A Valuable "Learning Opportunity" is Coming this Week...
I hope you had a wonderful break from school!
But.....now its time to do what all Black Belts do and to do something so important for your development as a leader. It is the critical success habit of STARTING STRONG!
Success is just a habit. Just as failure and struggle are habits. Here at the dojo we know what habits result in high achieving, successful and happy children and adults. So now it is time to get to work!
Why? Kids - This habit will make your success in life so easy. But you will need your parents help. Parents - We can develop these habits in your child but...we know that YOU are a critical part of this.
Guess what? We have a major learning opportunity coming up on Wednesday. Set your family up for success and set them up to reinforce this success habit. Both SCHOOL and KARATE restart on Wednesday. You need to make sure you START STRONG in both. Black Belts and leaders start strong at everything they do. It is a habit and the only way they know how to do things!
How? Kids - If your parents don't do this tell them to! Parents - We are going to need your help on this one because unless you invite us into your home over the next couple of days you will have to do it. It is easy. Just do these three simple things:
1. Prepare - It is always hard to restart anything. You are out of your school day routine. Just like trying to restart a diet or workout program you fell off of. Or, that first day back at work after a lengthy vacation. But, it is even worse for kids. So here is all you have to do:
a. Start talking about and talking up Wednesday...the restart of school and karate.
b. Make sure you are ready for Wednesday morning. Get them back into a school sleep/wake routine. Get everything ready for Wednesday morning...their clothes, backpack, breakfast. lunch...everything!
c. Pre-plan everything. Do not leave anything for the last minute. And don't forget anything.
d. If you are an over achiever or really a Black Belt parent...do a dry run Tuesday morning!
2. Get Excited - This is one where you can only lead by example. Get your child excited for the restart but....the best way to do this is YOU need to get excited! How? Fake if you need to but give off the emotion and energy that you just cannot wait for Wednesday morning! Get so excited you cannot stop talking about it. Your child feeds off of your emotions and energy. You need to be ten times more excited than they are!
3. The first two hours of that day - If I had to pinpoint the two most critical hours of this whole process it will be your first two hours of Wednesday morning. Do you know a family whose typical morning sounds like this: They try to get their kids up for school but it takes 15 minutes of yelling at them to get out of bed because they stayed up too late playing video games. Then once they finally get up it takes forever for them to find their clothes and get dressed. Then once they are dressed they don't like what Mom made for breakfast as she yells at them to hurry up and eat because they are going miss the bus. They complain about everything maybe even saying those dreaded words "I hate school!" Then they cannot find their jacket or the things they need for school. Any wonder why the kids (and Mom) start the day in a cranky mood? But you are going to be the opposite. That first couple of hours sets up the whole day. So envision the "perfect" morning then make it happen. How? Here are a few tips:
a. Take care of you first - Make sure you get to bed, wake early and are fully ready, energized and excited before the kids even get up.
b. Get them up strong - Get them out of bed right away. Now you should be doing this already, but teach your kids to set their own alarm clock and to get up the first time it goes off. Why do kids let their parents nag them to get up? Because they can! Start a new morning ritual by teaching them to get up strong. All highly successful people have one thing in common - they get up early, they get up strong, they have a strong morning routine, and they start their day energized and excited.
c. Stay ahead of the chains - Sorry Moms for the football term but stay ahead of the time schedule. Most of the stress of a school morning it caused by one thing - being late. So at first allot extra time, then later run your morning like a U.S. Navy Seal Team mission! (This is another success habit altogether. Leaders are precise. They are not sloppy or lax.)
d. Gratitude and the Big Picture - When you catch yourself thinking this is too hard or "why", just remember this - you have one of the greatest gifts in the world and one of the greatest responsibilities in the world: Your child. Take a very deep breath and go into your heart and remember how lucky you are. Go to gratitude. Then look into your child's face. Then do this: remind yourself that the greatest thing you can do as a parent is replace these frantic moments with moments where you just "emotionally connect" with your child. Let them make crazy pancakes with you in the morning. Put a special note in their lunchbox. Sing a silly song together at breakfast. Do a crazy dance on the way to the bus stop. Let them intentionally wear a set of unmatched socks. This is what every child needs most from you - for you to be fully present with just a moment of emotional connection. Do this and your children will look forward to getting up and you will touch in you what is truly the most important thing you can give them as a parent.
Okay....so are you in? Are you ready to step up? Are you ready to raise your standard?
Here is the best part...while you're working on developing your child, you are really becoming a better person yourself.
See you on Wednesday morning. Let me know how it goes?