Category Archives: Parenting Blog

How To Teach Your Kids To Choose The Right Friends

It’s important that our kids have friends who are caring, accepting and kind. Teach your children what being a good friend means so they can be a good friend to others and also find friends who treat them with respect and compassion.

Dealing With Peer Pressure

Peer pressure often starts in early childhood with children trying to get other kids to play the games they want or exclude other children. It can become more serious in the preteen and teen years as smoking, alcohol and drugs become the subject of pressure.  

By high school, kids tend to spend more time with their peers and less time with their parents. This often leads kids to look to those peers for opinions, reinforcement and acceptance.

Peer pressure is not always negative. In fact friends often encourage each other to study, try out for sports or to try new interests in the arts. But in these years, kids often experiment in an attempt to find their identity and feel “larger than life.” And this sometimes leads children to take risks that are unsafe and unhealthy.

It is especially hard for your child to turn down his closest friend or the “cool” kids. Do not wait until you see the warning signs that your child is in trouble; deal ahead of time with the inevitable pressure your children will be under by talking to your children.

1. Remind your kid about elevators.

Friends are like elevators, they can take you up or down. This is a good statement to remind your kids often. We all have had those friends who drag you down fast. Sometimes you may not even realize it at first. While you can still have friends who may be a little more difficult, encourage your kids to cultivate strong friendships with those who bring them up.  

2. Tell them about Peer Pressure.

You know they’ll be influenced by peer pressure, so tell them before anything happens: “One of your friends is going to tell you it’s cool to: exclude other friends, lie to your parents or smoke.” Encourage them to think of both the short and long-term consequences:  “you would not be able to play your favourite sport or you could get cancer if you smoke.”

Show them you are a source of information on this topic. You’ve been there, done that. Offer your opinion, but don’t lecture.

3. Role Play the Words

Practicing peer pressure resistance is important. Finding creative ways to refuse alcohol, tobacco and drugs requires humour and lots of practice. Children, especially younger children, love to pretend. So set a scene as if you and your child were characters in a story. Role-play saying no to things that your child knows are harmful or against the rules, such as playing with matches, stealing a cookie or smoking a cigarette.

Kids are more likely to be offered alcohol, tobacco or other drugs from friends than from strangers. And it’s a lot tougher for kids to say no to their friends. The best way to prepare children to deal with these situations is to prepare them by practicing similar scenarios in advance. When the time comes, your child will know exactly what to say so they can say no and get out of touch situation without losing their friends.

What are good ways to say no when your son or daughter is offered drugs? Simple answers are often best. “No, thanks.” “No way, I don’t do that stuff.” “No, I gotta go.” “No way, we’ve got a big grading next week, I don’t want to risk it.”

4. Always bail them out

Tell them that no matter how awful the circumstances you will always bail them out without punishing them. Let them know that no matter how late it is, or how busy you are, you want to be called to get them out of a situation they know isn’t good.

The Resistance Skills – Techniques For Saying “No!”

Here are some steps that you can practice with your child to make it easier for him or her to refuse harmful behaviours. 

1. Ask Questions

Especially if unknown substances are offered.  Tell your child to ask “What is it?” and “Where did you get it?”  If your child is invited to a friend’s house teach them to ask “Who else is invited?”  “Do your parents know you invited me over?” and “Will your parents be there?”

2.  Say No!

This seems much simpler than it is and will take some practice.  Tell your child: Don’t argue; don’t discuss. Say NO and show that you mean it.

3.  Give Reasons

It’s important your child is clear and concise.  “No thanks, I don’t want to drink or smoke.” or “Coach says drugs will hurt my game” are ample reasons that youngsters can use.  And don’t forget the oldest reason: “My parents will kill me!”

4. Suggest Other Things To Do

If a friend is offering tobacco, alcohol, or other drugs saying NO is difficult.  Your child should be prepared to suggest something else to do like play a game or go to a movie.  Emphasize that he isn’t rejecting a friend, it is the harmful behavior he’s resisting.

5. Leave

If your child has tried all these steps and is still being confronted with harmful behaviour, it’s important she gets out of the situation immediately.  Tell her to come directly home, if she’s at school go directly to class or join another group of friends.

Please make a commitment to apply these steps with your kids. This is a very important issue. And let us know how it goes in the comments below.

We are committed to helping you to prepare your kids for success in training and in life.


About Invincible Worldwide

Invincible Worldwide’s mission is to empower people to be physically, mentally and socially extraordinary. Alan La, founder of Invincible Worldwide is an International Sports Karate Association Hall-of-Famed Martial Artist, Best-Selling Author, Speaker and Young Australian of the Year finalist. Together with his team, they provide world-class physical and mindset training programs, seminars and performances for people all over the world. 

More specifically, Alan and his team have developed a unique award-winning Invincible Juniors program which fuses martial arts, acrobatics and leadership skills to empower young kids to be physically and mentally prepared for success in life and in school. 

For more information about our unique Invincible Juniors Academy, go to: https://www.invincibleworldwide.com/juniors-program-intro

Or to apply your child for the Invincible Juniors Program, please go to: https://www.invincibleworldwide.com/kids-martial-arts-classes/

7 Ways To Build Strong Character In Children

 Wondering what can you do to help your kids counter negative influences and stand up for what they know is right?
 
The answer is to nurture a solid moral core that will guide them to stand up for their beliefs and act right without us.
 
And the best news is that we can teach kids the core virtues and skills of strong character and moral courage and can begin when they are toddlers.
 
Here are seven parenting tips from the book, Building Moral Intelligence: The Seven Essential Virtues That Teach Kids to Do the Right Thing, by Dr. Michelle Borba, you can use to help your kids stand up for their beliefs, handle negative peer pressure, and live their lives guided by integrity. Remember: it’s never too late—or early—to start.
 

1. KNOW WHAT YOU STAND FOR SO YOUR KID KNOWS

 
Parents with clearly identified moral convictions are more likely to raise good kids. Because their kids know what their parents stand for and why they do, their kids are more likely to adopt their parents’ beliefs. So begin by asking yourself what virtues and moral beliefs matter most to you.
 
Make a list, then narrow them to your top three. These will become your personal moral code and guide you in how you will raise your child. It’s also the best way to help your child develop his own moral beliefs.
 
