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“Parenting Martial Arts”

What the heck is that?  Parenting is an art to practice, refine and reinvent when not working.

Martial arts is a perfect container for parenting skills, techniques and strategies.

When we study or practice martial arts, most people are not learning it to harm or hurt others.  We are learning the particular discipline for the following reasons:

1-To improve our focus, to center ourselves and be in control of our actions

2-To become more effective in meeting all challenges, obstacles, threats and emergencies

3-To help us feel comfortable, protected and safe in the world as well as in our homes

4-To disarm adversaries, ideally without harming them or being harmed our selves

5-To avoid unpleasant encounters and to moderate our reactions by not acting out of impulse, anger, vindictiveness, vengeance, antipathy, jealousy and on and on

6-To prepare our selves for amicable and peaceful resolution of all types of conflict.

7-To be more spiritual in our relationships.

8-To defend and protect our selves from harm.

Even “Hula” was originally a martial art used partially to distract and avoid armed conflict. Most martial arts events, demonstrations and competitions begin and end with a “Namaste” type vow and a assuming of or return to equanimity

Now, look at the above list, and apply it to parenting.  If you eliminate the physical contact aspect of it, the same explanations could apply to parenting.  If you practice a respectful and appropriate version of “emotional martial arts” with your children, you will meet their challenges without defensiveness, without a charge and without the yelling, accusing, blaming behaviors which invariably divide parents and teens, and drive teens towards secrets and hostility,  “underground” and actually into replacing their lost attachment to you with a flawed, futile attachment to their peers.

So, exactly what would “parenting martial arts” look like and what would the practice and discipline entail?  Here is the foundation and blueprint for the parenting teens training.

Rick Concoff, M.A.  c 2013

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