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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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June 6th, 2012

Sleepover Fears

Imagine this scene. It’s around 10 pm on a Friday or Saturday night and the phone rings. “Mommy, can you come pick me up? I want to come home.” Many parents have received this phone call from their child who wants to come home from a sleepover.

The decision to allow a child to sleep away from home is a very personal one, one which changes from household to household. Some parents will not consider sleepovers until a child is a teenager, while others may allow a child to sleep out in the early elementary years if the sleepover house is a safe and trusted one. Children have different reactions to sleepovers as well. While some children can’t wait to sleep at a friend’s house, others are too anxious to try to spend the night away from their parents.

Other children may be very excited about a sleepover and do very well for the first, awake, part of the evening, but start to become distressed around bedtime. They no longer want to sleep over. Rather, they insist on getting home as soon as possible.

What happens? What changes occur that make a happy, excited child into an anxious child, unable to be comfortable sleeping at the home of a good friend or relative? Separation anxiety, or the fear of being apart from the security of a loved one is at it’s strongest at night. Often, anxious kids may be fearful of separating from parents at bedtime when they are home. This anxiety is worse when they are away. Although children may not be able to describe what they are feeling, they know they are scared. They feel an intense and urgent need to reconnect with parents, and at that moment, they are convinced they will not feel better until they are home. If they can’t connect with parents, child anxiety can reach the level of child panic.

It’s OK to retrieve your child from a sleepover. He or she may just not be ready. The fear of sleeping out does not predict future adjustment or ability to separate from parents. Try not to treat the return as a failure, and suggest that maybe sometime in the future, a sleepover could be tried again.

Tool Kits for Kids likes to share information about child worry and child anxiety. If you’d like to learn more about separation anxiety, take a look at these earlier postings from Tool Kits for Kids:
Kids Afraid to Leave Home
When Sleepaway Camp Doesn’t Work Out
Emotional Skills Help Children Get Ready for Sleepaway Camp

February 9th, 2011

Children and Teens: The Joys of a Snow Day or, Mental Health and Snow

For children and teens, few things can match the joy of a snow day on a wintry morning. Today, the wonderful news of an extra day of freedom may arrive by text, e-mail, the Internet, phone, radio, or a banner on the bottom of a TV screen. Parents may remember the excitement of hearing their own parents yell into the bedroom, “No school, it’s a snow day!”

School can be difficult and homework often tedious. Kids may begin to run out of steam in the winter months. Academic pressures build for kids K-12, and worry and anxiety can grow as well. It’s very helpful to have a legal mental health day that gives young people a healthy break.

Child and adolescent psychologists have observed that in winters filled with blizzards and snow days, their practices get smaller, and not just because parents can’t bring their children to the sessions. Snow days help children stay calm, catch up, and have fun in the middle of the routine demands of a busy week. Anxiety in children and teens decreases and kids feel better.

School and routine are very important. Every day can’t and shouldn’t be a snow day. But the occasional snow day can be a ray of sunshine in a long winter. Whether the day is spent playing in the snow, sleeping in, catching up on homework, or spending a lazy day in front of the TV or on the computer, young people are given the gift of a short, but welcome break from the demands and routine of school. They often return to school in a better mindset, with more energy and greater enthusiasm.

January 26th, 2011

Technology: Constant Communication for Kids

Many parents can remember growing up without being in constant contact with their own parents and or peers. Communication was either in person, by telephone, or exchanging notes in school. The limitations of these methods of communication meant that most young people were not in constant contact with others and experienced a good amount of time being alone.

Not so today. Electronic and technical advancements are truly extraordinary and wonderful, but they are life changing. Our young people are able to communicate in a variety of electronic ways. Texting, cell calls, voice mail, email, Facebook, and Twitter, provide non-stop interaction. Children and teens walk down the street talking on the phone, text as they enter and leave school, checking for texts, or going on Facebook multiple times a day. Some even fall asleep secretly chatting or texting on their cells.

