SEROTONIN: The Key To Reinforcing Positive Behaviors In Children and Teens | On the Mat Martial Arts
ACCESS OUR SCHEDULE
& EXCLUSIVE WEB SPECIAL

Secure your spot and get started today with our EXCLUSIVE offer!

ACCESS OUR SCHEDULE
& EXCLUSIVE WEB SPECIAL

Secure your spot and get started today with our EXCLUSIVE offer!

Michelle Dolak reviewed On The Mat Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

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.

Adrian De Silva reviewed On The Mat Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

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!

Jessica Hodosky reviewed On The Mat Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

Just started but I can tell the school is amazing and the staff are very nice and attentive! My daughter seems to love it too!

Suzanne Saccani reviewed On The Mat Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

The best customer service ever, Melody Shuman and her staff go out of their way to over deliver

Cydney Swindle Tuten reviewed On The Mat Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

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!

Mark J. Speranza reviewed On The Mat Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

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++++++

Brooke Breland reviewed On The Mat Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

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!!

On The Mat Martial Arts St Petersburg Kids Martial Arts & Fitness for All Ages!
Call us today to get started 727-548-5425
Request Information

Blog

Our latest news & thoughts

SEROTONIN: The Key To Reinforcing Positive Behaviors In Children and Teens

Have you ever had a “gut feeling” about something? Have you ever considered that children have these as well? Of course they do! The problem is, they don’t know how to express this to us. They know something doesn’t feel right, so they act out or exhibit a grumpy mood. The good news is, there is a way to boost their mood and reinforce positive behavior choices.

 

Serotonin, also known as the “feel good” neurotransmitter, plays a part in our wellbeing and is important in balancing mood. Ninety percent of the serotonin in our bodies is produced in the gut. This is because the gut and the brain were developed from the same embryo cell line and continue to communicate through the vagus nerve. This explains why the gut is often referred to as the “second brain” and where the phrase “gut feeling” comes from.

 

In recent studies serotonin levels have been found to also affect memory and learning. In addition to this, it helps build new neuropathways in the brain which supports the ability to learn new information more quickly. When there are higher levels of serotonin, moods are better and, therefore, cognitive functioning is improved. The problem is found when serotonin levels are too low. In children, this can manifest in behaviors such as poor impulse control and inattention.

 

Now that we understand the neuroscience surrounding serotonin, how can we, as parents, teachers, coaches, and anyone who works with children, use this information? We must create a learning environment that is inviting and form bonds with the children by setting an enthusiastic and positive mood.

 

The SKILLZ program does this by teaching with the brain in mind and utilizing game-based learning. Along with this, two of the Teaching SKILLZ that are used in class are specifically designed to increase the students’ serotonin levels.

 

  • Choices: The use of “choices” as a teaching skill in class helps the students build satisfaction because they have a say in what they are doing and, therefore, their excitement to do things increases. For example, when working on forms in class, if the instructor tells the students to do their forms for 15 minutes, they probably aren’t going to be that excited. But, if the instructor tells the students they can choose from doing their forms with weights, slow motion, backwards, or progressively, then the student will be more excited about getting to make their decision regarding this. And, they will then be more satisfied with the overall experience.

 

  • Redirection: The use of “redirection” in class helps the students feel more accomplished and, therefore, happier. For example, if you have a student in class that doesn’t always sit the best during mat chats, the instructor can say “When I count to three, let’s see who can sit faster than Johnny.” This student will be prompted to sit correctly and then he will feel more accomplished by showing how quickly he can sit correctly.

 

By utilizing these techniques, the instructors are increasing the students’ serotonin, which helps them become more satisfied in their accomplishments and it reinforces their good behaviors.