The 4 Goals of Negative Behavior That Undermines Our Peace

Understanding the goals of any behavior that creates conflict will help us to understand the motivation of the ‘acting out of these goals’. All behaviors that create conflict are trying to fill a need with one of the following four goals or strategies to fill that need:water conflict

  1. Attention
  2. Power struggle
  3. Revenge
  4. Learned helplessness

Each goal reflects a lack of emotional awareness. At any certain age or set of circumstances we can easily understand how this can get started. We can understand how a child needs attention, or may have a need for more power or has learned to take revenge or even to play the helpless card. But our goal is to look at this negative behavior and how it undermines our peace and the peace of the family and find ways to make changes in our behavior. Making those changes in our behavior will help us to decrease our stress, empower us as individuals and control our anger.

Helping our children as they grow up to (1) identify their emotional needs, (2) name them and (3) ask for what they need will help them to grow up in a more balanced way. If we do not help them overcome these strategies for getting their needs filled, they will certainly grow up rather dysfunctional with continuous attention seeking, competitive and abusive power struggles, holding on to grudges and looking for revenge at all cost, or passive aggression with oneself or hostility towards others.

Creating peace in our homes is about being aware of our thoughts and actions and understanding the consequences of those actions. The Balanced Life Skills Way is helping the community to see that peace is possible.

Holiday Gift Card Collection — Crunch Time!

Very recently, Balanced Life Skills has been contacted by two local Anne Arundel County Schools to support SIXTY homeless students this holiday season. BLS is proud to be recognized by local schools as a community of students and families that give & serve!

$40 in gift cards per student in the next TWO WEEKS.
Due Date: Monday, December 16th by 5:00 pm


Purchase an extra $5, 10, 15, 20, or 25 gift card the next time you’re out getting gas, grocery shopping, or picking up presents from the following places:

Visa Gift Cards
American Express Gift Cards
Westfield Annapolis Mall Gift Cards
Various Teenage Clothing Department Stores


The schools have presented us with a large task and a short amount of time, but it’s The Balanced Life Skills Way to accept a challenge by asking, “what’s great about this?”

We can practice time management, the spirit of giving, and change the holiday for a teen in need by contributing to Balanced Life Skills’ 2013 Gift Card Collection

Balanced Life Skills 10th Anniversary

Balanced Life Skills 10th Anniversary celebrated with Mr. Tony’s First Degree Test

Tony 4024 smallOn Friday October 25, Balanced Life Skills hosted Mr. Tony for his First Degree Belt Test. It was a great evening and we will be posting some of the video from the test at later dates. In addition though I was surprised by another celebration that I was not aware was taking place.

Ms. Ariel and others got together and created a picture book depicting our last 10 years of Balanced Life Skills. On November 3, 2003 – Balanced Life Skills was born. It’s start was in a very small room shared with stationary bikes. Each day the mats were placed and picked up. At the beginning there were just a couple of students in each class. We have grown from there to our present location on Gibralter Avenue.

The goal and mission of Balanced Life Skills has always been to provide great training in the martial arts, and to supplement that with character building and community service. While physical self defense is an important confidence builder, it certainly is not the only kind of defense we must be able to display. In fact very few of us will be attacked by someone we do not know physically – but virtually all of us will be threatened with conflict with others, anger issues or an issue with our diet. All of this kind of education is SELF DEFENSE.

This year we are announcing the forming of Balanced Life Skills Way. This will be online curriculum, personal workshops, personal coaching in all kinds of subjects that make up a way of living. Primarily they will be for parents and children / young adults. They will include subjects ranging from anger management to time management. They will help young people learn to write resumes and be interviewed for college or a job. In the next few years I see this program having an impact on all of those that take part. We talk about and train these skills in our classes – but now is time to make them available to others.

Thank you to everyone that has made Balanced Life Skills the school it is today and we look forward to more collaboration of experts helping us cultivate compassion, awareness and respect in every child and family resulting in well rounded Community Ambassadors.

Teaching Listening Skills Builds Peace in the Family and Classroom

All parents and teachers must believe that the work they are doing with their children and students will create the qualities that we value the most. You might ask yourself, “What qualities do I value the most in my own life and how am I teaching my children these values?”  In my own experience I believe that we will never change the personality of our children but our mission as parents and teachers is to pass on to our children values, morals and ethics.

At Balanced Life Skills we value compassion, awareness and respect. I believe that if we can become aware of our affect on situations and others, if we are mindful of our affect we can then demonstrate compassion and respect. As we follow through on these, we will be building peace, in ourselves, our community and the world.

Learning to listen, actively listen, is one of the cornerstones to building awareness, compassion and respect. Teaching good listening skills begins with us modeling active listening skills. Here are a few tips in good listening:

  • Listen without interrupting a child
  • Suspend your own thoughts
  • Empathize with what is being said
  • Non verbal language by nodding, leaning in to the speaker
  • Avoid looking around (or at your phone / computer)

If you’re a teacher with a large class of students you may want to have a sign that indicates that you need their attention, along with the words “Please look at me” or something similar. Teach your students if they are addressing the class, to use the same words and signs to gain the classes attention. This empowers the student speaking and the feelings of respect are being developed.

In the coming weeks look for our curriculum on Listening Skills as a part of the Balanced Life Skills Way for all of our students.

Charity Demonstrates: Compassion, Awareness & Respect

The Balanced Life Skills Way is “Compassion, Awareness & Respect”. Our focus this month is on the concept and action of Charity. How does Charity demonstrate each of these “Ways”?


Charity & Compassion – Charity is about giving to those in need without expecting anything in return.  When we see a situation that is difficult, compassion calls on us, tugs at our heart and looks for ways to help.  It may not always be another person.  We can have compassion for animals, situations, the environment or an emergency.  Our compassion may be based on fairness or justice or it may be a recognition of our inter – dependance that we have with each other when we feel the suffering of another.  Developing compassion is related to empathy and having an understanding of what another may be going through.

Charity & Awareness – Charity like many other parts of our life begins with Awareness.  If we are not aware of a difficult situation we will never be moved to act with compassion.  As an example we may not be aware of the hunger going on in the world, or of the cruelty to animals that might be taking place or the violence against women in certain cultures.  Until we are aware and especially if we are aware on a personal level – like we have seen it with our own eyes or held the children in an orphanage, it is difficult to be compassionate and charitable.

Charity & Respect – Charity is about respect for life and the environment.  Being able to get rid of our egos, to be able to treat others the way we would want to be treated and the way they would like to be treated.  Respect is not condescending nor does it allow for an attitude of superiority when we are giving.

Charity, our ability and actions of giving to those who are in need, begins at home with our own parents and siblings first, with an awareness of their needs, compassion for their feelings and respect for their rights.  It is the Balanced Life Skills Way.