Change Your Standards, Change Your Life

“What?”, “Huh?” As parents, we've heard all these responses when we ask our children a question and it amazes me how many times this happens and goes unnoticed by a parent or authority figure. Sometimes we get so wrapped up in the task at hand that we may not notice the little things that may add up to bigger things down the road. It goes without saying, what you tolerate in your presence becomes your standard.

You heard the old expression when the cat's away the mice will play. This is most definitely true when a supply teacher comes in and a rowdy class uses it as an opportunity to take advantage. A great teacher will mitigate this well before it happens through their class rules, format, and structure.  Karate instruction is no different as the underlying foundation of our class structure centres around the principle of respect. Respect for the dojo, respect for the Sensei, respect for others, and ultimately respect for oneself. Creating this environment takes constant reinforcement and reminding students of it daily creates an environment where students can thrive in it.

So why raise the standard when it looks like the status quo is just fine? The answer is simple, to stand out. Standing out for the right reasons is always the right thing to do. Just because your standard is a little higher than someone else’s won’t hurt you or your child’s progress. Every time I see a student losing interest, being silly, or just not caring it comes down to one thing. Progress. Progress is the result of hard work, determination, and discipline and it is the standard that separates the amount of progress one might make. When I push the student to do better, they value the outcome and connect the dots with the effort. This is a life skill worth teaching and although it may be obvious to some it does work.

Balancing the amount you can push and expect is going to be a little different for everyone, but it is worth looking at. If there is a way to demand and expect more and it is positive and it must be good for the greater good. With report cards coming out soon it might be a great time to look at where and how your child can improve and make gains going forward. If they expect more in their presence that standard, you are looking for might just become their new standard too.

Change your standards, change your life!

Sensei Chris