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Helping Kids Cope With Cliques

A clique is a group of kids who have similar interests and spend a lot of time together. This group tends to seclude the rest of the kids and operate like exclusive clubs. Some of them even have rules which forbid members from associating with people outside the group. They are commonly known as the “in crowd” and seem to dominate everything that is important in the life of a school. The kids composing such a group are not only popular amongst peers but also often win over teachers. The hard truth about such groups is that they exclude kids outside of their own group to the extent of making them feel isolated. This can be highly de-meaning to one’s self-esteem.

Cliques are very common throughout middle and high school and at some time, your child is likely to face the prospect of being in one or being excluded from them. There’s not much you can do to shield your child from the wrath of cliques. On the contrary, there’s a lot you can do to help them maintain their confidence and self-respect when confronted with cliques. It’s important to help them understand what true friendship is all about. Parents should be very supportive towards their children during times of rejection from peers. The following are some important tips to help your child cope with cliques:-

If your child is on cross roads regarding his identity after being rejected by a clique, help him or her focus on his or her strengths, interests, and talents. This can immensely help your child survive and thrive in school cliques. Encourage your child to find groups with similar interests or values.

Help your child understand the positive role he or she can play in his or her own clique even if it’s not on top of the school hierarchy. Teach your child the importance of a strong value system in a group and how not to cross the line while interacting with other kids outside their group.

If your child seems to be showing signs of withdrawing from school such as fear or anxiety related with going to school, do not refrain from seeking help from a medical professional, counselor or psychiatrist.

Discuss with your child coping strategies if your child has some negative experience with cliques. Remind your child that there’s much more to life than conforming to a group. Teach them the importance of getting back to the swing of life even if people don’t like you.

We at Boys and Girls Club of Central Texas run several programs for the betterment of youngsters. We aim at guiding your kid not just in the academic field, but also in extracurricular activities. We also run several programs like SMART Moves and SMART Leaders to help their peers resist alcohol, tobacco and also to help them deal with various teen issues. For more information, contact Ms Carol Dunn (Administrative assistant) at 254-699-5808.

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Encouraging Your Child to Write

Want your children to be self-reliable, perform well in school and enjoy self expression? Help your child in improving his writing skills from his elementary years.

Writing is the final stage of communicating what begins with ‘thinking’. Writing is more than just putting words into paper. It is quite natural for kids to be prolific over with ideas, themes and various thoughts. Unfortunately, to pen those ideas on a piece of paper comes naturally to kids unless they are too reluctant.

Most kids aren’t that much into writing. Except for homework and assignments, writing isn’t a big part in their daily-school life. Although parents play a major role in helping their child to write well, their goal should be to make writing easier and more importantly, enjoyable.

How parents can help?

  • Provide a good place for children to write. A desk with a smooth surface and enough lighting is preferable.
  • Provide writing materials such as paper which should be both lined and unlined (depending upon the child’s grade level), pencils, pens and crayons etc.
  • Help them think about various topics. Give them time to think and listen and solve each and every query asked by them. Be wise by ignoring their minor errors.
  • Appreciate and praise your child’s work. Be positive about their work and say something that would make them feel better. Talk with your child as much as possible about their impressions and encourage the child to describe random people and events to you. If the child's description is accurate and colorful, say so.
  • Encourage diary-writing: This serves as a good writing practice as well as an excellent outlet for venting feelings. Encourage your child to write about things that happened to him in school and home, at the end of the day. Also, tell them to express their feelings in the form of writing.
  • Play word games with them: There are various games, puzzles and other amusing things that help children to increase their vocabulary and improve their writing skills. Try crossword puzzles, Sudoku and word games especially designed for children. Keep games short and change them often so that they won’t feel bored.

As a parent, your role in improving your child’s skills has to be fun and to honor your child’s imagination. Don’t pressurize them. Encourage their communication of ideas and let them flow.

We at Boys and Girls Clubs Of Central Texas run several programs to inculcate writing skills in your kid. To get your child enrolled in any of these programs, visit us at 304 W Ave B, TX- 76541 or call Ms. Carol Dunn (Administrative assistant) at 254-699-5808, Ext: 102.

