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Teen Depression: A Guide For Parents

Feeling irritable and blue every now then comes natural to kids, especially during the tough teen years. However, if the feelings become persistent and too intense to turn off, it may be the depression they are suffering from. Teenage depression is a serious medical condition that disrupts every facet of kid’s life and may predispose them to everlasting negative consequences.
Some of the symptoms that justify the prevalence of depression in kids are:

  • Drop  in the performance at school
  • Frequent sadness, tearfulness and crying
  • Declined interest in activities
  • Low energy
  • Persistent Boredom
  • Insomnia
  • Self-loathing
  • Drug and alcohol abuse
  • Difficulty with relationships
  • Poor concentration
  • Engagement in risk-taking behavior

As a concerned parent, there are many ways you can help your kids fight depression and get back on track. Below are a few tips you can follow:

  • Keeping up with activities: It is medically proven that teenagers who spend more time in different kind of activities are less prone to feeling depressed. You must encourage your kids to participate in school as well as after-school activities. There are many indoor and outdoor activities for kids like sports, fine arts, drama, music, etc. that help kids boost the positivity and relieve the stress. 
  • Talk about the problem: If you think there is something bothering your teenagers then feel free to ask them about it. Sometimes, all it requires is a nice cup of hot cocoa and a sit down. Let your child start the conversation. Make sure you carefully listen what he/she has to say. If your child is more of an introvert, you may initiate the conversation by talking about something funny that recently happened to you.
  • Organize fun family nights: Sometime, sharing a meal together is just not enough. Try to save the weekends for family. No matter how busy you are, call it a day, go home and spend quality time with your kids. Don’t forget to pick up their favorite snacks on your way home. Spend the night looking through old family albums or watching their childhood tapes. This would not only help kids get over loneliness and depression but will also result in stronger family bonds.

We, at Boys and Girls Clubs of Central Texas offer various sports and arts programs for kids between 6-18 years of age. To enroll your kids in any of our programs kindly visit us at 304 W Ave B, Killeen, TX – 76541 or call 254-699-5808.

Tackle Football For Kids In Texas

These days, many school aged kids prefer to kill their free time holed up in bedrooms with video games and computers. With latest technologies at their fingertips, good and refreshing physical activities appear to have become a thing of past. It’s about time we reintroduce the love of daily recreational activities and increase their interest in the field of sports.

We, at Boys and Girls Clubs of Central Texas understand the importance of recreation for the overall development of kids and aim at providing them with a safe environment to enhance their skills through our fun-filled activities.

The activities at our club range from indoor fun like fine arts and drama to several outdoor sports programs. When it comes to outdoor team sports, there’s something about tackle football that makes it a popularchoice among kids in Texas.

There are three tackle football leagues kids can participate into at our kids club in Texas:

  • The NCAA League: It is provided especially for boys aged 7-8 years old with weight 60-100 lbs, and 9 year olds with 60-74 lbs. of weight.
  • The AFC League: This league is available for boys aged 9 with weight 75-120 lbs, 10 years old with weight 70-110 lbs and 11 years old with 75-89 lbs of weight.
  • The NFC League: It is available for boys aged 11-12 with weight 90-140 lbs. and 10 year olds with 111-140 lbs. of weight.

Tackle football is basically a physical game which involves a number of offensive and defensive strategies and playing positions. From leisure to health, this game provides kids with a lot of benefits. The most significant, however, is that kids learn how to cope up with winning and losing. The balance and composure that follow further inspires the kids to develop and maintain a positive outlook throughout their lives.

Other benefits of participating in Tackle Football at Boys and Girls Clubs of Central Texas include:

  • Healthy and fit lifestyle
  • Fun and enthusiasm
  • Increased confidence level
  • Self-discipline
  • Exciting new challenges
  • Educational benefits
  • Better Communication

In addition, participating in this youth football game is a great way to develop social skills in kids. It teaches them the importance of teamwork, honesty, cohesiveness, respect and other key values. Understanding these facets features the moral development in kids and results in social bonds that last for lifetime.

To enroll your kids into any of the tackle football league or for any related query visit us at 304 W Ave B, Killeen, TX – 76541 or call at 254-699-5808  Ext:102.

Youth Basketball In Texas

Basketball is a very popular sport that keeps children physically active. Playing basketball regularly not only helps your children burn those extra calories but also improves their concentration and builds endurance. As a parent, it is imperative that you engage your child in a productive kids’ club in Texas where basketball is one of the activities.

At the Boys & Girls Club Texas, we organize various activities for kids that involve sports fitness and recreation. The Youth Basketball League is one of our key initiatives and comes under our Organized Sports Leagues. Apart from basketball, we also have other programs as well. These are: Youth Football, Cheerleading and many other such activities.

