From an article on BigLifeJournal.com
We all know that setting and achieving goals is a life skill necessary for success and happiness. But it’s one that even adults REALLY struggle with: Studies say that only about 8% of people achieve their New Year’s resolutions!
How can we teach children to set realistic goals—and actually follow through?
Make it fun!
Research shows that children learn best when they’re playing and enjoying themselves at the same time. Fun experiences increase levels of endorphins, dopamine, and oxygen, all of which promote learning.
Here are 5 activities that can make goal setting more fun and effective.
1. Make a Bucket List
Typically, a bucket list is a list of accomplishments, experiences, or achievements that someone wants to have during their lifetime.
To teach your kids goal-setting—and have fun in the process—you can create a YEARLY bucket list.
It’s even more fun if the whole family gets involved.
Here's what to do:
Throughout the year, your family will have tons of fun accomplishing items on the list and checking them off.
As the year progresses and you start to notice several items remaining, you can talk about if you still want to accomplish each of these goals or if your family’s goals have changed. If you still want to accomplish them, how can you go about doing so? What steps will you need to follow?
Research shows that in addition to learning through play, children also learn effectively through experience. Keeping track of and planning toward goals will be a valuable learning experience for your child, and it’s a fun way for your family to bond as well!
At the end of the year, you can look back over all of the things your family has accomplished. You may even make creating an annual bucket list into a new family tradition!
2. Draw a Wheel of Fortune
The idea for the “wheel of fortune” was created by Dennis Waitley, author and authority on personal development.
Here’s what to do:
As your child reaches her goals in one segment of the wheel, do something to CELEBRATE, then repeat the process above for each additional segment.
Over time, your child will improve in many aspects of her life, all while learning to set and reach goals.
3. Create a Vision Board
A vision board is a great way to help your child visualize her goals. Your child will also have fun with this meaningful arts and crafts project.
Here’s what to do:
Making the vision board helps your child think through her goals, and it also serves as a powerful visual reminder of everything she would like to achieve.
Revisit the idea of the vision board often. Ask your child what different pictures represent and how she plans to achieve her various dreams.
If the goal is a big one, help her break it into simple pieces. What are some small steps she can take now to achieve her long-term goals in the future?
Your child will learn to set goals, think critically, and plan ahead. She’ll also develop the understanding that what she does now and throughout her life does matter and can positively impact her future.
4. Play 3 Stars and a Wish
3 Stars and a Wish is a fun way to get kids thinking about their goals while also providing some positive affirmation.
Here’s what to do:
Make sure that you or your child write everything down. If your child is old enough, it’s a good idea to have her write about her progress toward her wish on occasion.
Psychology professor Gail Matthews found that writing down your goals on a regular basis makes you 42% more likely to achieve them.
Having your child share her hopes and dreams with you makes her more likely to achieve them too. Dr. Matthews found that people are even more likely to achieve their goals if they share them with a friend (or parent) who believes they will succeed.
5. Ask Fun Questions
Asking your child questions about what she would like to accomplish is a standard component of the goal-setting process.
However, you can get creative and make the process more enjoyable with fun questions like:
Of course, some of these questions may prompt unrealistic answers from your child, but you can help her tweak them to be more achievable.
Then discuss that she may not win the lottery or find a magic genie, but she can take her fate into her own hands by making a plan to achieve her hopes, goals, and dreams.
It’s common for kids to be uninterested in setting goals, and even more uninterested in pursuing them to fruition. You can try to change that by making the process more fun with the following activities:
If you can get your child interested in setting and achieving goals, you’ll raise a determined and successful individual
Hey parents, according to KidsHealth.org, kids ages 6-12 need physical activity to build strength, coordination, confidence and to lay the groundwork for a healthy lifestyle.
School-age kids should have many chances to participate in a variety of activities, sports, and games that fit for their personality, ability, age, and interests. Brainstorm with your kids on activities that feel right. Most kids won't mind a daily dose of fitness as long as it's fun.
Physical activity guidelines for school-age kids recommend that each day they:
• get 1 hour or more of moderate and vigorous physical activity on most or all days
• participate in several bouts of physical activity of 15 minutes or more each day
• avoid periods of inactivity of 2 hours or more unless sleeping
"I have been teaching martial arts for 44 years and I don’t know another sport that gives a child everything her or she needs. Two to three sessions a week give kids a structured time schedule for fitness, fun, self defense and protocol. Classes begin with respect and courtesy followed by stretching, strength building, aerobic training, jumping, kicking and learning self control and self defense. Everything the medical community recommends with a healthy dose of fun", says Master Greg Silva from Black Belt Schools International.