What will this do to children? For one thing, they will be different than their parents, especially in their ability to be alone. There may also be more worry and anxiety. Before the advent of electronic communications, young people accepted a certain amount of alone time. Now, children and teens K-12 have an expectation that they MUST be in contact with their peers at all times or feel that something is very wrong with them. Many experience a crisis of confidence if they cannot generate enough communications or if they are electronically bullied or demeaned by their peers. Problem-solving will also suffer as kids don’t have to solve as many problems on their own. Parents and peers are available to help and rescue at a moment’s notice.

Communication is essential for a happy and healthy life, but young people need to feel comfortable not being in constant communication. Parents can help them learn that being alone is OK, that spending some time with yourself, without interacting with others can be valuable and wonderful. It’s a great challenge, but one that can reduce worry, boost confidence and build resilience.

January 21st, 2011

High School Students and Stress: Emotional First-Aid Tools Can Help

Have you had a conversation with a high school student lately? Chances are, the young person may mention how stressed out he or she is. Tension can begin the moment students begin 9th grade, or even at the end of 8th grade as they anticipate their new role as high school students.

Everything counts, they say, and college is mentioned at least 10 times a day. They have to juggle grades, sports, sometimes college level classes, and extra-curricular activities. Navigating the social scene is not an easy task either. All of these pressures mount as an adolescent’s body and mind are being transformed into that of an emerging young adult.

Juniors in high school have their own brand of stress, often feeling as if they are dodging anxiety-ridden requirements for advanced classes and SAT or ACT preparation. Seniors experience significant stress too, especially during application time and when college acceptances and financial aid packages are looming in the background.

The high school experience can wreak havoc on kids’ self-esteem and trigger anxiety in children. High school students not only need to learn chemistry, pre-calc, global history, and answer document-based questions adeptly. They need emotional life tools to stay steady and strong in the face of self-esteem setbacks and mounting worry.

Tool Kits for Kids recognize that time is very valuable for high school students. We have developed two quick yet powerful ways to teach them strong confidence activities and effective anti-anxiety tools. The Charge Up Your Confidence® Tool Kit helps young people deal with imperfection, mistakes, criticism, self-doubt, and embarrassment – all which can derail confidence.
The Outsmart Your Worry Tool Kit for Kids® helps young people think and behave in strong and accurate ways to fend off anxiety – which if not checked, blocks effective performance and interferes with a sense of personal control.

These two emotional first-aid Tool Kits teach essential strategies necessary for success and happiness in the high school years and beyond. Specifically designed for teen’s independent use, the High School/Middle School Edition of the Tool Kits have won prestigious parenting awards.

January 13th, 2011

Tragedy in Tucson: Help Your Child Deal with the Death of Another Child

The recent tragedy in Tucson, Arizona has sparked intense reactions throughout the country and the world. Murder is always abhorrent, but the murder of a child is even more disturbing. Children can often ignore criminal acts when they involve only adults, but when a child is murdered, children are confronted with a reality that is too much for them to understand and tolerate.

Children do not expect to die and they don’t expect other children to die. This is a natural psychological framework that helps them feel secure in the world. When a child is murdered, this framework is shaken and children can be stunned and often feel very threatened. They wonder, Will I die? Could I be murdered too? They may develop other anxiety symptoms, such as trouble falling asleep, nightmares, difficulty separating from their parents, or increased irritability. Parents can play an important role in helping children deal with their child’s reaction to another child’s murder.

First, be there for your children. Make sure you can spend extra time together. Encourage them to talk to you about their feelings and their fears. Try not, to minimize their fears. Instead, reflect them. For example, try NOT to say, Oh, don’t worry, that’s impossible. Nothing will happen to you. Try saying something like, Yes, I know it’s scary. We don’t expect that a child will be killed. It’s very upsetting. You might also add that although it’s not impossible to be murdered, it’s very unlikely. You might also encourage your child to do something positive and constructive, such as organizing the children in class to write a letter of sympathy to the child’s parents.

Finally, be patient and give it time. With your help and understanding, your child will ultimately regain the framework of psychological security that existed before the murder.

