8 Quick Ways to Get Your Child Focused & Listening to You
Proper focus and listening are two skills that we all need to master early in our lives. They go hand in hand as we need to completely focus to be able to listen to what is actually being said.
These skills are really what set the foundation to succeed in the many different challenges we will have to go through in our lifetime. It is especially important that we make sure our kids learn these as the rapid advancement of technology is bringing more and more distractions to the younger generation.
Kids are spending so much time engrossed in technology! With games easily accessible on phones and tablets, it all starts from a very young age with technology used as a "babysitter". Older kids are great at multi-tasking - messaging, checking their social media on their phone while watching TV or listening to music. They might also be eating or doing their homework at the same time. Try to grab their attention and you will end up being ignored, and we know that is FRUSTRATING.
By teaching our kids how to effectively focus and listen I am sure that they will be able to put their energy where it actually needs to be, and they will excel in anything they wish to pursue.
As with everything they learn, I know that this needs to start at home.
Here are some tips I have learned to help my kids:
1. Sit them down and talk to them about what they must prioritise.
Let them know what they must complete first and what will happen if it is not accomplished as scheduled. Have them write down their goals for the future and explain why they need to start working on their dreams early on. Most children don’t like being told what to do, so by explaining it in detail they will understand why they need to do it and that there will be consequences they might regret should they choose to do otherwise.
2. Listening to parents is something that a lot of children struggle with.
If they do struggle with this, imagine how much harder it will be for them to listen to other people. It is a bit more tricky than it sounds. To be able to really hear what another person is saying, one must have proper posture, be it standing up or sitting down. Remember what your parents or drill sergeants used to say? Back straight, chest out, chin up! Apparently, this affects the way we retain information so remind your children to be aware of their posture. If need be, don’t say what you need to say unless they are in the right position.
3. Stress that maintaining eye contact is also necessary to focus on what is being said.
Impose this strictly, besides, it’s rude when you don’t look at the person talking.
4. Have them repeat what was said
...if necessary, to confirm that they understood what was just conveyed. Ask them questions, or ask if they have questions, to check if they were really paying attention.
5. Aside from these internal distractions, kids also have external distractions to deal with.
Let them know the difference between the two, give examples, so they will know how to deal with each one properly on their own.
6. Set strict rules on limiting gadget or screen times.
There will be a strong objection, obviously, but it is imperative that parents stand their ground. Allow very little room for negotiation, so they know that you mean business. Remind them that they need to finish homework and chores first and that they can have more time during weekends. Be an example, and avoid using your gadgets unless necessary as soon as you get home.
7. Set a schedule and guidelines for each of their activities, be it school work, house chores, meal or sleeping times.
For most children, having a set routine help keep them focused. They will get used to it in no time and will no longer need to be reminded that homework comes before play. Ensure that their study area is free from distractions, is conducive to studying and that they have all the resources they need. In no time, they will show great improvement in school.
8. Decide with your spouse whether or not you will reward good behaviour or grades.
Some people see it as a bribe while some argue it works well as a motivator. It does not have to be a material thing. It can be something they want to do or a place they want to visit. Always let them know when they are doing a good job or showing signs of improvement. Children should hear positive reinforcement and verbal praise more often than words of disappointment, negativity or punishment.
I have realised that the best way for me to teach the importance of focus and listening to my children is to let other people they interact with on a regular basis to work with me. Consistency is key. Over the years, I have asked the babysitter, their grandparents or even our neighbours to help me out.
I have also decided to supplement my personal efforts by enrolling them in a martial arts class. Aside from being able to work off their excess energy physically, and keeping them away from their gadgets for a couple of hours a week, I see the discipline needed in this sport. I believe that the same discipline will help them learn how to focus and listen properly, among many other things.
I have read a lot of positive reviews from other parents on how martial arts training has made a huge difference in their children’s focus and listening skills. Their attention to detail has improved and their school grades have noticeably improved.
Stop Losing Sleep and Start Helping Your Child Achieve More At School
If you’re a caring parent living on the Gold Coast and your child is experiencing issues at school, then you need to discover how we can help you!
Well, I’m not sure if you already know this, but martial arts can certainly help your child’s performance in school. In fact we receive regular reports from other Gold Coast parents that their child’s school teacher has asked what’s “changed” because their child’s attitude, grades and behaviour have improved significantly. The change has occurred when they started their martial arts classes!
Training in a great child-focused martial arts school has tons of benefits that will really help your child academically and socially.
