Stopping Behavior Issues - "Connection Before Correction" | Personal Power Martial Arts

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All 4 of my children attend Personal Power Martial Arts-- 3 in Taekwondo and 1 in Kickboxing. I can say without hesitation that Master Zohar and his staff care deeply about their students and bring out the very best in them. Not only are my children gaining proficiency in self-defense and becoming physically fit, they are being taught life skills that will serve them well including how to deal with bullies and conflict resolution. Their increase in confidence and concentration is evident. They love Personal Power Martial Arts and it shows!

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There aren't many family activities where a parent can truly be learning something for the first time at the same time as their kids, and even fewer places that can fully nurture adults and kids while doing it. My black belt wife joined my 4 year old son and I as we started our tae kwon do journey, and if asked, all three of us would say the class was geared towards us. As a teacher, a therapist, a partner, a parent, and a person, I truly can not say enough about Master Zohar, his assistants, or the things that we are all gaining from his class.

Geoffrey Jackson reviewed Personal Power Martial Arts
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This is a great Dojo, with a great staff, all led by Master Ran Zohar - a martial arts professional who really connects with the kids, gives them positive lessons and perspectives, and helps them achieve their goals. Things are run in a courteous, respectful way -- with clear boundaries -- but it's also all very fun, relaxed, and fluid for the kids and families. Highest marks possible to this place - 5 stars.

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Highly recommend! Master Zohar provides fun, motivation, and discipline for kids.

Loretta Sullivan Chang reviewed Personal Power Martial Arts
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Personal Power Martial Arts has been a wonderful experience for my boys. Ran patiently teaches them while instilling discipline and inspiring them to become the best versions of themselves. His instructors have the same dedication to the principles that Ram teaches, and everything is woven together with some humor and a lot of fun. I can’t say enough about the positive impact this dojo has had on my family. I never thought I would like martial arts so much. We love it and we will keep coming back every month. Thank you Ran! From the Chang family.

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Stopping Behavior Issues – “Connection Before Correction”

This past week, heroic High School football coach Keanon Lowe disarmed a student who had brought a loaded shotgun to school.

A security camera caught Lowe backing out of a room holding the shotgun in one hand and holding onto the student with the other. Someone then ran and grabbed the gun away from Lowe.

Lowe then hugged the student, who then hugged him back and broke down sobbing  in Lowe’s arms.

Read that last line again – it contains an important clue for handling kids who misbehave; even in an extreme situation like this.

It’s the principle of “Connection before correction.”

Over my 30+ years of teaching martial arts I’ve used this principle successfully to help hundreds of kids with behavior issues in my martial arts program and now I’d like to share it with you.

Here’s what it’s all about…

Pioneering child-psychologist Alfred Adler concluded that  “a misbehaving child is  a discouraged child.”

All kids have the innate need to feel a sense of belonging and a sense of significance. When these needs aren’t met, a child becomes discouraged and engages in behaviors (or misbehaviors) in attempts to get those needs met.

Most parents react by trying to stop the behaviors using either the carrot or the stick approach, rewarding good behaviors  or punishing misbehavior.

While these 2 timeless approaches may work in the short term, they quickly become counter-productive and in the long-term do more harm than good. 

What works in them long term is emotionally connecting with the child BEFORE trying to correct the behavior.

The next time your child misbehaves, remind yourself that this behavior is their way of saying  “I’m a child; I want to feel that I am significant and that I belong, but I don’t know how.”

Instead of yelling, punishing or bribing, use a healthy dose of compassion and say something like “I can see you are feeling angry/sad/upset… What’s bothering you sweetie?”

Then listen. Let them vent. Validate their feelings without judging.

Sometimes that’s ALL it takes to stop the behavior.

For the times it doesn’t, it will set the frame that you and your child are on the same team, rather than “you vs. your child.“

Won’t that make things easier?