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Dealing With Anger In Children

Anger in children can be very frustrating to deal with especially when it becomes habitual. Many parents overlook the signs of anger in children thinking it is just a phase that will come and go. They do not probe deeper into their emotions to find out what the underlying cause is. Even though anger is a very normal human emotion, it becomes a matter of concern when it blows out of proportion. This is when a parent has to step back and analyze what is going on in the child’s mind.

Here is a list of some strategies that can help you deal with your child’s anger effectively-

  • Provide outlets for the anger: If your child seems to be getting very angry of late for no apparent reason, you might want to involve him in some outdoor activities that can give a vent to his bottled up emotions. Some kids activities like running, playing, boxing, swimming, etc can help him gain perspective and look at things calmly.
  • Touch therapy: Just touching a young child and holding him close can have profound benefits on his disturbed emotional state.  As soon as, you sense some anger in your child, try approaching him and take interest in what he is doing. His anger could be a way of seeking attention if he is deficit of it. The attention of an adult could be all that he needs.
  • Punish cautiously: Spanking a child is simply not an option when it comes to disciplining him. A better option would be to physically restrain him from an activity that is triggering his anger or simply give him a time-out. Try explaining to the child what you think about the situation and even listen to his side of the story. Say “NO” firmly and set limits when required.
  • Appreciate often: Anger in a child usually stems from a lack of appreciation. Make an effort to observe your child’s actions and appreciate him for what he does well. This will boost his self-image and make him feel good about himself. Show affection wherever you can and encourage your child to express verbally what he does not like so that you can help him. Such gestures on your part will make the child feel connected to you. A connected child is more balanced and calmer than one who doesn’t have a sense of connection.

We at Boys and Girls Club of Central Texas conduct various programs to help your kids learn to manage their anger. For more details visit Boys and Girls Clubs of Texas, 304 W Ave B, TX- 76541 or call Ms. Carol Dunn at 254-699-5808, Ext: 102.

Nurturing Your Child's Creativity

When it comes to creativity, most of us associate it with art and craft or the ability to create something unique. However, there are no boundaries for creativity and it can be a part of our lives in the smallest ways possible. Creativity is the ability to put things together in unique ways or seeing normal things from a different perspective. Each human being is creative to some extent. It’s just that some get an opportunity to tap their creativity while others let it go unnoticed.

We can’t force a creative talent upon our children but we can at least train them to see things differently. This can be done by training them to concentrate on kids activities at hand and be optimistic about the outcome. The following are some points you can work upon to nurture your child’s creativity:-

  • Turn off the TV: The TV is a great time and energy sapper. As much as possible, keep your child away from it. When bored, let him figure what to do with his time. This will rescue him from becoming a couch potato. Let your child’s imagination go wild. You can ask him to tell you a story or do some role-playing.
  • Creative toys: Provide your child with toys that encourage him to build something. Blocks and Lego bricks are great for the purpose. Let him build, destroy, build again without your any intervention on your part. It’s a great opportunity for him to explore new boundaries with his creativity.
  • Set an example: Children emulate their parents and can get a lot of encouragement to indulge themselves in hobbies and creative pursuits if they see you doing so frequently. Make it a point to devote sometime out of your busy schedule for trying new things and let your children be your audience.
  • Let your child loose: Parents who are too uptight regarding issues like neatness and strict routines with their children hamper their development in terms of creativity. Let your child make messes and learn from them. Set no limits on them and encourage them to think out of the box instead of being little boring conformists. This much support from your end will give their imagination wings.
  • Observe: Observe what your child finds interesting and provide him with the necessary materials to feed that interest.  However, don’t pressurize him into doing something spectacular. Just appreciate his efforts without bothering about the results.

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.

Teach Your Kid How To Make Friends

Every child has to step out of his comfort zone at one point or another and go out into the world to form new bonds. This might be overwhelming for kids who are shy and too clingy to their parents. Even though it’s a difficult task to get such a child socialize with other children, it’s not impossible. A little patience and understanding from parents can go a long way in encouraging a child to break free from any barriers and mix up well with age mates. As a parent, try not to make socializing a big deal for your child. Instead, make your child familiar and comfortable with the concept in a subtle manner.