Here are five quick questions to gauge how well you’re parenting solid moral beliefs in your child:
 
a) You can quickly name the 3-5 virtues you want most for your child to acquire.
b) Your child could name the virtues you believe in most without prompting.
c) You reinforce your child whenever he shows your selected virtues in his behaviour.
d) Your child can clearly see your chosen virtues in your daily behaviour.
e) You use those virtues as your day to day code of ethical behaviour and family living.
 

2. WALK YOUR TALK

 
One great question to ask yourself each day is: “If I were the only example my child had to learn moral habits, what did he/she learn today from watching me?” The answer can be quite revealing.
 
By watching your choices and hearing your casual comments, kids learn our moral standards.
 
Make sure the moral behaviors your kids are picking up on are ones that you want your kids to copy. How many of these messages apply to you? Do you…
 
a) Eat a “sample” from a store’s candy bin in front of your child without paying?
b) Buy a ticket for a “child under twelve” even though your child is older?
c) Drive faster than the speed limit with your child as a passenger?
d) Tell your child to say you’re not there when your boss calls?
e) Do the majority of your child’s work on a school project, but have him sign his name?
 

3. SHARE YOUR MORAL BELIEFS AND TAKE STANDS

 
Speaking frequently to your child about values is called direct moral teaching. Parents who raise ethical kids do it a lot. So look for moral issues and talk about them as they come up: from TV shows and news events to situations at home, school, and friends. Tell your kids how you feel about the issue and why.
 
Share examples of morally courageous heroes. There are wonderful books and videos in your local library that you can share with your child.
 
Most important: Stand up for your own beliefs whenever you feel a major value is jeopardized. Your kid needs to see and hear about moral courage so he/she has an example to copy.
 

4. ASK MORAL QUESTIONS TO STRETCH MORAL DEVELOPMENT

 
Questioning is an important parenting tool for enhancing children’s consciences and strengthening moral beliefs. The right kind of questions can help kids expand their ability to take another perspective and ask themselves: “Is this the right thing to do?” Both are critical precursors to taking any moral stand.
 
Here are a few questions parents can ask that stretch your kid’s moral thinking:
 
“How would you feel if someone treated you that way?” “If you don’t follow through on your word, what do you think would happen?” “If everybody acted that way (i.e. cheated, shoplifted) what would happen?”
 

5. BOOST EMPATHY

 
Kids who stick up for others are kids who feel for others. Empathy is what motivates that feeling, halts cruel behavior and urges kids to take a stand.
 
Here are two powerful ways to nurture empathy:
 
a) Ask: How would you feel? Ask kids to ponder how another person feels using situations in books, TV, and movies as well as real life. It forces them to think about other peoples’ concerns.
 
b) Use role playing. It helps kids imagine others’ feelings so ask your child to think how the other person would feel if roles were reversed. “Switch sides: what would the other person say and do?” Young kids can use puppets or toy figures to act out the problem from both sides.
 

6. REINFORCE ASSERTIVENESS NOT COMPLIANCE

 
If you want to raise a child who can stand up for his beliefs, then reinforce assertiveness—not compliance.
 
Encourage him to share his opinions and stand up for what is right. And do so from early age so he can weather the storm of negative peer influence.
 
Parents who raise morally courageous kids expect their kids to act morally—even demand that they do.
 

7. TEACH ASSERTIVE SKILLS

 
The truth is that it takes real moral strength to go against peer pressure and to stick up for your beliefs. So teach your child assertive skills so he can take the right kind of stand whenever he’s confronted with a moral dilemma.
 
Here are three ways to boost moral courage:
 
a) Teach assertive posture. Teach your kid to stand up for his beliefs by using confident, assertive posture: stand tall with feet slightly apart, head held high, and look the person straight in the eye.
 
b) Say no firmly. Stress that he must say his beliefs using a friendly, but determined voice. Then don’t give in. His job is not to try changing the other person’s mind, but to follow his beliefs.
 
c) Tell reasons why. Ask your child to give the person the reason for his stand. It helps strengthen his conviction: “Stop bullying him; it’s cruel.” Or “No, it’s illegal and wrong.”
 
Repeating the belief several times boosts assertiveness and helps your child not back down from his stand.
 
Keep in mind that your child’s moral growth is an ongoing process that will span the course of her lifetime. The moral knowledge, beliefs, and habits you instill in them now will become the foundation they will use forever.

 


About Invincible Worldwide

Invincible Worldwide’s mission is to empower people to be physically, mentally and socially extraordinary. Alan La, founder of Invincible Worldwide is an International Sports Karate Association Hall-of-Famed Martial Artist, Best-Selling Author, Speaker and Young Australian of the Year finalist. Together with his team, they provide world-class physical and mindset training programs, seminars and performances for people all over the world. 

 
More specifically, Alan and his team have developed a unique award-winning Invincible Juniors program which fuses martial arts, acrobatics and leadership skills to empower young kids to be physically and mentally prepared for success in life and in school. 

 

For more information about our unique Invincible Juniors Academy, go to: https://www.invincibleworldwide.com/juniors-program-intro

How To Teach Your Child Active Listening

Active listening is an important “soft skill”, like problem-solving, leadership, and teamwork. It’s a skill that can be acquired and developed — but it takes time and patience to master!

Having active listening skills has many benefits; besides better comprehension in the classroom, active listeners tend to be better communicators and problem solvers. Being an active listener also shows good character, commitment, and is an essential component of being a leader.

Benefits of being an active listener include:
– Fewer misunderstandings
– Faster work rate
– Improved resourcefulness
– More self-reliance
– Improved productivity

ACTIVE LISTENING VS PASSIVE LISTENING

Passive listening is simply hearing what the speaker is saying without really trying to understand it. When students passively listen, they don’t retain information because they are easily distracted.

Active listening requires the listener to understand the point the speaker is trying to communicate, not just hearing the words he or she is saying.

Becoming a better listener is an important skill that students need to actively develop and practice.

How can you help your child improve his or her listening skills?

FIVE STEPS TO ACTIVE LISTENING

Parents and teachers can teach students how to become an active listener by becoming active listeners themselves. Through modelling active listening to your child, he or she is able to see the value and importance of being an active listener. It also gives your child a reference to develop his or her own listening habits.

