Teenagers navigating the age spectrum of 15 to 17 years old often emerge as complex enigmas in the eyes of the adults that surround them. Parents, teachers, and all the adults in their lives are often left scratching their heads, wondering when that sweet kid turned into this bold, sometimes defiant young person, who’s always pushing the boundaries. They’re not quite adults yet, and no longer children, which presents a peculiar conundrum to those responsible for guiding them. Teachers may find them simultaneously absorbing knowledge like sponges yet challenging the boundaries of rules and norms, while parents may begin to observe their once docile children blossoming into assertive, sometimes rebellious beings, ardently seeking autonomy.
Now, it’s not all drama and chaos. Their curiosity knows no bounds, and this insatiable quest for knowledge propels them towards exploration and learning, opening doors to new interests, passions, and skills. Their burgeoning maturity begins to display glimpses into their future selves, exhibiting a capacity for empathy, understanding, and a gradual refinement of their moral and ethical compass. Even that rebellious streak, when channeled positively, can manifest as assertiveness and a robust determination to stand firm in their beliefs and aspirations, essential traits for advocating for themselves and others in adulthood.
Conversely, the journey through this developmental phase is not devoid of pitfalls. That awesome curiosity can sometimes lead them down rabbit holes of risky behaviors and uncharted territories, sometimes culminating in unfavorable consequences. The rebellion and defiance towards adults, especially ones they used to listen to, can spark more than a few clashes at home and in the classroom. This phase may also witness the dominance of peer pressure, where the pursuit of acceptance occasionally overshadows rationality, which can sometimes see them making decisions that are more about being liked than being true to themselves.
One of the best ways that adults can best work with our teenagers is focusing on striking a balance – providing enough freedom for them to explore and offering them opportunities to assert their independence within safe and structured boundaries, while also keeping the communication lines wide open. It means offering them spaces to safely satisfy their curiosity, and learn from both the good and bad choices they make. Adults can be that safe place to land; the ones who’ll listen without jumping to judge, offering a guiding hand and a listening ear through all the ups, downs, and loop-de-loops of the teen rollercoaster.
THE MARTIAL APPLICATION
Teens are often caught in a bit of an internal tug-of-war. On one side, there’s that pressure to fit in with their friends, to be part of who they perceive as the cool crowd, which sometimes means they’re nudged towards choices they might not be super proud of. On the flip side, they’re grappling with all these emotions, a need to vent out their frustrations, and a deep-seated wish to truly shine. Enter our well-trained instructors at Glens Falls Karate Academy, who are well-versed in adolescent development. We’re all about creating a trusting and open space where teens can be themselves, navigate through these pressures, and find their own kind of awesome. It’s a nurturing environment that emphasizes the value of individual growth, self-respect, and fostering a supportive dojo community where the intricacies of martial arts serve not merely as a physical discipline but as an outlet through which they can autonomously navigate their emotional and social spheres, critically analyze peer pressures, and adopt constructive mechanisms for self-expression and group interaction.
When we dive into the physical and intellectual realm, teens are in this unique spot where they’re pretty much learning to inhabit their rapidly changing bodies and flexing their mental muscles in new, exciting ways. The physical element of our Teens Karate Program at Glens Falls Karate Academy isn’t just about high kicks and strong punches. It’s about helping them navigate through their physical development, building strength, gracefulness, and timing in a way that’s attuned to their changing bodies. But we don’t stop at the physical. Intellectually, teens are exploring ideas and grappling with concepts, and our program is perfectly poised to challenge and engage their bubbling brains. We’re talking about developing strategies, understanding movement, and learning techniques that require them to bring both their brawn and brains to the dojo. It’s a wholesome, integrated approach that champions their physical and intellectual prowess, giving them a balanced, super-engaging way to grow and learn.
Here’s an overview of the stages of development of children ages 15 to 17:
- They typically have great technique and agility, but they can be lazy, which leads to sloppiness. Our goal is to challenge tasks such as building momentum in their jumps and spins and demonstrate strength by applying power and mechanics to exercises.
- They are extremely smart but can be aloof when something doesn’t challenge them. Also, their critical thinking skills are top-notch, but their decision making skills are typically the exact opposite, and that is why most adults treat them like children. Our goal is to teach them how to apply focus and effort to the simplest activities and demonstrate good decision making skills by having the proper reaction when put under pressure.
- Thanks to science, they are typically all over the emotional spectrum. Our goal is to teach them how to have good instincts despite internal fears and anxieties.
- They care about what their peers think and therefore make social choices based on their friend’s likes and dislikes. Our goal is to help them develop an ethical vision of life by seeing the bigger picture and making social decisions based on good character.
As you can see, we take martial arts training to a whole new level!
We use foundational elements of our traditional Okinawan karate curriculum to build skills that are appropriate for 15 to 17-year old’s. This means our students learn and grow at a pace that is neither too easy nor too challenging for them. The best part is that our Teens Karate program will equip our students with skills that they will utilize in every area of their lives!
Engaging with teens can be fun and exciting because their personalities are solidifying. They can participate in more in-depth conversations when allowed to express their opinions without being mocked for them. Parents and teachers that allow safe, open discussions will reach this age group far better than someone who lectures them. Building these kids up will ensure a brighter future for them.
To learn more about our child development program, which utilizes dynamic martial arts and cutting-edge brain training as the vehicle for maximum growth, or to get your child started, click the button below.
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