Holiday Parenting Keeping the Joy Alive

holidays parenting tips Dec 06, 2020

The hustle and bustle of the holiday season, this year, maybe a little less intense but, no doubt, still exciting. While holiday parties may be missing from our typical December schedules, the pandemic can't stop the spirit of the season! Decorating the house, wrapping gifts, and baking goodies will keep the joy alive. Ultimately, just as in any other year, however, the excitement can become overwhelming and put children into full sensory overload. This, coupled with the world's unsettledness, can increase cortisol, causing more stress than joy. Implementing positive strategies into our routines can help counteract these tensions and reconnect us to the season's true meaning.

 

During the holidays, children's emotions are at the forefront, and a season of excitement, happiness, and hope quickly turns into apprehension, stress, and irritability. The constant stimuli and lack of downtime lead the way to exhaustion and crankiness, and, therefore, children become more reactive, and...

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Whole-Brain Parenting: Engaging the Brain for Optimal Development

On any given day, we may experience moments of high emotion in reaction to an event, or we find ourselves trying to control everyone and everything around us. Either way, our mental well-being is in danger, especially if we find ourselves stuck in either scenario for long. It can be difficult for children to get unstuck without some help from a parent or other adult. To give children the support they need when faced with this, parents must have a basic understanding of their child’s brain development. By incorporating this knowledge into interactions, parents can support children in learning and growing through a whole-brain approach.

 

To help us get a clear understanding of how these two extreme reactions can present in children, Dr. Daniel Siegel and Dr. Tina Payne Bryson created the concept of the “river of well-being” in the book “The Whole-Brain Child.” Along the river of well-being, there are two banks: the “bank of chaos”...

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Work First, Then Play

Throughout the past four months schedules have been upended and downtime has taken over. However, as the new school year gets underway, reality is going to show up and we are going to be scrambling to get ourselves and our children back on a productive path. In the book “The 7 Habits of Happy Kids” by Sean Covey habit three is “Work First, Then Play.” While time doing homework has always been a struggle for children, adding in the digital learning for them makes school even more of a daunting task. But in the wake of the pandemic, this is our reality, so children grasping habit three will be essential, so they stay on track with completing school assignments and homework.

 

When it comes to schoolwork, children often find ways to avoid it for various reasons, and parents often label this behavior as laziness. But let’s be honest…children have different priorities then adults do and the last thing they want to do at home is schoolwork. The...

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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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Back to School: 4 Tips for a Healthy Transition

 

Summertime is coming to an end, and with that comes all of the back to school anxiety and jitters that are common amongst children.

Your child may experience common physical effects of anxiety associated with back to school time including symptoms from stomach aches to sleeping problems. They will also experience emotional stress from the fear of making new friends, meeting new teachers, fears of being bullied, pressure of making good grades, and worries of being unpopular. With that said, it important for parents to first remember that these physical and emotional feelings are very common, and even the most well-adjusted kids are bound to feel some sort of pressure when they return to school. 

What can parents do to help their children cope with the physical and emotional stresses associated with the back to school season? 

1. Put your child on a healthy sleeping pattern right away! 

Children need at least 8 to 10 hours of REM sleep each night. Children that do not...

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