8 behaviours affecting your child’s success in school…
1. My Child Has Low Self-Esteem
Are you worried that your child is missing out at school, socially and academically, because they can’t stand up for themselves or comfortably contribute to class discussion? Or maybe they are just overlooked when it’s time to pick a team, or be invited to a party?
It’s heartbreaking to watch children trapped with low self esteem.
Training in a great martial arts program develops your child’s confidence by getting them to use their voice in class, leading the class with the nightly creed, training with different partners, learning empowering techniques, receiving recognition for achievements, feeling safe in the class group, and making new healthy friendships with like-minded children.
Improving your child’s self esteem is the one of the most rewarding aspects of our job as professional martial artists!
Your child feeling safe, respected and valued in their martial arts classes also improves their confidence to “give things a go” outside also. Imagine your child having new confidence to participate in their classroom more, stand up at school assembly, run for house/school captain etc. Priceless!
2. My Child is Bullied
Are you worried that your child is a target for bullies? Has your child been threatened, teased or attacked at school? For parents this can be a huge worry.
If we can arm with your child with the knowledge to identify the 3 levels of bullying behaviour plus some easy, effective and safe ways to protect themselves physically, I’m sure you’ll be feeling more relaxed and confident that they can cope if it happens!
It’s a very emotional topic to discuss with bullied victims and their parents, however once your child has the confidence and skills to stop a bully in their tracks, they rarely become a victim again.
We’re here to help your child build their courage to protect themselves against bullies, so they can enjoy happy and safe school years, with the knowledge to handle themselves if required.
3. My Child Can’t Concentrate
Lets face it… kids are distracted by so much now! They are the masters of multi-tasking and this makes it hard for them to focus on just one thing at a time, and seeing it through to completion.
If we can calm your child down, engage them to do one thing at a time, teach them that concentration is vital for completion - I’m sure it relieves some of your stress!
If your child doesn’t listen to you at home, you have to wonder how much they are missing at school. From day one, we have a great drill called “The 4 Rules of Focus” which will have your child concentrating on what you are saying, watching you, listening to you and facing you when you talk to them.
So with the help of martial arts classes, your child will be able to concentrate more in the school classroom and you’ll no longer be frustrated and upset to receive reports which say “underachieving” or “can apply him/herself better” or “doesn’t follow instructions” or “likes to be the class clown”…
4. My Child Won’t Take Responsibility
Imagine your child’s face when they’re handed their folded, bright white uniform and white belt. This is their first step to being a responsible martial artist! Each class your child is responsible for being dressed in their uniform, ready to start class on time, and able to tie their belt correctly.
Naturally your child will be learning skills to protect themselves and friends, so we teach them to also take responsibility for their actions - and not misuse their punching and kicking skills!
Every student is responsible for their own progress, which is at their own pace. This reinforces the value of home practice between lessons and we have a structured home practice program which helps to develop this skill. Even our youngest students take responsibility for their rewards and home practice.
You will see results of your child’s improved responsibility flow into their schoolwork. You just might not need to continue nagging for homework to be completed on time!
5. My Child is Disrespectful
Do you wonder whether your child actually respects you? It’s painful to hear them speak badly to you or others, and without any remorse isn’t it?
If your child doesn’t respect you, there’s a good change they don’t respect themselves either. This is where our program steps in to help you.
Great martial arts instructors don’t command respect, they actually earn it. In every class we treat your child with compassion and interest, within the structured setting of our fun classes. Thetangible milestones of the belt ranking system celebrates their achievements and successes, which is a fantastic tool to develop your child’s self respect!
Your child will quickly discover respect is displayed and earned throughout their martial arts classes and the dojo. Learning to bow to their instructor and other students is a humble greeting at the start and finish of class. The different ranks amongst students teaches respect to those more senior. Class mat chats from our character development program deliver age-appropriate education and projects on the value of respect, for the students themselves and others.
If your child can participate in an fun activity which builds their self respect, you’ll feel so much better knowing they’ll also be learning to show you and others respect also! Your school teacher will be grateful to have more respect in the classroom also!
6. My Child Lacks Self-Discipline
Believe it or not - kids do like boundaries!
Are you a busy parent who’s frustrated when your children don’t do what they are asked to do, the FIRST TIME? Of course you’re not alone!
To progress with their martial arts training, your child is going to need to develop self discipline:-
We remind our students that the only difference between a White Belt student and a Black Belt student is… the Black Belt didn’t quit! This is the most obvious martial arts lesson in self discipline!
Our younger children learn self discipline on road safety, stranger danger and fire safety.
By developing your children’s self discipline you’ll feel more confident when you’re not around to supervise them. And, of course self discipline has a huge impact on the success of your child at school.