This is a great time to start kids with training. Many parents are looking for an indoor activity to keeps kids active all winter. Contact us for more information on our Karate for Christmas program!
Young children may often blame others for their own actions. At this age they are often aware of rules and if they break them they may try to shift the blame to others, or say it was out of their hands. However, learning to take responsibility from an early age can teach your child that she has control over her life. She may feel more invested in the choices she makes and the actions she takes because she begins to realize that she can affect the outcome of events.
Try using “we” frequently in conversation. Teaching responsibility at a young age can start by using the word “we” when speaking with your child. For example, “We put dishes in the sink after dinner,” or, “We pick up our toys before bed,” and even, “We treat others the way we would like to be treated.” This creates a home culture (how you do things in your home), which can help give your child confidence about her place in the family. Belonging to a family unit (whatever that looks like) can become a point of pride for a child. Taking responsibility at this age can center around small household tasks like helping pick up toys, washing fruits and vegetables for dinner, or even helping sort whites and darks for laundry.
Responsibility is also about others, and your child should be learning how his actions make others feel and how he affects others. Even from an early age, children can hurt each other’s feelings by name-calling or forming cliques. It’s important to teach your child that everyone has the right to their own feelings and opinions and that they are valid even if they are different from his own. Teach him that no matter what his feelings or opinions are, he does not have a right to treat others unfairly. Also teach him to apologize when he hurts another person, which allows you to show him the value of taking ownership for his actions.
Give your child the opportunity to make reparations when she hurts someone. Maybe she forgot to invite a friend to her birthday party, or she didn’t sit by a friend at lunch like she normally does.
Suggest to your child that perhaps that is the reason why her friend is upset with her, and that one way to remedy that would be to apologize. Learning to say “I’m sorry” — and to mean it — is another valuable skill for your young child to learn. To help your child further her understanding of apologies, have her work on saying something after “I’m sorry” and taking steps to prevent the wrongdoing in the future. For example, if your child breaks a sibling’s toy, you could ask her to think of a way she could make her sibling feel better. An apology could be “I’m sorry I broke your toy. I know it hurts your feelings that it’s broken. Next time I’m playing with your toys I will try to be more careful.”
Children often first tell lies when they break something by accident or take something that doesn’t belong to them. How you react to your child’s wrongdoing is critical, as she may be more or less likely to continue to tell you about the wrongdoing based on your reactions. Try to remain calm and even take a few minutes to address your child if you need to. One way you can support your child’s responsibility is to tell her ahead of time that you won’t love her any less for her mistakes or accidents. Tell her you’ll admire and respect her even more if she’s honest with you from the start. For example, try saying, “I am very sorry to hear you did that, but I am pleased that you told me honestly. That was not easy to do.”
From Kids Health org and comments by Greg Silva President of Black Belt Schools International
It takes confidence to be a kid. Whether going to a new school or stepping up to bat for the first time, kids face a lot of uncharted territory.
Naturally, parents want to instill a can-do attitude in their kids so that they'll bravely take on new challenges and, over time, believe in themselves. While each child is a little different, parents can follow some general guidelines to build kids' confidence.
Self-confidence rises out of a sense of competence. In other words, kids develop confidence not because parents tell them they're great, but because of their achievements, big and small. Sure, it's good to hear encouraging words from mom and dad. But words of praise mean more when they refer to a child's specific efforts or new abilities.
Martial Arts Instructors call this "Stacking". When students first come aboard we talk to parents about avoiding comparing their kids with other kids. In martial arts students real opponent or competition is themselves. "In the beginning instructors are "good finders" pointing out each child's strong points and praising them while challenging they to do something more" according to Grand Master Silva.
Once the journey begins kids gain competence at basics, kids, drills, patterns, self defense and free style. They earn and are rewarded belts, stripes and awards for practicing, patience, courtesy, goal setting and more, This "Stacking" of success references gives kids confidence to try new things and reach new levels because they are accomplishing things very few of their peers will ever do. A child that becomes a Black Belt is like a scout that becomes an "Eagle".
