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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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September 30th, 2010

I Wish I Were Popular

By the third grade, many children have observed that being popular looks great from the outside. Everyone wants to be your friend, sit next to you, select you for the team, or invite you to the next party. This trend often intensifies in middle school and can continue well into the high school years.

Many children dream of being popular and being valued by their peers. If they could only figure out how to achieve it. Kids often wonder, Do popular kids have super athletic skills, an amazing talent, great looks, perfect name-brand outfits, or special skills to make other kids like them?

Some children and teens even comment on the downside of popularity, noticing that some popular kids can be mean and exclusive. The issue of popularity is frequently addressed in children’s books and films, like the movie Mean Girls and the musical Wicked. Despite the downsides of popularity, children still want it.

What lots of young people don’t realize, is they are hoping for the wrong thing. It’s confidence that kids really need, so they can feel comfortable being themselves. If this leads to popularity, and that’s important to a child, great. If it leads to an internal sense of well-being, regardless of popularity, that’s great too.

Confidence is what counts, and there is a fast and clever way to boost children’s self-esteem. The Charge Up Your Confidence® Tool Kit for Kids includes the 20 best child confidence skills available today. Kids in grades K-12 learn to value their own opinions even if they are different from their peers. Young people learn to pay attention to their own strengths, recognize that trying is what matters more than just results, and see that helping others builds kids’ self-esteem. The Tool Kit addresses tough situations that can topple confidence, such as handling mistakes, facing criticism, getting through embarrassing situations, and learning that less than perfect is still OK.

Confidence is not a guarantee for popularity. It does however make young people happier and more sure of themselves.

September 24th, 2010

A Tree is Blocking My Driveway and I’m Scared

In many parts of the country, this year has seen a record number of storms. Some of these storms have caused significant damage. The first order of business is to assess the damage and get it repaired. Perhaps it’s necessary to cut down some trees or repair the house or car. Some of the destruction may be so pervasive, that it takes a long time to re-build.

Ever wonder how children and teens feel about threatening weather and storms, especially when they hit close to home? This can understandably trigger lots of anxious thoughts and feelings about future storms. The principle fear for kids and teens is the question, Am I safe? Some children may react by running inside whenever the skies darken. Other kids may huddle in their parent’s room when there is thunder and lightening. Some continually monitor the weather channel. There are kids who have a host of What If’s, even when there is no weather danger present.

If you notice any of these behaviors in your child, it may be time to address kids and teens worry head-on. Your child will be quickly comforted by learning to use the anti-anxiety activities in our award-winning Tool Kit. The Outsmart Your Worry Tool Kit for Kids® is designed by experts to help manage anxiety in children in grades K-12. Kids learn to use powerful thoughts to stay steady and strong, stop worrying about low-probability events, relax their minds and bodies when fear is triggered, and take charge of unnecessary worry.

Sometimes though, kids have lived through a very tough time after a hurricane, tornado, or other serious weather event. For these youngsters coping with the emotional trauma after a storm can trigger even more intense worry and fear. Our acclaimed Build Up Your Resilience Tool Kit for Kidsaddresses and soothes the terrified feelings that kids and teens have when dealing with the stress of a disaster. For these youngsters, it’s very important for them to begin to get on track with their lives and the Resilience Tool Kit can help with this process.

September 17th, 2010

I Can’t Do That! Confidence Skills Help Children and Teens

What if your child often remarks that he or she is no good at something? Maybe the child says, I can’t swim, I can’t do math, I can’t catch the ball, I can’t draw, I can’t talk to a kid I don’t know, or I can’t give a presentation at school.

Your child may have his or her own list of I cant’s and may frequently say, I can’t do that! Children who give up too easily lose out. They may stop trying, which prevents them from learning. This type of thinking and behavior lowers kids’ self-esteem and sets up a pattern of giving up just because a child doesn’t immediately excel or like something.

