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ATA Excellence Martial Arts

Are You as Distracted as Your Children

Posted: May 24, 2017

One of the most common reasons parents enroll their children in our martial arts program is focus. Rarely does a week go by when I don't have a phone call from a mom asking if we have experience with kids who have ADD or ADHD. (The answer is YES, we have lots of experience.) 

Martial arts is a perfect activity for children (and adults) who have issues with focus but we are just one tool in the tool box for helping. One question that you need to ask yourself when dealing with an unfocused child is, "Am I as distracted as my child?"

You see, most behaviors are caught, not taught. Children learn by example and you are their greatest teacher. Here are a few tips to making sure you're modeling focus on your child's life.

  • Get off the phone! - We often complain about how addicted children are to technology but take a minute and look around. We're all addicted! If we are to expect children to have a healthy relationships with technology it must start with us. Designate specific times at home where there will be no cell phones.
  • Look them in the eyes! - Here at ATA Excellence we teach our students to make sure to focus on people by looking at them in the eyes when they are talking. Make sure you're modeling this at home. You need to make sure to look in your child's eyes when you're talking to them.
  • Catch them doing something right! - Children often only get attention when they've messed up. Show them how you focus on not just what they do wrong but on what they do right. Watch them in their martial arts class and compliment them afterwards on how they did something correctly. Giving your children positive feedback is a great way to show them your focusing on them.
  • Schedule one-on-one times! - Set time to have a meal with just one child or a fun afternoon adventure. Use this opportunity to teach your child how to have a conversation. Show them how you ask questions and focus on what the other person is saying. You don't have to be a teacher on these excursions, you just have to lead by example. 

These are just a few tips on how to teach your family focus through your examples. Often when we see that our children might have some difficulty focusing we need to start by looking in the mirror and seeing what they are learning from us.