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Turn Your Kid Into A Photographer

Every parent has a unique opportunity to motivate his or her child in a particular path. Photography is one such path that can be of great interest to your child. It’s a hobby that can convert into a lucrative career option for your child. Start off early by introducing your child to cameras and the basic rules of how to go about photography. There are plenty of disposable and cheap digital cameras that your child can begin learning with. There are even child cameras that are available in bright colors and easier for the little hands to hold.

Introduce your tiny tot to cameras that are very easy to handle and use. A camera that just needs to be clicked and immediately displays the image at the back would be ideal. It will arouse liking for the art in the child as he or she gets to freeze anything that might be of interest. As your child gets familiar with the concept of photography, start planning outings as simple as taking a walk around the house. Keep your child hooked to photography by making it a fun thing to indulge in as you capture pictures of interesting things you come across.

Keep all rules at bay when with your child. Let your child experiment. Don’t tell them what to photograph. Instead see what your children come up with and get them thinking about what they like in a photo. Around the ages of 5-7, your child will develop more cognition to appreciate a photo and this is the best time to introduce him or her to some basic rules of photography. Encourage your child to participate in photography contests. You can frame their favorite photos and hang them in their rooms or somewhere in the house as a way of appreciating their art.

Photography helps kids see the world in a new way. It opens the door to new perspectives for your child. It makes a kid feel more a part of a situation. Photography encourages a child to be part of something he or she would otherwise not have loved to be present at. If your kid gets passionate about photography, he or she can even make a career out of it. There’s immense scope in wedding photography, stock photography, baby photography, and photography for magazines and other publications. Gifting your child the art of photography will eventually turn into a hobby or business that he or she will enjoy for years to come.

The Boys and Girls Clubs Of Central Texas’s year-round program ImageMakers National Photography Contest is aimed at encouraging kids between the age group of 6 to18 years to learn and practice black-and-white, color, digital and alternative process photography. If you are interested in enrolling your kids in this program, kindly visit us at Boys and Girls Clubs Of Central Texas at 304 W Ave B, TX- 76541 or call Ms. Carol Dunn (Administrative assistant) at 254-699-5808, Ext: 102.

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Inculcate Creative Skills In Your Kid

All children have a streak of creative energy within them that lies dormant if not channelized at the right time and in the right way. This creativity shows up in their imaginative play, the whimsical lyrics they sing and their ability to make something out of anything. Today, inculcating creative skills in a child is not an option but the need of the hour. Along with its perks, technology has glued children to screens and made them extremely sedentary. Parent’s and teachers have to walk that extra mile to absorb children in creative exercises by actively participating with them.

It’s very important to support your child in his or her creative endeavors. They should know that you value their creativity and it’s an essential part of who they are. You need to be the least evaluative as creativity flourishes best in a non judgmental environment. Avoid hovering around your child all the time as this can stifle his or her creative juices. You should cultivate originality in your child and offer guidance sparingly as it can undermine your child’s self esteem. Creative thinking is not just about imagination but it also improves a child’s problem solving skills and makes them feel capable, competent and in control. Creative skills are important for developing the overall personality of a child. 

If not harnessed at the right time, these skills just dwindle in the background and remain suppressed throughout life. Childhood is the right time to encourage creativity with the help of different games and activities. Encourage your child to read books, draw and paint along with participating in educational field trips and interactive activities. Some of the things you can do to develop your child’s creative skills are:

  • Tell your child to identify sounds in the environment around.
  • Draw figures of animals and birds and let your child guess what it is.
  • Tell a story and let your child finish it with his or her imagination.
  • Lay on the ground with your kid and create a story using characters you see in the clouds.
  • Encourage your child to pay with building blocks and clay. This helps your child’s imagination run wild which is very good for sharpening the senses and instilling confidence. It’s a great way to help your child develop independence and individuality.
  • Engage your child in riddles and jigsaw puzzles. This helps a child to think out of the box and improves problem solving skills.

We at Boys and Girls Clubs Of Central Texas run several programs to foster creative skills in your kid. To get your child enrolled in any of these programs, visit us at 304 W Ave B, TX- 76541 or call Ms. Carol Dunn (Administrative assistant) at 254-699-5808, Ext: 102.

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Career Awareness In Kids

For kids, the process of career development begins as early as four years of age. Introducing a child to the idea of various career options early in life can be very beneficial in instilling hope and confidence about the future. It helps children look at the world from a different perspective and even help them to discover themselves. Children are curious by nature and easily get fascinated by everyday things. Making them aware of different options around will boost their imagination and interest and develop some career fantasies in them. They enjoy imitating the adult world and in the process, may discover something about their own inclinations.