Improve the active listening skills for yourself and your child by following these 5 tips:

1. MAINTAIN EYE CONTACT

People who maintain eye contact are seen as reliable, warm, sociable, honest, confident, and active. Focusing your eyes also helps improve concentration. This helps you fully understand what the speaker is saying.

2. DON’T INTERRUPT

Let the speaker complete his or her thought before you try to respond. Do not interrupt, finish sentences, or rush him or her. Avoid guessing or assuming where his or her thoughts are going— this can create a negative impact on effective communication.

3. ASK QUESTIONS

One way to show you are listening (and make sure you hear correctly) is to ask specific questions about what is being said. This provides clarification, ensures understanding, and shows that you are listening.

Try asking these four types of questions:

a) Open-ended: expand the discussion further
Example: “How was your day at school today?”

b) Close-ended: prompt for specifics
Example: “Have you finished your homework?”

c) Leading: prompts the respondent to answer in a particular way
Example: “Do you have too much homework?”

d) Reflective: expand and extend thinking
Example: “You mentioned math is your favourite subject in school, tell me more about that.”

4. REPEAT BACK WHAT THE SPEAKER SAYS

Repeat what has been said back to the speaker in your own words. This helps make sure you have understood what he or she is saying. Summarize by repeating the main points of the message. This gives the speaker a chance to correct you, if necessary.

5. LISTEN FOR TOTAL MEANING

Any message has two components: the content of the message and the underlying feeling or attitude. Both parts are important and give the message meaning. Listen for both for content and the underlying emotions. Sometimes the real message is in the emotion rather than the content.

By following these tips, you and your child are developing the skills you both need to be better active listeners. Practicing these steps with your child will continue to help him or her improve his or her listening habits.

ACTIVE LISTENING ACTIVITIES

Showing your child how to be an active listener by example is only the first step. It is also important to practice these skills.

Try these activities to help develop and sharpen your child’s listening skills.

a) Read stories to your child. Ask him or her to predict what will happen next. The prediction requires your child to listen to the details to make a logical guess.

b) Cook with your child. Read the recipe to him or her, having your child listen to and follow each step to complete the recipe correctly.

c) Have conversations about things your child is interested in. This gives your child a chance to engage in a real conversation, practicing both speaking and listening.

d) Play the telephone game. Get together with a group and have one person whisper a sentence to the next person. Each person repeats it to the next until the final person. Have this person say the sentence aloud and see how much the two sentences have changed.

e) Create a list of questions with your child for him or her to ask you or a sibling. After one person has answered, see how many the other can remember. Switch roles and see how well the other person does.

f) Play the “spot the change” game. Read your child a short story. Then read it again, making some changes. Each time your child hears a change have him or her clap or raise his or her hand.

g) Get creative with “follow the directions.” Give short, simple instructions and have your child draw according to the directions they hear.

It takes a lot of concentration and determination to be a better listener. Practicing active listening techniques will help students become better communicators and build listening skills they will use for life.

Let me know in the comments below which activity you will try tonight! 

 


About Invincible Worldwide

Invincible Worldwide’s mission is to empower people to be physically, mentally and socially extraordinary. Alan La, founder of Invincible Worldwide is an International Sports Karate Association Hall-of-Famed Martial Artist, Best-Selling Author, Speaker and Young Australian of the Year finalist. Together with his team, they provide world-class physical and mindset training programs, seminars and performances for people all over the world. 

 
More specifically, Alan and his team have developed a unique award-winning Invincible Juniors program which fuses martial arts, acrobatics and leadership skills to empower young kids to be physically and mentally prepared for success in life and in school. 

 

For more information about our unique Invincible Juniors Academy, go to: https://www.invincibleworldwide.com/juniors-program-intro

6 Steps To Teach Your Child Respect

We often forget that children aren’t born with a built-in sense of respect for others. While each child has a different personality, all children need to be taught to be respectful.
From birth, kids learn to manipulate their world to get their needs met—this is natural.

But it’s our job as parents, coaches and instructors to teach them respectful ways of doing this.

People wonder why kids have gotten so much more disrespectful these days—we see children and teens arguing with adults (or ignoring them outright), using foul language, copping an attitude, and not using manners or respecting those in authority.

Sadly, this has become the norm for many children and teens. In my opinion, it really is a different world right now than the one we grew up in.

Movies, music, video games and television all seem to glorify a disrespectful, angry, rude way of dealing with others.

This means that in some ways we have to work harder to teach our kids to be respectful.

Added to this is the fact that parents are also busier than ever before, which makes it much harder to respond immediately to our kids.

Let’s face it, it’s easier to let things slide when you’re worn out and stressed from working so hard.

Here are 6 things you can do TODAY to start getting respect back from your kids.

1. Catch disrespect early and plan ahead if you can.

It’s good to catch disrespectful behaviour early if possible. If a child is rude or disrespectful, don’t turn a blind eye. Intervene and say, “We don’t talk to each other that way in this family.”

Giving consequences when your kids are younger is going to pay off in the long run. It’s really important as a parent if you see your child being disrespectful to admit it and then try to nip it in the bud.

Also, if your child is about to enter the teen years (or another potentially difficult phase) think about the future. Some parents I speak to are already planning how they will address behaviour as their ADD daughter becomes a teenager. They’re learning skills to prepare for their interactions with her at a later time. This can only help them as they move forward together as a family.

2. Teach your child basic social interaction skills.

It may sound old fashioned, but it’s very important to teach your child basic manners like saying “please” and “thank you.” When your child deals with her teachers in school or gets her first job and has these skills to fall back on, it will really go a long way. Understand that using manners—just a simple “excuse me” or “thank you”—is also a form of empathy.

It teaches your kids to respect others and acknowledge their impact on other people. When you think about it, disrespectful behavior is the opposite, negative side of being empathetic and having good manners.

3. Be respectful when you correct your child.

When your child is being disrespectful, we as parents, coaches and instructors need to correct them in a respectful manner. Yelling and getting upset and having your own attitude in response to theirs is not helpful and often only escalates behavior.

The truth is, if you allow their disrespectful behavior to affect you, it’s difficult to be an effective teacher in that moment. You can pull your child aside and give them a clear message, for example. You don’t need to shout at them or embarrass them.

