Innovative Martial Arts
15-1599 Dugald Rd
Winnipeg, MB
204-505-2787
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Kids

Success & ADHD

I was watching Shark Tank last night and one of the pitches was for a fidget toy (not a spinner) designed to help with ADHD and other learning disabilities.

As it turned out the majority of the sharks had grown up with a learning disability that led them to doing poorly in school, and all obviously went on to become massively self-made success stories.

We get a lot of kids at the gym that struggle in school and are looking for a outlet, and some of them are amazingly fast learners capable of being great leaders... unless you asked their school teachers from what I've heard.

When you have a child, or are a person, who learns differently it's very important to remember that success in school does not always translate to success in life. Yes, it's important, but with the children who struggle in school it is absolutely vital to help them find something they can succeed and do well at.

"There's a great freedom to being dyslexic … if you can avoid labeling yourself as a loser in a school system that measures people by A's and B's." -- Barbara Corcoran

I also don't think the Sharks are unique in their stats, a very large chunk of self-made multi-millionaires where people that did poorly in school do to one learning disability or another.

The message kids that struggle need to hear is that they can succeed, despite their struggles, if they find the right thing. Instead they too often here things like this:

"When I was in 11th grade I was diagnosed with ADD," Burns says on the episode. "The woman who diagnosed me said that my ADD was so severe that I would never be able to survive at a four-year university, and I shouldn't try to pursue a job that required any type of education."

But good grades in school are only one path to success, and education can come in many forms. When you have a child with a different learning style it is important to help them find there "A-Game" instead of focusing only on the areas of struggle.

"If I were to make a list of my top, say, seven or eight entrepreneurs I've invested in on 'Shark Tank,' I would say all but one have a learning disability," she says.

Confidence is a big element of success, and when you have someone that struggles by traditional measurements in school it is very important to help them find the things that they can succeed at. Having one or two things that you can not only succeed at, but excel at can build that confidence that will help in all areas of life, and confidence can possibly turn D's into C's in way's that yet another extra hour of struggling through reading text books can't.

Source https://www.cnbc.com/2017/10/09/why-barbara-corcoran-invested-50000-in-fidgetland-on-shark-tank.html

Kids

Happy Halloween

Halloween is one of our favourite holidays at Innovative Martial Arts. We decorate, we throw a big zombie night party and the kids all love talking about zombies, witches and werewolves.

Halloween is not just about the candies though, it's actually a holiday that fits very nicely with one of our core values, teaching kids confidence.

Letting kids be a part of creating scary things, being the scary thing themselves and getting out in the neighbourhood interacting with people is a great event for building confidence. Taking the scary imagery and creating it takes it from being scary to being fun. Going up to a door and yelling "Trick-or-Treat" is met with a reward for being confident enough to walk past the ghost and the coffin and yell at a strangers house.

The scary looking clown with a blood stained outfit is far less scary when they watched their friend put the costume on.

I've seen a lot of nervous and anxious kids that where able to put on a scary costume and then have a blast running around "scaring" everyone else.

If you have a child that is scared, don't try to shelter them from the holiday, teach them their is nothing to be afraid of. If they don't want to yell "trick-or-treat" at the door or ring the bell that's ok, tell them when they are ready to do so they can start getting candy. Small steps are ok, but by the end of the night they might be yelling as loud as they can :)

If the time is right even flip things on them, make them hold your hand and tell you it's only decorations to go up to a particularly scary house because you are too scared :D

Kids

Kids and Business

Business is one of those things that is a really relevant and useful skill, but is so often neglected in childhood education.

Kids can greatly benefit from learning basic business skills, and operating micro-businesses.

Learning the value of money, and how it is made are valuable life lessons that will help a lot in the future.

A simple thing like a freezie or Lemonade stand might be the first things to come to mind when it comes to kids and businesses, but there are other options.  That said, let's look at what skills are necessary for that sort of business.

Inventory, they need to purchase it and prepare it.  Understanding that they can take some amount of money, add value and create more money is a important thing that teaches self-worth.

