For Immediate Release
a review copy or an author interview,
please contact Ian Hafner (734) 994-0333
Art of Building Rock-Solid Kids.
Karate Master and “Capable Kid Builder” Keith Hafner
has written a compelling new book that provides a step-by-step plan
helping parents get back to the basics.
Ann Arbor, MI (November
2001) —Here’s a quick quiz for parents.
What is the most important resource our nation—indeed, our entire
world—possesses? Did you answer energy? Food? Monetary wealth?
Healthcare? Schools? Military might? Though all of these are
important for any healthy society, the correct answer is much simpler,
and it ultimately allows for the existence of everything else on
the list. Children are our most precious resource. Now, ask
yourself one more question: how are you raising yours?
We all want our
children to grow up healthy, happy, and confident. Problem is, there
are so many conflicting parenting theories out there that people
are more than a little confused. Too many of us effectively throw
up our hands and leave the job to schools, psychologists and medication.
But Keith Hafner—author of the new book How To Build Rock-Solid
Kids: 12 Proven Foundation Stones Every Kid Needs For A Rock-Solid
Future—says every parent has what it takes to raise strong,
“Good parenting requires
hard work, love and dedication, but it’s not rocket science,” he
asserts. “In fact, it’s brilliantly simple. All you have to do is
ignore the trends and get back to the basics. The best child-rearing
strategies are universal and timeless. They worked 100 years ago,
they’ll work 100 years from now. These strategies are not hypothetical.
They are proven. I have used them all my life in my work with kids
and have seen wonderful results.”
has worked with many, many kids. Besides being a father of two himself—not
to mention a writer, consultant and lecturer—he is a Karate Master
and owner of the #1 ranked martial arts school in the nation. Around
800 students are currently enrolled in Keith Hafner’s Karate, located
in Ann Arbor, MI, and some 10,000 have attended the school during
the past 22 years.
Known by countless
pleased parents as “Keith, The Capable Kid Builder,” Hafner has
established a curriculum that emphasizes character development as
strongly as it does self-defense and physical fitness. It’s the
“character” part of his mission that earned him his affectionate
nickname—and that sparked the book that’s selling briskly, both
inside and outside the Karate world.
How To Build Rock-Solid Kids is not a martial
arts book, nor does it require that its readers have any knowledge
of or interest in the subject. Rather, it is a guidebook for parents
who want to take an active role in raising their children’s self-esteem.
It details the twelve skills and values that must be instilled in
kids if they are to grow up “rock solid. These 12 Foundation Stones
• Physical Fitness
• Spiritual Development
• Positive Outlook
See tip sheet for more information on the 12 Foundation Stones)
essays on why each character trait is so critical, Hafner has included
a “workbook” section at the end of each chapter. It offers a wealth
of tips, tools and weekly exercises parents can use for the most
important “construction project” of their lives. You’re encouraged
to think deeply about your child’s strengths and weaknesses in each
area, and to write down your observations. Then, after doing the
exercises with your child (and often, rethinking the example you
are setting), you can track his or her progress.
Parents who want to learn more about Hafner—both
his Karate school and his philosophy for building healthy, happy,
capable kids—can visit www.karateisgoodforyou.com.
Once there, they may download a FREE REPORT that offers tips for
helping kids develop three of the “Foundation Stones”: physical
fitness, self-control and confidence. (This report is the first
in a 4-part series that will be available during the upcoming year.)
All of Hafner’s
advice—dispensed through his Web site, his book, his consulting
career—reflects his sincere and lifelong desire to remind us how
precious our kids really are, and how important it is to bring them
“As I reiterate throughout
my book, you can’t not teach your child,” says Hafner. “He
or she learns something from everything you do, and everything you
don’t do. So please, make an effort to teach your kids what
they really need to know! And by the way, these 12 foundation stones
are especially important in times like these. America and the whole
world need rock-solid citizens . . . nothing less than our future
is at stake.”
Hafner owns and operates the #1 ranked martial-arts school in the nation.
Every year, his school is visited by hundreds of martial arts teachers
and owners, from coast to coast. Master Hafner’s system uses the
martial arts to teach children real life skills, not just self defense.
And not just teach about those skills, but a program that motivates
the student to use those skills in daily living and for pursuing
a biweekly newsletter called “The Rock Solid Kids Newsletter.” He
offers consulting services and speaking engagements through his
“Capable Kids Construction Company.” For more information, call
734-999-0333 or visit www.karateisgoodforyou.com.
Foundation Stones For Building Rock-Solid Kids.
from How To Build Rock-Solid Kids: 12 Proven Foundation Stones
Every Kid Needs For A Rock-Solid Future, by Keith Hafner.
