The Motivator Molecule Boosting Dopamine in Constructive Ways | 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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The Motivator Molecule Boosting Dopamine in Constructive Ways

 

The Motivator Molecule

Boosting Dopamine in Constructive Ways

Nowadays it seems that children are only interested in their video games, smart phones, and social media platforms. Parents are frustrated with their children’s lack of motivation for and attention to other activities that they are at a loss as to what to do. Therefore, parents often respond by taking devices away and punishing their children. And although this seems like the right approach, it can reduce motivation even more. To truly change children’s behaviors, parents need to understand how to boost dopamine in natural and more positive ways so that children will be propelled into more constructive actions.

 

When dopamine levels are low, symptoms such as difficulty focusing, and decreased motivation can result, so simply removing devices is not helpful. Dopamine is often referred to as the “motivator molecule” because it causes us to seek out things that produce good feelings. Devices and apps give children an influx of this, so they continue their screen time to keep the boost going. The neural circuitry targeted by varying apps is the same as casinos have been using for years with slot machines. The anticipation of a reward is what keeps us coming back for more. The remarkable factor about dopamine, however, is that it can help modify behavior in a positive way as well.  The good feelings that dopamine produces creates motivation, so we can also learn and retain information better.

 

When given the proper channels, dopamine levels can be boosted, and children can benefit from an increase in more positive goal-directed behaviors. To help enhance dopamine levels naturally, parents can make sure children get adequate sleep and avoid processed foods, sugar, and caffeine. In addition, making sure that children get daily physical exercise is essential. The key to this, however, is to make sure children find activities that are enjoyable to them. By immersing children in an environment that generates a flood of dopamine in more productive ways, children will form more constructive habits, and learning will be supported.

 

The progressive methods of the SKILLZ Child Development Centers were created with the brain in mind. By implementing techniques in class that trigger students’ dopamine systems, the “dopamine-seeking reward loop” initiates. This generates neural pathways that open students’ motivation to learn and helps them retain knowledge. This game-based learning approach along with applying Teaching SKILLZ such as trickery and intrinsic motivation, keep students engaged and having fun. In addition, students are given skill stripes at the end of each class so the anticipation throughout keeps them extrinsically motivated as well. Parents are then able to implement these types of systems at home to reinforce these behaviors even more.

 

An essential element to increasing children’s dopamine levels naturally is knowledge. When parents and other adults in a child’s life are familiar with the reward pathways of the brain, they can ensure that children get dopamine boosts in the best way possible. By reinforcing the relationship between wanted behaviors and a “feel-good” reward, parents can be confident that children will be more focused, listen better, and be motivated to do their best.

 

 

 

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.