Through these programs, we encourage the kids to take part in sports and enhance their physical and mental well-being. Read on to know more about our Youth Basketball League…

  • There are three leagues in all: 2nd Grade; 3,4th Grade and 5th Grade. All the different leagues have specific age requirements.
  • A membership fee of $10 is to be paid and an additional $55 as sports participation fee. Along with this, proof of age and proof of residency is also required at the time of registration.

Apart from the above mentioned benefits, basketball also offers many other physical and mental advantages. Below is a list of some of them:
Basketball helps in improving balance and co-ordination.

  • It helps to build strong muscles.
  • Since the game involves teamwork, it teaches the kids how to be a good team player.
  • It is a fun game that kids of all age groups can enjoy.
  • It also inculcates self-discipline in children which is vital for their future lives.
  • When your kid joins our Youth Basketball League, he gets to make new friends whom he can meet regularly. This widens the social circle and also opens doors for healthy interaction.

Keep in mind that while playing basketball, your children have the requisite safety equipment with them so as to avoid any injuries. You must provide them a good pair of sports shoes that provide a firm support to the ankle. Also, you must give them mouth guards and protective knee and elbow pads.

Since basketball involves a lot of running, jumping and twisting; make sure that your child is in the best of health before he joins a kids’ club. Visit your family doctor to get a thorough check-up done prior to engaging your child in the game of basketball.

CareerLaunch At Boys And Girls Club Texas

Boys and Girls Club Texas offers a plethora of activities and programs for kids and teenagers. These programs aim to make them physically, emotionally, mentally, and socially sound, so that they can face thereal-life challenges and situations with ease.

We organize a variety of programs wherein young kids can harness their creative and imaginative talents; nurture their health and physical fitness; and hone their educational and practical skills and become employable in the future.

Among all these kids’ activities, CareerLaunch is a particular program that targets children falling in the age bracket of 13 to 18 years. Read on to know more about this program and what all it entails.

  • CareerLaunch is a career-centric program in the club where members explore their skill sets and areas of interest and how they map to various careers and jobs available in the market outside.
  • The idea is to equip them with adequate knowledge so that they do not falter while making career choices. A thorough beforehand knowledge will make them aware about the pros and cons of a particular career decision. Working in a field that is also your area of interest is always beneficial in the long run.
  • As part of this program, a booklet named “CareerLaunch Teen Tips” is offered. It contains practical advice pertaining to job hunting in the practical real world scenario. The booklet is very handy and can be easily carried in a pocket as and when required.
  • The CareerLaunch Teen Tips booklet comes with an attractive portfolio. Here, one can store a variety of job hunting related documents such as resumes and job applications. Thus, it proves to be a very useful aid when it comes to searching for that right job.
  • The program is also associated with a dedicated CareerLaunch website. It contains online information about various colleges and jobs. A number of interactive activities for kids are also available here.
  • As part of this initiative by Boys and Girls Club Texas, our staff and volunteers can work individually with teens, or in small groups, as convenient. The Career Exploration Quick Reference Guide can be used as a starting point for all such activities.

So if you are looking to find where your aptitude lies, and want to become job ready, CareerLaunch is the place to start. You can visit us at 304 W Ave B, TX- 76541 or call Ms. Carol Dunn (Administrative assistant) at 254-699-5808, Ext: 102.

High-Yield Learning Kids Activities In Texas

As a parent, you would want nothing but the best when it comes to your child. Early years in life lay the foundation for a kid’s wholesome cognitive and mental development. With precisely this in mind, Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Texas offers a range of activities that play a key role in strengthening the mental prowess and thinking ability of a kid.

So enrolling your little ones in various kids activities here will prove to be a very fruitful decision. Read on to know more about the various activities organized at our club and how they are conducted.

  • Leisure Reading: This activity helps to broaden a kid’s perspective on the various things in the world around him/her. It also increases the ability to assimilate knowledge and brings clarity of thought and expression. Kids learn even better when there are visuals to go with the text; graphics basically augment the learning process.
  • Writing Activities: Writing is another activity offered by the club. It goes a long way in improving the child’s ability to express thoughts in a vivid and precise manner. Writing also helps to enhance the vocabulary of a child and he or she learns how to use different words in particular situations. Overall, the writing activities organized here prove to be a great learning curve for the young and creative minds.
  • Discussions with Adults: Adults are people that kids always look up to for advice and guidance. So at Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Texas, the young members are motivated to have stimulating and intellect-stimulating discussions with adults who have great knowledge pertaining to various issues. This is a great exercise to improve the mental and spoken English capabilities of young children.
  • Games: “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”. To ensure that Jack does not become dull, our kids club also offers games such as Scrabble and others, which make the learning process fun. Kids really enjoy this part and learn a lot as well.

