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January 2019

Mindful Tips to Use When Kids Don't Want to Attend Class

Kids are not naturally self-motivated. When your child’s mindset is not in the right place, even the most fun activities can be a struggle to get to. With that said, here are some strategies to help you work around lack of motivation when trying to get your kid to class.

1. Be attentive to what your child is doing at the moment he/she is supposed to get ready for class. If he/ she is playing or having fun with a friend, then be ready for a battle. With that said, have your child participate in a chore or task that’s not as much fun around 10 to 15-minutes prior to getting ready for class.

2. Be attentive to your own projection of emotions as you get your child ready for class. If you are stressed, rushed, or aggravated in any way, this will project the same emotions on your child. With that said, be sure to project positive and upbeat energy as you are getting your child ready for class.

3. Be attentive to how you respond to your child’s overall performance after class. If you are expressing too much emphasis on what he/ she did wrong versus right, then those negative feelings will carry over. With that said, be sure to limit criticism and focus more on productive conversations after class.

4. Be intentional with your goals by communicating with your child’s instructors. The goal is to foster motivation. Let the instructors know about your struggles so that they can be mindful to motivate your child before, during, and after class. It takes a village, so don’t be afraid to ask for support!

5. Prompt motivation by rewarding your child. Remember that children’s brains are still growing, and most of their development comes from positive stimulation and experiences. With that said, pre-frame the proper behavior that you would like to see when going to class, and then set an attainable number of classes he/ she must attend with this behavior, along with a reward for doing so. For example: attend the next 3 classes with the proper behavior and we will grab ice cream on the way home.

These tips are not rocket science but are often overlooked. As parents, we get caught up in the daily grind, so we sometimes forget that situations like this require attentive and intentional parenting. I hope this article sheds some positive light on how to help your child get ready for class.


September 2016

Parents Often Feel Powerless To Help Their Kids Deal With Bullying

It's one thing to know that bullying can have negative affects on your child. It's entirely another thing to know how to help your child handle being bullied, or what to do is someone else is being bullied. We tell our kids things like "just ignore them", or "its okay to stand up for yourself" but this doesn't usually translate into a resolution for your child. Often a parent feels powerless to help their child cope with these types of situations. But... it's imperative that kids learn to handle bullying while they are young. Bullies don't go away just because we grow older. They just take on different forms. They become the abuse boss, the passive-aggressive coworker, or a verbally abusive spouse. So... if kids don't learn anti-bullying skills early on, they will become adults who find themselves in similarly powerless situations as they grow up. The truth is, the only, way to handle a bully is to confront them and end the bullying. We teach our students three steps to resolving bullying situations. (Now I want to be clear... I can't take credit for these steps. Gracie Jiu-jitsu has a wonderful Bulletproof program that parents can use to help their kids and since they have done such a great job, it didn't make sense to try to reinvent the wheel. If you want to work with your kids at home you should check out their program -

  • Stop Bullying Step 1 - TALK To The Bully

    Yes... sometimes its that simple. Tell the bully to stop doing what they are doing. If your child looks the bully in the eye and tells them with confidence that they don't want to be bothered any more, that may be enough. This only works if the child is calm and confident when they speak. This is something you can role play with your child at home. You want them to focus on being calm and not overly aggressive but at the same time displaying confidence. Remember... bullies get their power from fear. They aren't really interested in fighting but they do enjoy the attention they get from picking on less confident kids. They will move on to an easier target if your child stands up for themselves. Another important thing to note about this step is it teaches your child to solve their problems at the lowest level. If you have a complaint you should take it the person who can solve it, not everyone else. The first person who can solve the bullying problem is the bully.

  • Stop Bullying Step 2 - TELL Someone In Authority

    Sometimes talking to the bully and telling them to stop won't be enough. Step 2 is to tell someone in authority that can help you solve the problem. This is how conflict resolution works in the real world and its how it works with bullying as well. If Step 1 fails, then your child should talk to a teacher, the school principle or counselor, and to you as well. The student talking to the person in authority may be enough to get the job done but it may also require you as a parent to run some interference as well and make sure that school officials understand the gravity of the situation. Just like Step 1, as a parent you should demonstrate conflict resolution skills to your child by showing that you can work the right people to help them solve the problem.

