By lvshaolin

To educate and motivate a child you must understand that children have 4 specific psychological needs that must be fulfilled at all times. These needs have a direct connection with the effectiveness an instructor has in a martial art classroom.

The need for independence

Children want to be in control of their own decisions. Most people whether it is the babysitter, the parent, or the teacher try to control a child's behavior through rewards and punishment. This leads to two things: one, the child will become a conformist and feel they never need to make decisions, just obey; or two, the child
becomes deceitful and tries to avoid punishment like it's a game.

The need to feel competent

Children want to feel successful and smart. If they are confronted with a challenge that they cannot handle they will respond by crying or giving up. Very rarely will they ask for help or try until they get it.

The need to belong

Children want to fit in in social groups and activities. If they are the weak link in a social environment, they will try to abandon ship immediately. On the same token, many children do not want to be the smartest or the fastest in an activity. They feel like they will make others hate them or be jealous because they are better.

The need to have fun

Stages of Development Children ages 3 to 12
Quite possibly, the most important factor to successful development in a child is proper attention to the specific characteristics of a child's development. At each age group listed below, there are distinct emotional, intellectual, social, and physical characteristics that are obvious in every child.

Knowing and understanding these characteristics can help one organize their methods and approach to what, why, and how to teach a child. Here are the different specific age group that portray noticeably unique characteristics:

3 year olds
4 year olds
5 &6 year olds
7 & 8 year olds
9 to 12 year olds

If children can be grouped according to these specific age groups, their development will improve dramatically. Children of different characteristics, skills, and abilities that are grouped together can actually slow each other down. Whether the student is older, or younger, both extremes tend to distract the other. Younger students can feel overwhelmed and over challenged in their own way. Older students can feel under challenged, bored, and almost annoyed or insulted to be placed beneath their level of ability.

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