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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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August 25th, 2010

Going Back to School is an Important Transition for All Children and Teens

Going back to school is an important transition that all children face each year. You and your child are hoping for a productive year, one that’s filled with learning, new friendships, new activities, and confidence. It’s a good idea to prepare your child for the emotional challenges that lie ahead so hopes can be turned into reality.

Before school begins, gently ask your child about any worries or concerns about the new school year. Is the child worried about making friends? Does the child worry about lunch or recess? Is the child scared about going to a new school or trying new subjects and activities? Are there any concerns about school being too hard or getting too much homework? If the child answers yes to any of these questions or volunteers a different worry, you can help your child get stronger and emotionally ready to handle the anxieties of transition back to school.

There are two important sets of emotional skills that help all kids in grades K-12 stay steady and strong, especially in the face of new situations, such as starting a new school year. These skills include improving self-confidence and learning to mange worry. Both of these skills can be learned quickly, so your child can walk into school with a boost in self-esteem and a plan to handle worry and anxiety.

Tool Kits for Kids has created a powerful, new way to help young people with their thoughts and feelings, encouraging them make the most of their new school experience. Kids tell us that our Tool Kits don’t feel like work, because the activities for children and teens are fun. Our award-winning Charge Up Your Confidence Tool Kit for Kids teaches the 20 best self-esteem building strategies available today. Among the child confidence activities are looking self-assured, recognizing strengths accurately, setting realistic goals, valuing one’s own ideas, applying effort, and handling mistakes, disappointments, and criticism. Our nationally-acclaimed Outsmart Your Worry Tool Kit for Kids is designed to stop anxiety in children from growing out of control. It teaches kids how to turn down the volume of worried back to school thoughts and replace them with competent and realistic thoughts.

You may have all the pens, pencils, markers, spiral notebooks, calculator, and book bag ready for your child’s new year at school. Prepare your child with the emotional tools needed for a happy and secure school year.

August 10th, 2010

Does Frequently Rewarding Children and Teens Build their Confidence?

Self-confidence makes a big difference in the happiness and well-being of children. It’s no wonder that parents seek out ways to boost child confidence.

Some parents believe that frequent rewards and continual positive feedback is the best way to improve children’s self-esteem. Of course it’s a good idea to take note of your child’s accomplishments, but that alone does not build confidence. Letting your child know how proud you are may be an effective strategy sometimes, but don’t overdose on it.

Self-confidence is a combination of external and internal positive rewards. When you say, Great job, Well done, or I’m so proud of you, you provide the external reward. The child’s beliefs about his or her capabilities, strengths, and efforts is what creates internal self-confidence.

Confidence skills can be learned. Examples of children’s confidence skills are recognizing their strengths, valuing their own opinion even if it is different from their peers, knowing that effort and trying really counts, looking self-assured, and using self-reward for a job well done. These skills all improve kids’ self-esteem and can be learned in a lasting, meaningful way.

Our nationally acclaimed Charge Up Your Confidence Tool Kit for Kids teaches children and teens in grades K-12 how to use these important confidence activities in the real world. The Confidence Tool Kit also provides clear strategies to deal with situations that can topple confidence, such as making errors, getting criticized, feeling embarrassed, and not being perfect.

August 5th, 2010

Resilience Skills Help Children and Teens Deal with the Loss of a Grandparent

Sometimes a grandparent dies. If you’re a parent or a surviving grandparent you may be worried about the profound effect this loss can have on the children. It may be the first time the young members of a family come face to face with a significant loss.

Grandparents play a vital role in many families. They are often perceived as the center of the family or “the rock”. Some grandchildren feel that their grandma or grandpa is especially wise. They may feel unconditional love and support from their grandparents. When that special person dies, grandchildren can feel their whole world is shaken. This can mirror how the rest of the family feels too.

After a grandparent dies, you may notice the child cries easily, is clingy, appears moody or angry, is worried about other family members, or maybe, shows no overt reaction at all. Some children may express their feelings openly, while others may keep their feelings hidden. But, every grandchild has his or her own reaction to the loss.

Grief and mourning are very hard on children. Resilience skills help in the process of emotional repair during this difficult time. Learning these important emotional skills can assist young people in dealing with the emotional trauma of the loss.

It may be comforting to know that resilience skills can be learned in an effective and lasting way. The nationally recognized Build Up Your Resilience Tool Kit for Kids helps children and teens in grades K-12 handle the pain, stress, and sorrow that often accompanies the death of a loved one. Young people learn strategies to deal with change and loss, remember that there are still meaningful people in their lives, prevent new fears from growing, stop replaying frightening images, and reduce the occurrence of bad dreams. All of these strategies are important when dealing with the childhood trauma of death of a grandparent. The Resilience Tool Kit also includes tools to deal with the myriad of emotions following a significant loss, including sadness, fear, guilt, and anger.

Resilience skills help parents and surviving grandparents too. You can learn and refresh your own resilience skills along with the grandchild.