Category Archives: Kids & Parenting

Success & ADHD

I was watching Shark Tank last night and one of the pitches was for a fidget toy (not a spinner) designed to help with ADHD and other learning disabilities.

As it turned out the majority of the sharks had grown up with a learning disability that led them to doing poorly in school, and all obviously went on to become massively self-made success stories.

We get a lot of kids at the gym that struggle in school and are looking for a outlet, and some of them are amazingly fast learners capable of being great leaders… unless you asked their school teachers from what I’ve heard.

When you have a child, or are a person, who learns differently it’s very important to remember that success in school does not always translate to success in life. Yes, it’s important, but with the children who struggle in school it is absolutely vital to help them find something they can succeed and do well at.

“There’s a great freedom to being dyslexic … if you can avoid labeling yourself as a loser in a school system that measures people by A’s and B’s.” — Barbara Corcoran

I also don’t think the Sharks are unique in their stats, a very large chunk of self-made multi-millionaires where people that did poorly in school do to one learning disability or another.

The message kids that struggle need to hear is that they can succeed, despite their struggles, if they find the right thing. Instead they too often here things like this:

“When I was in 11th grade I was diagnosed with ADD,” Burns says on the episode. “The woman who diagnosed me said that my ADD was so severe that I would never be able to survive at a four-year university, and I shouldn’t try to pursue a job that required any type of education.”

But good grades in school are only one path to success, and education can come in many forms. When you have a child with a different learning style it is important to help them find there “A-Game” instead of focusing only on the areas of struggle.

“If I were to make a list of my top, say, seven or eight entrepreneurs I’ve invested in on ‘Shark Tank,’ I would say all but one have a learning disability,” she says.

Confidence is a big element of success, and when you have someone that struggles by traditional measurements in school it is very important to help them find the things that they can succeed at. Having one or two things that you can not only succeed at, but excel at can build that confidence that will help in all areas of life, and confidence can possibly turn D’s into C’s in way’s that yet another extra hour of struggling through reading text books can’t.

https://www.cnbc.com/2017/10/09/why-barbara-corcoran-invested-50000-in-fidgetland-on-shark-tank.html

Announcing the Parent / Child class!

We’ve been working on something cool for a while now, and it’s time 🙂

For years we’ve had younger siblings in our 3-4 year old class wanting in, and occasionally we let them in for pieces of the class or to come in and play a game with the “big” kids. And they do amazing…

Even at 18 months we have had kids out running obstacle course… balancing on punching bags, jumping off bosu’s, clearing hurdles and vaulting over bags. They’ve taken me down, pinned me, escaped, passed guard and more!

But obviously at this age they need a little more attention then they can get in a class working with other kids and often have some anxiety around new people such as instructors.

So…

We are extremely happy to announce that we are launching a parent & child class for those under 3!

Here’s what this class is going to look like, and what the kids will get out of it:

It will start with a warm up. You will be doing this with them, they will run, jump, backward run & jump, log roll, bear crawl, and other basic movement exercises. This is going to teach them gross motor skills, balance, strength and get them used to moving with a group in a structured way.

We will teach them (and you) how todo basic martial arts techniques. We will show them how do basic escapes, takedowns and pins, as well as teaching you how to ensure their safety and how to get them doing it most effectively with you.

They will do “obstacle courses” stressing agility, strength and balance. Picking up medicine balls, vaulting over punching bags, jumping hurdles and balancing on our balance training equipment.

They will play games emphasizing helping each other and interacting with the other kids.

The primary goal of this class is to build gross motor skills, to have fun with your child, to build their confidence and get them used to a structured class environment. We’ve seen the amazing progress some kids in this age group have made watching sibling and occasionally participating for bits and pieces and are very excited to see how they progress with a full class!

So now the important questions…

When does this class take place?

This class takes place from 2:00pm-2:30pm on Mondays & Wednesdays.

What is the cost?

The cost is $69 / month.

What are the ages?

This will be 18-36 months. That said every child develops differently. For our class a couple milestones we’d like to see before they join are running, climbing stairs, kicking a ball, throwing a ball overhand and the ability to follow simple 2 step requests. (ex come here and sit down, take this toy and put it away, go get your ball and bring it here, etc.)

Kids in this program may have the option to advance into our 3-4 year old class a little early if they are showing good progress as well.

Will the parent’s get a workout?

Parents will be active, however the focus will be on the kids. Parent’s will be racing their child, getting up and falling down a fair bit, doing some basic movement exercises with them, etc. But it will not be a intense workout for the parents, but you will be involved and active.

