Learn How To Motivate Kids
A TEACHING TOOL
Kids learn quickly, which is why they’re master negotiators. They’ll tug on your arm at the supermarket for sweets, clean their room to play video games, and eat broccoli for the promise of going to see the latest movie.
As exasperating as this can be, it’s a parent’s (and a teacher’s) ultimate weapon.
Because children are very impressionable. Their insatiable desire to be “rewarded” is the perfect intrinsic motivation. And by setting up situations where children are rewarded for their commitment to healthy habits, we can replace short term goals with healthier long term ones that’ll positively affect their development and growth.
SMALL REWARDS, BIG ACCOMPLISHMENTS
There are several tactics that jiu jitsu schools around the country use to motivate kids. Mainly, they motivate kids to learn by giving them small belt goals that they can achieve steadily–it’s actually the reason why kids have several more belts than adults. Unlike the five belts of white, blue, purple, brown, and black for adults, kids have about twice as many levels so that they don’t get discouraged from learning jiu jitsu.
But Marcus Aurelio Jiu Jitsu Academy takes it one step further–we teach kids to view jiu jitsu as a reward unto itself. We do this by promoting children with specific color stripes on their belts and stars on their gis, each of which represent a personal milestone that they should be proud of.
A PERSONAL JOURNEY
Jiu jitsu is linked to personal development more than other sports, and this is because it’s a sport that teaches us to overcome our fears and unlock our hidden potential. Because of that, we know that good grades, kindness, and eating well all play an important part in getting a child to where they need to be on their jiu jitsu journey. We reward students for self-care, to reinforce the idea that they should always be looking out for their mental and physical health. You need as much wits as brawn to become a savvy sparring partner.
The idea seems simple enough, but practicing what we preach is harder than simply knowing what path we should take. During jiu jitsu, kids have an hour to themselves where they feel empowered to think of their future, how they’ll grow, and who they want to become as martial artists. This kind of visualization is normally reserved for the superheroes they admire from cartoons. However, when this vision is applied to themselves, children become more confident and are eager to learn.
Even for adults, being rewarded for our hard work with a stripe or (even more astounding) a new color belt is extremely gratifying, because it’s a symbol of how far we’ve come and all of the incredible things we’ve yet to learn.