As a parent, you want your child to develop important life skills that will help them succeed in all aspects of their life. Martial arts training is a great way to help your child build self-control, discipline, and focus.
At our martial arts centre in Preston, we believe that self-control is a fundamental aspect of martial arts training for children.
Through our classes, children learn how to regulate their emotions and actions, which in turn helps them to make better decisions and act appropriately in all situations.
One of the key ways that we promote self-control in our classes is through the use of techniques that help children to calm down and refocus when they feel angry, frustrated, or overwhelmed. By teaching children how to take a deep breath, count to ten, and take a step back from a situation, we empower them to take control of their reactions and make better choices.
Another important aspect of self-control that we teach in our classes is the importance of respect for others. By showing respect for their instructors, classmates, and even their opponents, children learn how to be considerate and empathetic, which are important skills for building positive relationships.
Through consistent martial arts training, children can develop greater self-awareness and self-confidence, which can help them to navigate the challenges of childhood and adolescence with more ease and resilience.
As well as the skills they learn to help with self-control. There’s the knowledge, too, around how self-control is established.
Understanding the different parts of a child’s brain can help us support their learning and control their impulses.
The reptilian brain handles basic survival and instincts.
While the emotional brain responds to threats and emotions.
When the child feels safe and calm, the prefrontal cortex, responsible for executive functions, can connect with the emotional brain.
To help children learn effectively, we need to keep their brains in a state of calm.
It’s why we have mind breaks in the martial arts classes, with 2 minute gross motor skill activities, to help prepare the students for learning again.
For young children, the reptilian and old mammalian brains are most active, this is why their moods swing so quickly when they are toddlers.
As language and experience develop, the new mammalian brain and prefrontal cortex become more functional, helping our kids to make more rational decisions.
When a child reacts instinctually to a situation, it’s up to the adult to act as their prefrontal cortex and remove them from the situation calmly.
We can use language to help calm different brain functions and develop the prefrontal cortex.
Parents have lots of tool’s in their toolbox to help here.
Have you ever redirected the conversation onto something else with your kids?
Gathering details to find out what’s wrong and helping to name the emotions our kids are feeling can also help.
For e.g. “Hannah, you look sad, what’s happened?”.
As a parent, I used to provide options and offer some autonomy to my child, as a way to help them when they were emotional or angry.
Sometimes it would work, 🙂 there’s definitely no blank solution here for every problem.
Don’t worry if it doesn’t always go to plan, helping your child learn self-control. Part of being a child means it won’t.
Children are experimenting with independence of thought and will. This is a great thing (unless your on the end of their emotions!). As long as there is some sort of boundary in place, don’t fret if they don’t always hit the mark.
The brain changes with repeated exposure to experiences. The more situations they are put in where they have to practice self-control, like a martial arts class. The more they will be strengthening it.
Until our children’s brains and bodies calm down, we usually end up acting as their prefrontal cortex and helping to manage the swing in their emotions.
It’s a parent of being a parent.
For more help with Self Control For your Child
Check out Pause for Parents. It’s a great resource that Preston Parents will find useful if your looking for ways to help your child with self control skills. Click Here To Download
A great article on coping skills for managing anger in your child – Check this out
Lastly, a little bit of insight… With great responsibility, comes great headaches. If you need a martial arts class to help wind-down or control your emotions. It’s OK to try a martial arts class too, it may be just what you need right now.