• Foundation Stone One: Physical Fitness—Jump-start
your child’s physical fitness efforts.
you take care of your body, it should serve you for about 100 years.
If you neglect your health, you will be a mess by age 30. Children
must be taught that a fit, healthy lifestyle is the accumulation
of good habits. There are three components to a physical fitness
program: exercise, nutrition, and hygiene and grooming. All three
areas must be addressed if your children are to have the fit, healthy
lifestyle they deserve.
• Foundation Stone Two: Self-Control—How your child
learns to “self-manage” his or her own actions.
If you don’t establish boundaries, or if you establish boundaries
and are not consistent in enforcing them, you make it very hard
for your child to learn self control. Children get the idea that
boundaries are flimsy or flexible. So when Mom and Dad say “no,”
it really means “maybe yes.” As a result, parents end up teaching
their children to disobey! And the next time they’re going to go
a little bit farther. They’re going to push a little bit harder.
And once that process starts, it is very difficult to stop.
Foundation Stone Three: Focus—Teach your child to pay attention and block out distractions.
It is the long-term pursuit of a subject matter that is valuable.
Many parents today want their kids to experience as many things
as possible. They want their kids well-rounded. Problem is, the
kids never pursue any one subject in depth. These children jump
from activity to activity, never really scratching the surface,
never finding the personal benefit that comes from focused study.
Foundation Stone Four: Respect—Who does your child respect, and why should he respect them?
You earn respect in the same measure that you give
respect. A disrespectful child hurts himself more than he hurts
anybody. Because he gets no respect, he turns that attitude inward,
toward himself. He starts to see himself as a person who doesn’t
deserve respect. With low self-respect, a child will “sell” himself
cheaply. He will never learn to hold himself to a high standard
of conduct. He will tolerate all types of abusive treatment, because
he has no sense of self-worth.
Foundation Stone Five: Confidence—Empower your child with unstoppable self-confidence.
One great way to develop your child’s confidence is to help
her become an expert in a particular area. Everybody knows that
if you are good at something, you become confident in that thing.
Most people don’t know, however, that a child’s confidence in one
area spills over into others. It doesn’t really matter which area
of study you pick.
could be sports, a hobby, Martial Arts, music or scouts. What is
important is that you guide your child into an extended commitment
to a specific area.
Foundation Stone Six: Spiritual Development—Help
your child develop and maintain a real relationship with God.
Today, most of us believe that absolutes—wrong and right—do
not exist. Yet these absolutes, in fact, come with dire consequences.
So our kids don’t know the price they pay when they choose to disobey
these absolutes. With no absolutes, we end up teaching our kids
about a “gray” area between black and white. They are free to define
and choose their own sense of right and wrong. That may be. However,
they are not free to choose the consequences of their choice. Now
you know why God insists that we learn (and obey) the absolutes
of correct moral behavior.
Foundation Stone Seven: Honesty—Teach your child trust building and emotional honesty.
Honesty is more than simply avoiding lies. It includes a
belief in, and a pursuit of, the truth. To develop a positive self-image,
to have healthy relationships with other people, honesty must be
present. Honesty is a sure sign of healthy self-esteem. Why? Because
an honest person takes responsibility for his actions. He feels
good about himself, and has no need to resort to deception.
Foundation Stone Eight: Courage—Help your child move outside the “comfort zone.”
If a person is constantly afraid, he feels less and less
able to deal with his surroundings. Instead of experiencing growth,
he shrinks. He moves from situation to situation inside an ever-shrinking
comfort zone. The most important reason for your child to develop
courage is that it determines how much freedom he or she will experience.
Fear will hold your child back. It will prevent him from trying
new things, from pursuing meaningful opportunities, and from living
the life he was meant to live.
Foundation Stone Nine: Contribution—Teach your child the joy of giving.
Teach your child the law of abundance, that there is
enough for everybody. Enough time, love, opportunity, and resource.
This important belief will make it easy for her to be a person who
contributes. Life rewards you in direct proportion to your ability
to contribute. It also requires that you contribute first. You must
plant the seed before you can harvest the crop.
Foundation Stone Ten: Positive Outlook—Paint
a bright future for your child.
As parents, your words are very powerful. Your young child
takes everything you say as truth. If you tell your three-year-old
son that . . . he’s bad . . . he’ll not enjoy school . . . he’s
not kind . . . he doesn’t have the skills to be popular . . . Guess
what? He’ll grow up expecting these words to be true. On the other
hand, if you tell him he is smart, good, and fun to be around, he
will grow up expecting that to be true. And we build our own reality
by what we expect.
Foundation Stone Eleven: Responsibility—Empower
your child to “pay her own way.”
