Tag Archives: Aikido


Are you a risk taker or do you like the safe route through life? Most of us are a bit of both. What about your kids? Worried about their risk taking, this one is for you. But first an Emotional Fitness Training Poster Quote. 

A Poster Coach about risk taking

The last quote was pounded into my head by my mother.  I don’t actually remember hearing her say it that often, but she most have, for when fear tries to hold me back, I rev myself up with that quote.

Now, I was a shy child, and believe it or not in many situations shyness still holds me back. Those who have seen me lecturing or giving a workshop are right to scoff a bit, and in some situations I burst forth.  I did stand up on Oprah and do my thing.

Shy children need gentle and constant encouragement. That’s what worked for me. Marry my mother’s “Nothing ventured” idea to mistakes are for learning provides children with a powerful message that builds courage.

What about the child that takes so many risks the local emergency room jokes about giving him a room of his own?  A different story. He need a professional evalutation.

PARENT tips about risk taking in children

Tip one: Start safety training early.  I had a loosy-goosy friend when my kids were growing up.  She was big on “Letting kids do their thing.”  She had one bee in her bonnet, however. That bee? Safety. Her kids were among the first to wear helmets, but where her training shined brightest was in the seat belt drill.  Seat belts were relatively new way back then, and lots of families didn’t stress the Buckle Up bit.  She did and it worked.  Before her kids behinds hit the seat, they were pulling on their seat belts.

Tip two: As soon as your little ones start recognizing words, teach “Safe” and “Danger.”  My not yet two-year-old grandson knows “Danger” means come to an adult and hold their hand.  He learned that on walks and mostly when it came to crossing streets, but also when approached by a dog eager to be petted.

Tip three: Teach the art of rating things. Do this in general and not specifically related to danger.  Any thing can be rated and should be, it is a major emotional fitness tool and teaches a child not to sweat the small stuff.  In time you want to use a 10 point scale.  Put the extreme at either end.  The average in the middle and then work up and down the scale. See the Wiki How article I started on how to take a feeling thermometer – feeling thermometers are rating scales.  

Start with the falls that go with early childhood, but don’t use numbers yet. Use Really Big Hurt for broken bones and trips to the doctor for stitches.  Big Hurt the falls or hurts that send  have your child coming to you for a  hug or need a band-aid. Little hurt for when you see the child is looking to you more for attention than anything. Add the words “Pop up.” to encourage sucking it up.  “Good job” are for when the child falls  hard, but pops up and goes on with playing. 

As the child begins to learn numbers you can add them, but don’t get too fussy about the child knowing the number. Just assign the number you feel measures the hurt and display the proper amount of sympathy.  Little or no sympathy for small hurts then more  sympathy as the hurt mounts.  One day, your child will surprise you and rate the hurt before you do.  That is if you are consistent. Teaching skills requires consistent practicing.

Tip four:  Involve your child is a sport that involves body control, bumps and bruises and pay for some professional training or coaching if possible.  My first choice is Aikido  which provides peace oriented self-defense course.  Here is a link to what I call the  Peace-Minded Karate School.  I had  one such dojo teach   Aikido  to the kids at the Family Support Center I ran.

Tip five: Have safety drills.  These can range from putting on the seat belts when you get in the car, to helmet up for skateboarding to middle of the night fire drills.

What if your child is a teen and you are only beginning to worry about his or her risk taking?  Get the free down load of my book When Good Kids Take Risks.  It is available until  midnight June 11th. See the side bar.  Also, read tomorrow’s post for I will talk a bit there about teens and risk taking.


More kids than not survive the teen years.  The few risk takers – adults and kids that don’t survive are the stuff of headlines.  Moreover as some of the quotes showed, you danger and hurt are part of life whether you take risks or not.

I suggest if you can’t sleep nights for worrying about your kid professional help may be needed.  If the kid isn’t always need bandages or worse, you may need the help.  If the kid needs medical care more than once because of risky behavior, he also needs a professional mental health evaluation.

Either way and just for your own health, think about getting my eBook on self soothing.  Costs less than a fudge sundae and is better for your health.

For a sample of a self soothing exercise,  try my Be With Beauty  Emotional Fitness Exercise.  It is perhaps the easiest of my Twelve Daily Exercises, but given time and practice guarantees a quick break when stress mounts.

Thank you for caring, sharing, and all the other things you do to make your corner of the world better.



The first:  Although built upon evidenced based practices, there is no guarantee my advice is the right advice for you and your family. Experiment, try my tips; if they are not useful to you try another parent adviser. You are the expert on you and your child; the rest of us experts on many different things.

The second: I have dysgraphia, a learning disability that peppers my writing with mis-spelling and punctuation errors. All my books are professionally edited. Not so my blog posts. Although I use all the grammar and spelling checks, mistakes slip by. If they bother you, seek another source of support for life’s less savory moments.   Life is too short to let problems you can avoid annoy or stress you.


Aikido is a martial arts form that focuses mainly on preventing and defusing anger, one reason good kids run away.

hostosthumbAikido  also equips you to protect yourself when needed.  Master teachers of Aikido are also known as Peace DoJos.


I would like to see on-going teaching of Aikido mandatory in all schools.  When my kids were out there, I rested more easily knowing they had been trained to defuse anger and to protect themselves.

I would also like to see  all who carry a gun as part of their job, and  all who seek licensing to own a gun, forced to take Aikido training.

I can’t help but believe that had the Columbine, Newtown, schools taught the lessons inherent in Aikido, the unhappy shooters might have more fully embraced.  One of the main causes of violence is isolation and turning others into objects of condemnation of one sort or another.  Aikido  seeks understanding and connected with those too often seen as the other.

For more information about Aikido go here.  Here is a the Peace Dojo I worked with in Mott Haven. Urban Visions.


Here is my thank you gift if you have just started following me.   It is a free guide to the Daily Twelve Emotional Fitness Exercises. These are easy to learn, easy to practice and helpful to anyone dealing with anger, sadness, stress and other of life’s  every day problems. They will help you stay calm and in control.

All my other  books can be found on my  Amazon’s Author Page.

You can also follow me on the When Good Kids Do Bad Things Facebook page. If you go there please take a moment to like it.

Finally, You might find my Emotional Fitness Training’s Pinterest site helpful. Both of my blog posts are pinned there, and I also share other people’s information that I think will help you stay strong both as a parent and an individual. Take a peek by clicking here.

As I tell myself a thousand times a day,  do not weaken, give lots of love to others and to yourself, be grateful, practice kindness, live now, give and seek forgiveness, and always hope  the blessing of the forces beyond our control are with you and those you love.


DISCLAIMER: FORGIVE MY GRAMMATICAL ERRORS FOR I HAVE DYSGRAPHIA.  If you need perfect posts, you will not find them here. I have dysgraphia which means that sometimes my sentence structure is not that easy to follow or I make other errors. Still, most people understand me. All of my books are professionally edited, but not all of my blog posts are.  If this troubles you, feel free to read elsewhere.  If you persevere, you are practicing kindness by lifting my spirits for that means you find what I say helpful and that is one of my missions. Kindness always repays those who spread it.