4. Clarify the limits when things are calm.

When you’re in a situation where your child is disrespectful, that’s not the ideal time to do a lot of talking about limits or consequences. At a later time you can talk with your child about his behavior and what your expectations are.

5. Talk about what happened afterward.

If your child is disrespectful or rude, talk about what happened and how it could have been dealt with differently. That’s a chance for you to listen to your child and hear what was going on with her when that behavior happened.
Try to stay objective. You can say, “Pretend a video camera recorded the whole thing. What would I see?” This is also a perfect time to have your child describe what she could have done differently.

6. Get in alignment with your partner.

It’s so important for you and your partner, and anyone else who have a major influence on the kids’ lives, to be on the same page when it comes to your child’s behavior.
Make sure one of you isn’t allowing the disrespectful behavior while the other is trying to intercede. Sit down together and talk about what your bottom lines are, and then come up with a plan of action—and a list of consequences you might give—if your child breaks the rules.

Understand that if you haven’t been able to intervene early with your kids, you can start at any time. Even if your child is constantly exhibiting disrespectful behavior, you can begin stepping in and setting those clear limits. And kids really do want limits, even if they protest loudly—and they will.

The message that they get when you step in and set limits is that they’re cared about, they’re loved and that you really want them to be successful and able to function well in the world.

Our kids won’t thank us now, but that’s okay—it’s not about getting them to thank us, it’s about doing the right thing.

 


About Invincible Worldwide

Invincible Worldwide’s mission is to empower people to be physically, mentally and socially extraordinary. Alan La, founder of Invincible Worldwide is an International Sports Karate Association Hall-of-Famed Martial Artist, Best-Selling Author, Speaker and Young Australian of the Year finalist. Together with his team, they provide world-class physical and mindset training programs, seminars and performances for people all over the world. 

 
More specifically, Alan and his team have developed a unique award-winning Invincible Juniors program which fuses martial arts, acrobatics and leadership skills to empower young kids to be physically and mentally prepared for success in life and in school. 

 

For more information about our unique Invincible Juniors Academy, go to: https://www.invincibleworldwide.com/juniors-program-intro

7 GOAL-SETTING STRATEGIES FOR KIDS

All parents share that sense of frustration when their child doesn’t try hard enough to accomplish something they know he’s perfectly capable of. What can you do?

One way to foster a can-do attitude is to help your child learn to set goals and meet them, one small step at a time.

Experts say that ages 10-12 is an ideal time to introduce your child to the concept of establishing targets and working toward them.

Try these strategies to teach your child the power of goal-setting so they’ll eventually learn how to work to achieve their best.

1. Get the Idea Across

Start the process by looking for ways that your child already uses goal-setting techniques. If you notice that your son has managed to save up his money to buy a video game, for example, discuss the steps he needed to take to get what he wanted.

Talk to him about how good it feels to accomplish something that you’ve worked toward. Then, discuss how these same techniques can be used to meet other challenges.

2. Start Small

Help your child think of a fun goal she could achieve within a short time. Maybe she could finish a book she started or complete a craft project. “Little goals are the best way to get kids moving toward big goals,” says Jim Wiltens, a leadership-training instructor in the San Francisco-area schools. “Meeting a goal gives kids an incredible surge of energy.”

3. Let Them Choose

As much as you might want your child to make the honor roll, it’s best to let your kid decide what she wants to achieve. Then you can help her make a plan.

Obviously, some goals require more input from you. If learning to figure skate is your kid’s dream, you’re going to have to help her set and achieve her targets. If parents find they’re nagging or getting angry that their child isn’t working hard enough to meet a goal, that’s a signal they need to back off.

4. Be Alert to Possibilities

If your child says, “I wish I could win a prize in the science fair this year,” use it as an opportunity to assist him in creating a plan. “Help him write down specific action steps and a timetable for accomplishing each of them,” says John Bishop, author of Goal Setting for Students. Then check in with him from time to time to help keep him focused on his targets.

5. Show Them How

“Adults have a much greater sense of what it takes to accomplish goals,” says Virginia Shiller, PhD, author of Rewards for Kids! Ready-to-Use Charts & Activities for Positive Parenting. So include your child in your own goal-setting to show her how the process works.

Say you want to create a garden. Get your child involved in everything from researching plants to turning the dirt. “Adults know how to break a goal down into steps, and that’s something kids need to learn,” Dr. Shiller says.

6. Provide a Reality Check

Children often underestimate how hard it can be to meet a goal, and then they get frustrated and discouraged when they fall short. If your child decides he wants to play the guitar, for instance, be encouraging but realistic.

Point out the challenges and the dedication it will require. The idea isn’t to make the goal seem too daunting, but rather to share in the seriousness of the undertaking by helping plan it out.

7. Applaud Effort

As your child begins to set goals and work toward them, don’t forget the compliments. Say something like, “I’m really impressed, when you care about something you really go after it!”

 


About Invincible Worldwide

Invincible Worldwide’s mission is to empower people to be physically, mentally and socially extraordinary. Alan La, founder of Invincible Worldwide is an International Sports Karate Association Hall-of-Famed Martial Artist, Best-Selling Author, Speaker and Young Australian of the Year finalist. Together with his team, they provide world-class physical and mindset training programs, seminars and performances for people all over the world. 

 
More specifically, Alan and his team have developed a unique award-winning Invincible Juniors program which fuses martial arts, acrobatics and leadership skills to empower young kids to be physically and mentally prepared for success in life and in school. 

 

For more information about our unique Invincible Juniors Academy, go to: https://www.invincibleworldwide.com/juniors-program-intro

How To Teach Your Child Kindness

(This is a long post, but it’s worth it  )

A Harvard study, ran by the Making Caring Common project, found that about 80 percent of the youth in the study said their parents were more concerned with their achievement or happiness than whether they cared for others. The kids were also three times more likely to agree that “My parents are prouder if I get good grades in my classes than if I’m a caring community member in class and school.”

We need to raise children to become caring, respectful and responsible adults. Children are not born simply good or bad. They need adults who will help them become caring, respectful, and responsible for their communities at every stage of their childhood.

