How positively constructive or negative are you with kids?

Gwai Lo Dan

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I was going to title this thread, "Do you yell at kids?", but I thought I'd be a little less dramatic.

When teaching kids, do you berate kids when they do things wrong or do you have a very positive atmosphere?

In class today the kwan ja nim was berating a 10 year old and telliing him his poomsae was terrible and he needed to do better. It reminded me of my basic military training and it got me thinking, "oh this is the part where the instructor tells the student he is terrible, so that he can later say he is doing much better...even if he is doing only marginally better."

It's not my style. I like kids and like teaching them with a smile and constructive comments as to why it's important to try your best.

What's your style?
 

Dirty Dog

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I don't yell. But my approach will differ if it's the first time I've made a correction, or the 30th. And the age of the student. And their rank. And on if it seems they're struggling, or just not trying. And being human, on my own mood as well.
 

donald1

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my style is goju karate/ryukyu kobudo, im not a teacher but occasionally i do get to help teach. personally i would never yell especially towards children. if the student is trying and putting in effort ill be patient and give a correction or two. if i can tell the student isnt trying or wose i will probably tell them to do pushups. and if escalates inform the instructor(he will decide what to do)

what it sounds like, the student that is doing poorly needs to practice more and practice some at home. im thinking he isnt putting in 100% but i could be wrong
best of luck
 

Earl Weiss

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I try to add humor. The critique is also stronger for being lazy as opposed to just having technique improve. For instance, if I have repeatedlly told them to get the kicks up to belly button level and they kick at knee level assuming there is no physical issues, I might say:

Is your belly button on your knee? Do i need to pull your pant leg up over your knee to see if there is a belly button there? (I have never done this) Why are you kicking down there? Are you kicking little babies / puppies? Thats not nice. we don't want any little baby / puppy kickers here.
 
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Gwai Lo Dan

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Do i need to pull your pant leg up over your knee to see if there is a belly button there? (I have never done this)

Yes, to state the obvious, pulling pant legs would be asking for problems. Communication style aside, I'd avoid even saying that. Just my 2 cents :)
 

Dirty Dog

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I try to add humor. The critique is also stronger for being lazy as opposed to just having technique improve. For instance, if I have repeatedlly told them to get the kicks up to belly button level and they kick at knee level assuming there is no physical issues, I might say:

Is your belly button on your knee? Do i need to pull your pant leg up over your knee to see if there is a belly button there? (I have never done this) Why are you kicking down there? Are you kicking little babies / puppies? Thats not nice. we don't want any little baby / puppy kickers here.

I've been known to make announcements about "And he shall be known as... "SMURF KILLER"" or asking them why they're kicking garden gnomes in cases like that.
 

TrueJim

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The master at the school that my son and I attend insists that all the instructors there use the Praise, Correct, Praise technique (sometimes also called PCP or a Praise Sandwich). You praise the child for something they're doing right, explain what needs to be corrected, then praise again.

I'm not saying this necessarily works all the time. But the master insists that it's the only technique the instructors are allowed to use, even in the worst cases. Surprisingly, it works a lot more often than I would have thought! For hard cases, it requires a lot of patience. For the very hardest cases, I'm not sure it works at all. For normal students though, where it's just a matter of them having a bad form or something, it works really really well.
 

Buka

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I don't yell at kids unless they yell at me first. :)

No point, really. If it ever got to a point that I felt like yelling I would have bounced them from class first. But I haven't had to do that, yet. They all seem to turn out okay without yelling.

This is one of my guys. Him and his younger brother have been training for twenty years. Those are his daughters on his feet. His father trains as well. Not much yelling involved.

2n00oeg.jpg


I don't think I would have liked getting yelled at by a Martial Arts instructor if I was a kid. Probably would have scared me.
 

Dirty Dog

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I don't recall being yelled at as a kid, but as a teen... Yes.
Master Sang Ho Cho, for example, had a really really strong accent. You really had to focus to understand him. There was one phrase he could say with virtually no accent, though.
"Wrong, dumbass!" Which was always followed by a (not painful) smack upside the head.
Either he had no accent on this phrase or, at 15-16, I simply heard it so much that I filtered the accent...



Sent from an old fashioned 300 baud acoustic modem by whistling into the handset. Really.
 

tshadowchaser

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I try not to raise my voice to the kids but once in a while I get upset (when they start spinning circles on their butts while I'm talking )
I have told some if they do not wish to take part in what the class is doing then get off the floor they are done for the night.
You would have to see the present kids class to understand why I get upset enough to raise my voice. There are kids in it that have been with me for almost 2 years and have not remembered the fist form or even a 6 movement form that we made up to see who could remember it. Yes some of the class has learning problems but not the 2 I'm talking about in this Paragraph.
Will I raise my voice if no one is paying attention yes I have been instructing many years and I am teaching a much easier non military way, years ago I would have slapped one in the back of the head or the whole class would have done pushups all night and nothing else for some of the stuff these kids do. This class just dose care about learning they only want to fight or do what they want for the day. I am not a babysitter I teach because I love the arts and want to pass it on.
 