I’m interested, what now?

Go to this page:  http://innovativema.ca/student/signup.php?type=parentchild  to get registered

Birthday Party Price Change

In the last 6-months I’ve personally run well over 50 birthday parties for all ages, 3 year olds to 12 year olds.

Since the summer our birthday parties have exploded… the reason? around that time we made a big change to how we ran birthday’s. Instead of doing what everyone else was doing, providing an hour of fun then leaving the rest to you we decided to do everything. Order the food, provide the plates & napkins, serve the food, include a stuffed pinata for treat bags, take care of all the clean up. Everything.

This seems to have gone over rather well, the kids leave happy and wanting to hold their party with us, the parents have the least stressful party they ever ran, and we have a lot of fun running these parties as well.

100+ Birthday parties later, our parties run like a well oiled machine, not only durring the party, but in getting ready for it.

So after a party the kids leave happy, the parents leave happy and we leave happy.

The truth is we love doing parties, and we feel that are parties are at the top end of the tier. It’s not simply access to a place to play, it’s a structured experience designed to leave the birthday child feeling like a star and leaving with thier confidence through the roof. It’s designed so that the parents simply need to show up with a cake and then sit back, relax and maybe take some pictures without having to worry about if they forgot anything.

So after some thought we decided that everyone that wants a party with us should be able to get one, and that while our experience is worth more then the 299 we charge (we’ve been told we should charge more by people after the party) we are going to lower the price, and hopefully open this experience to a few more people where 299 might have been hard to budget. So effective today, all-inclusive parties are only $247, this might change in the future obviously, but right now,

Chech out this page for full details: http://www.innovativema.ca/school-info/birthday-parties/

Kids and Business

Business is one of those things that is a really relevant and useful skill, but is so often neglected in childhood education.

Kids can greatly benefit from learning basic business skills, and operating micro-businesses.

Learning the value of money, and how it is made are valuable life lessons that will help a lot in the future.

A simple thing like a freezie or Lemonade stand might be the first things to come to mind when it comes to kids and businesses, but there are other options.  That said, let’s look at what skills are necessary for that sort of business.

Inventory, they need to purchase it and prepare it.  Understanding that they can take some amount of money, add value and create more money is a important thing that teaches self-worth.

It also requires a understanding of value.  In order to produce income they have to make sure their costs are lower then their price.

Inventory also costs money, which they may or may not have.  If not then it is a loan that might get them there.  Now a loan should have interest attached to it, as in the real world that’s how it works.  The other thing a loan does is teach long term thinking.  If they borrow $10 for supplies, generate $25, pay back $11 (10 + 10% interest) they have 14 left.  If they reinvest they will make more next time… if they spend it they are stuck paying interest again next time.

Or get creative, buy in at $10 for a equity stake where you get a piece of the profits, however they can buy that stake back later if they want.  Again, delaying spending the money “now” in order to generate more in the future

In addition to basic money skills comes customer service & sales.  Again, hugely valuable skills when they are old enough to enter the workplace and to be able to understand how the service industry works.  Kids are blasted with ads constantly, what happens when they start thinking about those ads, how they work and trying to create their own sign?  I’d encourage them to not just look at their own ads, but to start paying attention to the ads they see and what those ads are attempting to influence.

Does it need to be a food / beverage stand?  Of course not, kids have all sorts of options available to them depending on their age.  Other standard kids jobs like babysitting, yard care, shovelling, dog walking, window washing, car washing, etc. are all options.

But kids are also creative, maybe they can come up with something new?  If they are obsessed with spinners maybe they can make them and sell them?  Maybe they can sell old toys or flip garage sale finds on kijiji? Maybe they can create something entirely unique to them and do something with that?

The next thing to look at is persistency, consistency and adapting.  A one day stand might do a little money.  But if they commit to every Saturday from 11-1 or any other consistent schedule they might start finding repeat customers and referrals.  If they shovel a driveway once that’s good, but if they commit to every snowfall they can get regular customers.  Things build momentum in any business or really any job.  And if things really aren’t working… why? and what ideas do they have to fix it?

Academic education is only part of the picture when it comes to building the skills that a kid will need to crush it as an adult.  If they have a interest in money and business it is never to young to start learning.

btw – if you feel odd taking interest, royalties or renting out your rake and lawnmower to your own child keep in mind the reason, the goal is to teach about money and those sorts of things are important in how money actually works.  Feel free to put it away and give it too them later, or buy them something with it.