Here are 5 strategies to raise moral, caring children:

1. MAKE CARING FOR OTHERS A PRIORITY

Parents tend to prioritize their children’s happiness and achievements over their children’s concern for others. But children need to learn to balance their needs with the needs of others, whether it’s passing the ball to a teammate or deciding to stand up for friend who is being bullied.

Children need to hear from parents that caring for others is a top priority. A big part of that is holding children to high ethical expectations, such as honoring their commitments, even if it makes them unhappy. For example, before kids quit a sports team, band, or a friendship, we should ask them to consider their obligations to the group or the friend and encourage them to work out problems before quitting.

TRY THIS:
a) Instead of saying to your kids: “The most important thing is that you’re happy,” say “The most important thing is that you’re kind.”

b) Make sure that your older children always address others respectfully, even when they’re tired, distracted, or angry.

c) Emphasize caring when you interact with other key adults in your children’s lives. For example, ask teachers whether your children are good community members at school.

2. PROVIDE OPPORTUNITIES FOR CHILDREN TO PRACTICE CARING AND GRATITUDE

It’s never too late to become a good person, but it won’t happen on its own. Children need to practice caring for others and expressing gratitude for those who care for them and contribute to others’ lives. Studies show that people who are in the habit of expressing gratitude are more likely to be helpful, generous, compassionate, and forgiving—and they’re also more likely to be happy and healthy.

Learning to be caring is like learning to play a sport or an instrument. Daily repetition—whether it’s a helping a friend with homework, pitching in around the house, or having a classroom job—make caring second nature and develop and hone youth’s caregiving capacities. Learning gratitude similarly involves regularly practicing it.

TRY THIS:
• Don’t reward your child for every act of helpfulness, such as clearing the dinner table. We should expect our kids to help around the house, with siblings, and with neighbors and only reward uncommon acts of kindness.

• Talk to your child about caring and uncaring acts they see on television and about acts of justice and injustice they might witness or hear about in the news.

• Make gratitude a daily ritual at dinnertime, bedtime, in the car, or on the subway. Express thanks for those who contribute to us and others in large and small ways.

3. EXPAND YOUR CHILD’S CIRCLE OF CONCERN.

Almost all children care about a small circle of their families and friends. Our challenge is help our children learn to care about someone outside that circle, such as the new kid in class, someone who doesn’t speak their language, the school custodian, or someone who lives in a distant country.
Children need to learn to zoom in, by listening closely and attending to those in their immediate circle, and to zoom out, by taking in the big picture and considering the many perspectives of the people they interact with daily, including those who are vulnerable.

They also need to consider how their decisions, such as quitting a sports team or a band, can ripple out and harm various members of their communities. Especially in our more global world, children need to develop concern for people who live in very different cultures and communities than their own.

TRY THIS:
• Make sure your children are friendly and grateful with all the people in their daily lives, such as a bus driver or a waitress.

• Encourage children to care for those who are vulnerable. Give children some simple ideas for stepping into the “caring and courage zone,” like comforting a classmate who was teased.

• Use a newspaper or TV story to encourage your child to think about hardships faced by children in another country.

4. BE A STRONG MORAL ROLE MODEL AND MENTOR.

Children learn ethical values by watching the actions of adults they respect. They also learn values by thinking through ethical dilemmas with adults, e.g. “Should I invite a new neighbor to my birthday party when my best friend doesn’t like her?”

Being a moral role model and mentor means that we need to practice honesty, fairness, and caring ourselves. But it doesn’t mean being perfect all the time. For our children to respect and trust us, we need to acknowledge our mistakes and flaws. We also need to respect children’s thinking and listen to their perspectives, demonstrating to them how we want them to engage others.

TRY THIS:
• Model caring for others by doing community service at least once a month. Even better, do this service with your child.

• Give your child an ethical dilemma at dinner or ask your child about dilemmas they’ve faced.

5. GUIDE CHILDREN IN MANAGING DESTRUCTIVE FEELINGS

Often the ability to care for others is overwhelmed by anger, shame, envy, or other negative feelings.

We need to teach children that all feelings are okay, but some ways of dealing with them are not helpful. Children need our help learning to cope with these feelings in productive ways.

TRY THIS:
Here’s a simple way to teach your kids to calm down: ask your child to stop, take a deep breath through the nose and exhale through the mouth, and count to five.

Practice when your child is calm.

Then, when you see him/her getting upset, remind him/her about the steps and do them with him/her. After a while he/she’ll start to do it on his/her own so that he/she can express his/her feelings in a helpful and appropriate way.

 


About Invincible Worldwide

Invincible Worldwide’s mission is to empower people to be physically, mentally and socially extraordinary. Alan La, founder of Invincible Worldwide is an International Sports Karate Association Hall-of-Famed Martial Artist, Best-Selling Author, Speaker and Young Australian of the Year finalist. Together with his team, they provide world-class physical and mindset training programs, seminars and performances for people all over the world. 

 
More specifically, Alan and his team have developed a unique award-winning Invincible Juniors program which fuses martial arts, acrobatics and leadership skills to empower young kids to be physically and mentally prepared for success in life and in school. 

 

For more information about our unique Invincible Juniors Academy, go to: https://www.invincibleworldwide.com/juniors-program-intro

9 Things You Should Say To Your Kids Every Day

Here are 9 things you should say to your kids every day 🙂

 

  1. “I love you”. Say it to them as often as you like

  2. “I like it when you.” Talk about positive aspects of their behaviour

  3. “You make me happy.” This makes them feel valuable

  4. “I’m proud of you.” They need to hear they’re doing a good job, even when it’s hard

  5. “You are special.” Let them know their uniqueness is a strength.

  6. “I trust you.” Building a foundation of trust raises an honest person.

  7. “I believe you.” Teach them how valuable they are.

  8. “I know you can do this.” Encourage them to never give up.

  9. “I am grateful for you.” Be specific, this can make their day!

Which one is your favourite? Comment below!

 


About Invincible Worldwide

Invincible Worldwide’s mission is to empower people to be physically, mentally and socially extraordinary. Alan La, founder of Invincible Worldwide is an International Sports Karate Association Hall-of-Famed Martial Artist, Best-Selling Author, Speaker and Young Australian of the Year finalist. Together with his team, they provide world-class physical and mindset training programs, seminars and performances for people all over the world. 

