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State & Emotion

Dear Parents,

I ended my last parenting article by teasing you with the topic of “state” and “emotion”. I did not have enough room in the last parenting letter so I thought it best to continue here.

The ability to take control of your state and your emotion is really a critical key to success as a child …………. and as a parent! The great thing is that you can both work on this together. What an awesome family project!

It is said that if you can put yourself in a positive, constructive, peak emotional state, then doing the things that make you successful will come naturally and easy.

This may sound like a broken record, but improving you and your child’s behavior and habits starts with “noticing”! Start getting really good at awareness and noticing. Here is some steps for you to try:

  • We are all very good at something, so pick something you are very, very good at.Now think of the general “state” or “emotion” you are in when you do that task?Are you excited?Are you energized?Are you happy doing it?And why?What motivating feeling or happiness does this activity bring you?What need does it satisfy?Describe your state and how your feel.

  • Now pick out something your child is very, very good at.Have a family discussion with them and run through the same questions above.

  • Now let’s go to the other side.For both you and your child, start to notice and take note of when you are in a “less than optimal state”.For sake of a better word, this is when you are in a “bad mood” or “not good to be around”.Just notice what these states are like and what you are like.

  • The next step is big.Start to note commonalities and links.Do these “moods” happen at similar times or similar situations or around the same people?Do the same things get you into these states?Like maybe being in a car too long with siblings?When hungry or tired?Or how about when you wake up early or are getting ready to go to school?How about doing chores?Or doing homework?

  • This is all good but nothing happens without action.But first you must make a decision that you will change then you cannot help but ACT!So if you now want to take this and put it into action here is a simple step you can take today:!

The start of your day: The start of your day can be huge. Have you even gotten up tired with not enough sleep, have a hard time getting your kids up, and everybody in your house is just dragging and in a terrible mood? Does that mood often carry through the morning or maybe even the whole day?

So sit down with your family and make some important choices and decisions: How does your family want their day to start. Develop a routine. Here are a couple tips:

  • Teach the kids to get themselves up. Get them alarm clocks (not cellphones)

  • Do something physical to get your heartrate and mood up (it does not have to be long, just a 10 minute walk or exercise routine). Do it as a family.

  • Use a few minutes of gratitude. Talk about the many things you are grateful for or feel lucky you have. Happiness starts with gratitude.

  • Do some dreaming or talking about trips you are going to take or things the kids want to be when they grow up. “What would you do or have if you knew you would never fail……?”

  • Develop a positive saying or motto.Mrs. Sensei would say these two with our kids every day “Bring honor to the family” and “I believe in you”.Even when they both went off to college!

So just start by noticing you and your child’s state and emotion, then take the next step to decide and act! Till next week…….good parenting,


Ohana Karate – “Actually we do make Ninjas and Superheroes here………………we turn kids into Ninjas and we turn their parents into their superheroes!”

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