Teaching your child to be responsible takes time and attention
from you. Every bit of responsibility you give your child has to
come with a tremendous amount of instruction and supervision. You
must be prepared to teach, remind and inspect —over and over, a
zillion times. What’s more, you must be prepared to do this without
becoming frustrated or resentful.
Foundation Stone Twelve: Persistence—Help
your child develop the “I will persist until I succeed” attitude.
Remember what Calvin Coolidge, President of the United States,
said: “Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent
will not; nothing is more common that unsuccessful men with talent.
Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education
will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and
determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan ‘press on’ has solved
and always will solve the problems of the human race.”
more information on How To Build Rock-Solid Kids or to interview
Capable Kid Builder, Keith Hafner, please contact Dottie DeHart
at (828) 459-9637 or via e-mail at DSDeHart@aol.com
Free Report #1
Transform Your “Couch Potato”
Into A Rock Solid, Confident Kid!—A New Year’s Resolution You and
Your Child Can Work On Together!
By Keith Hafner
Attention, parents of budding “couch potatoes!”
It’s time to give some serious thought to your child’s physical
fitness. Generally speaking, a strong spirit begins with a strong
body. “Begins” is the operative word. Once your child has experienced
the joy and freedom of vibrant physical health, he or she will be
better equipped and motivated to develop all the character
traits necessary for a “rock-solid” future. Isn’t that what we all
want for our children?
It’s with this mindset that I extend my
first Free Report in a series of four, all based on the “12 Foundation
Stones” discussed in my book How To Raise Rock-Solid Kids.
I want to address the three qualities that I believe form the “foundation
of the foundation,” so to speak: physical fitness, self-control
and confidence. They all relate to
your child’s “physical” aspect—and with 2002 right
around the corner, this is a great time to kick off the most worthwhile
New Year’s Resolution of your life . . . building healthy, happy,
Physical Fitness: Put the “back yard” back in
We are all physical beings. This is especially
true of kids, who are born to run, jump, catch, throw, climb trees,
and generally amaze the rest of us with their boundless energy!
So why are so many of them vegetating in front of the TV, often
with a bag of high-fat, nutrient-free chips on their ever-expanding
laps? It’s time to get your little couch potato off the couch and
into a fitness routine!
Your child needs to exercise. This
is true even if (or maybe especially if) he or she is uncomfortable
in team sports. Don’t think of physical fitness as something reserved
for “athletic” kids—even the quietest, most studious “bookworm”
should be equipped with a healthy heart rate, good muscle tone and
plenty of stamina!
Help your child find
an aerobic exercise that he or she will enjoy doing three times
a week for 30 to 60 minutes. Walking, hiking, bike-riding, swimming—all
are good options. Make these sessions a family priority! Yes, you
may need to exercise with your child. Part of being a “rock-solid”
parent is setting a good example.
You must make this fitness session fun
for your child if you want him or her to make it a lifelong habit.
That means using positive reinforcement, not coming across
as a drill sergeant. Kids always gravitate toward approval. Look
for the one little glimmer of positive effort, every approximation
of success, and pounce on it!
It’s hard to start an exercise program
and you can expect your child to resist. But if you start slowly,
remain consistent and gradually increase the intensity of the exercise,
you will soon see a payoff for your efforts—a fit, healthy child!
Though I am no nutrition expert, I would
be remiss in not mentioning the subject. Eating the right foods
is just as important as exercise! And it’s really pretty simple.
Here are the basics:
• Make sure your child has a balance of
the four basic food groups: proteins, carbohydrates, fats and sugars.
• Consult a calorie chart to find the
correct intake level based on your child’s age and weight. Stick
to this limit in your meal preparation.
• No more than 1/3 of your child’s calories
should come from fat. Just read food labels to get this information.
• Most kids (and adults) are seriously
dehydrated. Eight to 10 glasses of water per day are necessary.
Juice, soda, milk and other beverages don’t count!
• Give your child a good-quality multiple
vitamin every day to make up for any nutritional shortfalls.
Don’t overhaul the whole family’s diet
overnight. A slow transition is more conducive to success. Begin
substituting low-fat, low calorie alternatives to the less-than-healthful
foods you’re eating now. Gradually increase the amount of fresh
fruits and vegetables in your family’s diet. And, oh yes—pack a
good lunch for your child. School lunches are a nutritional nightmare!
Self-Control: Without this, you can forget
about mastering any other skill.
You may be wondering why I consider self-control
a “physical” quality. The answer is simple: developing this Foundation
Stone begins with the control of one’s own body. Every baby learns
pretty much on her own to move her limbs, raise her head, roll over,
crawl and finally, walk. Later, when it’s time for her to learn
to control her actions and behaviors, her parents must take charge.
