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It Really Does Take a Village to Raise a Child

July 18, 2016

 

Who does your child hang around with?……

 

We have been obsessed with answering this simple question ……….. “What makes the difference between a child who thrives and succeeds, and one who struggles and fails?”

 

Over the last 14 years we have seen time and time again the elements that need to come together for children to truly grow and achieve.  Two really stick out.  The first is the element of exposing our children to life-changing and life-forming experiences as early as possible in their lives.  These experiences are things like standing up and speaking/performing in front of an audience, or facing failure or hardship, or having to work hard at something that is difficult or that they do not want to do.  Believe it or not there are many children who either never really experience these or experience them very late in life.

 

There are two keys we have discovered about life experiences.  First, kids do not learn by watching, reading or hearing about things.  They learn best by DOING!  But the best way to intensify and reinforce these experiences is by making them HIGHLY EMOTIONAL and using REPETITION!  When anything is learned in a highly emotional state it is imprinted in your brain almost automatically.  Then just add repetition and hard work.  This leads to mastery.

 

So second to learning by “doing” in a highly emotional state with repetition, the other magnifying key is a concept called “compounding”.  This universal principle says that small things over time compound to be huge later in life.  Like the “butterfly effect”.  Another good example is public speaking.  Take a child that speaks and performs in front of audiences at a very early age.  By the time they are in elementary school they are at ease and volunteer for leading roles in the classroom, on sports teams, events and performances.  They build up confidence very early.  They are already natural leaders without knowing it in middle school.  Just imagine how this magnifies through high school and as a young adult.  Now compare this with a shy, overprotected child that holds back and is never force to speak/perform in front of others until their speech class in high school?

 

The second element to developing growing and achieving children is their “tribe”.  It is an over-used cliché but it does “take a village to raise a child”.  But why?  I think for two reasons.  Were you lucky enough to have a teacher or a coach in your life that you will remember forever?  Can you imagine your life if you had a dozen such people?  Children need not only more role-models but “heroes” in their lives and plenty of them!  We all need heroes because they inspire us.  They make us strive to be like them and push us to be more! 

 

The other reason has to do with “standards”.  Here is a fact:  You will rise to the expectation level of your peer group.  If your child hangs around kids that hate school what do they think about going to college or their future?  How would they react if your child was the one in the group that started talking about going to college?  But, what if you child was on a top winning high school volleyball team with a coach and players that put school first?  I have often heard the two best ways to change and improve yourself are in the books you read and the people you hang around with.  As parents you have 100% control over who your kids associate with!

 

The reason this topic came to mind is the upcoming big Ohana Family Picnic this Saturday.  There just might be more significance to this event than may appear on the surface.  It may seems like just an excuse to have a very big party but it is much more than that to this dojo.  In this fast-paced world where connections and relationship are as fast and superficial as the internet and social media we take a moment to stop and pause.  We stop to do things the old fashion way.  We pause to be present and connect with other human beings.  We take a moment to put away the smartphones and screen devices to interact and play the way we used to – face to face and person to person.  Authentically connecting from the heart.  We are building this special tribe and village for our children.  You (and I) actually do have the rare opportunity to choose who our kids hang around with!!!!!!!!!!!

 

Thanks for being a part of this family!

Yours for rock solid (and connected) kids,

Sensei

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