Prompting Good Behavior | On the Mat Martial Arts
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Our family can't say enough about On The Mat! Master Melody and her awesome team of Ninjas are like a parent's secret weapon. Our son goes to practice Tae Kwon Do, he ends up learning about character, respect, self-control and other priceless virtues! The family environment and friendships fostered at this club have added a beautiful dimension to each of our lives. I have as much fun catching up with friends each week as Robert Paul has on the Dojo. We are grateful to be apart of such an amazing program.

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Awesome instructors and place to train for kids in the area If you live in the Saint Pete's area this is where to bring your kids for not just the best martial arts but life training Skillz!

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The best money that our family has invested in the development of our child! As an early childhood educator, I am very picky about extra curricular activities! On the Mat is the model for positive reinforcement! They treat everyone like family! We are so grateful that we are there and only wish we had found them sooner!

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No better place than OTM for brinhing the best out of your child. The instructors are some of the best and the owner Melody Shuman is the most knowledgeable in child neuroscience. Many martial art facilities around the world look to her and use her Skillz methods for teaching children. AAA++++++

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We signed our 5 year old up for the free trial over the summer to try out something new and keep him active during the summer. He absolutely fell in love with it and asked if he could go every day! The curriculum is perfectly geared toward each particular age group. The instructors are so engaging and committed. The skills and confidence our son has gained just in a few short months are priceless. Our summer activity has quickly become part of our regular year round schedule and I foresee him continuing for years to come. OTM rocks!!

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Prompting Good Behavior

 Does your Early or Basic SKILLZ ninja have a hard time making good decisions?

 That’s OK! Often times the Early and Basic SKILLZ ninjas may find it difficult to follow the rules. The good news is that they are not doing this on purpose. After years of working with this age group and observing the emotional and social stages of development we recognize that every decision they make (Good or Bad) ultimately has a positive intention.

 One of the best things a parent and/or coach can do is set our kids up for success. The way we accomplish this on the mat is by prompting good behavior. By prompting their good behavior we begin to develop a “feel good” pattern when our ninjas do something correct. Here are a few tips you can use at home to prompt good behavior!

 Observe your ninja in action:

Observe what decisions or habits your ninja struggles with and the signs related to that behavior. Choose 1 or 2 that you want them to improve upon. This could be something like remembering to brush their teeth before they go to bed or putting their toys away when they are finished playing.

 Create opportunities for action:

Create opportunities for your ninja to make good decisions. This may require dropping subtle hints to get the ball rolling. The idea is to put them in a position to make a proper decision. For example, after finishing dinner you can say “Can you show me where to put my plate since we are done eating?”

 Reward their action:

Timing is everything! After you create an opportunity for your ninja, and they make a proper decision, reward them. It is even better if you can catch them doing well when they least expect it! Tell them how proud you are that they were able to think it through. Acknowledge that they did something fantastic and give them a big hug or high-five.

 Stay consistent:

Lastly, helping our ninjas develop good decision-making skills is a process. They will undoubtedly need many hints and lots of repetition before it becomes habit. Always be on the lookout for good behavior and reinforce it daily.

 Our most important tools are the knowledge that SKILLZ provides regarding the stages of development for our youth and our ability to prompt good behavior. These two tools combined help us to guide our ninjas and keep them going in the right direction. We hope you found this helpful; if you have any questions, feel free to ask us anytime!

 Sincerely,

Andrew Arquines