Research shows that disciplined children have more opportunities in life.
Why? Because they learn how to take care of the simple things in life while also setting and achieving big audacious goals. They take academic studies seriously, they treat others with respect, and strive to become better people every day.
Now, there is a step by step process which helps children turn into responsible adults. Some children will be outliers and find their own path; however, most children need to be taught and guided.
Babies are not born knowing the difference between right and wrong. That is why there are covers for your electrical outlets, special caps on poisonous products, special door locks and a brunch of other products which help to protect your child from daily harms that adults know better about.
As your child moves from a baby to a toddler, they begin to understand simple words such as “No”. In fact, often times “No” is the first word a child says in addition to “mommy” or “daddy”. They learn what no means because as parents we are constantly redirecting our child away from dangerous situations. I am sure if you have children, you will have seen your child doing something absolutely crazy like climbing up the outside of a stairwell. Young children always seem to have an abundance of confidence. Confidence is a good thing as it allows them to learn how to walk and to mimic your behaviors.
Since children are still developing the notion of what is right and what is wrong, they must learn these things from their parents, teachers, coaches, and mentors. As difficult as this may sound and as much as you worry about doing the right thing, the most important thing you can do is model disciplined behavior for your child. Children love to mimic their parent’s behavior even with simple things such as pretending to put a phone in their back pocket.
As a parent, it is our duty to set and enforce the rules and guidelines so our children grow up developing a solid fundamental understanding of the difference between right and wrong. Imagine how safe our world would be if all children grew up having a solid fundamental understanding of right from wrong. Bullying will be non-existence as children would learn to love everyone.
While you are teaching your child about the difference between right and wrong, it is also the perfect time to help your child develop good healthy habits. Think about things such as eating healthy, choosing water over juice and soda, making exercise a habit, learning to tell the truth, developing a love for reading, etc. These are habits which will serve them well for their entire life. I am confident you would not want to leave these behavior developments up for chance.
Therefore, the role of parents and mentors is paramount! In addition to setting the example as your child’s parent, it is also extremely important for you make sure you surround your child with amazing role models and mentors. You want role models and mentors who set a great example, be respectful and kind, and do what they tell others to do.
Be aware of this though: most youth coaches receive very little training in mentoring children, or teenagers. Typically, someone decides to coach because either they have a child who wants to play the sport or they loved playing the sport when they were a child. Watch carefully as these individual’s behaviors will be modeled by your child.
I suggest you chose at least one activity, like martial arts, for your child which utilizes highly trained professionals. Not all martial arts, dance, and gymnastic facilities are the same. Make sure you ask lots of questions. Watch the instructor actions and behaviors in person as well as on social media. Finally, ask yourself are these the behaviors I want my child to learn? If you answer no, find another activity or school. Also, most schools will offer a trial program before having your sign your child up. Take advantage of the trial program to carefully observe the instructor’s behaviors and to do a little online research to ensure that your child’s new mentor models the behaviors you want your child to develop.
Finally, comment below with the coach who had the most positive impact in your life so far. We love hearing your stories.