January 7th, 2011

Turn SORE SPORTS into GOOD SPORTS

Young people, K-12 are raised in a world that loves competition and reveres winners. This is particularly true in the world of sports. Frequent activities for children and teens include avidly watching marathons, the World Series, championship football, March Madness, and golf matches to see who is The Best. After winning, The Best continue to be adored as they win endorsements for advertisements associated with the best products. Closer to home, athletic children often get big bonuses themselves as they rate high in social competence and popularity.

As a result, performance in competitive sports is closely linked to many kid’s self-esteem. Winners feel wonderful and are respected by their peers. Unfortunately, losers are not. For athletically gifted young people and for those who are able to see positive results from hard work and practice, competitive sports can be a glorious boost to self-esteem But not everyone is gifted and not every child sees high level benefits even if they work hard at improving their athletic skills. When so much value is placed on winning, it is no wonder that many children and teens find it upsetting to lose.

It is difficult for adults to learn to lose gracefully and it is even more difficult for young people. Child confidence can suffer with athletic losses and problematic behaviors may develop. Crying, yelling, name-calling, blaming others for the loss, and moping are a few of the sore sport behaviors which can emerge when kids’ self-esteem is wounded by losing.

It is unlikely that the global attitude towards placing great value on winning will change. The best athletes will be valued and the not so athletically gifted kids must learn to protect their self-esteem. There are countless dimensions in which child and teen self-esteem can be measured, and the world of athletics is only one. Parents want to know what to do to help their child deal with stress and cope with loss when their child is not an athletic winner.

Child confidence is the way to help children manage the stress of athletic loss. Feeling good about oneself is a good stepping stone to learn good sportsmanship behavior. The Charge Up Your Confidence Tool Kit for Kids™ was expressly designed to teach children self-esteem activities which enable them to discover and value their own special and unique qualities. For younger children, the Tool Kit is filled with interactive parent-child activities designed to build confidence. Find Your Hidden Treasures, Good For Me, and Trying Trophy are a few if the many elementary and middle school skills which will help nurture a child’s confidence. Self-esteem activities for teens include Pattern of Positives, Face It, and Effort is Essential.

When kids’ self-esteem is high, they can tolerate losing without feeling badly about themselves. Even though it may feel better to win, children with strong confidence skills are able to enjoy athletics even if they don’t win. Their healthy sense of self-esteem allows them to develop good sportsmanship behaviors. See how the Sore Sport becomes the Good Sport as child confidence grows.

December 31st, 2010

Mommy, Daddy Don’t Leave Me!

It’s Saturday night and you look forward to it all week. It’s time to go out and re-kindle your romance, but your child hates it when you leave.

It can start with a trembling lower lip and lead to screams and pleas not to go. Mommy, Daddy don’t leave me! Fears intensify and the What If’s begin…What If you get in an accident? What If I need you? What If you don’t come home? You have a great babysitter, it may even be grandma, but your child still begs you to stay.

You leave anyway and go out to dinner. You can’t enjoy your dinner and feel a lump in your throat. It’s hard to forget your crying child at home. You spend the whole dinner strategizing how to help your child. That’s not so romantic.

Many children worry and go through a period of time when separation is hard for them. If your tender explanations and reassurance are not enough, it may be time to try a different approach.

The Outsmart Your Worry Tool Kit for Kids® (Elementary School Edition) was designed by experts to help worried children ages 5-11 feel stronger than their fear. There are 20 award-winning tools to reduce anxiety in children. Kids learn to stop the What If’s, use words to make their worry less powerful, relax their minds and bodies, and use strong and accurate thinking to fight frightened feelings. The Worry Tool Kit contains anti-anxiety activities that appeal to children and work quickly. Use the Tool Kit now with your child and have romantic evenings that you can enjoy.

December 21st, 2010

It’s the Holiday Season!

All of us at Tool Kits for Kids wish you and yours a joy-filled holiday season, and all the best in 2011.

As this year and the first decade of the 21st century draw to a close, we invite you to read our 2010 Holiday Newsletter.

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November 7th, 2010

EVENTS

Tool Kits for Kids® was proudly featured in an exhibit at The New York State School Counselor Association (NYSSCA) Annual Conference on November 5th and 6th in Tarrytown, NY.

