"My kid's lazy."

You are correct in recognizing that 5 and 6 year old children can and should show a sense of wanting to accomplish things, whether chores, learning or anything worthwhile.

But when they don't, parental panic can hit.  After reminding - then threatening - and still things aren't done or rules aren't followed, it's time to discover positive strategies for nurturing intrinsic motivation in your child.

At Life Martial Arts Center, we guide 5 and 6 year olds to build stronger intrinsic motivation through giving choices within drills.  This simple sense of ownership is powerful.

There are three ways a child's pride of ownership may manifest itself:

  1. Autonomy - your child recognizes permission to choose what is important to them exists.
  2. Mastery - they want to become good at something so they pay attention and practice it.
  3. Purpose - the idea is important to them.

Some children seem to consistently be motivated to make good choices, to stay focused on positive things, without prompting from parents, teachers, or martial arts instructors.  (I have a daughter who, from the toddler stage of development to now an adult, has shown an extraordinarily strong intrinsic motivation to accomplish anything she wants.  I'd love to take credit but can't, really.)

How does intrinsic motivation, and the strategies to build this skill, affect your child's brain?

The BASIC Skillz kids anticipate the reward of successful accomplishment and this excited state releases dopamine in our brains. This neurotransmitter plays a role in how we experience pleasure.  We use these choices and their positive effect on the brain to help a student build intrinsic motivation, attention skills, learning, and many other healthy benefits (1).

So, if you're watching our class, and hear kids confidently making choices, remember we're teaching kids the way they learn.  They're learning to take ownership in a positive way.


(1)  WebMD, What Is Dopamine?

(2)  freepik.com, Brain Graphic


When is it most fascinating to see a group of kids laser-focused?  When it's your child in that group, growing to their greatest potential!  If you're interested in an activity for you or your child to grow physically, intellectually, emotionally, and socially, then reach out to us about our child development classes.

We're passionate about what we train and teach!  We'd love to talk with you about your goals.



BASIC Skillz Martial Arts

Age-Specific Child Development

Ages 5 To 6 Years Old