The Motivator Molecule Boosting Dopamine in Constructive Ways | Trail & Castlegar Martial Arts
ACCESS OUR SCHEDULE
& EXCLUSIVE WEB SPECIALS

Secure your spot and get started today with our EXCLUSIVE offer!

By opting into the web form above you are providing consent for Ignite Martial Arts to send you periodic text messages. Standard rates may apply. You can reply HELP at anytime or learn more. You may opt-out anytime by replying STOP.
Jeff Holm reviewed Ignite Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

I've been a student here for about 6 months now, and I was afraid this was going to be an intimidating experience. Wow was it ever not! The staff are really friendly, and all of the other students are supportive of one another. This is a great place to build up some self esteem, burn off some fat, and meet some new friends!

Pamela Worsnop reviewed Ignite Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

Trail Martial Arts has really built up my children’s self esteem and encouraged them to take leadership roles by using a fun positive environment.

Jessica Hendriksen reviewed Ignite Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

Started doing the fitness kickboxing class in January. Been at it for almost 6 months the and I love it! I have more energy than I have ever had! I've lost fat and built muscle! I love it!

Colleen Dohms Lohner reviewed Ignite Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

Trail Martial Arts is an amazing place. Our whole family is a part of what they do! We have benefited from the programs greatly. The staff are amazing! I highly recommend them!

Emily Kogan-Young reviewed Ignite Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

A really great, intense and fun workout for getting in shape and stress relief!

Keri Peters reviewed Ignite Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

I’m amazed at the progress my child has made in less than a year with her confidence and physical awareness. It’s a great sport and the instructors are awesome with capturing the kids attention and teaching them skills.

Janette Holtzman reviewed Ignite Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

4 of my kids are in the martial arts program so far. They have gained knowledge in physical fitness and defense, skills that will trickle into all aspects of their lives, and developed social skills as well. I can't say enough good things about this program and the instructors that run it! The instructors are patient, encouraging, and take the time to work on individual improvements. The kids are always excited to get to their next level of belt testing, and a recent goal I've heard from one of them is that they are determined to get their black belt. A wonderful goal to have! The instructors put on even more, extra activities that the kids love and the whole family can enjoy. Absolutely love Trail Martial Arts!

Kerilyn Stephens reviewed Ignite Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

My daughter (who is 3) has just begun at Trail Martial Arts and I'm already all in! The staff has been so welcoming and patient with my reluctant ninja and have brought her out of her shell. She told me yesterday that "Josh is my best friend!" An amazing place!

Request Information

Blog

Our latest news & thoughts

The Motivator Molecule Boosting Dopamine in Constructive Ways

Nowadays it seems that children are only interested in their video games, smartphones, and social media platforms. Parents are frustrated with their children’s lack of motivation for and attention to other activities that they are at a loss as to what to do. Therefore, parents often respond by taking devices away and punishing their children. And although this seems like the right approach, it can reduce motivation even more. To truly change children’s behaviors, parents need to understand how to boost dopamine in natural and more positive ways so that children will be propelled into more constructive actions.

When dopamine levels are low, symptoms such as difficulty focusing, and decreased motivation can result, so simply removing devices is not helpful. Dopamine is often referred to as the “motivator molecule” because it causes us to seek out things that produce good feelings. Devices and apps give children an influx of this, so they continue their screen time to keep the boost going. The neural circuitry targeted by varying apps is the same as casinos have been using for years with slot machines. The anticipation of a reward is what keeps us coming back for more. The remarkable factor about dopamine, however, is that it can help modify behavior in a positive way as well.  The good feelings that dopamine produces create motivation, so we can also learn and retain information better.

When given the proper channels, dopamine levels can be boosted, and children can benefit from an increase in more positive goal-directed behaviors. To help enhance dopamine levels naturally, parents can make sure children get adequate sleep and avoid processed foods, sugar, and caffeine. In addition, making sure that children get daily physical exercise is essential. The key to this, however, is to make sure children find activities that are enjoyable to them. By immersing children in an environment that generates a flood of dopamine in more productive ways, children will form more constructive habits, and learning will be supported.

The progressive methods of the SKILLZ Child Development Centers were created with the brain in mind. By implementing techniques in class that trigger students’ dopamine systems, the “dopamine-seeking reward loop” initiates. This generates neural pathways that open students’ motivation to learn and helps them retain knowledge. This game-based learning approach along with applying Teaching SKILLZ such as trickery and intrinsic motivation, keeps students engaged, and having fun. In addition, students are given skill stripes at the end of each class so the anticipation throughout keeps them extrinsically motivated as well. Parents are then able to implement these types of systems at home to reinforce these behaviors even more.

An essential element to increasing children’s dopamine levels naturally is knowledge. When parents and other adults in a child’s life are familiar with the reward pathways of the brain, they can ensure that children get dopamine boosts in the best way possible. By reinforcing the relationship between wanted behaviors and a “feel-good” reward, parents can be confident that children will be more focused, listen better, and be motivated to do their best.