Fostering Empathy in Children During the Holidays | Canton Karate
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Melissa Eszes Schlosser reviewed Canton Karate
5
via Facebook

Our daughter LOVES everything about coming to classes! She started last May, and hasn't looked back. Her confidence has grown so much, starting within weeks of starting! She loves how every week she is learning new skills, she loves the staff and she loves the challenges that they give them every week to work on. She looks forward to classes every week, and jumped at the opportunity to sign up for extra classes that would help her learn more. She went from being a complete gymnastics girl to everything karate. Her Christmas list was filled with rebreakable boards, pads, punching bags, t-shirts, room decorations and anything else she could think of to practice karate or that was karate! It's only been about 10 months, but you can't meet this girl and not know that she loves karate, and we have Canton Karate to thank for this! Overall, the staff at Canton Karate has changed our daughter in so many ways, but especially in her confidence! We're so glad we found them!

Steve Surmann reviewed Canton Karate
5
via Facebook

The kids enjoy it, they learn to be more disciplined and behaved at the same time! Master Martin is exceptionally patient (I know because I get frustrated just watching it) and is a wonderful instructor. I am very happy with the way he mentors his pupils especially while he has his assistant instructors available to give one on one instruction to those that struggle. Having my children in his classes and seeing what they actually learn, accomplish and develop into is well worth the cost.

Jen Pepper reviewed Canton Karate
5
via Facebook

Love this school :) they are very thoughtful and encouraging, yet are able to mix the right amount of fun into every class as well

Joshua Mankowski reviewed Canton Karate
5
via Facebook

The Perfect Martial Arts School. Master Martin does a great job of combining all of the elements of martial arts into the curriculum, There is a mixture of history, discipline and practical application. The classes are also taught specifically for each age group to maximize the benefit of the kids and adults. What is being taught will resonate with a 3 or 4 year old (my son) or an adult(myself).

Susan Cook McCoon reviewed Canton Karate
5
via Facebook

My son goes here and loves it. Master Martin is great with the kids. They work on focus, concentration, self discipline, confidence and many more things kids need. My son is always excited to go and it's great to see the smile on his face. I see the improvement at home and in school since he has been going.

Diana M Riley-Woodward reviewed Canton Karate
5
via Facebook

Canton Karate has been amazing for our family! My two have been enrolled for 6 months now. They have always struggled with attention, focus, and self control and it was beginning to impact school. They LOVE Karate! They want to practice at home, and love going to class. and their performance in school has made a complete turnaround! For the first time my daughter's teacher this year says she is focused, attentive, and hard working!
Master Martin is patient but firm and disciplined. He treats each student differently in class. and that's a good thing! I don't know how but he seems to know what every student needs to personally challenge them. I find myself repeating Master Martin's words around the house and at work. They did love the Saturday forms/sparring class and we will miss that. But we are all excited to see what comes next!

Michelle Turmell reviewed Canton Karate
5
via Facebook

My son started Karate lessons at Canton Karate several months ago and we can't be happier with that decision! My son has gained so much confidence. On his first day, he was so nervous to step onto that mat. Master Martin and the rest of the staff were so patient and encouraging with him. He loves going now and has so much fun at each class. Master Martin and all the staff at Canton Karate are so encouraging, helpful and very accessible. I can't say enough good things! I highly recommend Canton Karate!

Michelle Brenner reviewed Canton Karate
5
via Facebook

Amazing place with AMAZING staff!! The way they work with kids is wonderful! You truly feel like family from the time you walk in the door. They offer so many different class options. My kids have learned so much already from their short time here. I'm amazed at the new skills and discipline they are learning. The confidence I'm seeing fostered in my children is great. Master Martin has an amazing way of dealing with the kids. It is usually in a way that corrects the problem without disrupting everyone else. Can't wait till my 4 year old is ready to start as well. Thank you Canton Karate!!

Pat O'Hara Dunbar reviewed Canton Karate
5
via Facebook

Canton Karate is a great place for kids to teach them how to respect others, self esteem, and how to treat bullies. I would recommend Canton Karate to all my friends. The staff is very pleasant and helpful. I'm glad that we are part of the Canton Karate family. My grandson has learned so much in just a short period of time of being here. He really looks forward on coming here and getting out of his shell. Thank you Canton Karate.

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Fostering Empathy in Children During the Holidays

Fostering Empathy in Children During the Holidays

‘Tis the season! A season of giving, a season of patience, a season of all things warm and inviting. Doesn’t it all sound magical? As we go into this time of year, the excitement fills the air and the anticipation of gifts and fun activities encompasses our very being, no matter what age. And while the spirit of the season surrounds us, the hustle and bustle often leaves parents exhausted and children focused only on the “gimme” of presents. To counteract this, it is important to revamp our priorities and utilize the holidays as a starting point for helping foster empathy in children.

The first step in doing this is helping children understand what empathy is. Being able to see things from another person’s view can be a challenge, especially the younger the child. The good thing is, we are all born hardwired with the ability to be empathetic. However, it doesn’t just evolve…empathy is developed through experiences and practice. Empathy is an emotional and cognitive experience.

As babies, empathy is mirrored as strictly an emotional reaction to a situation. For example, when one baby cries, the one next to it often begins crying as well. This is when mirror neurons in the brain are firing in response to the behavior being observed. The same happens when babies mirror facial expressions even when they are only a few days old.

As children get older, they begin to tap into the cognitive side of empathy. This is because their executive functioning skills are more developed. This means that they are better able to understand others’ points of view, regulate their own emotions, and self-monitor. However, it is more natural for children to be selfish than empathetic. This is why it is important to give children experiences that exercise the empathetic muscle throughout childhood and adolescence.

Even though children are not instinctively considerate of others, it is important to not dwell on that and, instead, find opportunities to work with them on this. When they exhibit selfish behaviors, parents should empathize with their child and then rephrase the situation to elicit a more empathetic reaction. In behavior therapy, it is called “shaping a new response.”

When working on building empathy in children, there are many things parents can do to help. Giving children the opportunity to be part of the decision-making process when choosing an organization to donate to or volunteer for, is a great way to start. This helps them feel excited about giving and they learn generosity. Another important thing is to

teach children to be thankful for things they have and the gifts they receive, no matter how small or if it’s not exactly what they wanted. Teaching gratitude helps children learn to appreciate what they have, and therefore helps them understand that not everyone has the same things. But above all, parents being a role model of empathy year-round will help children learn this concept.

The holidays are a wonderful time to spend moments fostering empathy in children. By teaching generosity, compassion, and gratitude, children have a better understanding of the true meaning of the holiday season. Making events of generosity a tradition throughout the year will solidify these lessons even further. In turn, we are shaping the next generation to be caring adults.

Author:  Jennifer Salama of Skillz Worldwide. Jennifer is a 4th-degree black belt and has been training in martial arts since 2001. She has a Masters Degree in Child Psychology and has embraced the SKILLZ curriculum because of its focus on child development and using martial arts as a vehicle to develop the child as a whole.