 
More specifically, Alan and his team have developed a unique award-winning Invincible Juniors program which fuses martial arts, acrobatics and leadership skills to empower young kids to be physically and mentally prepared for success in life and in school. 

 

For more information about our unique Invincible Juniors Academy, go to: https://www.invincibleworldwide.com/juniors-program-intro

7 Ways To Teach Your Kids To Be Brave

Bravery is a tough concept these days. It seems we are also being told to be extra sensitive and aware, but rarely are we really encouraged, let alone taught, to be brave.
Courage definitely has its place though, and it is our job to help our kids develop a healthy sense of it.
Here are a few suggestions to help foster bravery in your kids:

1. Teach Them that it is Okay to be Wrong. 

So much of our fear comes from within. We don’t want to fail, look dumb, or get hurt. We need to raise our kids to be confident, and to know that giving a wrong answer or singing a wrong note will not change their worth. Show them the courage in perseverance as well as in failing until you succeed. The result is an intrinsic reward for being brave!

2. Make it Safe for Them to be Afraid. 

We can’t be brave without accepting and acknowledging fear. Kind of like good and evil…bravery does not exist without fear. Our kids need to know it is okay, and even healthy, to feel afraid. There is a healthy balance between fear that is protective versus restrictive. When they are afraid, they need to know they can come to us. Sometimes to feel safe, and sometimes just to feel afraid.

3. Back Them Up – Support them. 

When they do come to us, it is our job to give them the support, knowledge, and encouragement. Eventually, they’ll be able to “hear” us, even when we’re not with them.

4. Be Their Excuse (when needed). 

One of the biggest fears our kids deal with as they get older is not being accepted by their peers. In these situations, bravery isn’t always facing a situation. Sometimes bravery is getting out of one! Let them know that if they need an “out” it is okay to use you as an excuse. For instance, they can say “my mum would kill me if…” or pretend to get a text from you that they are in trouble and need to get home. Once they see that their friends still accept them, they will begin to learn to speak up for themselves.

5. Share a Sense of Adventure. 

Help them experience new things. Go on adventures and show them how to overcome the unexpected. The more they experience with you, the more they will be ready to experience without you. Take them hiking and boating, go different places and even just through different neighbourhoods. Read about new experiences, and try some of them. Show them the unfamiliar. If there are things that make you nervous, talk about it, and get through it together. Give them places to be brave!

6. Let Them Get Hurt

This one’s tough. Of course don’t put them in danger. The truth is, kids need to know they can get hurt and survive. In this world of trying to protect everyone from everything, it is essential for kids to know it is okay to fall or fail. They will survive it. Kids have to learn what they can handle and discover their own limits.

7. Love Them. 

Give them places where they don’t need to be brave, ever. Love them 100%. Show love 100%, and you will be amazed how easy it is for them to venture out.

In this tough world where we constantly try to protect our children, it is essential that we give them opportunities to be strong, and teach them courage. Bravery is a necessity in the world we live in. It is our job to help instill it in our kids.

I would love to hear your thoughts and experiences on the subject!

 


About Invincible Worldwide

Invincible Worldwide’s mission is to empower people to be physically, mentally and socially extraordinary. Alan La, founder of Invincible Worldwide is an International Sports Karate Association Hall-of-Famed Martial Artist, Best-Selling Author, Speaker and Young Australian of the Year finalist. Together with his team, they provide world-class physical and mindset training programs, seminars and performances for people all over the world. 

 
More specifically, Alan and his team have developed a unique award-winning Invincible Juniors program which fuses martial arts, acrobatics and leadership skills to empower young kids to be physically and mentally prepared for success in life and in school. 

 

For more information about our unique Invincible Juniors Academy, go to: https://www.invincibleworldwide.com/juniors-program-intro

10 Ways To Help Your Kids Stand Up To Peer Pressure

As a parent, your biggest enemy by far is negative peer pressure. Notice the word “negative.” There is such a thing as positive peer pressure – when good friends talk your child out of doing something stupid. But, negative peer pressure can destroy everything you’ve worked so hard for.

Teach your kids the 10 ways to stand up to peer pressure:

1. Eyes Like A Hawk
Constantly observe the habits and behavior of your child. Know him better than he knows himself. Abrupt changes in dress or attitude could signal trouble. Pay attention if he starts dressing differently. Possibly he will use more disrespectful language or a negative attitude. Newly-formed friendships can be at the root of the change. Children, of course, go through phases. No need to overreact at every turn. However, always have hawk-like eyes and be on top of trouble the minute it shows up.

2. Meet The Crew
Your daughter’s friends are important to her. So they should be important to you as well. That means taking a vested interest. Make her friends feel welcome in your home. Talk to them when possible. Feeding them is a good way to make that happen. Everybody talks when meals or snacks are served. Offer to drive them where they want to go. The car is another good place to start conversations. The more they talk, the more you learn.

3. Meet The Parents
Following that same theory, make an effort to know the parents of your child’s friends as well. Throw a backyard party. Invite all the children and parents as well. Do they share your same values, beliefs, and convictions? Establish an open communication. If problems arise, you will then feel more comfortable bringing it up.

4. Sleep Overs
All kids enjoy sleepovers. Generally, they have a whole lot of fun. Awesome. What else is going on? If your daughter is sleeping over at her bff’s house, how much do you really know? Are they watching movies you would not approve of? Talking about things that are new and beyond her young ears? Before allowing a sleepover, make sure you know the child and her parents. Peer pressure thrives in this environment.

5. Be The Parent
You are not his friend. You are his parent. There is a major difference. When parents strive to be their child’s friend they give up their authority and influence. [Tweet This] Of course, you want a fun and loving relationship. As long as it does not impede on your ability to have the final say. Many great parents have heard the words “I hate you” as the child storms up the staircase. It’s hurtful and hard to take. However the reply is always, “You will thank me later.”

6. Family Virtues
“If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.” Your family should have a set of standards that all are expected to live up to. Choose 5 -10 virtues that you consider vital. Instruct your children in them and be sure to lead by example. Make it a matter of family pride. “It doesn’t matter how the family down the street does it, this is how we do it.”

