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.
Warning Signs of Bullying — and the Steps Parents Can Take to Help. It may be difficult for a child who is being bullied to speak up about it – making it especially important for parents to be able to spot any warning signs. “The key is looking for a change in behavior that may indicate a social issue is causing the child some pain,” said one of Tool Kits for Kids’ creators Dr. Joel Haber, a clinical psychologist and national expert on bullying prevention and the author of Bullyproof Your Child For Life.
The Charge Up Your Confidence® Tool Kit was recently featured in the article Building Confident Kids on education.com. Click on the highlighted link above to read comments from Tool Kits for Kids® creators Suzanne Reifell, Ph.D. and Erica Saxe Ross, Ph.D.
Dr. Joel Haber, nationally known “Bully Coach” and one of the creators of Tool Kits for Kids, was featured on WPIX NY television news where he offered advice on raising self-assured children. Watch news video clip.
Tool Kits for Kids’ Dr. Erica Ross was featured on Fox News Online regarding a story entitled
Warning: Your Child May Worry Too Much.
Dr. Joel Haber discusses bullying in schools on New York’s WCBS News.(click here to view) Dr. Haber is one of the creators of Tool Kits for Kids® and author of the widely acclaimed bullying book: BULLYPROOF YOUR CHILD FOR LIFE.
Earlier this month, The National Parenting Center awarded its highly coveted Seal of Approval...
National Parenting Publications Awards' judges gave Tool Kits for Kids the 2009 Parenting Resources Silver Honors...
It’s that time of year again. As the end of the year approaches, final exams grow closer and fears of finals start to grow. Test anxiety is a big problems for many youngsters and it often reaches it’s peak as young people study for these important tests.
Brains work best when bodies are calm. Calm bodies allow brains to concentrate better, process information well, problem solve effectively and retrieve information that is already learned. Important pathways in the brain stay open so that the benefits of studying can be used during the test.
Although a very small amount of anxiety actually helps performance by keeping the brain focused, this is unfortunately not what happens during test anxiety. Test anxiety floods the brain and body with stress hormones. The body is primed for a fight or flight response as opposed to doing well in an intellectual activity, such as taking a final. Concentration, information processing, problem solving and information retrieval all suffer as important brain pathways are closed by the anxiety response.
So how can a young person deal with test anxiety? First, worrying is fine, but only before studying, as fear is a good motivating force for studying. Once studying is begun, tell your child that being worried will actually hurt rather than help performance. Learning cognitive (thinking) and behavior skills to help stay calm during the test comes next. Read about these strategies in Fear of Finals – Part 2.
It’s an exciting time for kids and families when outdoor school sports teams resume. Learning about sportsmanship, connecting with teammates, engaging in healthy competition, developing a lifelong love of sports and offering meaningful alternatives to video games and cell phones are just some of the benefits. What could be better? Not every kid feels this way. In fact, participating in sports can stir up anxieties and doubts in children. Here are a few scenarios:
•Your teen is a treasured member of a sports team. Everyone expects him or her to have an amazing season. Your kid feels mounting pressure and anxiety before each major game.
•Your middle school child is not on a sports team by his own choice. He feels left out at lunch and recess because he feels he has nothing to contribute and always has to make excuses why he’s not on a team.
•Your daughter had been told to drop a few pounds. She’s a good athlete but feels embarrassed about her weight. This affects her self-esteem.
Student athletes can be derailed by criticism from the other team, their own teammates, coaches as well as themselves. They need an effective plan to get back on track and stay focused. Confidence skills can do just that. Young athletes can also be thrown off base by negative What If’s which can break concentration and lead to panic. Anti-anxiety strategies can improve accurate thinking before and during a game.
Young athletes can learn how to maximize self-esteem and minimize anxious thoughts. It does take a bit of practice. Young athletes are used to that. Building emotional strengths along with athleticism is a winning combination. Read more about how to stay steady and strong during athletic competitions:
Turn Sore Sports Into Good Sports
March is Not Just About Basketball
Performance Anxiety in Kids
The Boston Marathon Bombers have been apprehended – one killed, one captured. It may seem like it’s over, but for many kids, it’s not. The terror that they experienced, by being a witness to the events in person, on line, or on TV is still there. Scary images of bombs exploding, law enforcement personnel with guns drawn, ambulances, helicopters, sirens, gun fights, and lock downs continue to run through their minds. These children are suffering with ongoing anxieties about similar bombings happening to them or in their neighborhoods.
Anxiety symptoms can include repetitive What If thoughts (What If there is a bombing in my town?), sleep problems, appetite problems, crying, explosions of anger, development of new fears (such as fear of going out in crowds, malls) and new anxiety habits (such as repetitive checking of locks in the house or avoidance of trash like the ones where the bombs were planted). These are very real symptoms and can cause genuine distress for children and their families. When the symptoms don’t go away, they can evolve into Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD.
What can you do to help your child worry less and be more resilient? Listen to his or her fears. Don’t minimize them. Reassure children that you are there to protect them and the likelihood of another bombing in their neighborhood is very low. Normalize their lives – be sure your child’s life goes on as normally as possible – school, activities, playmates. Distraction is always a good strategy. And remember, it takes time.