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Is Your Child Struggling?

February 22, 2016

How often do they say “I can’t!”

 

 

I love Nunchuks.  They are MAGICAL!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

Here is why – they teach children a critical life lesson better than almost anything else we do!

 

How?  Just watch your child on the floor.  They are sooooooooooo excited when we first hand them a nunchuk.  But very quickly most find out that spinning a nunchuk correctly is not as easy as it looks.  They will try….and try….and try.  Fortunately these practice nunchuks are made of soft foam so when they hit themselves in the head, the pain is more from embarrassment than actually physical injury.

 

But, with the instructor’s gentle urging and encouragement they keep trying.  Still they find they are just cannot get it.  We see them struggle.  We see them get frustrated.  We see them just stop.  We see some wanting to get a different pair of nunchuks because they think there is something wrong with the pair they have.  We see many almost in tears. We have some that even want to walk off the floor.  At first they say “Why can’t I get this?” which gradually turns into “Why are the other kids getting it?” then eventually to “I WILL NEVER GET THIS?!”  Finally they just want to give up.  They want to quit.  GOOD!!!!!!!!!

 

You may be shocked to hear me say “Good” but this is where the valuable life lesson begins!  What nunchuks do better than almost anything else is duplicate the process that typically and naturally happens when learning anything difficult.  Here is a Law of Nature when it comes to learning - most kids (and parents) think and expect learning to be “linear”.  In other words, as you put in ten pieces of effort or practice you get rewarded with 10 pieces of results or reward.   But no, that is not the way the world or learning works!  It is more like that “ah ha” moment or the “light bulb going off.”  You go from not being able to spin the nunchuks at all to where you instantly get it and it is easy.  In life, most kids (and adults) quit just before they are about to succeed!

 

We can only learn through “experiences”.  The very best learning experiences are mistakes, failure, struggle and hardship.  Yet, unknowingly we find that many young parents are too quick to rescue, bail out, protect, or shelter their children.  We know you mean well but let them struggle……..and struggle OFTEN.  Make them do things they do not want to do – OFTEN!  Make them wait for things – OFTEN!  Make them work for and earn things – OFTEN!  Make them do hard things – OFTEN!  And, don't allow them to quit or even thing of quitting - OFTEN!

In today’s instant gratification world technology works against us as children today get almost everything they want instantly.  So I hope this helps a little to maybe change your thinking and mindset when it comes to struggle and hardship.  The next time your child says “I can’t!” or wants to quit, you should get a big smile and say – GOOD!!!!!!!

 

Yours for Rock Solid Kids,

Sensei

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