7. My Child Has Trouble Setting Goals
Does your child set unrealistic goals and feel defeated when they can’t achieve them?
This is where the martial arts belt ranking system helps out! We celebrate new belt rankings every 12 weeks. It is a step-by-step process which requires patience and perseverance on the part of your child. This enables them to grow personally.
At school your child will also learn to set achievable goals for their projects and assessments.
8. My Child is Overweight / Unfit
Is your child a little overweight and unfit? Spending time glued to a TV or computer screen will soon take its toll on your child’s health. The increase in childhood diabetes is a stark reality and the thought of parents outliving their children due to poor health is hard to imagine.
You must get your child off the couch and into an activity that they love so much they want to continue long enough to see results.
Have you noticed in addition to health risks, overweight/unfit kids will often show signs of lower self esteem, lack of self discipline, lack of self respect, problems with friends/bullies… The problem is compounded and their behaviour can easily spiral down and deteriorate as they get older.
Did you know a great age-specific martial arts program will develop your child’s aerobic fitness, strength, flexibility and co-ordination? It works their body from top to toe… with a curriculum to suit their growing body.
If we can help you to improve your child’s fitness and health, plus develop their positive outlook to achieve whatever they put their mind to, do you think they will be unstoppable?
Stop Losing Sleep and Start Taking Action to Improve Your Child’s School Life
One of our best kept secrets is we have many kindergarten, and school teachers’ own children training in our programs! They see how martial arts training positively impacts their children’s lives both at home and at pre/school. Consider us a part of the team of 3 helping to develop your child - from home, school and in the dojo.
Your child will achieve more at school by:
1. Developing more responsibility
2. Increasing their self esteem
3. Knowing how to handle the bully
4. Improving their focus and concentration
5. Developing self respect & respect for others
6. Increasing their self discipline
7. Practising goal setting
8. Improving their fitness and health
We have this life-changing program that will improve your child’s school performance! It’s fun. It’s enriching. Click below to learn more!
9 Tips for School Success with Back-To-School Routine
By creating some simple yet effective habits you can help your child to succeed in school this year.
By creating some simple yet effective habits you can help to create your child’s success in school. We have listed the top 9 tips to ensure your child’s school success not just for the first few weeks but for years to come.
Write Out a Daily Routine
Write out a routine for school days listing the time your child will get up, have breakfast, leave for school, and what time they’ll get home, have dinner, do homework, and go to bed. You can post this on your fridge or use a small noticeboard. Like most things school success comes from habit and regular routine.
Discuss this in advance with your child allowing them some level of input depending on their age and maturity.
Turn the Morning Routine into a Habit
Make sure your child starts every morning with a healthy breakfast. Like a car, their body needs the proper fuel to perform at peak levels.
Set some guidelines on what to do and when.
1. Eat a healthy balanced breakfast
2. Get dressed
3. Clean teeth & face, brush hair
4. Pack their school bag
5. Help out with any family chores
6. Fill any free time with quality activities. Avoid TV in the mornings!
Attitude is Everything
Remind your children to go to school each day ready to focus, work hard and have fun learning.
Great Homework Habits
Have a set time and a quiet place for your child to do homework. Encourage them to do a thorough job and remind them to always hand it in.
Communicate with their Teacher
Teachers are smart, but they can’t read minds. Great relationships come from great communication. Ask questions and share concerns about your child’s school success.
Share at Home
Ask your children what they learned in school today. Ask them to tell you their favourite part of their day. Give them your full attention and be easily in awe of their achievements. Compliment them when they do a great job telling you about their day.
Encourage Positive Relationships
Be highly supportive of their friendships with kids who have good character and good habits. And gently discourage relationships with kids who might have a negative influence. The key word is “gently.” This is an exercise in subtlety. Very small signals from you can have very strong influence. But if you exert too much force, kids may rebel or elect not to share the names of the kids they play with.
Establish a Bedtime Routine
The goal is for them to get back into the habit of going to bed at a specific time every night, early enough to allow them to get enough sleep. Establish a routine of ending the day with low energy activities like reading. Be certain that you make the bedtime routine a habit, so it becomes virtually automatic.
6 Kids’ Tips for School Success
1. Eat a healthy breakfast every day (and a healthy lunch too)
2. Eyes on who? Eyes and ears on your teacher!
3. Do your homework as soon as you can and do it the very best you can
4. Tell your parents when you do well at school, and tell them when you need help too
5. Tell your parents when you have trouble with your friends
6. Read every day
7. Go to bed at your bedtime and go to sleep right away