(Without Talking Down to Them)
For Ninja trainers and coaches, dedicated to embedding the discipline, focused energy, and skill of a Ninja into students, the ability to properly communicate with children is vital. When talking and communication are done right throughout a lesson, students learn more, have more fun, and benefit from a more structured environment.
With proper communication, everyone benefits and experiences an easier time as we work together to teach new skills and have fun. Read on below to discover several important guidelines to stick to when seeking to foster better communication with students, and experience the results for yourself!
5 Tips for Talking to Kids -
1. Speak to Students in a Mature Way
For students training to be a Ninja, it’s important to acknowledge their self-felt status as a “big kid.” Students are eager to rise to the occasion as they learn new skills, and might be less willing to listen if they feel that they’re being spoken to as “babies.” Speak to them as you might to adults; slowly and clearly, with patience for questions, and you might find a more receptive class.
2. Make Eye Contact
For many children, the feeling of personal attention is just as important as a mature tone of speech when addressing them. Maintaining eye contact while talking, and making it with as many students as possible, communicates a sense of “Yes, I’m talking to you too.” That connection to students can work wonders in a personal sense of connection and accountability as you seek to stay on task.
3. Stay Mindful
As many successes as you have, when communicating with children there will inevitably be setbacks. There will be days when it’s more difficult to communicate, and it can be easy for frustration to begin creeping up during this time. Remember to stay mindful of the fact that difficulty happens less often than good behavior, and keep a calm demeanor as you attempt to keep things under control.
4. Help Students Set Their Own Limits
The core of our program centers around allowing students to progress at their own pace and find their limits. Don’t be afraid to support a student if they want to try something you might feel is slightly out of their grasp. While keeping safety as a priority, allowing students to press themselves is part of the beauty of NinjaZone. As a guide, cheerleader, and chaperone, you’ll be part of an experience they’ll never forget!
5. Be Firm When Necessary
As fun as training may be, limits are also necessary to ensure that each student has a safe, fun experience. When talking about and laying down boundaries, expectations, and discipline to ensure that everyone gets along, you will have to be firm and uncompromising in what you allow and what you don’t. By clearly communicating your expectations and sticking to them, students will accept your leadership without feeling babied.
When you’re leading, you’re the teacher and head communicator rolled into one. By following the 5 Tips for Talking to Kids when interacting with students, you’re more likely to have a fun, safe and harmonious group of students.