The following are some practical strategies that might be useful for parents trying to get their child to socialize:-

  • First and foremost, be a role model for your child. If you display good social ethics, your child is sure to follow. Teach your child basic social rules like sharing and listening when interacting with your friends.
  • Organize some play dates by inviting your child’s friends over. Your purpose will be easy to accomplish if the kids invited are outgoing in nature. Involve kids in activities that require cooperation, such as baking and craft.
  • Be quick to praise your child when he displays a social skill that you would love to see more of. It could be something as simple as sharing or helping someone.
  • You can try role playing before the actual situation arises. Make your child familiar with who you are expecting and take turns pretending to be the guest and host. This dissolves a child’s anxiety greatly.
  • Encourage your child to play games that are taught to them at school. It will boost his confidence and he’ll be in a better position to interact with his friends and strangers over the game. Having a skill or two makes a child feel worthy and improves his self esteem.
  • Setting social rules at home also forces some kids out of their shells. Make it clear to your child that he must answer a question if asked by a guest or friend. It’s alright if the answer is a short one provided it’s polite. It’s also important to maintain eye contact when answering back.
  • Expose your child to different social settings. Take him along to the grocery store, coffee shop, malls, etc. He will learn a lot by mere observation.

We at Boys and Girls Clubs Of Central Texas offer a series of programs for your kids up to the age of 18 years. These programs give them an opportunity to learn new skills, make new friends and also have loads of fun. To enroll your kid in any of our programs, visit us at 304 W Ave B, TX- 76541 or call Ms. Carol Dunn at 254-699-5808, Ext: 102.

Helping Your Child With Homework

Homework is an intrinsic part of education that’s not liked by many children. It’s actually meant to help students revise what they’ve learnt in class. This includes the key concepts and anything new that’s been taught in class. Repetition improves ones understanding and that’s the principle under which homework revolves. It’s just meant to help the students go through their work for the day and try to grasp the concepts by themselves. When kids get back home from school, it’s very difficult for them to discipline themselves and get down to completing homework. This is where parents’ role come in.

No one knows a child better than a parent. Only a parent knows the specific tendencies of the child and how to motivate him to do his homework. Each child has a different identity and what works for one child might not work for another. Nevertheless, here are a few tips that might be of help in motivating kids to take homework seriously.

  • Provide a conducive environment: Nothing can be more repelling than a messy and dark room for doing homework. It’s important to provide your child with a well lit and clean space. Every child has his own preference of the place where he would like to do his homework. Some like a place that’s a little busy like the kitchen whereas others prefer completely silent zones.
  • Timing: Help your child develop a consistent routine for his homework. Such a routine will depend on your child’s personality and preferences. If he prefers finishing the homework as soon as he’s back from school, you should help do so. Some kids want to eat something or play with friends before settling down to work. See what suits your child and help him stick to it.
  • Resist the temptation of doing your child’s homework: It’s very tempting for parents to become good Samaritans and help their little ones with the seemingly tough homework. However, such practices can be detrimental to your child’s confidence in the long run. He might end up being overly dependent on you and lose his confidence in being able to do his homework without your assistance. A little help is of no harm, but care should be taken not to cross the line.
  • Avoid distractions: When your child is into his homework, turn off the TV and keep all forms of distractions like iPods, phones and computers away. You also have to be disciplined enough to steer clear of these things while your child studies.

The Boys and Girls Clubs Of Central Texas’s ‘Power Hour’ education program aims at providing homework help and tutoring kids between the age group 6-16 years and encouraging them to become self-directed learners.

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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Why Is Physical Fitness Important For Teens?

A teenager has to face a lot of challenges today health-wise. Thanks to a large number of fast food chains and to top it all, a sedentary lifestyle. Not very long time ago, teenagers were considered the most active lot. They used to walk to school, play outdoor games and eat simple food. They were much fitter as compared to the teenagers now. They had more stamina and energy and had an active life outdoors.  Such a lifestyle eventually helped them grow up as healthy adults.

The scenario now is totally different from what it was then. Nowadays, it’s considered completely normal for a teen to be glued to the laptop for hours together. They can’t resist the urge to keep munching something when in front of the TV. Hanging out with friends at a food joint is considered to be “cool”. What teens today don’t realize is how negative the repercussions of such a lifestyle can be. Teenage obesity, depression, suicides etc. are all offshoots of their way of living.

Fitness is not just about exercising regularly. It comprises a person’s overall strength, endurance, and flexibility. Good nutrition and being mental health also come within its ambit. Physical fitness in teens helps them fight illnesses better and even makes them feel happier due to the release of endorphins in the brain. Teens that are physically fit have less chances of gaining weight throughout their lives and this keeps their confidence levels brimming. The heart, lungs and muscles function efficiently and this in turn keeps the energy levels up.  What’s more, the immune system is strengthened and one doesn’t fall prey to colds, flu and viruses easily.

