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Sensory Processing - How Does Your Child Respond?

Uncategorized Mar 07, 2023

As we navigate the world, we all use our senses to receive input from our surroundings, let our brains process, and then tell us how to react. Generally, we respond with minimal disruption to our routine. However, processing sensory stimuli can be a challenge for some people, either because there is too much or not enough. This can be difficult for children since many experiences are still new, and they haven’t yet developed coping skills and emotional regulation to respond appropriately. Educating ourselves on the variations of how Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) can present in our children will help us assist them in learning how to manage the way they respond.

 

Sensory processing is the way messages from the senses are received by the nervous system and translated into appropriate behavioral and motor responses. This includes input from sight, smell, hearing, taste, and touch, as well as the proprioceptive and vestibular senses. Unfortunately, the brains of children...

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Celebrating Each Child’s Uniqueness

Uncategorized Feb 27, 2023

Parents everywhere want their children to achieve success. This is usually defined by fulfilling societal norms, whether in terms of grades, athletic abilities, or something else. And the push to accomplish these things first is putting pressure on children and parents as well. Comparisons are fueling the expectation for children to develop at a specific rate and master skills at a certain time. Unfortunately, this is causing stress and decreasing children's self-esteem. Instead, we should celebrate each child's uniqueness and nurture their individuality by allowing them time to grow into the best version of themselves.

 

What often gets forgotten is that every child is different. Children have different temperaments, strengths, personalities, and vulnerabilities; therefore, their development will vary. During these stages, it is normal that children might be a little ahead of their peers in some areas and not in others. The problem is that parents often feel under pressure to...

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How Parental Involvement Increases Child Success

Uncategorized Feb 06, 2023

Parents are an essential element to their child’s success in anything. The enthusiasm and support, or lack thereof, of a parent can make or break a child’s accomplishments. In SKILLZ martial arts, it is even more essential that parents be involved as part of the teaching team since the SKILLZ system applies child development and psychology. This approach can create extreme success for a child when their parents appreciate the program and are involved in the process.

 

Parents that enroll their children in martial arts want to see them succeed but most don’t know what is needed from them to make this happen. Often, children who are in martial arts do not have parents that are martial artists themselves. Parents usually know what the benefits of martial arts are but don’t understand the process of making these benefits a reality. Since the goal of the SKILLZ program is to help children grow to be the best version of themselves, much emphasis is placed on...

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Keeping it Real - Addressing Mental Fatigue

Uncategorized Oct 13, 2022

“Mom, this doesn’t make any sense!”

 

Frustrated with his dividing fractions math assignment, my son dramatically dropped his head into his hands. Mulling over the best way to show the work that was in his beautiful mind on paper, I slowly moved into his space. Taking his right hand, I began to massage his palm and fingers one by one to aid in coming back to breath, body and center.

 

With a deep breath in of all that is good, strong and capable followed by the exhale of all that wasn’t serving him in the moment, my son picking up his pencil began to reassess the problem before him. Though it was a challenge and took some intentional effort in working through together, we eventually found the solution and resolution to the math problem and frustration of the moment.

 

Each and every day our children are faced with new intellectual challenges and expansions of the mind as they step into the world around them with eyes wide open to its many...

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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 01, 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 13, 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 04, 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 28, 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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