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Team Black belt solihull

Rules, Structure, Boundaries and Limitations

Tuesday, November 08, 2022

Children love them, yes that’s right, children love them.
I know, they are always kicking out against them, trying to bend them or gain an advantage by circumventing them, as a father of three I know, mine did.
However, put any group of children in a school playground and the first thing they will do is create a game to play, the first part of which is to set and agree the rules, you know, this is the objective of the game, that is how you win, this is not allowed, that is out of bounds and the circle area is the safe den.

So even when left to their own devices children want to feel that they are sure about what they are doing, they want to be confident they are doing, whatever they are doing in the “correct and approved way”.

They can then get on with expressing themselves with total freedom feeling safe, certain and secure they are only being judged by the rules and objectives of the game.

No stress, Nothing to worry about, Certain Safe and Secure. These feelings created by the group through the use Structure, Rules, Boundaries and Limitations, are highly valued by the members of the group. 

The children seem to understand at a very deep level, that their enjoyment of the game depends upon the Structure Rules Boundaries and Limitations they have created, and woe betide the child in the group who goes on to break those rules,  

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they are chastised by the other members as cheats, and outcast as being an unfair player, they may be disqualified and even excluded not only from the game but from the group entirely, they are chastised by the other members as cheats, and outcast as being an unfair player, they may be disqualified and even excluded not only from the game but from the group entirely.

So you see even from a very young age, children love Structure Rules Boundaries and Limitations and they are prepared to enforce them with their peers without hesitation.

Some might go so far as to call it discipline!

Even the dreaded (by parents) Video games so loved by children, are just a rule based scenarios where there is a clear understanding by the player that there is a reward or a penalty for each action a they make.

This makes the video game world very predictable and therefore a safe secure place for children to be. Interactive, immersive, predictable, consistent, safe and secure …. for a timid child, what’s not to like?

As a Karate Instructor I see children thrive and grow in class as a result of Structure Rules Boundaries and Limitations - Discipline.

We have in place some very clear rules, we insist on being addressed as Sensei, or Sir/Miss as appropriate, Children must to line up in silence and sit properly before the class, then they must shout at the top of their lungs when doing star jumps with as much energy as they can muster. We then ask them to move in a very specific way, kick and punch in a specific manner, and then again, to move freely when tag sparring.

Children love it. You see we are very clear on what we want them to do, we make the Structure Rules Boundaries and Limitations very clear and we don't accept non adherence to them, all for a very good reason, namely the safety of the participants. 

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The children understand and accept it. They are then able to feel safe, secure able to express themselves. Perform to their best of their ability, take pride in their successes and achievements and as a result grow as people whilst gaining confidence.

As a parent I often worried about setting Structure Rules Boundaries and Limitations for my children, I worried that "rule setting" was the opposite of being a nurturing parent? Was I being harsh. Was it just a male trait, setting rules?
After years of teaching Karate to hundreds of children each week, I have to say, that in my experience the setting of clear Structure, Rules, Boundaries and Limitations has only had a positive outcome., 

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In my case, the nurturing of my children has been done by helping them to understand the reasons and the benefits of the rules I created and then as they got older, relaxed.

Personally, I think the benefit to them, in terms of their freedom to act within the structure, outweighs my concerns for being harsh or blokey.

If children are so happy with Structure Rules Boundaries and Limitations that in the absence of them they will make up their own, why shouldn't they have rules which benefit not only their lives but yours, rules around bed times, the way they speak to adults, the programmes they watch, the exercise they take or the way they behave when eating in public.

What you expect of them during childhood, is what in time, they will come to expect of themselves, The more Structure Rules Boundaries and Limitations you can put and fix in place, the more Certainty Safety and Security you create for your child and therefore, the more Freedom for them to feel free to work within.

So my advice for what it’s worth, turn your kid into a super kid, by setting some clear Structure Rules Boundaries and Limitations for them, in my experience they will be glad you did, and so will you.

Have Fun and Stay Safe. Mike Turbitt Principal Instructor

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Mike Turbitt

Principal Instructor 

Hi, I'm Mike Turbitt the Principal Instructor at Team Black Belt. These are my musings, thoughts and observations having taught thousands of children over the 20 years.  

More of Mikes Work.

How to Build a Black Belt Business.
Many Martial Artists have the desire to run a Martial Arts Club, School ,Dojo. But whatever they call it, however they regard it when they open, they enter a world of Business - a world for many, which they are unprepared.
No Martial Arts syllabus contains modules on "How to attract new Students" or, "How to improve the retention rate of your students", or, the best option for collecting fees and other revenue streams. 
This book is written to give you the knowledge your syllabus missed ou, it's not a "How to sell out on your Martial Art principles"  book, but, rather a Business lessons for the Martial Artist, book or if you like 
How to become a Black Belt in Business.

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