Career awareness begins as early as the elementary level. Children will do better in school if they discover the connection of education with a successful future. This can be done by connecting what a child is learning with real life situations and trying to view him or herself in an occupation. Self awareness and a positive attitude about learning and doing things can go a long way in developing the career skills of a child. These skills will further help a child develop work-readiness skills like working in teams, making decisions, problem solving and brushing up his or her leadership skills.

Tips for developing career awareness in kids:

  • Show your child how education is connected to a broad range of careers. For example, a reporter needs writing skills; a doctor needs knowledge of science.
  • Relate your child’s interests to adult activities. If your child likes outdoors, tell him about outdoor careers like architecture, marine biology etc. If your child’s bent of mind is towards art, discuss how adults use art to design clothing, movie sets and even toys.
  • Help your child develop a positive attitude towards life and teach him or her to accept other children’s ideas even if they differ from his or hers. Show your child how his or her behavior might affect the feelings of other children. Teach your child to interact with others in a fair, helpful, and respectful way.
  • Teach your child the value of punctuality by taking him or her to school in time.
  • Explain to your child why work is important not only as a source of income but also as a way of contributing to the society.
  • Help your child recognize a variety of skills that are important for success in school and even in work, such as effective communication, critical thinking, problem solving and interpersonal skills.

The Boys and Girls Clubs Of Central Texas’s CareerLaunch program encourages kids between the age group of 13 and 18 years to assess their skills, interests and explore career opportunities in order to make sound educational decisions in their lives.

If you are interested in enrolling your kids in this program, kindly visit us at Boys and Girls Clubs Of Central Texas at 304 W Ave B, TX- 76541 or call Ms. Carol Dunn (Administrative assistant) at 254-699-5808, Ext: 102.

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Teach Your Kids Proper Dental Care

In addition to all the things that we teach our children, proper dental care is the most important one. It will not only ensure healthy gums and teeth but also keep serious medical issues at bay as they get older. Basic dental care involves brushing teeth, flossing them and getting regular check ups. Consistency is very important as far as oral care is concerned. Parents should inculcate in their kids the habit of brushing twice daily for the best oral health.

Children pick up most of the habits by observing their parents. So, parents should set an example of good dental care for their kids. The foundation of healthy permanent teeth is laid during the first years of life. Poor habits of food intake and inadequate tooth brushing during the first two years of life have been shown to be related to tooth decay in children. Therefore it is crucial to establish a proper dental care regimen early in life to ensure the development of healthy and strong teeth.

Importance of oral hygiene:

  • Lays the foundation for the development of strong and healthy permanent teeth.
  • Good oral health prevents diseases like heart disease, stroke, diabetes, respiratory diseases and even cancer in adulthood.
  • Protects your child from the wrath of painful toothaches and consequent costly dental treatments.
  • Healthy teeth enable a child to eat and speak better.
  • Keep bad breath away.

Tips for proper dental care:

  • Encourage your child to brush twice daily. Show them how to maneuver the toothbrush around their mouths and the amount of tooth paste they require. A pea-size drop is ideal.
  • In addition to brushing, floss your child’s teeth daily to remove plaque from between the teeth and gums. Show your child how to wrap it around his or her fingers and fit it between each and every tooth, gently cleaning between them all.
  • Make sure your child develops the habit of eating a well balanced diet that’s limited on starchy and sugary foods.
  • Take your child for regular dental checkups to the dentist. He will be able to teach your children proper dental care with illustrations.
  • Teach your child not to swallow the paste.
  • Brush the inside surface of each tooth first with a soft bristled toothbrush. Then clean the outer surfaces of each tooth gently back and forth.
  • Even brush the tongue.

The Boys and Girls Clubs Of Central Texas’s ‘Cavity-Free Zone’ program aims to spread awareness about good oral hygiene amongst kids in order to improve their dental health. The program includes a lot of fun activities for Club members of the age groups 6-9, 10-12 and 13-15.

If you are interested in enrolling your kids in the Cavity-Free Zone program, kindly visit us at Boys and Girls Clubs Of Central Texas at 304 W Ave B, TX- 76541 or call Ms. Carol Dunn (Administrative assistant) at 254-699-5808, Ext: 102.