Focusing on being physically fit in the teenage years will pay off big time in the years to come. One doesn’t have to engage in strenuous exercise to remain fit. All that’s required is moderate amount of physical activity every day. There are a lot of activities to choose from ranging from aerobic exercises to swimming, ice skating, skiing, horse riding etc.  The trick is in having fun as you remain active. For those who are not into such activities, a 30 minute brisk walk or 20 minutes of jogging everyday should suffice. Whatever activity you choose, its efficacy will be judged by how hard your heart beats and how much you sweat.

We at Boys and Girls Clubs Of Central Texas run several programs to teach your kids skills for eating right, staying physically fit, getting good health care and developing positive relationships with peers and adults. 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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Teaching Kids The Benefits Of Teamwork

Teamwork refers to the ability to work with others as a group for the completion of a task. It is a skill that is very important to be inculcated in kids. Children get a lot of attention; they think that the whole world revolves around them. As they grow, it becomes important to teach them the importance of working together as a team both at home and at school. Many people think teamwork is only required in sports. This is a wrong notion as teamwork is essential at almost every stage of life from schooling to when one gets employed.

Team work has innumerable benefits on the personality of a child. It greatly improves a child’s communication skills as it’s all about voicing your opinion and listening to the opinion of others. It also teaches a child to co-operate with other members of the group. A child learns to value the point of view of others and this is an important leadership skill too. The child works towards a common goal and solves problems keeping in mind the goal to be achieved. A child learns how to share and compromise in special circumstances. The skill helps the child to carry learn how to get along with others and have fun while completing a project. What’s more, it teaches a child the skill of working with difficult people.

Teaching your kids about the benefits of teamwork at an early age is the best foundation for a stable and socially fit person. To start with, all you have to do is introduce your child to the concept of working as a team. Tell your child some stories of people who achieved a lot while they worked in a  team and how they would not achieved much had they been all alone. After this, introduce them to some practical demonstrations so that this attitude gets fixed in their minds. You can use some fun ideas to inculcate the concept in their minds and even reward your child positively for any effort towards working  as a team. You can turn the household chores into interesting games for them. Get creative and make teamwork a part and parcel of your child’s daily life.

If you want your kids to learn the importance of teamwork, get them enrolled at Boys and Girls Clubs Of Central Texas. We at these clubs organize various Character Building and Leadership programs for kids up to 18 years of age. For more information, 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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Anger Management For Kids

Anger is a normal human emotion. It becomes a matter of concern only when it’s out of control. That’s when management skills are required. The same applies to anger in children. Even though anger tantrums once in a while are perfectly normal, the problem arises when a child displays his or her anger in an inappropriate way. It’s important for parents to help their children cope with their negative feelings and anger. Kids also learn a lot from their parents. So, as a parent, you should display effective ways of managing anger to guide their children right. You might end up giving your child a lesson for life.

The following are some tips that might be helpful in helping your kid manage anger in an effective manner:-

  • Identifying anger: Little kids know less about human emotions and how to distinguish one emotion from the other. This is something you will have to teach your child. Explain to your child the early signs of anger.  These signs could be flushed cheeks, a pounding heart, clenched fists, etc. This is the first step in helping your kid conquer feelings of anger.
  • Cut down on factors that trigger anger: Identify factors that trigger anger in your child. It could be low self esteem, a competitive classroom environment or feeling unappreciated by the family. See what you can do to minimize these factors. You can avoid fighting in front of your child, keep violent video games at bay, etc.
  • Familiarize your child with anger management skills: Certain skills can be taught to children to help them cope with feelings of anger by themselves. You can teach your child to draw or write what is upsetting him or her and later tear the paper and throw it away. Try teaching your child simple positive statements that can be used in times of anger. Older kids can be taught abdominal breath control techniques.
  • Alternatives to anger: Teach your child that he or she doesn’t have to get angry each time things go wrong. There is always a positive alternative that can be found for every situation. For instance, if your child is angry on an assignment that’s too tough, he or she should know that there are other alternatives like getting help from a parent or teacher instead of simmering in anger. You can treat your child to a pillow fight or go for a walk or bike ride.

Boys and Girls Clubs Of Central Texas offers various programs to teach children various ways to cope with their problems. The kids who are a part of these clubs tend to grow up into strong, confident and independent adults. Contact Ms. Carol Dunn at 254-699-5808 to get your children enrolled in our child care programs.

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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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