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Supporting kids physical development in the face of challenges

Uncategorized Sep 17, 2022

Have you ever had a teacher, coach or mentor that inspired you to the very core? One that cheered you on to achieving your big dreams and goals with the biggest heart, joy and fire?


Each and every day, our team of Pediatric Ninja Specialists, Instructors and Coaches serve our community knowing full well that our purpose is to support, guide and nurture today’s youth in living their best lives!


Proud Ninja Parent, we know you want the absolute best for your child and that you too are cheering them on every step of the way towards achieving sure victory. But what happens when your child encounters a challenge, a mountain in the face of their progress? How can parents be allies to their kiddos when you find them wrestling with doubt in their ability to finish strong?


Step #1: Time for a gut check!


When our children face physical challenges that lead to a question of their ability to keep going, striving towards their next goal and earning the win they...

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School Readiness – What Teachers Really Look For

Uncategorized Sep 02, 2022

When we hear the term “school readiness,” the first thing most people think of is children knowing academic basics that will help them meet the demands of the classroom. And while these cognitive skills are important, teachers feel that skills in the other areas of child development are just as, or more important. Social, emotional, and physical skills are also essential to the success of a child in school. Preparing children this way helps them enter a classroom feeling secure.


Teachers are important in helping develop the whole child, although, their main goal is to teach cognitive skills that will lead to academic success. For that to happen, however, children must possess other development skills in the areas of social, emotional, and physical development. Amy Graham from Charles Darwin University conducted a study and found that 45% of the teachers she interviewed were more concerned with a child’s confidence, independence, and self-regulation skills...

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Punishment vs. Discipline

Uncategorized May 14, 2022


Good behavior is a learning process for children, and we are their roadmap. Children usually behave per their own emotions and impulses. At the same time, being a parent is also a learning process and sometimes we rely on our own emotions and impulses to teach. Usually, that means we divert directly to punishments when a child misbehaves, missing a crucial opportunity to teach them. With that said, I am going to break down how to teach good behavior through discipline vs. punishment. 


Let’s compare the two words and what they really mean:

  •  Punishment – means to inflict pain or suffering as a penalty. 
  •  Discipline – means to teach. 


It’s understandable that we as parents can get very frustrated when a child misbehaves, specifically when they make the same poor behavior choices over and over. At the same time, if we have clear goals to teach good behavior skills, then we can respond better. The better we respond,...

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Quiet Parenting - Stopping the Cycle of Yelling

Uncategorized May 05, 2022

Parenting can be one of the most rewarding responsibilities we ever take on. With that, however, comes the ups and downs of getting children to comply with what we say while being pulled in a thousand different directions. It’s no wonder why parents often resort to yelling when begging and threats are no longer effective. And while yelling is generally the result of needing things done urgently or when the parent feels disrespected, it is unproductive. This approach scares children and makes the parent feel guilty. To more effectively get children to comply, parents should first know their triggers and then plan to parent more calmly.


It’s often difficult for parents to stop and think about the long-term damage yelling may be causing in the heat of the moment. Not only does it model an ineffective conflict resolution strategy to the child, but it also makes everyone feel bad and rarely reduces the behavior. Because children have sensitive nervous systems, yelling...

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Leading by Example - The Power of Self-Care in Parenting

Uncategorized Apr 29, 2022


Parents have always served as the first, and typically, the most important role model for their children, even though family members, teachers, and coaches have a significant impact on a child’s development as well. However, in the wake of the pandemic, these people have had less of a presence in children’s lives which ultimately left parents without the additional support they typically depend on. Combined with the stressors that have come with the pandemic, parental self-care has taken a back burner and bad habits are being observed and learned by children.


The goal of parenting is to raise happy and healthy individuals with strong moral and ethical views and behaviors. For this reason, parents often establish rules for their children to follow, limit exposure to too much media, and work to instill life skills that provide children the tools to be the best version of themselves. But often in times of unrest, parents have difficulty modeling what they...

