Preschool martial arts classes for 3-year-olds and 4-year-olds may seem like an early start… But when it comes to regulating temper tantrums, no time is too early! We know they can be stressful! Read on for some incredible ways that our preschool classes help create a tantrum-free household.
Temper Tantrums in Preschool Kids
When a preschool-aged child throws a tantrum, they’re acting very emotionally – of course they are, they’re a kid! We can’t fault preschool kids for throwing temper tantrums because it’s just in their nature.
Their more rational brain is still just beginning to develop. What we CAN do is help teach them emotional regulation, listening, self control, focusing, and refocusing. And these skills apply to so much more than just tantrums!
What is a Temper Tantrum?
It works like this: Your child becomes upset by something. They feel a very strong negative emotion- most often, frustration. They express this frustration the best way they know how, like through crying, whining, screaming, or even aggressive behavior like hitting or throwing.
Every parent has dealt with temper tantrums before, so you’re not alone! Plenty of parents enroll their children in our preschool classes because they’ve heard about how martial arts can help kids transform and stop throwing tantrums.
Getting Your Child Ready for School
What’s happening during a temper tantrum is your child is acting based solely on their emotions. They’re fueled by thoughts of how unfair something is, and their frustration just keeps building.
What we do is teach them how to focus, listen to instructions, and then redirect their focus to something different from the source of their tantrum. These are incredible skills, that your child is learning before they even get to school, that will set them up for LIFE success!
How Preschool Martial Arts Classes Can Help
This is why martial arts for preschool kids is so freaking cool. Year after year, we see a REMARKABLE difference in kids who start at ages 3 and 4 and kids who start at ages 6 and 7.
Kids who start martial arts classes at the preschool level get the emotional and behavioral skills “out of the way” much quicker than 6 and 7 year olds. They then learn more in their upper level classes because they’ve already gotten their emotions regulated. Their behavior is under control, so the material sticks better because they’re focusing better.
Then, when they enter school, they have an incredible advantage because, well… just read that previous paragraph! It all applies to school as well. That’s why martial arts is way more than just punches and kicks. It’s a tool we use to help our students to become the absolute best versions of themselves, and it shows.
Focusing and Refocusing in Class
So with all that in mind, here’s how we run our preschool martial arts classes: Step one is listening. We make listening FUN in our kids martial arts classes. How? Our incredible instructors are like life-lesson ninjas, and they sneak listening skills, discipline, and focus into every lesson through fun and games.
Martial arts classes at the preschool level are less about the moves, which they learn as they progress through ranks, but more about building a foundational skill set of behavior that they can use in life and beyond. This includes self control, which is the second step. It’s about being able to sit still without fidgeting too much to pay attention. We teach self control the same way- through fun games and activities and positive reinforcement.
That’s a big component of our classes that helps with tantrums- positive reinforcement. Kids in preschool often throw temper tantrums because they don’t feel like they’re being listened to. They want your attention. When we positively reinforce their good behavior skills, like listening, they’ll be less inclined to resort to negative attention strategies like tantrums. Reinforcing and praising our students when they listen is really important. Everybody gets busy, we know that… But we really like to have parents sit in and watch class, so that they can keep up the positive reinforcement strategies at home. Then when you practice it at home you can really watch your child transform!