Podcast 6: Choose Positive Reinforcement

coffee meme

Welcome to the My Coffee Break Podcast! We're married, black belts, business owners and parent's. In this episode, Maggie and Daniel discuss why you should try to catch your kids doing something right, what it's like to work with their spouse, and our Martial Arts life skill this month: Honesty.

Black Belt Parenting Tip: Use Positive Reinforcement

Tips for using Positive Reinforcement more effectively:

1) Give yourself credit for getting close to the target (pitfall - not giving yourself or your child any credit for anything less than perfect performance)

2) Give your kids healthy treats - not bribes

Examples of healthy treats that work well with kids

  • Praise
  • Smiles
  • Eye contact
  • Hugs
  • Positive words like "great job!" "Wow!" "I'm so proud of you!"
  • Clapping
  • High Fives
  • Dance Party
  • Go for a walk, bike ride, or fun adventure

3) Say "Yes" or other affirmative words and avoid "No" or negative words

  • Say Yes and clarify expectations
  • Give credit for what you/your child has already done
  • Avoid phrases like "way to not be bad" instead shoot for, "I see how you're trying your best!"

4) Positive reinforcement helps your child be more successful because you're looking for them to succeed instead of expecting them to fail

For more on the science and methods of Positive Reinforcement check out Karen Pryor's book Don't Shoot the Dog

Business and Life: Lessons from working with your spouse

  1. Not doing something your way is not the same as doing it the wrong way
  2. Let go of the need to be a Control Enthusiast
  3. When you need to correct or offer feedback, let your partner/spouse save face. Another way we put this is to correct privately. 
  4. If there's not an immediate safety concern, the feedback can probably wait

Life Skill Training in the Martial Arts: Honesty

This month we're focusing on the life skill of honesty in our Martial Arts academy. We wanted to share and discuss some ideas that have stuck out to us after talking about Honesty for a month:

  1.  Honesty isn't just telling the truth
  2. We need to be honest with ourselves
  3. Honesty doesn't require that we be cynical
  4. Be careful what you tell yourself because you might believe the story you tell yourself.
  5. We need to be honest about why we're doing what we're doing and make sure we don't put expectations on an experience that the experience or achievement can't give you
Taekwondosarus Rex Drinks Coffee

Fun with Coffee:

How Coffee Loves us Back from the Harvard Gazette

Stay in touch!

Facebook: @MasterYourselfMartialArts

Twitter: @TitusvilleATA

Instagram: @Mr_Penton and @Pentonator

Subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts, Google Play Music, and find all our episodes online at www.MyCoffeeBreakPodcast.com/episodes


Podcast 5: Being good enough, making tough decisions and training as a black belt

Podcast 5: Being good enough, how to make tough decisions and training as a black belt

In today’s coffee break, we’ll be talking about how to manage risk in your business and your life, how to be a “good enough” parent, and answer a few listener questions about what it means to be a black belt.


Risk and Decision Making:

Maggie and Daniel talk about the choices they had available to them when they decided to take the plunge into small business ownership and buy their taekwondo school.

  • Step 1: Think about the possible outcomes
    • Imagine what the worst case scenario, the best case and the most likely scenerio.
    • Sometimes, we imagine the worst thing happening, but we don’t specify what the worst thing would be. When we imagine what it is, we can decide whether or not we can live with that. Sometimes we only let ourselves think about the best case scenario, but when we accept the full range of possible outcomes, we’re more likely to be okay with our decision.
  • Step 2: Give it a timeline
    • We gave ourselves a year to figure out whether or not we wanted to be small business owners.
  • Step 3: Enjoy the journey!
    • Remember, if something is worth succeeding at, it’s probably worth failing at to.


Things we mentioned: 

Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert


Being a “Good Enough” Parent

Instead of trying to be perfect, try to be present

This segment is largely inspired by Barry Swartz book The Paradox of Choice.

Most parent’s want “the best” for their kids. The best schools, the best parents, the best…But sometimes it can be helpful to consider what is good enough for our kids. It’s okay to have high standards, but also accept that some days you might want to be good enough.



  • Have screen free time with your kids every day - make eye contact, engage with them
  • Your kids aren’t wrong for having needs. And you’re not wrong for needing time to yourself.


Listener Questions:

When in training did you decide you always wanted Martial Arts to be a part of your life?


Winning Feeling from Arnold Schwarzenegger

#1 Reason Why People Fail by Arnold Schwarzenegger


Stay in Touch!

Leave a comment below or visit us on social media

Follow Us 

on Twitter @TitusvilleATA

Facebook @MasterYourselfMartialArts

Instagram @mr_penton and @pentonator

and all of our episodes are available for download on Apple Podcasts, Google Play Music, Subscribe on Android and on our website at www.mycoffeebreakpodcast.com/episodes

Podcast 4: Happy 4th of July

In today's Coffee Break, Maggie and Daniel share a few reasons why we’re grateful to live in America on the 4th of July this year.

Fun Facts: How Coffee Changed the Course of History


Black Belt Business Lesson: Maggie and Daniel discuss why we want to be improving the quality of our problems. Also, their person proverbs:

There are downsides to everything. And there are upsides to everything. 

Black Belt Parenting Tip: Let your children do things that they love regardless of the result.

  • Personal Victory: Highlight and reward effort and improvement for your child.
  • Rewards vs. Benchmarks

Check out these resources on how you can be a better sports parent:




Martial Arts Moment: What it means to us to be a black belt.


Check out Daniel sparring Taekwondosaurus Rex: https://youtu.be/0y8JzOy3i9E


Stay in Touch:

Subscribe to us in Apple Podcasts or Google Play Music or find all of our past episodes online at www.mycoffeebreakpodcast.com/episodes


Podcast 3: Keep it Simple

Episode 3: Keep it simple

Recap from the ATA World Expo

Tips for staying home with your kids while a parent is traveling

1. Get help from friends, family, babysitters

2. Stick to key elements of routine like bedtime, don’t change your meals

3. Bring them back a souvenir 

4. Send a special toy on the trip and take pictures of the toy on the trip

Black Belt Business Tip:  Keep it Simple

People often think that they don’t have to try hard on simple things because they aren’t difficult to do. They key to excellence is to nail the basics every time. 

It’s not hard to do something right once, but it is hard to do it right every time.

  1. Systematize the things you want to get right every time
  2. Keep a beginners mind: even if you’ve done something many times, it’s the first time for someone
  3. Try a check list
    1. Check out Atul Gawande’s book The Checklist Manifesto
    2. Check lists give you better results and take less time


Stay in touch!

Check us out on Facebook: www.Facebook.com/MasterYourselfMartialArts

Twitter: @TitusvilleATA

Instagram: @mr_penton or @pentonator

Email: TitusvilleATA@gmail.com

All of our episodes are available online at www.mycoffeebreakpodcast.com


Our music is Thingamajig by Jason Shaw used through a creative commons license.