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Setting Effective Learning Goals In The New Year

Uncategorized Jan 25, 2022

I was dashing through the first big snowfall of the season with my oldest son on holiday and a great story came across the radio waves. A mom herself, the radio host began to tell the story of the orange tree. Unlike some other fruit bearing plants, the orange tree sees the greatest success when it is planted and nurtured in a nursery for the first three years of its life. That’s right! Three years of careful watch, watering, tending to and care before the young tree can even be planted outside!


But it does not stop there, oh no! The tree continues to grow and mature in the great outdoors before reaching its peak at 12-15 years old. At that time, it bears its delicious orange fruit that is ready for us all to enjoy. Isn’t that amazing! Whether a lone farmer or team working together, the care and dedication it takes for those tending to the fragile orange trees, to nurture them to their full maturation is truly a labor of love.


As we all watch our own...

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Health & Wellness Goal Setting for 2022

Uncategorized Jan 01, 2022

“Jingle bell, jingle bell, jingle bell rock! Jingle bells swing and jingle bells ring! Snowin' and blowin' up bushels of fun, now the jingle hop has begun!” ~ Jingle Bell Rock, by Bobby Helms. (Shihan's favorite Christmas song!)

Many of our SKILLZ Strong Ninjas and Proud Ninja Parents are breaking out into their best “Jingle Bell Rock” as the promise of a Ninja-tastic New Year knocks at the door! As 2021 has come to a close, the dawn of the New Year comes with fresh inspiration, motivation and high hopes for conquering great things in 2022!

Whether your goals for the New Year are physical, intellectual, emotional and/or social, there is truly something special and exciting about the blank canvas of the next 365 days before us, all about to be filled in with the colorful, precious moments of living and loving to the fullest!

As we consider how our fresh canvas will look in the New Year, there is no denying the importance and power of caring for the mind, body...

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The Secret to Developing Well-Rounded Athletes

Uncategorized Nov 11, 2021

Over the last year, sports programs have had shortened seasons, if any at all. Because of that, training time for athletes of all ages has dropped significantly. Now, with sports returning to a more normal duration, young athletes are working hard to regain lost skills and recondition their bodies. The problem, however, is that lengthy breaks increase the risk of injury upon returning to training. In addition, when athletes specialize in a sport, they generally only train muscles for that sport. To be truly at the top of their game, young athletes should engage in training that develops all muscle groups through a system designed to meet their athletic and developmental needs.


When athletes are on an extended break from their sport, their body deconditions, and they lose cardiovascular power, muscle strength, speed and agility, and other skills. As we generally see, after a “normal” break, athletes go back into training at a high level which usually increases...

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Tips on Bullying

Uncategorized Oct 18, 2021

Tips on Bullying


One of the biggest concerns from parents during the back-to-school season is bullying. Some 160,000 kids skip school every day because they fear of being attacked or ridiculed by bullies. The good news is that these disturbing statistics can be limited with the proper education.


As an educator that has worked with hundreds of children on anti-bullying strategies, I have found that the most important skill a child should have when dealing with bullies is confidence.  No matter what you teach a child, it will not be effective without the confidence to put the lessons into action. Children that fall victim to bullies usually are targets because they lack the confidence to stand up for themselves. Therefore, it is very important that you begin instilling confidence within your child if you want him or her to effectively handle bullying.


Here are a few tips on how you can build confidence within your child:


Make sure that you are a good...

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Childhood Fears - Developmental Expectations

Uncategorized Oct 05, 2021

Children of all ages have fears, from babies to teens. And whether these fears are from real or imaginary places, they are nonetheless scary. Since our brains are wired to protect us, fears are a normal part of a child's development. Children will eventually outgrow fears but being knowledgeable about what fears are more common at certain ages will help parents navigate their children through them in the healthiest and most successful way. Having a plan to help children build bravery regarding their fears will help them learn to self-regulate and face other anxiety-producing events straight on.


When we think of fear, we generally consider it to be a bad thing. However, some fear is okay and can help children be cautious and set limits for themselves. But when fear begins to limit a child's ability to participate in normal daily activities and is persistent or overly intense, intervention with a professional may be needed. Normal developmental fears for infants are things such...

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