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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 24th, 2011

Confidence is Key for Children and Teens with ADHD

If you have a child diagnosed with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), you probably have observed how frustrating it can be for the child. Even though your child has intellectual strengths, these capabilities may not be reflected in school performance. Your child’s academic and interpersonal functioning can suffer due to lack of attention, poor self-control skills, problems with listening, and difficulties with judgment and reading social cues.

There has been a lot of progress in helping these youngsters over the past decades, which is promising since at least 5.4 million children from 4-17 are diagnosed with ADHD. Moreover, the diagnosis of ADHD has increased by 22% between 2003 and 2007.

Kids with ADHD require a comprehensive approach. It has recently been reported that 66% of youngsters with a diagnosis of ADHD receive medication. There are a variety of school-based interventions that help these students such as organizational instruction, resource room, extended time for exams, and group or individual counseling. Outside of school, kids may be tutored, attend social skills training, and receive psychotherapy, in addition to developing athletic and creative talents. Sometimes it can be mind-boggling for parents to manage the interventions needed to help a child succeed.

What often hits parents at their very core, is watching their child fail or be rejected socially. This is all too common for kids with ADHD. Families rightfully worry about the impact of these setbacks on children’s self-esteem. Child confidence is especially important for youngsters with ADHD since they are frequently reprimanded, reminded, rejected, or ignored. Tools that help these children and teens focus on their strengths, face criticism and disappointment, resist peer pressure, recognize the value of personal effort, and deal responsibly with mistakes can go a long way.

Tool Kits for Kids recognize that families and kids with ADHD are short on time. If you have a few minutes, check out the Charge Up Your Confidence Tool Kit from Tool Kits for Kids to learn a powerful and quick way to bolster kids’ self-esteem.

March 15th, 2011

Searing Images of the Disaster in Japan Scare Children Worldwide

In your home, you may be trying to minimize the visual images of the devastating earthquake and tsunami that has crippled Japan. News reports are filled with scenes of cars being tossed like toys, raging water sweeping over entire villages, buildings collapsing, and threats of nuclear meltdown. These horrific images are frightening to children.

In this high-tech world, it’s hard to completely protect children from the reality of this latest heartbreaking disaster. Some children may have lots of questions, such as:

• What happened to some of the people in Japan? Did they die?
• Could this happen where I live?
• What does a nuclear meltdown mean?
• Am I safe?

The truth is, these questions are not unlike those that adults wonder too. Parents can help their children by first listening calmly to their concerns. Providing a little bit of accurate information can also help children deal with this catastrophe. For example, a parent could say:

• Sometimes bad things happen.
• We can’t change what happened, but we can learn from it. Scientists, rescue workers, and other trained people are trying to learn from the situation in Japan right now.
• Not everyone was able to be saved, but because the buildings were strong, many more people survived.
• The crisis in Japan is terrible, but one that doesn’t happen most of the time. Most people will live an entire lifetime without experiencing an earthquake like this.

Finally, if your child expresses sadness and concern for the victims, you can say, It’s important to care about other people. It’s good that you are the kind of person who really cares.

Some families may suggest the child draw pictures, write notes, or contribute in some way to agencies providing relief for survivors. During extraordinary times, children can feel better by being encouraged to be compassionate.

If you would like to read more about helping children deal with disasters and emergencies, you may find the following articles helpful:

Emergency Relief Kits Build Resilience in Children and Teens
Earthquake Fears Skyrocket in Kids
The Gulf Oil Disaster Images Hurt Kids

March 7th, 2011

Discipline and Confidence in Kids

Parents hear it all time…It’s important to love your kids, but love is not enough. And that’s right, it isn’t. Kids need love AND structure, approval AND limits, hugs and kisses AND No You Can’ts.

Kids need to learn how to live in the world and this learning starts at home. They need to learn to follow rules, stay within limits, and stop themselves from behaving in negative ways. Good discipline helps them do this.

When discipline is harsh or abusive, child confidence can suffer. Kids end up missing the message parents are trying to send and feel bad about themselves. That’s not what parents want to accomplish and it’s not good for their children. If discipline is consistently harsh, a child’s confidence can suffer and kids self-esteem can erode.

Good discipline is educational: kids should learn about good behaviors, not feel guilty or ashamed about their bad behaviors. Good consequences are brief, not excessive, and make sense. It isn’t necessary to make children feel bad about themselves. Never humiliate or demean a child. Kids learn much better when they can feel good about themselves, even when disciplined. Child confidence can survive discipline and parents can make sure this happens.