Until your child steps outside of their comfort zone, they cannot develop confidence or independence.
Don’t get me wrong, comfort zones are awesome when you’ve smashed 12 hours worth of school and extracurriculars and it’s time for some pizza, Netflix and slippers. But when Netflix and chill become the 12 hour ‘work ethic’, that is when the comfort zone is no longer contributing to your health but becomes the slump-fort zone.
Progress happens outside of the comfort zone. Doing something we are comfortable with day in and day out, will not help us to become better, more often than not it helps us become complacent and fearful of change. A good martial arts training program is designed to help kids develop these personal attributes and enable them to embrace change and difficulty. So why should we encourage our kids to get out of their comfort zones at an early stage in their lifespans?
Three, universally agreed upon benefits of encouraging kids to try something new.
- Development of social and team building skills – Even in a single-person sport such as Karate, drilling amongst other kids working on the same or similar things as the kids allows that socialisation to take place. Your child does not have to play a team sport to learn about team building, they just need to be exposed to a group training environment. Not all children enjoy team sports, but enjoy training, so it is important to do that research and select an activity that is going to motivate the child to keep attending and learning.
- Anxiety and stress are long term symptoms of taking too long of a holiday in the comfort zone. Being stuck in a comfort zone can create anxiety about stepping outside of it. Just the thought of interacting with others can cause a child or an adult to ‘freak out!’ worrying about how they should act, what they should say, where they should go and it becomes overwhelming. Getting children to try new things and explore at an early age can prevent the onset of social anxiety from occurring at all, allowing the child to learn skills in communication and develop confidence in themselves.
- As children enter adolescence, the behaviour they have learned prior will underly the way in which they approach study, exams and joining the workforce. A recent survey conducted by KidsHealth.org asked 900 teenagers from 13 – 19 about goal setting and achieving their goals. The majority of the participants identified that goal setting was the easiest part but it was the process of changing habits that was the most difficult. A teenager stuck in comfort zone tends to find it more difficult to learn and acquire new skills as opposed to a teenager who has actively taken on challenges and tried new things during their childhood.
The Twins Team focus on life and skill development using Karate as the founding principle. Martial Arts is a very effective and challenging activity for any child that will teach them more than just how to block or serve a punch.