7. Opportunities To Teach
Our world today provides more than enough chances to point out good and bad behavior. We have televisions, high speed internet, and mobile phones. We are never without instant access to any type of news, sports, or entertainment. That is a whole lot of influence on everyone in the family. If you are watching a show with your son that portrays a desirable quality, point it out. If you are listening to a song with your daughter that has lyrics glorifying loose behavior, point it out. Counteract the bad influence with discussion and other options.

8. The Big Picture
People have a tendency to believe their own behavior does not affect others. We feel small in a giant world. Completely untrue. Try teaching your children to see the bigger picture. Pose questions to them such as, “What if everyone shoplifted like your classmate Dave?” “What if everybody cheated on their tests?” “How would these things affect society?” Give your kids the ability to understand how they affect the world and not just themselves. It builds wisdom and strong character.

9. Concern For Others
Children certainly can be and will be cruel. Teach empathy to your child; a concern for the feelings and well-being of others. A child who has these qualities is much less likely to follow the pack at any cost. They will understand the damage being done and stand against it. Society needs leaders who bring out the good in others and stand for justice. This starts by teaching empathy.

10. Unique Purpose
Most children who fall victim to destructive peer pressure have lower self-esteem. It’s normal to feel lost as a teenager. A group that shows acceptance and understanding is attractive. Gangs recruit young souls based solely on this knowledge. Do not let this be your child. We are all created with a unique purpose. Every single person has much to offer this world. Help your child know how much they are loved and their true identity. A child with self-confidence and moral strength is difficult to corrupt when guided with love and care.

Let us know which tip helps you the most! Leave your comments below 


About Invincible Worldwide

Invincible Worldwide’s mission is to empower people to be physically, mentally and socially extraordinary. Alan La, founder of Invincible Worldwide is an International Sports Karate Association Hall-of-Famed Martial Artist, Best-Selling Author, Speaker and Young Australian of the Year finalist. Together with his team, they provide world-class physical and mindset training programs, seminars and performances for people all over the world. 

 
More specifically, Alan and his team have developed a unique award-winning Invincible Juniors program which fuses martial arts, acrobatics and leadership skills to empower young kids to be physically and mentally prepared for success in life and in school. 

 

For more information about our unique Invincible Juniors Academy, go to: https://www.invincibleworldwide.com/juniors-program-intro

 

How To Support A Bullied Child

It goes without saying that parents want to protect their children from harm, and see them develop into healthy, happy adults. It is therefore very distressing to witness the affect that bullying can have on a child.

The most important thing to remember is that with firm, immediate action, kids can be supported through a bullying situation. While individual experiences will influence the way your child is affected, in general, there are some universal steps all parents should take to support their child through bullying.

#1. Have an open conversation

If you suspect that your child is being bullied, or they have already told you of an incident, the first thing to do is have an open conversation. Try and follow these guidelines:

a) Speak in private:
Find a quiet time when you won’t be disturbed to discuss the different types of bullying (verbal, physical, emotional, cyber). Ask if they have ever experienced or witnessed any of the examples and encourage them to share details of any events with you.

b) Be patient, calm and understanding:
Do not make assumptions or interrupt. Put your feelings aside and really listen to what your child is telling you.

c) Reassure them:
Make it clear that the bullying is not their fault and praise them for being brave enough to confide in you. Assure them that now you know what is happening, together you will sort it out.

d) Give support and trust:
Explain to your child that it might be necessary to talk to the school, but promise not to take action without discussing it with them first. Openly explore the options together, and come to an agreed course of action.

#2. Teach them how to cope

Children that bully others often ‘test’ potential targets to see how they respond, and while the target is never to blame, those who appear vulnerable usually continue to be bullied. It is for this reason that alongside reporting to the school, teaching your child how to be assertive can be an effective way to help them.

We will be covering strategies in classes to help kids stand up to bullying assertively.

#3. Behaviours to avoid

It can be very overwhelming when you discover your child is facing a bullying situation. In order to respond effectively and give your child the support they need, it is important that you put aside any anger or assumptions. Please bear in mind the following:

a) Do not act aggressively:
Storming into the school or confronting the child or children involved/ or their parents and carers will be the reaction your child has been dreading, and may make the bullying situation worse.

b) Do not dismiss their experience:
Telling a child to ignore the bullies or dismissing the experience as just ‘a part of growing up’ will not stop the bullying. These messages teach them that bullying should be tolerated rather than confronted. The effects of bullying can be devastating, so it is imperative you give your child the appropriate help.

c) Do not promote retaliation:
Instructing a child to fight back can place your child in further danger, or result in the school labelling them as the problem. Refer to our advice above for positive ways your child can deal with bullying behaviour.


About Invincible Worldwide

Invincible Worldwide’s mission is to empower people to be physically, mentally and socially extraordinary. Alan La, founder of Invincible Worldwide is an International Sports Karate Association Hall-of-Famed Martial Artist, Best-Selling Author, Speaker and Young Australian of the Year finalist. Together with his team, they provide world-class physical and mindset training programs, seminars and performances for people all over the world. 

 
More specifically, Alan and his team have developed a unique award-winning Invincible Juniors program which fuses martial arts, acrobatics and leadership skills to empower young kids to be physically and mentally prepared for success in life and in school. 

 

For more information about our unique Invincible Juniors Academy, go to: https://www.invincibleworldwide.com/juniors-program-intro

10 Tips To Teach Kids Excellence

Having Excellence means producing quality work, having high standards for yourself, and having pride in what you do.

Here are 10 Tips for Teaching Excellence to Your Kids 

According to Vicki Caruana’s book, Giving Your Child the Excellence Edge, parents play an integral part in determining if their children will succeed—not only in school, but in their future careers and relationships.

1. Teach Your Children to Become Quality Producers.

Quality involves taking a competency or skill and improving on it. Teach your kids the importance of doing above what is expected.

For example, at Invincible HQ, we have the 110 philosophy (which is actually embedded into the HQ logo – have a look next time!).

The 110 philosophy is about always going above and beyond what is expected. We want our kids to apply the 110% mindset and give it their all in their training, at school and in life.

When they rise to the occasion and give that extra effort, reward them.