K-man

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I gave kids away about 5 years ago. Financially it paid for everything but it was a huge drain on my time and my energy. When a friend was setting up a school not far away I gifted him my juniors. But, I never had to yell at anyone. The class ranged in age from about 5 to 15 so there was separation within the class but nevertheless they all liked playing games.

I would watch until concentration started to fade then we would play a game. One that they all liked and was MA focused was hitting with pool noodles. (These are metre long foam rolls about the size of a baseball bat but light, for those who don't know what I am describing.) The kids could only hit below the knee and had to try to avoid being hit themselves. Two minutes of this and concentration returned, so back to training.

Another popular game was 'poison ball'. Again it provided a break of two or three minutes and the kids were back into training.
 

WaterGal

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I don't think there's a one-size-fits-all approach to teaching, it really depends on a lot of factors. I don't yell unless they're doing something dangerous that they need to stop immediately, like hitting someone (outside of sparring) or climbing on equipment. But I will criticize and give someone a hard time if they're not trying or have a bad attitude. And of course even if they are trying, they may need criticism so they can improve, but that will be more friendly in tone.
 

tkdwarrior

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Have you seen that episode on the tv show brain games? Sorry csn't remember if its in the national geographic or brain games where in a person is asked to solve a shape puzzle and another berates and alternatively gently and patiently encourages the testee?

I tend to use that approach. Though it also depends on the age and type of player that I train. If I am training competitive competitors it is military/drill instructor style but with young children maximun tolerance is the rule:)
 

Tez3

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The behaviour of our children depends quite a bit on where their mothers and fathers are, they are all bar two Forces children. My own children were so I understand what the children in the class are going through. Luckily the children are all there because they want to be, I've had children dragged in by parents who want them to learn 'discipline, focus and self control', the youngest of these was three, the mother was not pleased to be told we don't take them at that age.
If a parent is on deployment the child's behaviour can go from very naughty to distracted to being withdrawn, if there has been a death or casualty the whole club ( in fact the whole Garrison does, schools, clubs, shops and pubs) tends to be quiet. Hopefully now Afghan is just about over, we do have troops there still but none from the Garrison we can settle down.
Our fighters are very good, they will come in and 'spar' with the kids knowing that they miss the rough and tumble with dads, the kids boast about' beating up' cage fighters, but it's a good way to let off steam in a very controlled way. Before now we have had a kid put gloves on and punch a dummy ( we have small kids ones) or hold pads for them because sometimes the anguish is hard to explain but kicking and punching the hell out of something ( again in a safe way) is something that can let it out. I expect it sounds odd to civvies but we also have the adults coming in and doing that. Two of my adult students were killed in Afghan over the past four years, I say adults but to me at 20 and 21 they were barely grown up. The younger brother of one was in the children's class.
We don't shout at the children, we have all sorts of abilities on the club so we focus on finding out what works for each child. One had difficulties with telling left from right, a big problem at ten, so I put a sock on one hand and a small weight in the other and talked him through kata with soft hand and heavy hand. Another girl is deaf so we make sure she understands everything, it's about making the class accessible to everyone for us, it may not always be 'correct' and 'proper' martial arts but it's what we do and we are proud of all our kids.
 

Danny T

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I was going to title this thread, "Do you yell at kids?", but I thought I'd be a little less dramatic.

When teaching kids, do you berate kids when they do things wrong or do you have a very positive atmosphere?

What's your style?
Hmm. To berate is less dramatic than yelling?
To berate is to yell or to criticize in a loud angry manner or, to fuss or condemn at length in an aggressive and assertive manner.

I don't yell nor berate. When teaching unless one isn't paying attention I will call them attention to them not being attentive. Humans have 3 major modes of learning: Visual, Audio, Kinesic. Keep them interested by using them all.
When coaching vs teaching I'm a bit more vocal and aggressive in manner depending on the individual and the situation. But to say I yell or berate no.
I am aggressively & energetically positive with all my students.
 
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Gwai Lo Dan

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Hmm. To berate is less dramatic than yelling?
To berate is to yell or to criticize in a loud angry manner or, to fuss or condemn at length in an aggressive and assertive manner..

I meant to scold / to critisise, but without yelling. Regardless of semantics, thanks for the response.
 

Transk53

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Let them find their own way, most will assimilate, but some won't. They have a way, but one that does not fully manifest, but still a hidden gem.
 
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