  • Stop Bullying Step 3 - TACKLE Them With Verbal Martial Arts

    In a lot of cases telling people in authority about the bullying situation will help partially resolve it. But often the bully will simply be more cautious about when and where they do the bullying and make sure that people in authority don't see it. In those cases, it is going to end up being up to your child to handle the situation. How your child handles the confrontation will determine whether the situation ends, or continues for weeks, months, or even years. We teach the exact script on how to verbally tackle the bully in our classes. It is also in the student homework in our Facebook Membership Groups. The truth is, the confrontation will rarely result in a fight because the bully gets their power from fear, not from fighting. If forced to fight they lose that power.This may seem counterintuitive in an academic setting where everyone gets expelled if they are involved in a fight. However, bullying won't end until the bully is confronted and that has to be done in a way the doesn't end in a fight, or if a fight ensues, that a child knows how to control the bully in a way that nobody gets hurt. This minimizes the chances they will get expelled... especially if they can explain all the steps they took to resolve the situation and not hurt the bully.

  • Karate Builds The Confidence Kids Need To Stand Up To Bullies

    The most important factor in ending bullying is your child having confidence that they can handle the situation. Martial arts is a phenomenal tool for building the confidence and self-esteem necessary to handle bullies. If you are a student with 3T Karate in the San Antonio area then see one of your instructors to schedule a private lesson to role play the verbal self-defense and find out how you as a parent can help your child build the confidence necessary to stand up for themselves. Review the homework on the membership page in Facebook and spend time role playing situations so your kids feel more comfortable applying what they are learning in their karate classes. If you aren't currently a 3T Karate student, then call 3T Karate in San Antonio (210-441-8319) and set an appointment to speak with one of our wonderful instructors so we can start your child on the road to being bullyproof. In additional to helping your child stand up to bullies, we will help build their confidence, improve their focus, increase their athleticism, and develop success skills like self-discipline and mental toughness.


November 2015

Confidence Comes From Competence!

by Penny Pitassi at 7:25 PM

Last week we discussed past victories as a source of confidence… especially when trying new things. That’s because at the heart of the matter of developing confidence in our kids is the concept of competence.

  • True confidence comes from competence.

    It comes from a person's inner belief that they can handle and succeed at the things life has to throw at them. You can praise your kids all day long but if they know in their heart that they didn’t succeed or didn’t give their best effort that external praise will not build their confidence or self-esteem. We can give children all the participation trophies and awards and achievement certificates we want… that won’t give them confidence unless they know they did something that deserved to be recognized. We have all received an award or achievement at some point or another that was hollow because we knew we didn’t do anything that truly deserved to be rewarded. Don’t underestimate children. They know the difference too. When they look in the mirror they have to see a lion. If they don’t…. no amount of talking or awards will change how they feel about themselves.

    But there is something you can do to help them build true confidence...

  • Help them to develop a high level of competence in one thing.

    Everyone knows that if you become good at something you gain confidence in that area. That confidence carries over into other things in life. Many parents want their kids to experience many different things… and that isn't necessarily a bad idea. However, being a little good at a lot of things doesn’t have the same effect on one’s confidence as becoming really good at one thing.

  • What area or skill should you pick?

    Well… it doesn't really matter. It could be sports, scouts, a hobby, martial arts, or even music. Your role is to help your child make an extended commitment to the chosen skill or area. After awhile a child we begin to receive recognition for their efforts and their skill. Their friends will hold them in higher regard because of the expertise and competence. Adults will recognize them for their achievements in that area or skill. That in turn will cause them to become more confident. The increased confidence will continue to help them build their competence which in turn builds their confidence. That every increasing spiral of confidence will help them to become more assertive and take leadership roles in other areas of their lives.

  • Martial arts is especially well-suited for developing confidence through competence.