There is a new way for kids to stop saying, I can’t do that! The Charge Up Your Confidence Tool Kit for Kids™ changes I can’t thoughts into I can try thoughts by showing children how easy and effective it is to build confidence. The 20 powerful child confidence skills in our Tool Kit teaches children in grades K-12 empowering thoughts and behaviors to conquer self-esteem setbacks. For example, kids learn to accurately identify their strengths and proud moments, yet at the same time set positive, new goals and understand the value of their own effort. Other confidence activities include learning from mistakes, facing criticism from others, stopping self-criticism from inhibiting performance, and feeling comfortable with their own opinions even those different from others. The self-esteem activities children learn in our Charge Up Your Confidence® Tool Kit help them move forward and keep trying.

Childhood and adolescence is a time of discovering, exploring, figuring out strengths, and not being afraid of improving skills. Confidence makes this happen.

September 10th, 2010

Losing Friends and Making New Ones: Confidence Helps Kids

Losing an friend is often a painful experience for children and teens. Here are just a few examples of friendship losses which can be especially hurtful to them.

• An adolescent girl’s BFF has stopped texting and calling her. She is imagining the worst and wonders if she is being rejected.

• A boy did not make the sports team he wanted. His friends are still nice to him, but he feels left out at lunch and in many conversations.

• A child’s best friend moved away. The child who is left feels lost and all alone.

• A child has just started a new school. Everybody has friends from last year and the child feels isolated and alone.

• A child was deliberately not invited to a birthday party given be a good friend. The rejected child doesn’t know yet, but may find out soon.

Social relationships can make or break a child’s school year. If a child has lost a friend, or perceives a negative change in his or her social network, making even one new friend can be a step in the right direction. When children have had self-esteem setbacks, they need specific strategies to re-gain confidence.

If your child has experienced a self-esteem setback brought about by a friendship loss, your understanding and encouragement to seek out new friends can go a long way. You can also foster child confidence by introducing your child to self-esteem activities. Our Charge-Up Your Confidence Tool Kit for Kids™is just the remedy needed to bolster kids’ self-esteem after a shaky peer situation.

The Confidence Tool Kit for kids in grade K-12 was designed by experts to empower kids. Children will feel secure and capable again by learning to pay attention to their own strengths and use their body and brain to look self-assured. Social setbacks such as criticism from peers, embarrassment, and making mistakes are addressed in a reassuring way, with important step-by-step tips. Kids are also encouraged to rely on their own viewpoints, and at the same time be helpful to others. All of these skills and more are essential building blocks of confidence and are taught easily and effectively in the Charge Up Your Confidence® Tool Kit. These confidence activities help children and teens feel comfortable on the inside and give them the courage to make new friends.

September 3rd, 2010

Kids Afraid to Leave Home

Does your son or daughter have trouble leaving home? Maybe he or she texts you frantically at 10 p.m. wanting to come home from a sleepover. Is your middle school child reluctant to attend an out of town school trip? Perhaps your child refuses to try sleepaway camp or stay with a trusted relative. You may notice your child is clingy and distressed when going to school in the morning.

These are just a few examples of difficulties children may have with separation. Separation concerns are an understandable challenge of childhood. As a child matures however, if a child or teen has trouble leaving the safety of home, it can be problematic. A child can display a wide range of symptoms, from stomach aches (which have no apparent physical basis), heart-racing, crying, pleading, anxiety, withdrawal, and fearful thoughts.

A blend of reassurance and firmness is often a good approach when encouraging age-appropriate separations. Sometimes this is not enough when a child feels threatened with leaving the security of home.

Your child may need to learn anti-worry separation skills to help. The Outsmart Your Worry Tool Kit for Kids® is a powerful first line of defense against anxiety in children which can interfere with healthy separation from parents. Kids and teens worry is addressed head-on by learning to turn off their internal worry alarm. Nervous children and kids are shown how to think realistically when separation fears spike, stop worried thoughts from dominating their minds, use strong thoughts to calm fears, and make worry-blocking rules to control intense, scared feelings. The Tool Kit contains 20 easy to learn Outsmart Your Worry™ activities for children and teens which helps them feel stronger right away. See how this award-winning kit can help your child or teen get back on track.