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Our creative team is always developing and discovering new tools and activities for children and teens to master the everyday emotional challenges of their lives. Check back often to see what's new and how you can help your child.

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February 22nd, 2010

Resilience Skills Help Children Cope With Divorce

Parents worry about the impact of divorce on their children. The divorce process can be an emotional trauma for children, involving physical separation from one parent, legal proceedings, visitation and custody negotiations, monetary concerns, and sometimes moving and re-locating. Even after the divorce is completed, children coping with divorce are faced with new challenges, such as introduction of parent’s love interest, and perhaps a new marriage, blended family arrangements, or birth of a new sibling. Any or all of these can be tinged with pain, sadness, anger, or behavior problems for the children involved.

Every year, over one million more children in the United States will be dealing with stress as a result of divorce. At least 40% of all children will be part of a divorcing family before turning 18. Many parents are concerned about the short-term and long-term effects of divorce on their children. Overall, research shows many emotional, social, and academic problems in the early stages of divorce. There are mixed results about long-term effects regarding children and divorce. Research consistently indicates that high-stress divorces, dealing with conflict and frequent legal maneuverings result in a poor outcome for children.

A key factor in determining children’s favorable adjustment during and after divorce is resilience. Resilience helps young people bounce back from the worst of times. Resilient children accommodate to change and handle overwhelming feelings of grief, guilt, and anger. Fortunately, resilience skills can be learned.

There is a new and effective method for teaching resilience skills to children and teenagers. The Build Up Your Resilience Tool Kit for Kids™ helps young people in grades K-12 develop thinking and behaving skills to cope with the many changes and childhood trauma associated with divorce. Kids learn tools to manage feelings of over-responsibility, sadness, and anger – all very common reactions in divorce. There are also tools to help kids coping with divorce feel hopeful and confident about their future. Children who learn these resilience skills are able to manage the emotional difficulties of divorce and have fewer behavior problems than children who are not resilient.

The Build Up Your Resilience™ tool kit comes in two editions, one for elementary school children ages 5 to 11, and the other for high school and middle school teens, ages 11 to 18. Give your children skills, which will strengthen their resilience and help them adjust before, during, and after divorce.

Tool Kits for Kids LLC
www.toolkitsforkids.com

February 10th, 2010

Child Confidence and the Initiative Against Child Obesity

Tool Kits for Kids™ applauds our First Lady, Michelle Obama and her program on reducing childhood obesity. The creation of a federal task force to address this problem is a giant step in helping the 32% of children and adolescents who are overweight.

Mrs. Obama’s program involves four major “pillars”
• Educating parents about nutrition and exercise
• Improving the quality of food in schools
• Making healthy foods more affordable
• Focus on Physical Education

Tool Kits for Kits would like to add another dimension to this wonderful initiative on childhood obesity – Confidence. Many kids find it hard to say no to a second helping or to appealing junk foods It’s also hard to make exercise a part of everyday life when you don’t feel like doing it and when “screens” are so appealing. Confidence can help!

Building confidence and boosting self esteem in young people is an effective way to help them develop a positive identity and a healthy body image. Confident children feel good about themselves and are willing to try new things. Confident children and adolescents are able to say no to unhealthy food temptations and to hours spent sitting down watching TV or playing video games. When children feel good about themselves, they are better able to work towards the goals of healthy eating and healthy exercise.

The Build Up Your Confidence Tool Kit for Kids® helps young people develop the confidence they need to be successful at healthy eating and healthy exercise. Adding child confidence to the fight against childhood obesity will insure even greater levels of success.

February 3rd, 2010

Math Drives Me Crazy

Math anxiety plagues many elementary, middle, and high school students. Math fears can extend past high school to the college years and beyond. Some adults still have vivid math dreams of being ill-prepared, embarrassed, and terrified.

It’s not uncommon to hear today’s kids say, I hate math. Yet, mathematical skills are viewed as central to the success of our next generation. It is well-known that the U.S. lags behind other nations in math, but did you know it ranks 32nd internationally in math scores?

Tough math exams, repetitive test preparation, complex math homework, and word problems can lead children and teens to exclaim, Math drives me crazy. If kids believe they stink at math, they may stop challenging themselves. Parents can help with these math concerns in three important ways. First, families can make rudimentary concepts of math fun and part of a child’s daily environment. Teach card games, especially those loaded with tracking numbers. Depending upon the child’s skill level, play complex board games, and have the child be the banker. Cook together and use recipes that call for measurements. If your child loves sports, encourage tracking sports stats.

Second, consult with your child’s teacher to determine which math skills need work. Perhaps the child needs extra help after class or requires individual tutoring. Math is a cumulative skill that requires lots of practice in order to make the fundamentals automatic. Tentative math students require encouragement, so praise your child’s efforts.

Third, your child or teen may also benefit from learning confidence skills to help them face math class. Lots of kids secretly believe that if they are lousy at math, they aren’t really smart. The Charge Up Your Confidence® Tool Kit for Kids™ is a new approach to teaching children skills to boost confidence and self-esteem. The confidence Tool Kit helps kids deal with mistakes, feelings of failure, criticism from others as well as self-criticism. They also learn to recognize their strengths and feel proud of their accomplishments. All of these skills are central when a youngster’s self-esteem has been hurt by poor math performance. The Charge Up Your Confidence® Tool Kit is designed for grades K-12, and comes in two editions, one for kids in elementary school and the other for young people in high school and middle school. Children may not become crazy about math overnight, but they may no longer say, Math drives me crazy. That’s a step in the right direction.