While recently training with my Sensei at an event in Canada, he talked about people getting “bored”. He said the reason people get bored of karate or anything hard or tedious is they stop focusing on what they are doing. They daydream or think ahead, or even about things that happened before class. They have done it hundreds of times and now just go through the motions, trying to get through it as quickly as possible. He said that in order to get good at anything significant you cannot let yourself get “bored”. That is right you cannot let yourself get bored!
How? Just simply learn to focus intensely on what you are doing right now. It is that simple but it is hard to do. As a matter of fact this one habit or skill is something that separates those that are highly successful from those that struggle in school, home and life. The earlier your child learns this the better.
Here is the key: boredom or focus is a choice! Just like attitude and effort is a choice! Then your choices become your HABITS!
Here are some parenting tips many of our parents use in the area of focus:
What does your child focus on? – The first step we try to teach parents is “awareness”, just noticing what yuour child does and thinks about. So start here by watching and listening to your child using these questions:
What does my child spend most of their time doing? – Especially now that it is summer, just notice what your child spends most of their time doing. Be particularly watchful of what they do at the start of their day. Do they often fight/argue with their siblings? With you? Do they spend an excessive amount of time on video games? How much time do they spend outside? With friends? Who are their friends?
What does your child say? – This is a huge one. If you want to know how your child “thinks” just listen to what they say and what words they use. Do they say “I can’t” frequently? How about “I’m bored”? Do they use positive words about what they have or can do? Or do they complain, criticize or blame frequently? Start to really look at the individual words they choose to use.
Can they stay focused or do things that are hard or boring? – Observe your child closely when they are doing something hard or tedious. How are they about reading or doing homework? How are they about doing chores? Try to get them to regularly do lots of hard boring things!
Finally, .I don’t have enough room to go into this last one.But to whet your appetite, this is really the secret to becoming highly successful.The ability to take control of your state and your emotions.I will write about this next time, but for now just notice how you and your kids get up in the morning.Just notice the mood, energy state you all start your day in.
Until next time!
Ohana Karate – “Actually we do make Ninjas and Superheroes here………………we turn kids into Ninjas and we turn their parents into their superheroes!”