Blog Martial Arts

But what about ME!

The trouble the BIG ME can cause your child and 5 tips to tame it

By Marty Callahan

Ego is the sum total of how we see ourselves and having a healthy one is an absolute necessity. It’s imperative that we believe that we are capable of doing good in the world. But if ego is left unchecked it becomes the BIG ME and when that happens look out because trouble is not far behind. ‘What kind of trouble?’ you ask… school trouble, relationship trouble, health trouble, money trouble, work trouble, trouble with the law… you name it. Trouble will follow your child wherever they go and who ever they are with. And it won’t be their fault (that’s what they will tell you) it ‘ill always be someone else’s fault.

So how can you, as the parent, help your child see the need to tame their BIG ME? Here are 5 tips but before you start be prepared for resistance. The BIG ME is fierce and wants to be in charge. So to tame it you must be patient and wait for it to come to you. Teach your child the following:

  1. To get by on as little as possible this will slowly transform their ‘take, take, take’ into ‘give, give, give.’
  2. To ‘fall down on their knees’ every day and thank heaven for what he has in life no matter how small it might be.
  3. To put other people’s needs first. For example, teach them to serve food to a younger sibling or grandparent first before taking food for them selves.
  4. That there is no such thing as perfection and that the way forward is from mistake to mistake.
  5. To accept failure as being a part of success. The batting averages of the best baseball hitters are around .300. This means they fail 7 times out of 10 and yet they are the best.


Marty Callahan has spent his life understanding and improving the lives of students both young and old. His passion led to the founding of Shotokan Karate Leadership School in Santa Rosa, CA in 1981 with a dream to awaken the extraordinary leader in his students. Having inspired, taught, coached, supported, and trained over 15,000 students in 40,000 classes in Santa Rosa, Marty has become Sonoma County’s preeminent martial arts leadership instructor. His students, hundreds of whom have gone on to become leaders in their chosen fields, appreciate his engaging, student centered approach to teaching and they believe you will too.