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Personal Best Karate

How to Handle the Bully at School

Posted: October 10, 2019

A Parent’s Guide by Christopher Rappold

If you had a choice of ridding the world of bullies or learning the mindset and skills to minimize or eliminate their negative impact on your child, which would you choose?

Think about it very carefully because the answer to the question will reveal how you are viewing the challenge before you. At times parents can feel powerless against the never-ending siege of negative experiences that we cannot protect our children from. It can be very painful to be a spectator to your child’s struggles with a bully. Haven’t you wished that the bully would just "go away" so your son or daughter could just happily continue down life’s path? Has it ever really happened? Sure, occasionally you will have the rare treat of having the bully moving out of state, but how often does that occur? When it does, everyone breathes a sigh of relief, but unfortunately it is only a matter of time before the same challenge rears its ugly head again.


The Single Most Important Decision For Your Health and Fitness

Posted: September 16, 2019

There was a study done which focused on the most important factor in determining your health and fitness five years from today. Having a Degree in Exercise Physiology, I wondered why they would research a question that had such a simple answer. Clearly the most important factor in determining health and fitness five years from today came down to your consistency to an exercise program. To my surprise…Wrong! Well clearly if it isn’t exercise, then it must be the other major factor that people tend to stumble on; Nutrition. Once again… Wrong!

At this point I have to admit I was skeptical. Studying four years in college taught me that the combination of exercise and nutrition was the key to health and fitness. How could it be anything but your input – what you eat or output – your exercise program?

When I heard the answer I realized that what college did not teach me in its pursuit of a scientific answer, life outside of school had already taught me. The most important factor determining your health and fitness five years from today came down to the people in your immediate social circle.


The Mental Focus To Make This Year One Worth Living

Posted: September 01, 2019

Have you ever heard the stories of people who after being diagnosed with terminal illnesses left their jobs they hated and decided with the limited time they had left to simply do the things they always wanted to do and miraculously their disease went away?  Coincidence… maybe but I think it has happened enough to raise the eyebrows of even the most skeptical doctors.  So what can we learn from these apparent outliers?   For me, it serves as a reminder to do what you love, with the people you love and never let anything get in the way of your happiness. 

When you think of how bombarded our minds can get with the approximately 7,000 messages we come in contact with per day, it is easy to see that as simply the idea of being happy is, why it can be difficult to achieve. 

So what is the answer for you?  Well, only you can decide the exact prescription but an easy way to get closer to what is most important to keep yourself happy is to answer these four simple questions each of which will reveal the pieces that make you smile from the inside out.


When Is Comparing Your Child To Others A Good Thing To Do?

Posted: August 29, 2019

There exists within life a never-ending siege of thousands of daily messages we receive continuing compare us to an ideal. I have heard upwards of 7,000 messages a day fight each other in an effort to rise above the noise created to steal you or your child’s attention. As adult, we know the feeling of the pull that exists when it’s cold and snowy outside and we see the advertisement for a tropical vacation. Well much like this, children get a constant bombardment of things they don’t have that would be super cool and make them feel great if only they could get them. Compound this with the feeling of not having what their friends have and the potential beginning of your child feeling second rate starts to sprout.

If you have read my blogs or newsletters for any period of time you will know, that for a variety of reasons, comparison to others is something that I have found to be far more discouraging than encouraging. There is however a time that I do feel it can be used in a positive way to provide perspective and when you lock onto this you will find you have a never ending supply of tools at your disposal you can use as very powerful teaching tools. They are best used when you do it frequently and proactively.

As the messages come in and around us, start to create conversations around the children in the news and headlines that are having serious third world challenges in our first world communities. Sadly, there is no need to go out of the country to find impactful challenge that will cause pause. In my experience the closer geographically the more real it will feel. The strategy is best used at random times and has to be revisited frequently. If the only time you bring up the subject of less fortunate children is when your child is asking for something, it will not work and in fact be felt as manipulation instead of truth.


How To Ensure Balance In Your Child’s Development

Posted: August 18, 2019

With so many differing opinions on how to help your child develop their full potential, how do you really know as a parent if you are doing enough of the right things? I suggest pulling away and viewing your child’s development from a distance. To use an analogy from nutrition, it is referred to as the macronutrients or “macros”. Macros include the big block categories that include proteins, carbohydrates and fats. In priority order, you want to get these in the proper proportion and then turn your focus on the fine-tuning of the “Micronutrients ” or “micros” which include vitamins and minerals which your body needs but by comparison to macros in very small amounts.

So what are the big block categories when it comes to a child’s well being? They are physical, mental and spiritual development. And while each comes in different forms, they are all needed to unlock of your child’s fullest potential. As parents, a simple way to ensure your child is on the right track is to look at each of their days and make sure they are doing a little bit in each of the areas. If you ensure your child does some kind of movement like karate, you can check that off your list. Add onto the schedule a daily 15 to 30 minute span of time devoted to reading and now you have taken care of the mental side of daily development. Finally we come to spirituality. There are many ways to fulfill this part of your child’s growth, some simple daily activities could be to include daily prayers or a few minutes per day of quite reflective meditation. Providing something that centers your child’s thoughts and feelings and makes them feel grateful and connected to something beyond themselves is a great and healthy practice.

Imagine if you help to create a daily habit that just becomes a routine allowing them to feel at their best…. what an advantage you are giving them in life. When so many of the ills in today’s world point to a lack of one of the three being deficient, you are ensuring your child will always be a daily habit away from restoring their feeling of balance. While as parents, we can’t protect them from the trials of life; we can equip them to be at their best so they are able to handle all natural textures that create a rich and is in store for them.


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