Updating Elf on the Shelf to be positive | American Family Martial Arts

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Angela Clark Tripp reviewed American Family Martial Arts
via Facebook

This place is amazing! As an adult student never having been involved in any type of sports, I was scared. I have been a member almost two months now, and I have gained so much self confidence and many many self defense skills!!! They do not make you feel worthless, unskilled, or unqualified to be there. They welcome you with open arms, are friendly, encouraging, and make you feel like you are the most amazing, talented person in the world every time you walk out of class. I went there looking for friends and ended up gaining a family!!! I would highly recommend this place to anyone! It doesn’t matter your age, athletic ability, or skill level because you go at your own pace. You will get pushed at times only because they see the potential that you don’t, but when you complete the task... it feels amazing! I truly look forward to many more years of growing here!

Elise Hill reviewed American Family Martial Arts
via Facebook

Class was great because we tried new things. My favorite thing yesterday was playing the game and earning my star on my stripe.

Rachel Pantinople reviewed American Family Martial Arts
via Facebook

My son had gained so much self confidence after attending only 4 weeks of classes. His level of respect and discipline continues to increase as his training does. The instructors and staff are great with the kids and go above and beyond to make sure they know your child’s needs.

Amber Navarre Llewellyn reviewed American Family Martial Arts
via Facebook

Great group of folks running this business. My son loves coming to karate here. I've never seen him so excited about anything, and we've tried several sports and activities. Says a lot about AFMA. Very impressed with all of the instructors. They have patience and go the extra mile for those with special needs as well, making it possible for those individuals to participate like everyone else (just from my observations). That's one of the things I love about this place. Highly recommend to anyone wanting to try out karate. They make it a fun environment to learn.

John Buker reviewed American Family Martial Arts
via Facebook

They have the best teachers and, friendly service, and they can go with your schedule.

Pramodin Pradeep reviewed American Family Martial Arts
via Facebook

My son got confidence, overcome shy and is developing leadership qualities. He completed one year at American Family Martial Arts. Now he is in green belt. He loves karate and it's his passion. I recommend other parents also to join their kids to AFMA.

Lauri Liljeberg reviewed American Family Martial Arts
via Facebook

Mr. Foreman thought of an effective way to get the kids to think independently vs. following others. He gave them each different moves in Korean. We also like how he gives pneumonics for them to remember the words and actions. Evidently it's working and our girls are enjoying the classes very much!

Dee Gabrielle reviewed American Family Martial Arts
via Facebook

Visited yesterday! My son will begin lessons Tuesday! We are really excited and everyone there is so nice and they work so well with the kiddos. The instructors seem to really enjoy the kids, while teaching life skills.

Jessika Efferson reviewed American Family Martial Arts
via Facebook

My boys have been members of American Family Martial Arts for the past 3 years. It has been absolutely amazing for them.The instructors are knowledgeable and know how to work with students. The instructors not only make them better martial artists but also better people. My oldest son has special needs. SBN Tullier and Mr. Foreman have been great with him. They are patient when they need to be and understand my son's needs. Since my boys have been taking karate their anxiety level has lowered and their confidence has soared. It has been a pleasure to be part of the AFMA family.

Stacie Crake reviewed American Family Martial Arts
via Facebook

Mon son has gone got almost a year and he loves it. The instructors are greatand really know how to handle the kids. I definitely recommend it for beginners up!

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Our latest news & thoughts

Updating Elf on the Shelf to be positive

Elf Skillz: Your Child Development Elf on the Shelf Solution

Many parents enlist Elf on the Shelf to remind our kids that he/she’s keeping tabs on them and letting Santa know if they should be on the ‘naughty’ or ‘nice’ list…

Although we at American Family Martial Arts appreciate the concept, we’ve put together a cool adaptation to help utilize Elf on the Shelf as another support tool just like our instructors! One of the things we attempt at AFMA is modeling positive behaviors instead of negative ones. Elf on the shelf is “negative” because it is watching a child to see if they are naughty. However, this concept doesn’t align with SKILLZ theories for child development as we believe threats, coercion, and punishments do more harm for behavior modifications, particularly during COVID. Our Elf (called Nigel by the way) focuses on positive skill building.

Here’s how it works:

  • There are 8 Elf SKILLZ.
  • Each night, have the Elf leave a challenge or message alternating through one skill, in order.
  • Rotate through each one 3 times equals 24 days of Elf SKILLZ starting December 1st.

For even more fun and better results, the child can earn 5 points each day they complete the challenge and then the Elf will leave a small gift once they receive 20 points. Gifts can include candy, money, art supplies, etc.

Here are the SKILLZ:

  1. Manners
  2. Kindness
  3. Bravery
  4. Creativity
  5. Self-Control
  6. Loving
  7. Healthiness
  8. Cooperation

The creator of Skillz Worldwide, Melody Johnson, is documenting what she does this year for her son Van! Check it out for inspiration: Elf skillz: making Elf-ing Fun! 

Click here for sample text you can print out as a note from the Elf on the first night.

Click here for a sample challenge targeting a 5 & 6-year old 

Click here for a quick cheat sheet of subtopics for each of the Elf SKILLZ

We hope the ELF SKILLZ inspires you to use this concept in a more positive and productive manner!

Also, be sure to use the hashtag #ElfSkillz if you make posts on your social media pages. Feel free to share with your friends!


At American Family Martial Arts we introduced Nigel the Ninja several years ago. He’s a big hit with the kids during December. When they come into the school, if they find Nigel, their names are entered into a drawing for a cool prize. The hardest thing is getting them to NOT tell everyone where Nigel is!

To learn more about the powerful Skillz child development program that uses elements of martial arts training as the vehicle for growth, or to get your child started at either our Baton Rouge or Prairieville location, click the button below:

American Family Martial Arts
call: 225.272.5425
email: [email protected]
locations in Baton Rouge and Prairieville