2. Teach Your Children to Become Independent Learners.

Teach your children how to be self-directed and to think for themselves. Encourage them to set goals and monitor their own progress.

Although difficult, allow your children to fail. Let them face the consequences of half-hearted effort or procrastination.

The younger they learn this lesson, the better. The consequences get more intense as they get older.

3. Teach Your Children to Become Creative Thinkers.

According to Caruana, “Creativity is the power of the imagination.” Creative thinkers are able to define and solve a problem by evaluating choices and considering possible outcomes.

Teach your children how to creatively solve problems by having them
1. define the problem
2. evaluate the possible solutions
3. develop a plan of action
4. adjust the plan when necessary

4. Teach Your Children to Become Critical Thinkers.

Discernment and reasoning play a large part in critical thinking. Encourage your children to apply the scientific method to daily problems.

For example, in determining the best way to walk to school, your kids would first state the question, form a hypothesis (i.e. Elm Street to Maple Street is best), test it through experimentation (timing how long that route takes), and then draw conclusions.

5. Teach Your Children to Become Information Managers.

Children need to know how to find, evaluate, store, and use information. There is as much bad information out there as there is good. Our kids need the necessary skills to sift through and retain the correct information.

6. Teach Your Children to Become Cooperative Learners.

Cooperative learners participate in group learning experiences and are helpful to fellow students.

They can negotiate with a balance of assertiveness, consideration, and flexibility. And they show patience with those who do not learn as quickly as they do. Essentially, these students get along well with their fellow classmates.

In your home, be sure to instill this important lesson by teaching and modeling respect for others.

7. Teach Your Children to Become Effective Communicators.

Make sure your children understand the concept of tone and that the way something is said can be just as important as what is said.

A good communicator also focuses on respectful listening. Caruana suggests teaching your kids how to sit still and listen by having them listen to books on tape. Start at 5 minutes a day and gradually work up to 30 minutes per sitting.

8. Teach Your Children to Become Confident Leaders.

Confident leaders know how to listen to the opinions of others, are comfortable in their leadership style, and have a defined vision. Be sure to model good leadership in your home and to always treat others with respect.

9. Teach Your Children to Become Efficient Time Managers.

Help your children create a timeline with goals for completing tasks on time instead of waiting until the last minute. Teach your children the value of being prompt and set consequences if they run late for school. Use your children’s chores to teach them about deadlines.

Make sure your children are also effectively using their free time by engaging in a variety of activities (i.e. reading, practising their kicks) instead of just sitting in front of the television or computer.

10. Teach Your Children to Become Self-Assessors.

Self-assessment skills will help your children know and improve on their weaknesses and build their strengths. They may find journaling helpful in identifying areas in which they struggle.

Have occasional parent/child conferences during the school year to check on their progress and to help your children identify areas needing improvement.

Let us know which one of these you will implement today! 


About Invincible Worldwide

Invincible Worldwide’s mission is to empower people to be physically, mentally and socially extraordinary. Alan La, founder of Invincible Worldwide is an International Sports Karate Association Hall-of-Famed Martial Artist, Best-Selling Author, Speaker and Young Australian of the Year finalist. Together with his team, they provide world-class physical and mindset training programs, seminars and performances for people all over the world. 

 
More specifically, Alan and his team have developed a unique award-winning Invincible Juniors program which fuses martial arts, acrobatics and leadership skills to empower young kids to be physically and mentally prepared for success in life and in school. 

 

For more information about our unique Invincible Juniors Academy, go to: https://www.invincibleworldwide.com/juniors-program-intro

How To Handle Sibling Rivalry

When your kids fight it can drive you completely crazy. And of course when you separate them and they beg to play together again, it makes the whole situation more baffling. It’s almost impossible to figure out who “started” a conflict, and which provocations led to which retaliations. If you take sides, you increase the resentments.
 
So the best approach is to help your kids to learn social skills for handling conflict, which is an important part of their EQ, or Emotional Intelligence Quotient. We can’t expect them to know these skills if we don’t teach them.
 
1. Stay Calm.
Research shows that one of the most important things parents can do to help kids learn to manage their emotions is to stay calm themselves. Kids need to experience their parents as a “holding environment” — a safe harbor in the storm of their turbulent feelings. If you can stay calm and soothe your children, they will eventually learn to stay calm themselves, which is the first step in learning to manage their feelings.
 
2. Don’t take sides or worry about who started the fight.
Treat them the same when you intervene.
 
3. Model civility.
Say “The rule in our house is that we treat each other with kindness and respect. I hear screaming and hurting. That is not respectful, and it isn’t allowed. Can you two work this out now, or do you need time to cool off?”
 
4. Create ground-rules.
If they beg to continue to play, warn them that if you have to intervene again, they will be separated for a “cool-off” period.
 
5. Teach negotiation skills.
Your kids DO want to play together, they just don’t know how to work out conflicts. Your job is to teach them.
 
6. If either child is too upset to work things out at the moment, separate them.
It’s better, if you can, to listen to each child with the other one present. But if one child is too angry and is saying mean things about the other, it is best to separate them temporarily.
 
7. Once everyone is calm, call the kids together.
Help them each express their feelings: “So you were really mad when Jaden wanted to play a different game.” Teach empathy by asking each child how he thinks his sibling felt during the fight. Help them state their feelings and needs, listen to each other, and find a win/win resolution.
 
Over time, your kids will be able to talk and work it out themselves. Ask them to come to you with a description of what happened (“We wanted to play different games”) and a plan for what they will do differently next time (“We will flip a coin” or “We’ll play each game for half an hour.”)

About Invincible Worldwide

Invincible Worldwide’s mission is to empower people to be physically, mentally and socially extraordinary. Alan La, founder of Invincible Worldwide is an International Sports Karate Association Hall-of-Famed Martial Artist, Best-Selling Author, Speaker and Young Australian of the Year finalist. Together with his team, they provide world-class physical and mindset training programs, seminars and performances for people all over the world. 

 
More specifically, Alan and his team have developed a unique award-winning Invincible Juniors program which fuses martial arts, acrobatics and leadership skills to empower young kids to be physically and mentally prepared for success in life and in school. 

 

For more information about our unique Invincible Juniors Academy, go to: https://www.invincibleworldwide.com/juniors-program-intro