Martial Arts is also just fun, healthy, great for fitness and more. The gift of martial arts lessons is a gift that will go a long way.
Walk away from worries
"The rhythm and repetition of walking has a tranquilizing effect on your brain, and it decreases anxiety and improves sleep," says nutrition-and-wellness expert Ann Kulze, MD. Aim for a brisk, half-hour walk every day.
Do less, enjoy more
"We go overboard to please others during the holidays: shopping, cooking, sending cards, and attending every event," says George Pratt, PhD, a psychologist at Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla in California. "Instead, take care of yourself by saying no at least once—and maybe more."
Stick with your daily routine
Prioritize your workouts, book club, etc., and don't try to squeeze in more holiday than you can handle, says Katherine Muller, PsyD, an assistant professor of psychology at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City
Constant cell phone buzzes and email alerts keep us in a perpetual fight-or-flight mode due to bursts of adrenaline. Not only is this exhausting, but it contributes to mounting stress levels, especially in women. What better time to turn your gadgets off than during a holiday get-together? Enjoy spending time with your family and friends without worry
Turn up the tunes
Anxious? Listen to your favorite music, whether it's Jingle Bell Rock or the latest from Jay-Z. Research from the University of Maryland shows that hearing music you love can relax blood vessels and increase blood flow. That not only calms you down but is good for your heart, too.
Fit in exercise
It may be the last thing you feel like doing when you're stressed out, but going for a run or hitting the gym can actually make you feel better. Research has found that workouts can boost your mood for up to 12 hours.
Positive thoughts and thinking transfer to positive actions. Look of the best and make active appreciation part of your daily routine.
You may want to consider starting a martial arts class this time of year.
I know you may be thinking "What - something new this time of year?" A true martial arts class is all about mind, body and spirit, according to Greg Silva, president of Black Belt Schools International. "You get healthy exercise and flexibility training, a positive atmosphere and stress release." Getting started now will be beneficial for your health, stress level as well as jump start your healthy goals for 2017.
From an article posted by Kenney Myers
10 Ways to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain
Experts say portion control is key when the temptations are endless.
By Susan G. Rabin, MA
1. Never Arrive Hungry
New York psychologist Carol Goldberg, PhD, says planning ahead can help you maintain discipline in the face of temptation. "Don't go to a party when you're starving," she warns. Try to have a nutritious snack beforehand. If you do arrive hungry, drink some water to fill up before filling your plate.
2. Divert Your Attention
Many people forget that there's more to a holiday party than food, Goldberg tells WebMD. "Don't look at the party as just a food event," she says. "Enjoy your friends' company or dancing. Focus on something other than food."
Finn agrees. She says chatting is a great diversion, whether you're at a small family dinner or a large party. "Take your mind off of food and focus on the conversation.”
Another this is not to position your self at the food table.
3. Pace Yourself
Have you ever tried telling yourself you'll only eat during the first half hour of a party? Goldberg says this strategy is a mistake. "If you cram in as much as you can in half an hour, you chew faster. Chewing more slowly will fill you up with less food."
To munch at a leisurely pace, Finn recommends putting your fork down between every bite. "This puts you in control."
4. Count Your Canapés
When there are canapés, it's easy to lose count of how many you eat. Keep track by stashing a toothpick in your pocket for each one. Set a limit and stick to it.
5. Outsmart the Buffet
When dinner is served buffet-style, use the smallest plate available and don't stack your food; limit your helpings to a single story. "Go for the simplest foods on the buffet," Finn says. "Fresh fruits and vegetablesand shrimp cocktail are good choices. Watch out for sauces and dips."
6. Limit Alcohol
Avoid drinking too much alcohol at holiday parties. "It's not just about calories but about control," Finn explains. "If you drink a lot you, won't have as much control over what you eat."
If you feel out of place without a drink, Goldberg suggests sipping water or club soda, "so you have something to carry like everyone else."
7. Be Choosy About Sweets
When it comes to dessert, be very selective. "Limit your indulgences to small portions and only what is very sensual to you," Goldberg says. Her personal rule on sweets: "If it's going to have calories, it has to be chocolate."
What about sampling several desserts, if you only take a tiny bite of each one? "You have to know yourself," Goldberg says. "Some people can eat one bite of something and stop. I don't think most people can do that. "If you know you're the type who can't stop at one bite, you're better off taking a small portion of a single dessert than piling your plate with several treats you plan to "try."