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The Importance Of Public Speaking For Kids

Public speaking is a skill that will benefit your child throughout his or her life. It’s very important for parents to encourage their kids to shed any inhibitions of speaking in front of a group of people. This can be a great opportunity for your child’s growth. It is a great confidence booster and a useful skill in every sphere of life.

Children are naturally fearful of new situations. A good way of helping them overcome such hesitation can be speaking on a favorite topic. They can be told to jot down a few points on the topic. This will help in organizing their thoughts. Create a relaxed environment and display an air of confidence that shares their warmth and enthusiasm about speaking. This can be a fun experience for both parents and children.

Public speaking can be beneficial for kids in the following ways:

  • Prepares a child for the future: Good public speaking skills enable one to get the best jobs. Children who are encouraged to speak in public tend to grow into confident adults who perform well in job interviews. This makes their future secure. Even as students, they perform well in debating groups and student organizations. 
  • Sheds inhibitions: Children are full of self doubt and fear especially when exposed to unfamiliar situations. However, if tactfully taught to overcome this fear, they can lose such inhibitions at an early age. With practice and patience, parents can help their children cope with their anxieties. Research shows that kids who speak confidently perform better in class. They are proficient in presenting projects, ideas and arguments in front of their classmates.
  • Boosts confidence: Public speaking increases the feelings of self worth in a child. When a child feels his opinion is appreciated, he develops immense confidence. This confidence kills any sort of hesitation and nervousness when in a public setting. You can even get your child involved in hobby classes at school to help him or her open up with other children. Such experiences greatly boost a child’s self worth.
  • Better language skills: Good public speaking involves formulating ideas, coming up with cohesive arguments, answering questions spontaneously and using persuasive sentences. These are skills that are beneficial to a child in school and even at work in adulthood. Kids with superior communication skills can excel in the field of media and can eventually critique books and other documents effectively.

We at Boys and Girls Clubs Of Central Texas run several programs to foster leadership, personal growth and public speaking qualities in your kid. To get your child enrolled in any of these programs or for any related query, visit us at 304 W Ave B, TX- 76541 or call Ms. Carol Dunn (Administrative assistant) at 254-699-5808, Ext: 102.

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Volleyball: The Best Sports For Kids

There are no two ways to the fact that sports are good for kids, and kids who play any form of sport benefit in a several ways, both at the physical level, as well as mentally. Volleyball has always been a popular sport among both young boys and girls. It is one of those sports that has been passed on from generation to generation in most American families, with the kids learning the basics from their parents, most of whom have played the sport at some point in their lives. Playing volleyball is an indulgence that you can allow your kids to have, without any guilt, since it is about the best form of physical activity that they can be involved in.

Talking of the benefits of playing volleyball for children, this sport provides a great workout for the upper-arm muscles as well as for the abdominal muscles. It also increases the vertical jump, and is excellent for toning the leg muscles. The overall effect of playing volleyball on a child is a healthy body, with more muscle mass, and less fat accumulation. This ensures that the child does not become obese during his teenage years. The sport also increases the flexibility and endurance of the players.

In addition to the aforementioned physical benefits of the sport, it also improves the reflexes and hand-eye coordination of the children. Moreover, being a team sport, it inculcates team spirit in children, which is a great quality for life. It also makes them learn the importance of setting goals and working towards achieving them. Children who begin to play volleyball at junior school learn the benefits of hard work at an early age. Even if their team does not win the match, they are able to witness the effect of their dedication in their individual performance.

Parents can also use volleyball practice as a way to inculcate various other values in their children. They can be taught how to gracefully accept both failure and success in life, as well as learn the importance of being empathetic to those who are at the shorter end of the stick. In addition, volleyball clubs at school serve as a great way for kids to socialize, which is yet another benefit of playing volleyball. If your kid is still looking for the one sport to participate in, volleyball is definitely an option worth exploring!

We at Boys & Girls Club of Central Texas conduct Volleyball league. This league is open to boys as well as girls between the ages of 9 and 12 years. However, all participants must either attend or live within the KISD school district.

For more details, visit us at Boys and Girls Clubs Of Central Texas at 304 W Ave B, TX- 76541 or call Ms. Carol Dunn (Administrative assistant) at 254-699-5808, Ext: 102.

