“If a child can’t learn the way we teach, maybe we should teach the way they learn.” ~Ignacio Estrada
It goes without saying that each and every one of us have our good days and our tough days. Especially as we approach the end of the school year, for so many of our kiddos, making the best choices and tuning into moms, dads and teachers voices is hard right now. Why? Because summer fun is on the brain with all of the amazing and wonderful adventures to come!
Though the reality of making good choices and tuning ears into hearing instructions can be challenging for children and teens alike this time of year, it isn’t impossible. Just as the quote above shines a light on the truth that if a child cannot learn in the manner we are teaching, then we simply need to change our approach.
Cue the next two Teaching SKILLZ!
Prompting Good Behavior
Discipline: Doing what we need to do when we need to do it is one of the most powerful on and beyond the mats skills we focus on in our programming. It goes without saying that kids can and will at times test their boundaries. To increase the level of discipline and effort behind their work on and beyond the mats, it is important that we constantly and consistently catch and reward our children when they are stepping up, trying hard and leading by example. This simple act of love in setting up your ninja for success, prompting good behavior is the key to maximizing their success on and beyond the mats!
Trickery is a fan favorite and the fourth of the Teaching SKILLZ! It is a teaching concept based in play, using humor as the means by which engagement, connection, focus and attunement all grow. By tricking students into ‘going’ or ‘starting’ through the use of words that sound like the word ‘go,’ we are building focus muscles that in turn are also:
- Increasing the students ability to tune in and to listen.
- Increasing the level of engagement between teacher and student as they strive to prove to the grown ups that they cannot be tricked.
- Increasing connection between student and teacher because kiddos LOVE when their role models are funny and human!
How can these concepts help my child beyond the mats?
Great question Proud Ninja Parent! Whether your child is enjoying classes on the mats or time with you at home, Teaching SKILLZ is a supportive concept that you can always have at the ready in your back pocket to help your child in a variety of situations.
Here’s just a few inspirations to get your own creative Teaching SKILLZ ideas flowing:
Caught in the Good!
Imagine a typical end of school year morning. You and the kids are running around, grabbing all of the last minute things for the day ahead. Your kiddo takes it upon themselves to grab their own backpack, lunch, coat and shoes as they are flying out the door and getting buckled up for school.
Stop. Hit the pause button and notice the awesomeness your kiddo just displayed!
They grabbed their own backpack, lunch, coat and shoes… That’s awesome in a flurry of activity!
Catching your kiddos in the moments of good vs. catching them in the moments of bad is a profound teaching tool but also an incredibly powerful parent helper. Our kids long to hear from their parents, their teachers and others that they are doing a great job. So catch them in the good! Reward their great choices and shine a light on the moments they stepped up and knocked it out of the ballpark!
“Ready, get set… SNOW!”
The race to the car right now is very real as many extra-curricular activities are ramping up! Why not make the jump into and out of the car fun?!
Set up some healthy competition with your kiddos in “Race to the Car;” who can get their first safely, mom, dad or kiddos?! Using trickery, have a blast with your kiddos as you test their attunement to your words in the moment with, “Ready, get set:”
Have fun swapping out the word ‘Go!’ with other silly words like you see above as you enjoy a race to the car with your kiddos!
Prompting Good Behavior and using Trickery on and beyond the mats are two more ways in addition to Healthy Competition and Choices that we are helping to teach children in the way they learn best. If you need more ideas or inspiration, please don’t hesitate to connect with our team! We are always excited to help brainstorm new, fun creative ideas with you that further support and nurture the relationship you have with your ninjas on and beyond the mats!
About the Author
Meg Klettke is the proud owner alongside her husband, Alex of Family Strong Sussex, a SKILLZ Lifetime Gold studio in Southeastern Wisconsin. With a background in traditional and alternative therapeutics, Meg is an active advocate for today’s youth. Her passion for supporting and nurturing the whole child resonates through all she does as a Proud Ninja Mom of two boys with special needs, Certified Pediatric Ninja Specialist and Content Creator for SKILLZ Worldwide.