Who Is Influencing Your Child?
Hey parents, Denny Strecker here from Skillz Dynamic Martial Arts with another video talking about this month’s theme of discipline. Today, I wanted to talk about basically the idea of it takes a community to raise a child. It’s an old adage. And it’s still true today, if you really think about it.
In a couple of the parent groups that I’m in on Facebook and conversations that I have with different parents, the conversation that’s been coming up that my child is hanging around this other child, that’s really a bad influence or negative influence. They either constantly have temper tantrums, meltdowns, the parents don’t monitor their behavior, or correct anything that is inappropriate. And I don’t want my child picking up those habits. And so one of the things we talked about is that process of it takes a community to raise a child.
What type of community do you want around your child?
it’s super important as a parent, that you are always monitoring what information your child is picking up, because, up until about the age of seven or eight, kids are going to mimic the behavior that they see. For example, a lot of times in our three and four year old karate classes, parents will get upset, because they want their child sitting still. But they are sitting and spinning because the person next to them is doing that. And that’s natural. But now think about it. Your friends, your child’s friend at school, constantly yells and screams at their parent. I heard of situations where they spit, they swear at the parents. Is that the behaviors that you want your child picking up and bringing home? I don’t think so.
We don’t allow that here at the karate school. That is why a lot of the parents are going to bring their children here, we have a positive environment, we have one team, everybody plays, nobody is left out. There are a set expectations on proper behavior.
So whenever you find your child playing with somebody, and you don’t think it’s a good influence, it is absolutely your responsibility as a parent, to say, you know what, I don’t want you to be friends with them, we’re going to go in another direction. This is the same for anybody that helps raise your child. Maybe it is your parents, your spouse’s parents, a coach or a mentor or the school teachers, basically having a quick conversation saying,
“Hey, here’s my expectations, do you think that you would be able to follow those? Or is that something that you would have a tough time doing?”
If they say, “I’m not going to do that.” You really have to think long and hard if you want to leave your child under the care and responsibility of that person. Remember, your child is going to be picking up the behaviors.
I hear this all the time with divorce situations. Whenever the child comes home from the other parent, it takes three or four days to get them back into the groove because one parent generally isn’t going to have a set of rules. They are going to be focused on being your child’s friend. And so they are going to let them stay up late, they are not going to give them a bedtime, they are going to let them play on the tablets, or video games all weekend or all night whenever they want, eat whatever they want for dinner, and so without any type of structure, your child is really gonna have a tough time understanding now that they are back at home with you, that they have to follow all of these rules.
I am not saying that it’s not possible, and I am definitely not saying that you shouldn’t do it. You will need to pre-frame the situation. In a previous article, I discussed pre-framing, and how you can help your child make that adjustment a little bit quicker when they come back from your the other parents.
So making sure that you are constantly monitoring who your child’s friends are are who their role models are. Who do they they look up to? Who do they want to be like? And are those the type of people that you approve of? If the answer is no, it’s your responsibility as a parent to make absolutely sure that you start making those adjustments. As your child grows older, it becomes harder to make those changes. So the sooner you get on them, the better it is. Find some great role models, find some situations in your community that are good for your child to develop, come here to the karate school, hang out, make friends here.
One of the best examples that I saw was in our discipline class. We were talking about the kids doing their own laundry. This started with my 10 and 12 year old karate class, Suddenly, my seven and eight year olds started saying, “You know what, Mom, I want to help with the laundry.” Now, best yet, we had a five year olds parent post in our parent group today, hey, my son decided he wanted to help out with the laundry, because he saw all of his karate friends doing it. And that’s a perfect example of making sure you’ve got the right community around your child so that they develop the right skills.
Do you want your child to be 35 and 40, sitting on the couch playing video games, and having to be waited on hand and foot because they can’t do anything for themselves? I don’t think so! That is not going to be a productive person. We are talking in class about being a leader and that leaders lead, and I choose to be a leader. We want to make sure that the kids are taking that out into the community being a good role model.
That is our level three of the discipline we are working on: self awareness. Teaching the kids that your choices on your discipline affect those around you. It happened in our karate class last night. Everybody was just kind of mediocre energy, in our 10 to 14 year old karate class. They were responding like they were supposed to, but not with the emotion and the intensity that I expect. So I stopped the class real quick, and I said,
“Look, you guys are settling and you’re accepting just being mediocre. That’s not acceptable. Here, we are leaders. We always want to do our best, and we always do better than the last time. So let’s pick up the energy.
Who thinks they can do better?”
What each person realized is that if I have low intensity and low energy, it actually pulls everybody else down, because people like to be in the norm, or what’s average. So if I’m high energy and intensity, it’s going to pull everybody up, because they’re going to want to be at that average. So everybody strives to be better, then it makes everybody better. Where do you think you can go and teach your child that in today’s society? Not too many places! Everyone today is focusing on being average, be mediocre, don’t stand out, don’t be better. As soon as you start to improve yourself, others start to try and pull you down. They start poking and saying,
“Well, how awful is it? How awful are you for trying to make yourself better? How dare you do better than the rest of us.”
That is where today’s society is heading, and we have to be prepared to fight that. We don’t want to be in the masses. We want to soar like the Eagles, Eagles fly on their own, ducks are in packs. So basically, we want to make sure that we are not a duck, and that we are teaching our kids to be eagles.
So think about what you can do. Think about the community that is around your child. I’m happy to help any parent, just send me a message or call me. You do not have to be a karate student here for me to help you. We are part the community, and our responsibility is to help the community. So I am more than happy, and I’m always available to parents that ask questions and want my opinion.