Your Words Become Your Thoughts
Our last training theme just before school started was "And, I can't wait for school to start!" and our theme now is "And, I'm going to have my best school year ever!"
I wanted to take a moment to share the reasons and logic behind these seemingly simple phrases and so you can reinforce them with your child. If you do you and your child will realize the full power behind them.
Remember, one of the key objectives at Ohana Karate is to help you develop the habits, attitudes and character traits of success in your child.
Habits are simply the things you repeatedly do. These two training themes are designed to counter one very common saying amongst young children - "I hate school!" I cringe every time I hear those words because I know how destructive they can be. I have worked with far too many parents who have come to me saying "Sensei, how do I stop my child from saying those words?"
Before I share my answer we first need to go back to understand how the words started. Most of the time kids do not really hate school but just start saying the words "I hate school". Sometimes they say it because they hear it from others. Sometimes they say it because they are at an age where they just "don't like anything". And, sometimes they are just going through a phase where they just have to defy or rebel against everything. Other times they just may have had difficulty with or didn't like one small aspect of school. What ever the reason, at the start they probably don't really hate school but they just started saying the words. With repeated use the words just come out of their months without even thinking anymore. The words have just become a habit. Then they just cannot help but believe the words.
I always go back to this famous quote:
"Watch your thoughts, they become words;
watch your words, they become actions;
watch your actions, they become habits;
watch your habits, they become your character;
watch your character, they become your destiny."
. . . but, just maybe it is really your thoughts that follow your words?
So now finally back to the answer to how to stop children from saying "I hate school!"
It is pretty hard to tell someone "not" to do something. For example, saying "Joey, stop it!" or "Joey, stop saying that!" tends not to work.
Here is a better way. It is almost impossible to say or think two opposites at the same time. Trying saying "I hate school" and "I can't wait for school to start!" at the same time. Or say "I hate school" and "I'm going to have my best school year ever!" Its hard to do.
So, there is the logic. Being proactive by saying and thinking "I love school" before the other words get a chance to sneak in.
It is funny to see this in actions. We often get older kids, upon first seeing the new theme, feel and act like they cannot say the words. (Remember, two opposites cannot exist together). But reluctantly they do. And, the words they repeated say to themselves do eventually become their thoughts!
So what can you do? You repeat those same words in your home. You make it a part of your family culture. You make sure every time a child greets you at the dojo with these words don't just listen passively. Instead throw back to them the same positive powerful energy! Then praise them!
I can't wait to get to the dojo!