November 5th, 2010

No One To Sit With At Lunch

If you are in Middle School or High School, you know what a big deal it is to eat alone in the cafeteria. There are lots of different reasons why you may not feel comfortable at lunchtime. Maybe there has been a shift in your friendships. You could be picking up subtle signs that you are no longer welcome at your old table. Perhaps you have just transferred to a new school and don’t know anyone yet.

Even if it feels awkward, it’s a good idea to discuss your feelings about your personal lunchtime situation with an adult, such as a parent, another family member, or a teacher or counselor in your school. Together, you can come up with a plan to determine whom you might feel comfortable with and where you would like to sit. It may be tough at first, but when you’re ready, you will have to take that bold step of initiating a brief conversation, or sitting at a table with an empty seat.

To help you get ready and follow through with a plan, you need confidence. Confidence helps young people try new things, adapt to change, recognize their strengths, and handle criticism, embarrassment, and imperfection. That’s just what’s needed to break into a new social group and find a place that feels right at lunchtime.

There is a way to bolster your self-esteem. The Charge Up Your Confidence Tool Kit for Kids can quickly help you feel better about yourself and help your confidence grow stronger. You will learn 20 powerful strategies in just a week. This is the secret ingredient needed to help you make new friends at school.

Discuss the Charge Up Your Confidence Tool Kit with your parents. The Tool Kit has won national awards because the tools are effective, clear, and easy to learn. There is an edition of the Tool Kit designed especially for young people in high school and middle school. Confidence skills can help you change your lunchtime situation and feel happier and more relaxed at a very important part of your day.

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.

July 28th, 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.

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!

January 12th, 2010

Afraid of the Hospital: Kids Can Outsmart Worry

It’s understandable that children and teens worry about routine medical procedures. Their anxious thoughts may include, What if something goes wrong?, I’m afraid of needles. What if I’m all alone?, What if it really hurts?

Many hospitals, in an effort to reduce anxiety in children and adolescents, have made improvements by creating kid-friendly environments. Some medical centers have identified special staff to prepare kids for their hospital visit. Before the day of the surgery or procedure, information is explained, so kids know what to expect. Answers to questions looming in the minds of young people and parents are also answered. It is reassuring, for example, that at least one parent can be with the child for much of the hospital stay. These efforts are important because research has shown that preparation and support during hospitalization speeds healing, both physically and emotionally.

There is an additional way to prepare young people and provide support prior to hospitalization They can learn empowering coping methods to make the daunting anxieties of a routine hospital visit much less scary. The Outsmart Your Worry Tool Kit for Kid®s, developed by experts, uses strong anti-anxiety and stress treatment techniques, to help young people take charge of worry and fear. The Tool Kit contains 20 powerful tools, such as talking back to fear with strong words, blocking What if thoughts, reducing the focus on unlikely situations, and stopping anxious thoughts from spreading. All of these skills and more, prepare and support youngsters, arming them with strategies to handle their hospitalization with more confidence.

December 28th, 2009

Back to School Blues in January

Many people, including kids, find it hard to get back to their lives after the holidays. Children and teens in particular have enjoyed a much-needed break, spending time with family and friends, learning new games, watching movies, playing sports, staying up late, and relaxing. Then, in a flash, it’s back to reality.

Young people can make the transition back to school well. For some though, January can kick up doubts about friendships, worries about the increasing workload at school, fears at bedtime, or difficulties getting back into routines. These are only a few of the back to school blues you may notice in your child or adolescent after the New Year. If a child had a rough start at the beginning of the school year, you may see some of these issues return after the holidays.

Transitions are a tough but necessary part of childhood, and the ability to handle change is an important life skill. Learning how to manage worry and boost self-esteem are among the critical skills needed to handle transitions effectively.

Tool Kits for Kids is a company that helps kids learn these important emotional life skills in a lasting and meaningful way. Our Tool Kits are creatively designed with 20 emotional first aid strategies that help kids feel better quickly. Two of our Tool Kits may be particularly effective in quieting those January back to school blues. If your child or teen is worried, fearful, or anxious, the Outsmart Your Worry Tool Kit for Kids® helps change worries into strong and accurate thoughts. If you notice a dip in your child or teen’s confidence, The Charge Up Your Confidence® tool kit shows how to handle mistakes, criticism, imperfection, and feelings of failure.