But it all comes back to the body.
I am going to give you a couple of exercises
that you can use to help your child develop self-control. But first,
I want to discuss why this quality is so important. Simply put,
if your child does not learn self-control, she will have a very
difficult time in adulthood. At best, she will spin her wheels and
be unable to achieve anything of value. At worst, someone will move
in and establish control over her.
The three principles of instilling self-control
in your child are: 1) establish clear rules and boundaries; 2) make
sure there are natural, logical consequences for not respecting
those boundaries; and 3) have consistent follow-up . . . a zillion,
million times if that’s what it takes!
When you tell your child not to do something,
mean it. If she steps across the boundary, immediately move her
back inside. Do not think, I’ll let her get away
with it just this once. If you do, you are teaching your
child to disobey! Your child will test these boundaries,
you can count on it. That’s what children do. It’s your job to enforce
these boundaries, no matter how difficult, tiring and frustrating
the process is.
Here are two exercises for helping kids learn
The “Sit Still” Technique. Sit with your small child and say, “Megan, let’s work on your
self-control. Let’s try to sit completely still for one minute.”
Then, provide positive feedback. Do at least three sessions a week
for at least a month, gradually increasing the “sitting still” time.
This is a simple technique, but it works wonders. Once you’ve instilled
this ability in your child, you can use it any time you see her
in a situation in which she seems to be losing control. (See why
self-control is physical in nature?)
The “Expanding Boundaries” Technique.
Pinpoint three rules or boundaries that you absolutely insist upon.
Talk to your child about why these rules are important. Explain
to him that if he stays inside these boundaries, they will expand.
For instance, if curfew is 7:00 and your child respects that curfew,
it will eventually be changed to 7:30. Thus, your child learns the
benefits of self-control by experiencing them firsthand.
Confidence: Empower your child with unstoppable
Here’s some good news:
children are born with confidence. Have you ever asked a five-year-old
what she wants to be when she grows up? Kids always want to be the
most incredible things: astronauts, professional athletes, doctors,
celebrities. But something happens over the next few years. Your
child loses his confidence and scales back his expectations. Not
surprising, when you consider the negative world we live in.
So how can you restore the confidence
that is your child’s birthright? I could write a book on this subject,
but I will try to stick with a few basics! At its heart, confidence
is a physical skill. The way a person holds his body, the way he
walks, the way he speaks—all of these reveal his level of confidence.
Conversely, practicing confident body language actually creates
confidence! Did you know that 54% of how we feel comes from what
we are doing with our bodies?
Here are three ways your child can learn
the “body language” of confidence:
• Stand up straight.
Work with your child on maintaining an upright posture. Lift the
sternum, pull the shoulders back, keep the head held high. Practice
standing, walking and sitting with this posture of confidence.
• Make eye contact.
Teach your child to squarely face people when speaking, and to make
brief, but direct eye contact. Have him start practicing this with
you, then move on to making eye contact with other people he meets.
It may be uncomfortable for him at first, but it’s a huge part of
• Speak up! Teach
your child that when speaking, he should use deep breathing, and
speak from deep within his chest (rather than from high in the throat).
He should keep a lot of air in his lungs. Some kids also need to
slow a little when speaking.
body language isn’t the entire solution. Teaching your child confidence
also requires that he move outside his comfort zone. You must be
the one to challenge him with new experiences, so that his comfort
zone will expand. Here’s how:
A child’s lack of confidence will usually manifest itself most clearly
in one or two areas. Try to isolate the situations that make your
child uncomfortable. Does he get involved in physical activity?
Academic pursuits? Social situations?
Define what a small step would be. For example, your child might
lack confidence in social situations. To develop his confidence,
a small step might be to introduce himself to a person he doesn’t
know very well. If you are focusing on athletics, it might be to
take part in a soccer game during recess.
3). Make a
plan. Decide what needs to be done. Practice, role play, and rehearse
at home—before your child actually tries to perform these skills
in a real situation. Do this as often as it takes for your child
to feel comfortable.
Execute the plan. Provide all the encouragement and support you
Review what happened and adjust accordingly. If he gets great results,
move onto the next challenge. If he has a setback, that’s okay!
Just re-train, and start again.
parents, can you see how these three qualities—physical fitness,
self-control and self-confidence—work together? Help your child
master them and he or she will be well on the way to a happy, healthy,
confident life. Of course, there are still nine other Foundation
Stones to discuss, and we will get to them later. Just check back
here periodically for my next Free Report. Meanwhile, I wish you
the best of luck in getting 2002 off to a rock-solid start!
Solid Kid Builder