It also requires a understanding of value.  In order to produce income they have to make sure their costs are lower then their price.

Inventory also costs money, which they may or may not have.  If not then it is a loan that might get them there.  Now a loan should have interest attached to it, as in the real world that's how it works.  The other thing a loan does is teach long term thinking.  If they borrow $10 for supplies, generate $25, pay back $11 (10 + 10% interest) they have 14 left.  If they reinvest they will make more next time... if they spend it they are stuck paying interest again next time.

Or get creative, buy in at $10 for a equity stake where you get a piece of the profits, however they can buy that stake back later if they want.  Again, delaying spending the money "now" in order to generate more in the future

In addition to basic money skills comes customer service & sales.  Again, hugely valuable skills when they are old enough to enter the workplace and to be able to understand how the service industry works.  Kids are blasted with ads constantly, what happens when they start thinking about those ads, how they work and trying to create their own sign?  I'd encourage them to not just look at their own ads, but to start paying attention to the ads they see and what those ads are attempting to influence.

Does it need to be a food / beverage stand?  Of course not, kids have all sorts of options available to them depending on their age.  Other standard kids jobs like babysitting, yard care, shovelling, dog walking, window washing, car washing, etc. are all options.

But kids are also creative, maybe they can come up with something new?  If they are obsessed with spinners maybe they can make them and sell them?  Maybe they can sell old toys or flip garage sale finds on kijiji? Maybe they can create something entirely unique to them and do something with that?

The next thing to look at is persistency, consistency and adapting.  A one day stand might do a little money.  But if they commit to every Saturday from 11-1 or any other consistent schedule they might start finding repeat customers and referrals.  If they shovel a driveway once that's good, but if they commit to every snowfall they can get regular customers.  Things build momentum in any business or really any job.  And if things really aren't working... why? and what ideas do they have to fix it?

Academic education is only part of the picture when it comes to building the skills that a kid will need to crush it as an adult.  If they have a interest in money and business it is never to young to start learning.

btw - if you feel odd taking interest, royalties or renting out your rake and lawnmower to your own child keep in mind the reason, the goal is to teach about money and those sorts of things are important in how money actually works.  Feel free to put it away and give it too them later, or buy them something with it.

Kids

Skills Kids Will Need to Succeed in the Modern World

20 years ago math teachers where still telling kids they won't always have a calculator on them...

Now I don't even need to pull the phone out of my pocket to get Siri to solve basic math questions.  Not only that I also have in my pocket pretty much every piece of information I could ever want.

Information is no longer as valuable, because we all have access to it at all times.

This has had a huge effect on the way we conduct ourselves and how the businesses operates and what skills are valued in employees.

As a simple example, if you where going to make a big purchase 15 or more years ago you'd get most of your information from the salesperson.  That person is motivated to make the sale more then anything in a lot of cases and where really the one holding all the cards.  Nowadays you can pull up reviews, compare features, price compare and more on any product before even speaking with a person... or just order online and cut out sales people completely.

If you had a medical issue you relied solely on your doctor for information.  Now you can read studies, treatment options, get in touch with other people with the same issue, see lab results, etc.  All completely independently.

If you need to do some work around the home you can google the problem and pull up countless DIY videos and posts on plumbing, electrical, repair, construction, etc.

Information is available to everyone as easy as a 5 second search on a device we carry with us pretty much 24/7.

Education is needing changes to adapt to the changing world, but changes in education happen slower then changes in the real world when it comes to tech.  So the rest of the community needs to help out and make sure kids are ready for the new and changing demands that will help make them successful in life.

So what are the skills that are becoming more and more important?

Knowing the answer is less important, we all have the answers in our pocket.  What is important is knowing the right question.  Being able to identify problems and find the right questions to produce the answers. Creativity and problem finding lead to problem solving.  Whether it is on a sales floor, in a board room or inventing a new product the person that can ask the right questions is the one that will come up with the best solution.

