Preparing Children to Return to School - A Developmental Approach

Uncategorized Jul 23, 2020

As we continue through the current pandemic and re-opening efforts show real challenges, school districts everywhere are trying to devise the best plans for children, teachers, and staff to return. And while there will be no perfect solution for each family, parents must consider all the information and choose the option that works best for their families. But whether you want the in-person school option or the digital learning option, taking time to prepare children for a return to learning is essential.

 

The typical end of the summer blues that children experience before going back to school will, this year, be exacerbated by the extended time at home with minimal routines in place. We are all trying to deal with the day to day changes and strong emotions that go along with that. Since there is so much uncertainty, many parents feel apprehensive about making the wrong decisions, and children feel it. However, we must find a way not to completely dwell on the situation while...

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Summer Brain Gains – Helping Children Prevent the Summer Slide

Uncategorized Jul 15, 2020

For years, parents and children have been faced with the dreaded summer slide, a time when the school year ends and summer learning loss begins. And as if it wasn’t detrimental enough in its own rights, this year the summer slide has been accelerated by the COVID slide and trauma related to the pandemic. The reality of this is that children’s cognitive performance has decreased earlier than usual. To counteract this, it’s essential that children have access to a summer program that fosters brain development while also keeping health and safety top of mind.

 

For most children, actual learning of new information abruptly ended and school districts did their best to put something into place to aid in finishing out the year. However, even with the most well-intended efforts, children just weren’t getting out of school what they typically do. Coupled with the stress of complete routine changes and minimal social interactions, children’s enthusiasm, for...

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Super-Charge Your Child’s Development During the Summer

Uncategorized Jul 01, 2020

As the world continues its reopening efforts, more and more parents are headed back to work. And while this is a positive sign, it leaves parents with the task of finding their children a fun, yet safe, program to spend each day at. Since summer camps are unable to provide some of the usual daily activities due to the current restrictions, finding a program that has a creative approach to its curriculum is important. In addition, a program that can help propel children in a forward direction again when it comes to their overall development is essential.

 

Normally children are now just beginning to feel the effects of the summer slide. However, the pandemic forced the slide to hit earlier, leaving parents to fill in the gaps of their child’s development in all areas. People and programs that they usually relied on for help were taken away, which left parents to do it all on their own. Even with the most well-intended efforts on the parent’s part to keep children on...

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Listening Beyond Words: The Key to Deeper Human Connection

In today's world, there is an overgrowing focus on “me” and less on “us.” This “all-about-me” emphasis has led to a lack of empathy, which, in turn, results in more and more conflict. The primary reason for this…people do not listen. Their focus is on their own agenda, and they are not open to really listening to others’ thoughts and feelings. And while we have personal rights, we also have a moral responsibility to be kind humans. Early on, teaching children the importance of empathic listening is an invaluable life skill that can change human interactions positively.

Communication is an essential skill to have, and while children are taught to talk and write, listening is only addressed to get children to follow directions. When we talk to others, our biggest need is to feel understood. The problem is that most people only listen with the intent to reply. They have essentially already made up their mind about what we mean and...

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Supporting Children’s Emotional Needs During the Pandemic Part 2

Uncategorized Jun 12, 2020

We are all human and our responses to our current situation vary. Some have hunkered down and sorted through their new reality in a way that has motivated them to complete tasks and put new goals in place. Others have become increasingly overwhelmed and feel like they have no control over their lives at all. It’s important to note, however that there is not a right or wrong way to respond to what we have been presented with. It solely depends on each individual person and how they cope. And as parents are working to navigate their own emotions, they must also help their children manage their feelings.

 

When parents normalize feelings and show empathy, children are more receptive to creative ways to manage the current situation. Helping children establish behaviors that will meet their emotional needs while also giving them more balance in their daily schedule is important. What parents can do is begin implementing the last four, of eight, parent tips to support their...

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Nurturing Children’s Social Development During the Pandemic

Uncategorized May 22, 2020

For the past two months, we have been asked to socially distance ourselves from others in order to stop the spread of COVID-19. We’ve put most of our “normal” daily living routines on pause and created a secluded environment for ourselves and our children. And while many things are in a holding pattern, one thing that has not taken a break is children’s development. And yes, we are living in unparalleled times but as the world begins the “re-opening” effort, we must prepare ourselves and our children for what our social lives will look like moving forward.

Children’s social development is being impacted with the guidelines surrounding social distancing. They are no longer able to attend school and interact with their teachers and friends and most parents are also limiting their children’s time spent going on errands as well. Therefore, their ability to interact with others is limited. And what’s worse is that many people...

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Supporting Children’s Emotional Needs During the Pandemic Part 1

As the pandemic carries on, our coping skills are starting to unravel. For many people, this has become the ultimate emotional test. As we continue to maintain our distance from each other, not only have our social lives been halted, but our emotional support is wavering as well. And while we have been living this reality for some time, it is not getting any easier. In fact, it is getting a bit harder, especially for children. In order to mitigate this emotional imbalance, it is important to put things into place to help them feel more stable.

 

Understanding that feelings and responses to the same pandemic are going to vary from person to person is important. Parents need to take time to reassure their children that all emotions are okay and that what they are feeling is normal. There is no right way to cope. What parents can do is begin implementing the first four, of eight, parent tips to support their children’s emotional development during this time.

 

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Boredom – An Essential Ingredient for Creativity

Remember when you wished the weekend would last forever? As weeks of the “shelter in place” order have passed, the eagerness for some “time off” has lost its spark. Children’s boredom is growing day by day and will continue, especially as many schools will be ending the school year earlier than normal. The rising monotony of each day brings about an increase in technology use to keep children occupied. What they should be doing, however, is embracing the boredom and allowing their creative juices to flow.

When we are bored, we are more likely to engage in “sensation seeking.” A study in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology states that boredom causes us to look for activities to stimulate the reward centers of the brain. Since using devices increases dopamine, the neural connections for this increase, and our brains crave it more and more. The ability to let our minds wander is diminished and any moment that lacks stimulation makes...

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4 Big Benefits to Continue Martial Arts Training during COVID-19

This is a time of change. It’s up to you as parents to define exactly what that change means for you and your family. If your young ones have been enrolled in martial arts classes that are no longer able to meet in person, now is an important time to think about the potential effects of your kids staying at home with no outside social activities. While the majority of Xtreme Ninja Martial Arts' martial arts students are utilizing virtual classes, enrollment in these online classes is only about 50%. Keeping your kids active in their martial arts training is beneficial to their mental health during quarantine, as well as keeping their bodies active in a time of social distancing. 

 

 

Benefits of Physical Movement 

 

BOOSTING ENDORPHIN LEVELS IMPROVES FOCUS

The benefits of physical activity are good for multiple kinds of health. Social distancing and quarantine could cause a negative impact on your kids and their mental states. Exercise...

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Helping Children Feel Secure in an Uncertain World

The news can be full of scary stories and information, especially for children. Our current situation has brought about even more concern for everyone in the world. If adults are feeling panicked, imagine how children must be feeling. And no matter the age, children can be emotionally affected by the news and begin feeling anxious about what they are hearing. For this reason, it’s important for parents to spend time connecting with their children and implementing ways that help them feel secure.

 

And, of course, during this worldwide turmoil, parents may also feel unsure and struggle with what to say to their children. But this is the time when parents should take the opportunity to help members in the family reconnect with each other, which will help everyone feel more secure. Having honest discussions about what everyone is feeling is vital to processing the information in a healthier way. It’s important that parents have these conversations to help ease fear...

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