After 11 years of teaching Jiu-Jitsu in Malta, NY; I can honestly say that I have faced every imaginable, obstacle and challenge. From day one, I felt a natural, intuitive ability to work with kids. This use of my intuition helped drive me into understanding the children and developing patience.
I realized quickly that positivity and high levels of praise were getting AMAZING results. I give out so much positive energy. So when my tone lowers and becomes stern, the children know they did something wrong. They are more accepting of my negativity in that critical moment. They accept my stern tone with no ill-will or bad feelings. Positive corrections with a calm tone are absolutely, the most used. Negative corrections are always few and far between. Almost non-existent.
1. Praise During - While they are performing a task, I find it very important to praise them along the way. Quick praises such as "good job - perfect - amazing - wow", are great things to add to their work. It is VERY important to have good timing with those praises when you start to sense frustration.
As soon as they get frustrated (either by difficulty or negativity), they will begin to shut down and their performance will suffer. Correct them during the task and finish the correction with "AWESOME - GOOD JOB", and you will get amazing results!
2. The Car Ride Home - This is an essential time of learning. Their endorphins are high and they just finished a tough class. However, this moment is VERY fragile.
Option one and everyone's first instinct, is to give a rundown of everything that went wrong. Option two is to say nothing. Both give a bad impression and can lead to a total shut down and negative response from the child.
Let's try option three...
• Tell the child that you had a great time watching.
• Ask them what they think they did best.
• Ask them one thing they think they could do better next time.
• If you feel the need to correct, try this...
*Perhaps their takedowns did not go so well*
"You were awesome in class today. loved watching. Your takedown didn't work because you didn't get low enough. Next time, try to get lower and you will be able to take everyone down!"
3. Bad Performance - Most of the time they know how good or bad something went. Sometimes the children do not realize it. I will tell you this, if you critique them too much, they will shut down. They will want to quit. For the rest of their life they may associate positive activities with negative feelings. This could create a fear to take risks and try new things.
Think of it this parents...You go to work. Do you enjoy constant criticism. Negative responses. Feelings of inadequacy? Or do you prefer positive reinforcement, getting promoted, being uplifted? Of course you prefer the second. Nobody enjoys constant criticism. Nobody likes negativity. Uplift your child with positive corrections and they will be able to take on the world!
In closing, I find it is easy for me to be stern with a child because my ratio of good guy to bad guy is much in favor of the good guy.
I am always so positive and uplifting with the kids, that in the rare moment of bad guy/sternness, the kid's know that something is wrong. This trust and bond creates an unbreakable connection between teacher-student and parent-child.
Lots of praise. Positive corrections. A healthy ratio of good guy and bad guy and you will have a successful child!
Eddie Fyvie - Malta, NY Jiu-Jitsu