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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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February 27th, 2012

Girls Ask, Am I Ugly? How Confidence Can Protect Them

There is a well-known new Internet craze grabbing the attention of some tween and teenage girls. They are asking Internet viewers to rate their physical attractiveness. Vulnerable girls may receive outrageous negative comments which can reinforce the concept that someone else’s concept of physical beauty is all that matters.

Many girls would never use Internet sites to assess their physical attractiveness. However, the question of their own physical appeal may loom large in their minds. When news is breaking about ugliness rating sites, parents can take this opportunity to discuss important aspects of beauty with their daughters.

For example, helping your daughter set realistic goals about her body, such as healthy eating and healthy physical activity is a great topic of conversation. This should also be paired with conversations about inner beauty, such as developing one’s passions, empathy, kindness and respect of self and others. Don’t underestimate the importance of developing a strong character along with fostering a strong body. Remember that girls are listening to you, even if they shrug off the conversation.

If you sense that your daughter’s confidence is shaky, this may be a good time for her to learn self-esteem boosting skills. Girls can learn smarter strategies to deal with criticism from others, negative self-criticism, imperfection and embarrassment. All of these skills are necessary to deal with the explosion of the ugliness rating craze. Girls can keep confidence steady and strong and value their own opinions, as they focus on their true strengths.

To read more about building confidence and concerns about physical attractiveness, check out these articles:
I Hate How I Look;
Rumors: Building Confidence Helps Kids Handle Them;
I Wish I Were Popular

February 13th, 2012

Valentine’s Day Blues for Teens and Tweens

Do your tweens or teens feel that they must have a love relationship? Young people today are assaulted by media ideas that to be truly valuable, you must be loved and in love. These romantic, but often unrealistic ideas are most highlighted around the time of Valentine’s Day.

Cards and chocolates, romantic gifts, and emails, IMs and texts filled with love, are the hallmarks of Valentine’s Day. Young people who are the recipients of these romantic recognitions often feel good about themselves, while those who are alone or single during this romantic time can feel sad. Low self-esteem and social anxiety can follow.

Creating a healthy sense of self-esteem is an effective way to prevent damage when young people don’t receive the romantic attention they would like on a media fueled Valentine’s Day. The Charge up Your Confidence® Tool Kit for Kids (High School/Middle School Edition) can help. Using tools such as Five Great Moments, Pattern of Positives and Getting to Know Me, kids learn to enhance self-esteem and create a positive identity. Other tools in the Tool Kit teach them to think in constructive ways and develop the skills so critical in developing and maintaining social confidence.

Help your child sail through this day with a smile. Feeling good about oneself as a unique and valuable person regardless of relationship status is a wonderful goal.

February 2nd, 2012

Parents Need Strategies To Help Kids Stop Worrying

Parents can’t control all the frightening information that bombards kids these days. Children may see a scary DVD on a play date, view an inappropriate You Tube video, or hear snippets of traumatic information on the news. Sometimes parents may have to inform children about a tragedy in the neighborhood or at school, before kids hear a distorted version of it.

Imaginative children as well as those prone to anxiety can weave pieces of frightening stories into a terrifying scenario. They may worry, What if something bad happens to me and my family? Since worry often intensifies at nighttime, exhausted parents are at wits end to come up with a creative plan to stop their kids’ worry from escalating.

The Tool Kits for Kids team are experts in combating worry and have designed a clever approach to help children and teens become stronger and smarter than their worry. Children often worry about events that rarely happen, yet they keep thinking about it and rehearsing this negative information in their mind. The Popcorn Tool is one of twenty powerful tools from the Outsmart Your Worry Tool Kit for Kids® that helps kids stop obsessing about unlikely situations. The No More What If’s tool shows children how to stop fear from going wild. The 10 Minute Rules tool is designed to help adolescents block anxious thoughts from spreading. These tools and more help young people when they are worried and scared. They also provide parents with much needed strategies at their fingertips to short circuit their kids’ worry.

If you have a worried child or teen, you may be interested in the following information: Mommy, Daddy Don’t Leave Me; My Neighbor’s House Was Robbed; Do You Have A Child Who Worries About Death?