Other than the above mentioned activities, Boys & Girls Club Texas is also involved in spheres like homework guidance and tutoring. Our club is open all year round for boys and girls of the ages 6 to 18 years of age. For more details, contact us at 304 W Ave B, Killeen, TX – 76541. Our telephone number is: 254-699-5808.

Developing Your Child's Personality

A well-developed personality can make your child reach great heights in every field. Although it is an tiresome and never ending process to develop good personality in children, all you need is patience and hard work to see your child succeed.

A child with a confident personality develops excellent communication skills and gets the ability to explore different fields. He also learns good manners and etiquettes that can do wonders for him in the future as well. Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Texas organizes different kids activities so that they can develop a strong personality.

Read on to know how you can contribute towards building up your child’s personality…

  • You must make your kid aware about his positive as well as negative aspects. Do not ignore his weak points and always praise if he is good at anything. Of course, it is good to appreciate your child when he does something well but you must also be concerned about the areas where he is lacking. For instance, your child might not be interested in sports at all or might feel shy in conversing with other kids. In such a scenario, you must make him realize that he should improve upon these areas.
  • Make your child join the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Texas so that he can pursue additional hobbies apart from excelling on the academic front. It can also help your child overcome his fears and weak areas. This is because this kids club involves children in various activities that help them develop a confident personality. Gradually the children find even the most boring things very interesting.
  • At the same time it is very important that you do not force your child to do something that he is not interested in. You must give him proper freedom and space to choose the activities he loves to accomplish. Do not overburden him with your unrealistic expectations as this can hamper his personality growth and crush his confidence as well.
  • While developing the personality of your child, it is imperative that you exhibit a lot of patience. These things do not happen overnight as personality development is a slow learning process.
  • Last but not the least; it is very important that you become a good role model for your children. Your child will watch you and eventually learn what they see. Therefore, it is important that you set a good example in front of your kids. You must not display aggressive emotions in front of your children as this can affect their heart and mind. Consequently, there will be a bad effect on their personality development.


Boosting Self Confidence In Kids

Self-confidence is imperative for mental health as well as social well-being of child. With lack of confidence, a child can get affected by behavioral problems. This makes it important to adopt a number of things and engage kid in different kids activities that will help in developing self-belief. Read on to know more about the same…

  • The first and the foremost important thing is to improve your own self-confidence as a parent. If your personality reflects lower self-esteem, it will probably reflect on your child too.
  • Your child will always look up to you to see how you perceive him. If you hold negative images of your child or show him that his opinions do not matter to you at all; it can lead to depreciation in his self-confidence. Therefore, you need to have a positive reflection of your child and make him realize this fact to boost his confidence.
  • It is important to engage your kid in various confidence building activities that take place at Boys and Girls Clubs in Texas.
  • Play with your child often as this will make him feel how valuable he is to you. Children learn a lot through the medium of playing. You can improve his self-confidence by giving him feelings of importance and achievement.
  •  As unimportant as it may seem, it is very beneficial if you address your child by his name. It not only bolsters a child’s self-confidence by making him feel valuable but also opens many other channels of communication with him.
  • Always make sure that you encourage your child in every activity he is good at. When a child possesses a certain talent and he does well in it; there is an automatic rise in his self-confidence. Therefore, you must always try to recognize the fields in which your child in interested and give him confidence to carry his talents even further with more practice. But remember that you must create a perfect balance between pushing and protecting.
  • Never compare your child to any other kid as this can crush his self-confidence. Make him realize that he is a unique individual who is special in a number of ways. Don’t have unrealistic expectations from your child as he will not be able to excel in everything that he does. Praise him whenever he does well in his field of expertise. This will further add to his confidence.
  • Always be aware of the kind of friends your child has in school or at the kids’ club. This is very important because if your child is in a bad company, it can do a lot of harm to his self-confidence. Tell him how to ignore children who try to bully him and make his confidence see new heights.

Teaching Kids Problem Solving Skills

Problem solving skills are amongst the most important life skills that we can give our kids. This is one skill that is as important through childhood, as it is in adulthood. No wonder, this skill is being included in kids activities in Texas. Problem solving is a wide-reaching term, that spans a gamut of problems, right from academic difficulties at school, to problems in interpersonal relationships, and everything in between. It makes children confident and responsible, and capable of making positive decisions for themselves.

