- Sensei Seth
Why your parenting or teaching MIGHT JUST suck (Quit beating your kids)
There is one VERY SPECIFIC issue I have with parenting that I hear about ALL OF THE TIME. As a Karate Teacher, this parenting or teaching technique that I have an issue with may surprise you.
In Karate, we learn to strike. The primary techniques we have is to punch, kick and do anything in our power to keep from getting hurt.
Why is it that we teach Martial Arts as a last resort, or a means for protection, and then they go home and get spanked for something that COULD just be resolved with proper communication?
I AM NOT a parent, but I am with kids a large portion of the time and am incredibly passionate about finding how to best work with them. It is literally my job to find the best ways to keep children behaving their very best and give them the power of control, without laying hands on them. With that said, it will be easy for many people to send me a "You don't have kids, you won't get it." Sure, that's fine. Throw the excuses my way. If anything, I'd at least like this article to be thought of as a "theory" that I haven't gotten to test yet (even though I do test it.. a lot)
Kids fear differently, they react to experience differently, and most importantly, they TRUST differently. Young ones are often fairly fresh thinkers and are gut-based in the way they trust. Giving them a reason to think that you may not always be on their team is, in my opinion, not the best approach. The best teachers are the ones that the kids enjoy spending time with.. Not the ones kids are fearful of.
Other than the fact that kids often grow to fear their parents or teachers because of this, lets talk about the principle of how it teaches kids. My main job is to teach kids how to become their own weapon WHILE ALSO, teaching them to keep from using it (unless deemed necessary). I do not teach them this by hitting them when they're wrong and calling it necessary. This would be confusing, right?
Hitting is simply the worst form of communication. Hitting and biting is what children do when they can't speak, and they want to convey an issue they have. By hitting them back, we teach them that you can hit, as long as you don't have the words or the capacity to SAY the words that would help the situation. Every time you beat your kids for doing something wrong, they give themselves another reason as an adult to hit someone else.
I don't know why this varies, but we call kids who hit kids bullies, adults who hit adults childish and adults who hit kids... parenting?
And before you give me the "it's like a kid touching a stove top, they recognize it hurts and they react differently with the stove from then on."
Correct but incorrect. Kids will most likely see YOU as the stove, and will change the way they interact with you.
We can't tell parents how to parent their kids.. They're not OUR KIDS. Right? But what do these kids turn into?... Our citizens. Our neighbors. Our spouses. Our grandkids parents. And more.
If you are reading this, please take into consideration that you may just be frustrated. I get frustrated too, and I ADORE children. However, laying a hands on a child is a short term fix which creates a long term problem. Mostly this creates an issue trusting, an issue communicating and an issue showing how love is given out.
Does it work in some capacity for specific children? Sure. I would imagine there have been parents who have spanked (NOT BEATEN) their kids and didn't negatively affect their children long term. It's certainly not impossible. However, it's also possible to take a diet pill to lose weight, instead of eating right and exercising...
Here's the honest truth. I CAN NOT give you a sure fire way to make your kid behave. I can't. I'm not a magician, I am a Karate Teacher.
However, I can try my hardest to explain that the best communicators aren't the ones that talk at people but talk with them.
I think there are very patient ways to go about disciplining that work better in the long run than spanking. Understand that the communication difference between children and adults is VAST, and we can't speak with children the same way we speak with adults. Some children react well with reason (to a certain extent). Some children react well with a laid out blueprint of the negative affects decisions will give them. Some children need to watch others enjoy things they like without them, and understand that THEIR behavior alone got them there. Not sure? Try them all, Google some stuff. You'll never know what your kids handles best until you give it a shot.
Again, every kid is different. I highly advise that parents find situations where their children are happiest and most well behaved and TAKE NOTES!! A happy child is most usually a compliant child.