Get your Kids to Listen Part 1

For years parents have told me that they want their child to listen and follow directions. Karate training does help a lot of kids develop better focus and attentiveness, however, as parents, we can also develop better communication skills. 

This article is the first in a multi-part series designed to help parents communicate with their kids more effectively.

Tip #1 SHUT UP!

If you know me, you also know that I do not like the term "shut up." I use it here to get your attention and to help prove the point I am about to make. Often times parents over talk their points to their kids. I am not suggesting that you are rude to your family, I am advocating that when correcting behavior the message should be short and clear. Droning on and on will cause your child to tune out and not hear your message. When Johnny is looking off into the distance as you speak, you will attribute it to his inability to focus and overlook the real problem which is ineffective messaging.

Younger kids only have a few years experience with language, so speaking to them in long-winded diatribes often surpasses their ability to comprehend what you are talking about. You are literally wasting your breath.

For example, if Johnny is running around the living room and you want him to stop saying "Johnny stop running around the living room because you might fall and get hurt. If you do not stop you will have a time out" is short and effective.

Compare that to "Johnny, I want you to stop running around the living room. We have a lot of furniture that you could bump into or break and we do not have time to clean it all up. If you get hurt we have to go to the doctor and then you cant go outside and play. If you do not stop running around the living room I will have no choice but to give you a time out where you will have to sit for five minutes."

Both instances explain that you want the behavior to stop, why you want it to stop and the consequences that Johnny will face if he keeps running in the living room. The difference is that the first example is much more clear to a child.

Remember, clear and direct communication is often more effective with kids than logical arguments.


At Revolution Modern Martial Arts, we strive every day to bring a higher level of professionalism to martial arts instruction. Our instructors model the behavior that we profess to sell and set a good example for everyone who comes through our doors. When you join us in Clayton, you'll have access to the best rated Kids Martial Arts training in town, PLUS a comprehensive Adults Kickboxing class that simply can't be beaten. We take pride in being a part of your child's development and we work hard to have a positive impact every single day.

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