Children have four areas of development: Physical, Cognitive, Social and Emotional.
Cognitively, our schools are doing a great job, and kids are learning skills much earlier than previous generations (just try to help your kids with their Math homework, and you'll see what I mean!).
But sadly, kids today are behind physically. Society has become much more reliant on screens and electronic devices, which is contributing to a sedentary lifestyle and much less physical activity for children.
Emotionally, we've seen an increase in children who struggle with basic self-regulating skills like focusing, listening, following directions, keeping hands to themselves, etc. They have difficulty handling frustration and anger and struggle in dealing with setbacks or hardships. They tend to quit or give up too easily. As they get older, many become debilitated with anxiety, stress, and fear.
Socially, children are struggling to make "real life" friends and handle "real life" social interactions because of the over-dependance on electronic devices and social media. They cannot read social cues and cannot look people in the eye. Remember when kids used to run around neighbourhoods and play at the parks? We don't see this much at all anymore because today, they are socializing in their bedrooms on their smartphones.
Over my years of teaching karate, I've come to learn that parents not only want their children to become stronger physically, but that they also desire stronger emotional and social growth. Schools today are calling it SEL or “Social Emotional Learning” and we've worked hard to incorporate this aspect of child development into our karate curriculum.
Our dojo is a unique and safe place for children to develop physically, socially, and emotionally into strong, thriving, young adults. An example of what we teach is that emotional strength is developed under four good stresses: fear, hardship, failure and boredom. Courage, for example, is only achieved in the presence of fear. Discipline is needed in times of hardship. Grit, persistence and perseverance manifest when trying to avoid failure. And boredom encourages creativity, curiosity and resourcefulness. All children need these strong emotional experiences. At Shushinkan Karate, we not only provide these experiences during class time but also encourage parents and teachers to continue the training at home and in school. To learn more about our karate program for Juniors, please click the link to schedule a free introduction. I look forward to meeting you soon!