The following guidelines tell you how you can effectively teach your kids problem solving skills and make the world-ready-

  • The first step to problem solving is being able to identify the problem. Encourage your child to put his feelings into words and describe what is bothering him. When kids are able to clearly express themselves, it makes it easy for them to identify exactly what is wrong, and work towards solving it.
  • The next step to effectively solving a problem is coming up with a list of possible options to solve the problem. For instance, if the kid is being bullied at school, one approach could be to calmly confront the bully and ask them to stop, the second could be to talk to a teacher about it, the third could be to miss school for a few days hoping the problem will subside, etc. Encourage your child to come up with as many options as he can without judging.
  • Once the child knows what the problem he is dealing with is, and what the possible solutions are, you can now sit with him and discuss the pros and cons of each option. At this stage, it is important not to be pushy, but instead to step back and let your child decide for himself with option he wants to go by.
  • Do not pressurize your child to make the right choice, but instead encourage them to do what they feel is correct, and let them know that it is okay if it does not work out-they can always try another option.
  • Child care experts in Texas suggest allowing children to bear natural consequences of their decisions. While this does definitely not mean compromising on your child’s safety, it means letting them experience some negative consequences of their choices, without being too protective.

We, at Boys and Girls Club of Central Texas, focus on the overall development of your child. To enroll your child in our various programs, please contact Ms. Carol Dunn at 254-699-5808.

How To Deal With Disrespectful Kids

There might be various reasons behind your child’s offensive behavior. He might have felt ignored or would have thought that you are biased towards him. Whatever the reason may be, you must rectify your child’s untoward behavior at the earliest.
Read on to know how you can deal with disrespectful kids.

  • Always remember that you have to be patient because if you use abusive language to counter your child’s bad behavior, he might learn calling names too. Therefore, stay calm and do not get back at him. 
  • Make sure that you sit with your child and explain to him how his behavior is hurting you. You can also tell him that you will not answer or respond to any of his questions unless he speaks in a toned down voice. This can improve his behavior over a period of time. He will gradually learn to respond in a more responsible and well-mannered way. You can also take tips regarding this from a child care provider in Texas.
  • If your child behaves rudely during a public gathering, do not scold him publicly. Instead, take him aside and explain how his behavior has made the situation embarrassing. If the child still continues with his bad behavior, let him know the consequences. Also, you can tell him that he will have to leave the party if he does not show any improvement in his rude behavior.
  • Make your child accomplish what you have planned for him. For instance, if you want him to make his room tidy, explain that even if he does not desire to do this task, he will still have to do it.
  • Listening to your child is a very important aspect towards improving his disrespectful behavior. If your child does not listen to you and answers back, ask him the reason behind doing so. He might share with you why he is upset or not willing to work. If you are fair to your child, he will definitely co-operate and listen to whatever task you tell him to do.

The above pointers will definitely prove to be helpful when you are dealing with your child who behaves rudely. If your child has joined any after-school kids club in Texas, make sure that he is involved in kids’ activities that will teach him the importance of good and polite behavior. This will be very beneficial in the longer run.

The Psychological Benefits Of Kid Clubs

Kid clubs are a great way to provide physical as well as psychological benefits to your younger ones. Children need to do something worthwhile once they come back from school. Engaging them in a meaningful activity will not only keep them involved but also enhance their personality. There are many wonderful options providing kids activities in Texas and kids clubs is surely one of the most popular one.

Following are listed some of the psychological benefits offered by kids clubs.

  • Kids clubs help in building team spirit in the kids. When children work in groups towards a common goal; it helps them learn how to work in a team. This is very beneficial for the future and comes in very handy in the job arena.
  • Allow your child to choose the kids club that he wants to join. Going in for an activity that he loves doing will make your kid excel in the club activities. Also, he will feel a sense of ownership and belonging in the club and that is a very positive aspect. This will make him want to come back for more fun on a daily basis.
  • Kids clubs also instill a lot of personal as well as social skills in children. They learn to respect each other’s opinions and also become responsible individuals. If a group has children of mixed ages, the tutors can make the elder ones become good role models for the younger lot. Positive behavior shown by the older children definitely inspires the younger ones and they imbibe the good qualities.
  • Children who are involved in some fruitful activity at a kids club will not go astray. They will not remain idle and therefore not think of indulging in any sort of criminal behavior. Find good kids club in Texas and you will definitely see how your child’s overall personality gets evolved in a positive manner.
  • When a child works in a group in the activities of kids clubs, he makes strong bonds with new people. Sometimes these friendships can turn into lifelong relationships that they will always cherish. The tutors at various kids clubs can encourage students to talk and express themselves amongst other children, so that they develop good friendships and become socially active.

All in all, kids clubs have a whole lot of psychological benefits for the kids. Enrolling your child in one of these clubs will definitely add to his memorable experiences and also make him a better individual.