Thursday, December 7, 2017

Ninja Parenting - Top 6 parenting ideas for kids ages 1 - 15!

Ninja Parenting
Top 6 parenting ideas for kids ages 1 - 15!

I am a father of an 18 year old daughter who is in college.  I consider myself pretty up to date in regards to parenting, the mindset of the 21st century parent and also as an educator.  Having run a martial art school for 27 years, I have taught 10’s of thousands of children, teens and adults.  I have taken parenting courses, read countless books and audio series and studied the mindset of children and parenting from many different people and philosophies for almost 3 decades. 

My view of parenting is this:
Years ago, you may have heard things being spoken from parents like, "No! Means No!, or Stop that or you are going to pay later!, Don't you talk to me that way, it is disrespectful and you are going to regret it!” In my martial art school I would hear things like “bow and be respectful and make eye contact when speaking to your instructor or an adult."  These catch phrases were a little more common place in my schools, 20 years ago, than they are now, although in my school and many martial art schools around the country you still hear these phrases. 

I think many of the old catch phrases were cast aside due to modernized parenting skills.  Many of the new parents felt that by parenting you risked and had the fear of ruining our children by making mistakes. So we replaced terms like “Suck it up, or deal with it with phrases like your awesome, Give me a high five, okay - we will get you a sticker or prize when we leave, here is two dollars for the gift you pestered me for, or hey, the big threat, I am going to take away your iPad if you don't listen.”    

Pointing out there has been an incredible shift in parenting styles since I was a kid. Some of the new age or younger parents still practice what could be called old school mentality. When growing up their parents taught them this mindset and they are still passing it on to their children.  However, many are not.  I was raised by a single mom, who worked three jobs and barely had time to be home to parent me.  My dad wasn’t really a disciplinarian and didn’t do much parenting.  My mom did an amazing job, with the cards she was dealt.  I had to do a ton of growing up on my own.  This left room for some serious mistakes and a lot of sheer luck, that I didn't kill myself or end up in prison.  Well, maybe it wasn't that extreme but the old saying is "the village helps raises your children is 100% true."  I learned a ton from experiences and living life, some good some bad. 

Fast forward ahead, I did the opposite when raising my daughter.  I watched over her, held her hand through every phase of life.  I admit I sheltered her.  I reviewed every show she watched, reviewed the kids she played with and scrutinized and watched over her school, dance and music teachers like a hawk.  Heck, to this day, she is still a little green in regards to street smarts. I did this all out of love and the desire for my child to be exceptional.  You may be asking, well did it work?  The answer is Yes and No!  She is a great kid, who stayed away from trouble her entire life and is a straight “A” student.  She is confident, caring and compassionate and driven.  So in those areas, she is perfect in every way. I am not just saying that because she is my daughter (well maybe a little, lol).  However, when she went away to college I was nervous if she can do it on her own. 

She just is completing her first semester away and it seems that she is flourishing.  She is doing amazing well academically and living on her own without a hitch. She has proven to be more street smart then I thought she would be and really doing amazingly well.  So the question is, did I do a good job. I think that I did, could I have done somethings differently? Maybe!  Although based on the results my parenting skills worked.  So I want to share some skills I used while raising my daughter. 

Here are 6 tips Ninja tips for parenting.  From a Ninja teachers perspective!  

1)       Be a parent, not a friend, you can create a bond that is even deeper then you imagined being the parent.  Friends come and go, but a parent is there forever. Don’t worry, if you child will love you if you make them do something they do not like. I have found it to be the exact opposite.  Parenting and holding your child to a standard will make them love you even more.  They might not love you at that moment, but they love you.   
2)       We need to be the guiding force in a child’s life.  Do not adapt the saying, I will choose my battles wisely. Every time you allow a child to get what they want, out of choosing your battles wisely.  You allow them to establish the higher ground for negotiation and believe they are in charge.  Remember, being a parent is easy, parenting is difficult. Sometimes you may not be your child’s favorite person. However, you will always be the love of their life. 
3)       Lead by example – the old saying “Do as I say not as I do, doesn’t work.”  Statistics will show a that a child is 50% more likely to do what they see their parents do.  This goes for drinking, drugs, diet, language, and personal preference.  So you are setting the tone for your child’s life by what they see you do.   Be the example, lead by example.
4)       Don’t give into peer pressure by trying to keep up with the people around you.  Remember,  just because the other kids are playing a sport, doesn’t mean you have to as well.  Do your best to fit your child with activities that will benefit them.  I always recommend martial arts because the lessons are endless.  Many team sports are great too, but they essence is on the game, the team and winning the game.  In martial arts, you work on you and there are many areas that you can excel in.   We have a saying “There are no bench warmers in the martial arts.” 
5)       Teach your child to be independent, confident and live a life of love and compassion.  Again, the martial arts are great for this.  Many times though, parents are confused about what develops confidence and self-esteem.  This is not an inherent character trait. It is something learned and developed through trial and error, blood sweat and tears.  With parenting, it is difficult because we never want to see our kids unhappy.  So we fear when pushing our children to do what they may not like.  We may ruin them.   I always told my daughter that she had to spar (fight) in tournaments. Even though she said, she didn’t want to. I would say “to bad, you are doing it anyway.” Maybe not in those exact words, but I knew she wasn’t always happy and at times cried, but now that she is in college, she is able to deal with stressful situations and in her own words praised her martial art training for her many successes. She said that in her own words. 

6)       Focus on the important things.  Filling your child’s life with a “To do list,” will not make them happy productive children.  I am believer that the more is better mindset or the we want our child to experience many things is not the right way.  This way allows them to go through life without any real sense of success. If they dabble in many different activities, jumping from one to the other, they may have a full resume with tons of experiences, but they will never have a chance to shine and excel and be proud of being amazing at something.  Even though they may not love a particular activity but becoming proficient at it, gives them lessons that can be taken from that activity and it will spill over into all they do.  

Allie Alberigo is a father, martial art instructor, writer, blogger, vegan activist and business coach and owner. If you have any questions or comments you can do it write here on the blog or email him at  

No comments :

Post a Comment