8. Bring Your Own Treats
Whether you're going to a friend's party or an office potluck, consider bringing a low-calorie treat that you know you'll enjoy. Bringing your own dessert will make the more fattening alternatives less tempting.
And don't feel your dessert has to be typical holiday fare. "Get away from rigid thinking about what holiday food has to be," Goldberg says. "People love fruit."
9. Limit 'Tastes' While Cooking
If you do a lot of cooking during the holidays, crack down on all those "tastes." "People lose their appetites when they've been cooking because they've been eating the whole time," Finn tells WebMD. Instead of tasting mindlessly every few minutes, limit yourself to two small bites of each item pre- and post-seasoning. "Just put the spoon in and taste a little bit," Finn says. "It's not grounds for a big scoop."
For tried-and-true recipes, dare yourself not to taste the dish at all until it is served.
10. Walk It Off
Make a new holiday tradition: the family walk. Besides burning some extra calories, this will get everyone away from the food for awhile.
"Get people off the couch and move," Finn says. "Go out for a walk as a family before or after the meal." She says walking not only benefits you physically but also puts you in a mindset to be more careful about what you eat. "There's something about activity that puts you in control."
People often wait until January 1st to go on a diet or to get fit. Change that thinking and do something now. There is plenty of time to fit in 30 minutes of walking or better yet a small group exercise program. One of the top fitness choices is Kickboxing. The number of calories burned can be 800 per hour. Belonging to a small group program like kickboxing will motivate you and the support will keep you accountable so you see results! That can easily combat weight gain during the holiday season as well as reduce stress associated with the holidays. All of a sudden you can relax and enjoy a little over indulgement without the guilt.
If you've ever watched kids on a playground, you've seen the three elements of fitness in action when they:
run away from the kid who's "it" (endurance)
cross the monkey bars (strength)
bend down to tie their shoes (flexibility)
Parents should encourage their kids to do a variety of activities so that they can work on all three elements. Better yet they should enroll them in your martial arts school.
Endurance develops when kids regularly get aerobic activity. During aerobic exercise, the heart beats faster and a person breathes harder. When done regularly and for extended periods of time, aerobic activity strengthens the heart and improves the body's ability to deliver oxygen to all its cells.
Aerobic exercise can be fun for both adults and kids. Aerobic activities include:
Tae Kwon Do
Improving strength doesn't have to mean lifting weights. Instead, kids can do push-ups, stomach crunches, pull-ups, and other exercises to help tone and strengthen muscles. They also improve their strength when they climb, do a handstand, or wrestle. Kick and punch pads.
Stretching exercises help improve flexibility, allowing muscles and joints to bend and move easily through their full range of motion. Kids get chances every day to stretch when they reach for a toy, practice a split, or do a cartwheel.
When kids are active, their bodies can do the things they want and need them to do. Why? Because regular exercise provides these benefits:
1. Strong muscles and bones
2. Weight control
3. Decreased risk of developing type 2 diabetes
4. Better sleep
5. A better outlook on life
Healthy, physically active kids also are more likely to be academically motivated, alert, and successful. And physical competence builds self-esteem at every age.
Being overweight or obese in childhood has become a serious problem. Many things add to this epidemic, but a big part of it is that kids are becoming more sedentary. In other words, they're sitting around a lot more than they used to.
Kids and teens now spend hours every day in front of a screen (TVs, smartphones, tablets, and other devices) looking at a variety of media (TV shows, videos, movies, games). Too much screen time and not enough physical activity add to the problem of childhood obesity.
One of the best ways to get kids to be more active is to limit the amount of time spent in sedentary activities, especially watching TV or other screens. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends parents:
Put limits on the time spent using media, which includes TV, social media, and video games. Media should not take the place of getting enough sleep and being active.
Limit screen time to 1 hour a day or less for children 2 to 5 years old.
Discourage any screen time, except video-chatting, for kids younger than 18 months.
Choose high-quality programming and watch it with your kids to help them understand what they're seeing.
Keep TVs, computers, and video games out of children's bedrooms and turn off screens during mealtimes.
They will need to replace that time away from the screen with something of equal or more fun. Get them into a structured program of Martial Arts. The classes will get them moving and have fun doing it. Not only will they be boring calories they will also be learning self defense, improve their self esteem, confidence and courage.