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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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March 21st, 2010

March is Not Just About Basketball: It’s Time for Youth Sports

For many sports enthusiasts, March Madness is an exciting time to watch countless hours of college basketball. For many children, teens, and their parents, March is also an exciting time when Spring youth sports begin. In fact, every year 50 million children and teens in the US are involved in some form of organized sports.

There are many valuable life lessons to be learned from participating in team sports. Kids can improve their athletic skills, become physically fit, be part of a cooperative team effort, learn about competition in a healthy way, and develop new friendships.

For some children and teens, however, Spring sports can be a time of disappointments and doubts. Some children may not make the team they want, spend most of the time on the bench, make mistakes, get teased, or feel embarrassed and worried about their athletic performance. This can be especially disheartening for young people, who view disappointments in sports as a major crush to their self-esteem.

It’s not uncommon for children to burst into tears after a game, get angry, consider quitting, blame others, or believe they are the worst player. Many parents worry that these reactions can lead to a loss of confidence and damage children’s self-esteem.

There is a new innovative skill-building approach to preserve child confidence, even in the face of athletic disappointments. The Charge Up Your Confidence Tool Kit for Kids teaches children skills to keep kid’s self-esteem steady and strong. The Tool Kit includes confidence activities for children and teens to deal with criticism from others, handle self-criticism, learn from mistakes, value effort, and recognize one’s own unique strengths. These skills empower children and help them handle the emotional and social challenges of athletic competition with strength and confidence.

March 9th, 2010

When A Grandparent is Diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease

Grandchildren suffer too when their grandparent is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. The bond between a grandchild and a grandparent often is a loving and stabilizing force in a young person’s development. When this relationship changes drastically, as is the case in the progression of Alzheimer’s disease, it can be especially threatening to a child or adolescent.

There are now 5.3 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s. Many diagnosed with the disease are grandparents. Families are faced with an emotional trauma when they are dealing with a loved one with the disease, because of the deteriorating changes in memory, thinking, and behavior. Recently, there has been attention to supporting caregivers, such as spouses or grown children. This is clearly a step forward in the treatment of the disease, which does not just affect the patient, but entire families as well.

Grandchildren need attention too. After all, these youngsters may be losing someone they could always count on to play games, discuss sports, celebrate birthdays, bake cookies, or listen attentively about school achievements. For many children, this may be their first experience with loss, and it is being played out slowly over time. What is also upsetting for young people is that the family is dealing with stress and the child’s parent might not be as readily available. During this time, kids often worry about their own parents as well as other family members. Some youngsters may experience this as a childhood trauma and have trouble adjusting to their day-to-day routines.

You may want to find resources to get your child help with feelings of sadness, worry, and fear, all understandable reactions when a grandparent is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. There is a new approach to teaching children skills to deal with these tough situations. The Build Up Your Resilience Tool Kit for Kids™ strengthen kids in difficult times by teaching 20 powerful resilience skills. Children and teens in grades K-12 learn thinking and behavior strategies to cope with change and loss, deal with worries about grown-ups, and stay connected with others. These are only a few of the resilience tools in the Tool Kit, which come in two editions, one for children 5 to 11, and the other for young people ages 11 to 18. Losing a grandparent to Alzheimer’s is difficult. Resilience tools can help grandchildren with this profound loss.

March 5th, 2010

Tool Kits for Kids

Tool Kits for Kids creates products that help children and teens manage worry, boost confidence, and build resilience. Parent child activities are part of the tool kits for elementary school age children. We also have Tool Kits designed for older kids in high school and middle school too.

Children worry about real and imagined dangers, and anxiety in children is at an all time high. The Outsmart Your Worry Tool Kit for Kids® includes elementary, middle and high school skills that help kids and teens worry less. The tool kits are comprehensive, containing anti anxiety activities and stress treatment strategies that are ideal for nervous children and kids.

Our Charge Up Your Confidence® Tool Kit teaches children skills to enhance child confidence for all kids in grades K-12. Confidence activities and self esteem activities for children include helping kids recognize their strengths, behave in confident ways, and deal with mistakes and criticism. Activities for children and teens emphasize ways kids’ self esteem can be protected from damage, and will help children’s self esteem grow.

The Build Up Your Resilience Tool Kit for Kids™ is designed for children and teens who are dealing with difficult situations, often involving trauma. The tools help young people heal after a big problem or tragedy, such as divorce or other family problems, illness and loss, death of a parent or other loved one, or environmental disasters and terrorism. Children and teens learn the most effective thinking and behavior coping strategies to bounce back after the worst of circumstances.

Developed by expert professional psychologists, each Tool Kit includes 20 powerful Cognitive and Behavior (CBT) tools that offer all kids, a fun, easy and effective way to learn emotional life skills. Whether in kindergarten or high school, our tools are exciting to use and kids will learn them quickly. They are great parenting resources too because parents can learn the right words to help their children. Visit toolkitsforkids.com often to stay up to date with interesting news & events , new products, special promotions and more!

March 1st, 2010

Violence in the Schools: Helping Kids with its Emotional Impact

It’s been nearly 11 years since Columbine. Many young people in high school and middle school today do not know about the massacre at Columbine on April 20, 1999. They may be vaguely familiar with the shootings at Virginia Tech, and in their minds may dismiss this horrific incident since it was in a college setting. Young people will inevitably learn about Columbine, a suburban high school setting with a low likelihood of violence, and may ask, Could this happen in my school?

Even though extreme violence is rare, violence in all schools is still cause for alarm and not just limited to inner-city schools. Every year in the United States, there are 3 million crimes on school grounds, 9,000 fires, and hundreds of thousands of students who are injured. Recent annual reports indicate that 1.5 million students ages 12 to 18 have been victims of non-fatal crimes, such as theft and fighting. In high school, 10% of all boys and 5% of all girls have been threatened with a weapon. Bullying and threats of violence happen at the following rates – 21% of all elementary school children, 43% of middle school youngsters, and 22% of high school students.

Despite the many efforts to prevent school violence and keep kids safe at school, these events still occur and leave many young people dealing with stress and emotional trauma. Direct victims of attack often feel depressed, angry, terrified, and sometimes ashamed. Young people who witness violence or hear about it at their school, often called secondary victims, also suffer. These youngsters report feelings of anxiety, worry, and insecurity.

There is a new and effective approach to helping teenagers and children cope with the childhood trauma of violence. Learning resilience skills is an essential way to empower children after a traumatic event, such as violence. The Build Up Your Resilience Tool Kit for Kids™ teaches skills to young people in grades K-12 who have been dealing with conflict and violence. Direct victims of violence as well as secondary victims of attacks can have flashbacks, bad dreams, and hopelessness about their future. The Build Up Your Resilience™ Tool Kit provides activities for children and teens to help them deal with these concerns in an accurate and hopeful manner. Also included are powerful strategies to manage intense feelings of sadness, anger, fear, and guilt, all understandable reactions to violent events.

The Build up Your Resilience Tool Kit for Kids™ comes in two editions. The High School/Middle School Edition is specifically designed to teach high school and middle skills, using language and concepts that young people can easily learn, understand, and remember. The Elementary School version teaches elementary school skills in a way that make sense to younger children, ages 5 to 11.