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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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Earlier this month, The National Parenting Center awarded its highly coveted Seal of Approval...
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National Parenting Publications Awards' judges gave Tool Kits for Kids the 2009 Parenting Resources Silver Honors...
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November 12th, 2013

Devastating Images of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines can Scare Children

In your home, you may be trying to minimize the visual images of the devastating typhoon that has crippled the Philippines. News reports are filled with horrific images that can be frightening to children.

In today’s high-tech world, it’s hard to completely protect children from the reality of heartbreaking disasters that flood the media. Some children may have lots of questions, such as:

• What happened to some of the people in the Philippines? Did they die?
• Could this happen where I live?
• 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.
• The crisis in the Philippines is terrible, but one that doesn’t happen most of the time. Most people will live an entire lifetime without experiencing a storm 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

September 14th, 2013

I Wish I Were Popular In School

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.

August 14th, 2013

Back to School Goals

Do you know if your child or teen has goals for the new school year? Many kids do, although they may be described by kids as hopes and dreams. You can help turn their hopes and dreams into solid attainable goals. Here are some guidelines.

As school begins start a brief conversation with your child. A question like, Have you thought about what you want to accomplish this year? Or, What do you hope this school year will be like for you? Listen carefully to your child’s response.

Your child might say, I’d like to have more friends this year. Or, I want to learn to play the flute, or I want to do better in math, or I hope I make the basketball team. All of these goals are important. Here are some ideas to keep in mind when you have that talk with your child about their upcoming school year.

Help your child pick a couple of goals. For younger children picking one goal is a good place to start. For high school kids, a maximum of three might work well.
Help your child set realistic goals. Making more friends is a much more realistic and positive goal instead of trying to be in the popular group. Improving my math skills is a much more accurate goal than acing every math test.
Help your child make a plan to accomplish the goals. For instance, to win friends, initiating conversations and practicing being a good listener is an excellent place to start. To improve academic performance, increasing focused studying time and perhaps getting extra help on a routine basis is a good plan.
Every good plan should include a way to monitor progress. Tell your child you’ll check with them in a few weeks to see if the plan is working. Always praise efforts in working towards a goal. It’s much more important that achieving instant success.
To read more about topics related to Back to School for Kids, see the following:
Afraid of Giving School Presentations:
No One To Sit With At Lunch: ,