Designed for all kids in grades K-12, both Tool Kits are available in two editions; the Elementary School Edition for younger children age 5 to 11, and a High School/Middle School Edition for kids and teens age 11 to 18. The skills offered in these Tool Kits can help prepare them for January, February, and beyond.

December 15th, 2009

Tool Kits for Kids Introduces BUILD UP YOUR RESILIENCE™

Tool Kits for Kids LLC announces its newest Tool Kit – the Build Up Your Resilience™ Tool Kit for Kids™ to help children in grades K-12 rebound from the biggest of challenges. This NEW Tool Kit gives children and teens twenty powerful tools to help deal with trauma and big problems. Strategies to handle loss, anger, guilt sadness, and fear are included. This tool kit is designed for young people who are faced with traumatic events such as natural disasters, accidents, illness, death of a parent or other loved one, terrorism, financial problems, violence, divorce, or other family conflicts.

Trauma and big problems can happen to anyone at anytime. Children and teens are particularly vulnerable to crisis and tragedy, and kids need resilience skills to help them find smart and strong ways to get through difficult situations. The goal of the Build Up Your Resilience tool kit is to strengthen kids in times of crisis.

December 10th, 2009

Confidence Helps Kids with Learning Disabilities

Children and teens with learning disabilities are of average intelligence or higher, yet have difficulty with essential academic skills. It is reported that 2.9 million children in America are diagnosed with learning disabilities and receive special education services in public school alone. Only 50% of all students diagnosed receive special education services. Some of the services available are resource room instruction, academic remediation, and untimed testing.

These interventions are essential because youngsters with learning disabilities often have deficits in reading, math, writing, listening or speaking. Attentional issues, difficulties with organization, as well as behavioral and social concerns are also common.

It is not just academic remediation that these students require for optimal success. Professionals and parents alike recognize that self-esteem building is a crucial component of any program that helps learning disabled kids. These children often doubt their own strengths, do not recognize what makes them special, have made mistakes and experienced failure, been on the receiving end of criticism, criticize themselves, and feel embarrassed. Kids can be taught effective strategies to deal with these situations.

Now, with the help of Charge Up Your Confidence® Tool Kit for Kids, children and teens with learning disabilities can learn the best thinking, behaving, and feeling tools to stay steady and strong. There are twenty powerful strategies in the Tool Kits, one designed for elementary school aged children and the other for teens in high school and middle school. Some of the tools include learning to track positive behaviors instead of negative ones, dealing with imperfection, thinking about moments that made kids feel proud, and emphasizing effort. All kids need confidence skills. It is especially true for students who have to struggle a bit more.

November 2nd, 2009

Learning from Mistakes Builds Confidence

Learning from your own mistakes takes courage and confidence. It’s hard for children K-12 to face their mistakes head-on because making a mistake is often associated with a personal sense of failure

Many of the world’s “greats” knew a thing or two about the value mistakes. Take Albert Einstein for instance; he said, “Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.” One of the important tasks of childhood is to try new things, and discover one’s own strengths. Yet making mistakes can shake a young person’s confidence and stop them from trying.

Even a small mistake can leave your child feeling embarrassed and ashamed. Learning how to own up to an error, and make a decision to change reflects maturity and growth. Kids and teens can learn about wise mistakes, how to deal with imperfection, and handle embarrassment. Acquiring these skills can boost self-confidence, which helps them to achieve their personal best.

The Charge Up Your Confidence Tool Kit for Kids™ teaches these very important life skills.

August 26th, 2009

Tool Kits for Kids Wins The National Parenting Center Seal of Approval

Earlier this month, The National Parenting Center awarded its highly coveted Seal of Approval to Tool Kits for Kids LLC for its Charge Up Your Confidence Tool Kits. In their review, TNPC wrote: “This set of confidence boosting cards really impressed our testers with both the simplicity and the powerful impact the cards had for both themselves and their children. The topics on each colorful card feature real-life issues that children face and offers sensible solutions and approaches that really helped to boost their confidence.” Read more