Creativity.  It's now been 10 years since Ken Robinsons talk entitled "Do Schools Kill Creativity" went viral and got a lot of people thinking about education in the modern world.  Creativity in a age of easy access to information, automation and rapidly changing landscapes the ability to change, adapt and find new solutions is more important then ever.  Massive businesses like Blockbuster Video can disappear in the blink of an eye as new technology and behaviours take over.

Sales... Now when I say sales I don't mean just selling people a product or service for money.  Sales happens everywhere.  More so then ever now.  A doctor must sell you on the best treatment options, while competing against 5 other options you found online.  A boardroom is full of sales presentations on which direction a company should turn.  Experts are no longer experts just because they have the information, we all have the information, they need to be able to ask the right questions to get us to buy their solution.

Adaptability.  Chances are, no matter what you do, it's changed in some significant ways as a position over the past 20 years.  Entire career choices have disappeared, new ones have appeared and virtually every mid to high level position has undergone massive changes in the way business is done.

Media. Something interesting has happened, I heard a stat the other day that said about 40% of adults now have some sort of side business.  Whether it is selling on etsy, online ventures, offering consulting services, involvement in a MLM or starting a full business.  The playing field has levelled out substantially for "the little guy" and starting a small or even side business has never been easier.  The reason is everyone now has the ability to be their own media company.  If your content and message is good, you can have a successful channel on any number of mainstream platforms.  Youtube is now bigger then the big networks, and you can get on free with the camera on your phone.

What's interesting is that as technology becomes more and more involved in our day to day lives it is a lot of the "soft skills" that seem to be becoming more and more important.  Even in very academic disciplines... an accountant that has a strong camera presence or the ability to write simple and relevant blog posts will dominate in the market over perhaps a slightly more skilled accountant that lacks the ability to capture an audience and build a network and personal brand.

Kids

Getting kids to do what they need to: Yes Patterns and No Patterns

As a continuation of the previous article here is another useful trick on getting kids to do what they need to.

Everyone that has worked with young kids has seen first hand how powerful "yes" and "no" patterns, especially "no" patterns can be.  This is when the child becomes set in a mindset where they refuse... well... everything and every answer is "no".

It's like a car that is stuck in reverse, every time you hit the gas you go backwards, regardless of where you want to go or where you try to steer.

If you know a child you can get a feel for the sorts of things that lock them in that "no" mindset sometimes, and this can help work them through it.

The trick is to first get them in a "yes" mindset, before hitting the potential obstacle.  Once that momentum is going it is easier to keep going then to start at the obstacle.  Think of it as getting through a snow drift, if you start at the drift and try to go you're going to get stuck, but if you get some momentum going first you have a much better chance of crashing through it.

In class what does that look like?  Well, a simple example is how we start every preschool class.  We sit down, ask them how they are doing and what they've been doing. First we listen to them, then they will be more open to listening to us.  Next we start with something simple that every preschooler loves to do... we run.  If our warmups started with something hard like frog jumps it would be a lot harder to get them going.  So instead its something easy, something fun, and something they will want to do.

How might this translate to the home?

Find the things that are sources of resistance at home, and look for the elements of it that don't meet resistance and start with those.  If bedtime is a trouble spot instead of starting with brushing teeth, try starting with picking out a bed time story,  then picking out PJ's, then once a little momentum is built it is brush teeth so that we can read the story.

Build that "yes" momentum through fun things and choice, then use it to carry through to the pieces of resistance.

And if they do get stuck in a "no" mindset trying to push forward is not likely the solution.  It's just like that snow drift, once you are stuck, you're stuck.  Trying to go forward when it isn't working just digs you in deeper.  You have to back up, reset, and try again.

This sometimes just means taking a break, letting them have a few mins to reset and then going at it different.  It can also mean changing focus to something completely different and unrelated until you get back in a positive mindset and then taking another approach.

Kids are really not so different from adults, although in some ways a little simpler.  If they have decided "no" and put themselves in that mindset forcing a change too it is taking away their sense of choice.  They sometimes get "stuck" a little more though, so if one thing is a "no" everything can become a "no" until they are able to reset a little.

More jedi mind tricks to follow, so keep watching our Facebook page or our blog :)