    This is one of the main reasons we ask students to commit to achieving their Black Belts before moving into Advanced Skills training. We know that a student that makes an extended commitment to something and then masters it over time will develop the competence required to truly gain confidence. That confidence will spill over into every other aspect of their life. Again… it doesn’t matter what a child gains their competence in… but martial arts is especially well suited to this task.

    Remember… being somewhat good at a lot of things does not produce confidence. Being really good at one thing does!


October 2015

Confidence - Believe & Succeed!

by Penny Pitassi at 11:32 AM

A person with Confidence cuts a wide path through life. Doors will open for them that remain shut for those that are timid and sit on the sidelines of life. Most kids are born with all the confidence they will ever need but then something happens.... kids begin to hear things like "you're not as smart as your brother" or "girls aren't supposed to do that." They hear "you aren't as fast, big, talented, thin, athletic....", enter whatever adjective you want. Those negative words, thinking and experiences cause kids to lose that initial confidence they are born with. With that they lose their excitement and optimism about what the future holds.

So how do you teach your kids confidence? Remember...


March 2015

Changing America Starts At Home

by Penny Pitassi at 7:05 AM

Myself and my two boys enter the airport. I give my older son his boarding pass and ask “what next?” From there he guides my 6 year old and I through the security line at the airport all the way to our gate where we sit and wait for our plane. We change planes in Dallas and finally arrive at the baggage pickup at our final destination. The entire trip, from beginning to end, he leads us. He was 11 at the time I wrote this.


December 2014

10 Reasons To Enroll Your Child At 3T Karate

by Penny Pitassi at 4:20 PM

In a society that seems to glorify violence in everything from music to movies and video games to television shows, the idea of enrolling your child in martial arts training classes might like an tacit endorsement of violent behavior. While martial arts-centered action films seem to be filled to the brim with violent behavior and gory injuries, you may be surprised to learn that martial arts’ training is actually very save and extremely beneficial to kids. Like so many other things that Hollywood doesn’t always get right, martial arts isn’t quite the brutal, vicious pastime that it's portrayed as. In fact, here are 10 of the many reasons why you may want to consider martial arts training for your kids...


June 2014

The Courage To Say "No!"

by Penny Pitassi at 4:08 PM

Courage is the ability to overcome fear in order to do what is right, even if it is difficult or risky. Courage can mean facing physical dangers, but it can also mean standing up for beliefs and making hard decisions on the basis of evidence rather than on what is popular thing to do. One of the hardest ways to be brave and couragous is to stand up for what we believe in and say "NO" to others when they are doing something that we don't feel is right. Sometimes it can be hard to say "NO" to dangerous or risky things our friends want us to do if we haven't thought about it in advance. Here are some tools you can use to make better decisions and use your moral courage to say "No".


April 2014

Using Negatives In Life To Teach Positive Life Lessons

by Penny Pitassi at 1:00 PM

How do you handle it with your kids when a martial arts instructor, teacher, coach, pastor, or anyone else in a position of authority does something that creates disappointment? I'm not talking about the kind of disappointment they feel when someone doesn't give them what they want or talks to them sternly. I'm talking about the gut-wrentching disappointment that comes from feeling betrayed. The kind that comes from finding out people aren't always who they say they are. The kind that steals their innocence... when they discover that the world isn't really a warm and fuzzy place and things aren't always as they seem. How we handle these situations has a huge impact on how our children will ultimately view the world as adults. It can make the difference between them living in a world of love, faith and trust with a few bumps of disappointment thrown in along the way or them becoming cynical, bitter human beings who see the world as a bad place. We have a responsibility as parents to help our kids view the world in the former light and not the later.


March 2014

Helping Your Child Success In Their Martial Arts Training

by Penny Pitassi at 12:47 PM

Parents bring their kids to martial arts for many different reasons.

1. To learn focus and concentration
2. To become better listeners and improve academics
3. To develop self-control, self-discipline and obedience
4. To improve self-confidence and self-esteem
5. To enhance balance, coordination and athleticism
6. Improving social skills through respect and manners
7. To learn basic martial arts and self-defense skills
8. To teach them strategic self-defense such as bully proofing and stranger alert skills


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