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Tackle Football: A Fun and Healthy Game For Your Kids

Kids need recreational games more than ever. Considering the poor lifestyle habits kids are falling prey to these days, it’s imperative that they indulge in one form of sports or the other. Tackle football is one such game that is fun to play in addition to being very beneficial for the overall health of your child. It’s a pretty tough sport and can be intimidating at first. It’s a physical game and can be played by kids as young as five years old. If your child has a natural inclination towards football, then this is the best game to start with.

Tackle football is a great way to keep your kid in shape and busy when having some leisure time. It’s a physically challenging game which keeps children active and agile. There’s a lot of running involved which develops stamina and strength of muscles. In addition to this, the sudden change in direction and movements involved assist children in developing speed, explosiveness and overall physical strength. It also develops the coordination skills involved in running, catching, kicking and throwing and improves the concentration of a child.

Kids are full of energy. If idle, the can misuse this energy and get involved in mischievous acts. Games like tackle football give your child an opportunity to channelize excessive energy. It’s better than the lame trend of playing video games and snacking on junk food after school. Tackle football like all other forms of sports develops teamwork skills and communication skills. These skills will prove to be very beneficial in your child’s adolescent years and adulthood. It’s a wonderful platform for a child to develop the concept of team spirit.

Some parents are apprehensive about the injuries involved in tackle football. For such parents, it’s important to note that kids are provided with special equipment before starting the game. The equipment usually includes a football helmet, face mask, mouth piece to protect the teeth, shoulder pads and pads for the thighs, hips, knees and tailbone. So, you can be rest assured that your child is safe while playing the game. There is always a coach present who guides the kids and is well versed with the first aid in case of any injury. All in all, tackle football is a great contact sport that’s sure to boost your child’s confidence levels and general well being.

We at Boys and Girls Clubs Of Central Texas offer three tackle football leagues for kids:

  • The NCAA League: For boys aged 7-8 years old who weigh 60-100 lbs. and 9 year olds 60-74 lbs.
  • The AFC League: For boys who age 9 years and weigh 75-120 lbs, 10 years old who weigh 70-110 lbs and 11 years old who weighs 75-89 lbs.
  • The NFC League: For boys between the ages 11-12 weighing 90-140 lbs and 10 year olds who weigh 111-140 lbs.

To get your child enrolled in any of these league or for any related query, visit us at 304 W Ave B, TX- 76541 or call Ms. Carol Dunn (Administrative assistant) at 254-699-5808, Ext: 102.

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Role Of Sports In Your Kid’s Life

The famous proverb “all work and no play make Jack a dull boy” holds true not only for jack but for every kid in this world. Sports activities are essential for the physical as well as mental development of a child. If they do not play regularly, their bodies tend to become very weak. Besides fitness, sports activities also inculcate various qualities like self confidence, decision making, dedication, discipline and responsibility into the kids.

Sports like football, baseball, basket ball, volleyball, swimming or even cheerleading involve loads of physical activities which strengthen and tone up the muscles and bones in the body. Also, team sports make them learn to work in groups.  They learn that if their team wins, “they” win and if their team loses, “they “lose. They learn to work in groups, which helps them in building healthy relationships with their co-workers in future and also makes them work in harmony with others.

Sports play a crucial role in making your kid mentally strong. They start to understand that there are times when they lose a match and also are times when they win. This enables them to learn that both success and failure are a part and parcel of life. Besides this, kids also become mentally strong to be able to face tough competition and be fearless when facing the adversities.

Another benefit of sports in your kid’s life is that, he will be able to utilize his time in a constructive manner. Rather than getting involved in wrong habits or falling in bad company, the kid will be able to use his energy in a constructive manner. Participating in sports activities also boosts up kid’s immune system and prevents them from any kind of infections and or disease occurring. Further, it also helps in increasing his appetite.

We at Boys & Girls Club of Central Texas take great pride in organizing various sports and recreational activities for your kids. Some of the sports programs we undertake here involve Tackle Football, Basketball, volleyball, Track and Cheerleading. For more details, visit us at Boys and Girls Clubs Of Central Texas at 304 W Ave B, TX- 76541 or call Ms. Carol Dunn (Administrative assistant) at 254-699-5808, Ext: 102.

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