but I was to work twice as hard at not becoming offended." In the culture of our business (Childcare/ Martial Arts), we try very hard to make people feel welcome and comfortable. Courtesy is our chief tenet and we want students, parents, and teachers alike to feel they are greatly valued! It's important to teach our children to respect others feelings, but at the same time strengthen themselves up for disappointment. How great it is when we overlook an offense? It should be credited to us as strength and ....

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  • Herd Immunity

    Herd Immunity

    "Herd Immunity" These days we're hearing a great deal about herd immunity. The need for people to collectively become immune to Covid-19 is almost as hot a topic as the virus itself. The infection will cease to find hosts when a group of people has built up its system to repel it successfully. Apparently this phenomenon can be achieved with and without vaccination. Being quarantined is tough on everyone, and kids are no exception. At some point, things need to return to normal. I'm not advocating an end to quarantining here, I'm simply suggesting that the idea of herd immunity goes far beyond this singular virus. Reading The Alzheimer's Prevention Program by Gary Small has helped me ....

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  • Accepting Adversity

    Accepting Adversity

    "Accepting Adversity" It would be hard to find someone who didn't agree that adversity makes us stronger. The way that resistance builds up the muscles and difficult studies build up the mind, so too should these adversity laden times build us up as a people. Covid has reared its ugly head and people are begging for relief, myself included! A desperate economy, uncertainty in public, and loss of confidence in leaders are just to name a few of the woes affecting everyone worldwide. But the proper perspective must be that these trying times can and will make us all stronger. Job, the man whose suffering is legendarily the worst, said: "Shall we accept good from God, and not ....

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  • Spare a Jackson?

    Spare a Jackson?

    "Spare a Jackson?" Last night rioters tried to pull down a statue of the 7th president of the United States, Andrew Jackson. I wonder if they knew that he had single-handedly defeated the British at the Battle of New Orleans in 1815. Or, that he'd paid Black soldiers equal pay to Whites (quite ahead of his time). Or, that Andrew Jackson adopted a Native American boy whose mother was killed on the battlefield when no other Native American would take the boy, Lycoya. What is the criteria for desecrating and removing historical monuments? If the answer is racism, please spare Andrew Jackson. There's a reason why he's celebrated throughout this country and has his name honored in so many ....

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  • Explain your decisions

    Explain your decisions

    "Explain your decisions" In our 7th and final blog in our 7 part series, we'll be exploring why you should explain yourself. One of the great answers to a child's question is "because I said so." This works well in establishing authority with younger children. But as they age, so does their sense of boundaries and understanding. For this reason add a small explanation to strengthen your argument and treat them like the emerging adult that they are. Dr. Laurence Steinberg says that a brief explanation of a parent's stance on subject will help build trust. However, an explanation proffered shouldn't be an open door to endless arguments. One must stick to one's principles. Follow our ....

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  • Don't try to be your teenager's friend

    Don't try to be your teenager's friend

    "Don't try to be your teenager's friend" We will be exploring the disastrous miscalculation of trying to become a buddy to your child during the teen years in part 6 of our 7 part parenting series. When one tries to be a friend instead of a parent, one lowers themselves down to the child's level rather than asking the child to elevate to theirs. Parental newsflash: your children don't think your cool! And the more you try to be, the worse you'll fail. Dr. Laurence Steinberg says that children should view their parents as something other than a friend; an authority figure, not a peer. It's almost a universal statement: "don't try to be your child's friend." However, countless parents ....

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  • Continue setting limits on their behavior

    Continue setting limits on their behavior

    "Continue setting limits on their behavior" Part 5 of our series deals with limiting behavior. Dr. Laurence Steinberg recommends parameters for children's behavior. As they age and flex their independent muscles, young people need to understand there are limits to acceptable behavior. Staying up later, more latitude in daily choices, and freedom of expression should all increase with age. However, a laissez-faire approach to raising your children can be disastrous. A child that has a parent who sets boundaries and expectations, intrinsically knows they're loved. The extremes of parenting are neglect and micro-managing. With love and attention, let your child know what they cannot say ....

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  • Be ready to adapt your parenting skills

    Be ready to adapt your parenting skills

    "Be ready to adapt your parenting skills" Part 4 of our 7 part series explores the idea of parental adaptability. Dr. Laurence Steingberg strongly recommends that parents be ready to change their parenting styles as their children age. This seems to go without saying, yet we're often surprised when what once worked, now fails. Disciplining a 2 year old is clearly different than that of an 8 year old. However, we often don't see the disparity between punishment and guidance between an 8 year old and 16 year old. As their bodies and brains develop, their spirit of independence and pushing the boundaries will undergo rapid growth if not fluctuation. Instead of throwing one's hands up, ....

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  • Stay involved

    Stay involved

    "Stay involved" In continuation of our parenting topic, "staying involved" is the third and next great advice from Dr. Laurence Steinberg. This seems to go without saying, except that someone desperately needs to say it. Many times family members may live in the same household, but rarely see each other. They are simply passing each other in times and places and various meal appointments, if any exist. Even now in our locked-down society, many are further quarantining in their own rooms without regard to virus spreading. A caring and thoughtful parent will try to engage with their child several times throughout the day expressing interest, guidance, and supervision. Though helicopter ....

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