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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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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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Healthy Habits for Kids

Children are like a blank canvas. They are a clear reflection of what we instill in them. Be it habits or values; they absorb everything like a sponge. The most crucial years in a child’s life are the first ten years. These first ten years can actually make or mar the personality of a child. It is in these tender years that we can instill good habits in them that will last them a life time.

A good parent works on developing healthy habits in his kids through a holistic approach. A lot comes within the ambit of healthy habits. Good nutrition, physical activities, hygiene, the sleep cycle, manners and much more contribute to healthy habits in kids. Habits can’t be forced upon a child and the best approach is to rationalize with a kid as to why a certain habit is worth inculcating.

The following are some healthy habits for kids:

  • Good eating habits: The food habits that a child develops in his early childhood are more or less likely to stay with him for life. Encourage your child to eat nutritious home-made food as against junk food. Try to include vegetable servings, whole wheat, salads, porridge, yoghurt and plenty of fresh fruits in your child’s daily diet. This will go a long way in developing good eating habits and will also keep diseases like obesity miles away from your child well into adulthood.
  • Physical activities: With the boom of computers, TV’s and video games, kids are literally glued inside their homes. It’s very important for kids to be physically active in order to be healthy in the long run. Ensure that your child spends at least half an hour outside in the fresh air daily. In addition to this, involve your child in various outdoor activities like cycling, swimming and skating. Play board games with your child and bond over a picnic or even something as simple as a walk.
  • Good hygiene: Hygiene comprise of both oral hygiene and physical hygiene. Teach your child about the importance of good oral hygiene. Make sure you child brushes twice a day and take him for regular dental check ups. Encourage your child to wash hands after every meal and even after visiting the washroom. Do let your kid know the importance of short and clean nails, well kempt hair and overall grooming.
  • Sleep habits: It’s very important for children to sleep enough for proper overall development. A child requires at least 9 to 10 hours of sleep on an average. Instill in your kid the habit of going to bed early and consequently waking up early.

We at the Boys and Girls Clubs Of Central Texas run various health programs which aim to create a healthy and appropriate surrounding for kids. To name some of these programs are Cavity-Free Zone, SMART Moves, SMART Girls, SMART Leaders and Passport to Manhood.

If you are interested in enrolling your kids in these programs, 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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Teenagers And Smoking

Statistics show that there are as many as 46 million adult cigarette smokers and 3 million teenage smokers in the U.S. By creating awareness about the hazards of smoking, the number of adult smokers has dwindled but the awareness campaigns haven’t made an effect on the teenagers. Research shows that 80% of adult smokers started smoking as teenagers. The reason for this is that when one starts smoking as a teenager, the chances of ending up as an addict increase manifold. Once the body gets used to a certain amount of nicotine present in cigarettes, it begins to crave for it when it is deprived of it. This is where addiction begins.

A majority of teenagers are getting hooked to cigarette smoking for a variety of reasons. Some prominent reasons are:

  • Teens surrounded by family members who smoke can easily take to smoking. They might find it okay to smoke as well.
  • Peer pressure also influences teenagers to smoke as a part of their lifestyle. They may start smoking just to fit in the circle and not be the odd one out. Acceptance by peers is crucial to their self-esteem.
  • Media bombards teens with images of their favorite celebrities or singers smoking at a young age. This is usually presented as being harmless and cool. A teenager may get carried away with such images and want to emulate such personalities.
  • Some teens start smoking as an act of rebellion against their parents or some people of authority.
  • Others smoke to combat their low self-esteem and to reduce stress.
  • Some smoke just for the heck of it. They want to know why there is a fuss about prohibition on smoking.

Whatever are the reasons for smoking, it is very important for teenagers to be aware of the fact that it can be incredibly damaging to their life and future. It can even sabotage their relationships with their loved ones and deeply hurt them. Every time you take a puff, you are greatly damaging your body. Here’s how:

  • Cigarettes have tons of harmful chemicals including tar, carbon monoxide and nicotine, which are highly addictive.
  • Smoking causes diseases like bronchitis, emphysema, heart disease and many types of cancers including lung and mouth cancer.
  • It reduces your endurance when playing sports.
  • It really bad breath and yellow teeth.
  • Research shows that nicotine can cause a significant damage to the growing brain of a teenager.

The special programs at Boys and Girls Club of Central Texas like SMART Moves and SMART Leaders prepare teenagers to help them resist alcohol, tobacco, other addictive drugs and premature sexual activity.

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

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Health Care For Teenagers

The trickiest years in human life are probably the teenage years ranging from 10 to 17 years. It is a challenging journey from childhood to adolescence in terms of physical, cognitive, social and moral development. An adolescent’s self worth largely depends on how they look like and feel about themselves. They go through tremendous physical changes due to the hormonal releases in the pituitary gland. Their brains begin to process thoughts that are more abstract and most of these thoughts are focused on themselves. As they gain confidence and self-awareness, they become more capable of making friendships based on intimacy and loyalty. They lean on friends for support and cut down on time spent with family.

Teenagers are highly conscious of their appearance and have wrong notions of how to stay fit. Media and peer pressure send mixed signals regarding the ideal weight and fitness thus confusing a teenager. Most of the girls fall prey to dieting and end up with eating disorders like anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa, which prove fatal sometimes. It is very important for teenagers to engage in rigorous physical activity regularly. An upward trend of teenage obesity has been witnessed in the recent years, which call for cutting down on junk food and amending poor lifestyle habits. A healthy diet for teenagers should comprise of plenty of fruits, vegetables, carbohydrates and protein.

Good health care is very essential for teenagers as they usually bypass it thinking they are immortal. Keeping a proper check on their health in the teenage years can ward off fatal diseases in their adulthood. They should get themselves screened for any possible heath problems. A track should be kept on their height, weight, cholesterol levels and blood pressure. Car accidents, physical injury, homicide and suicide are responsible for three out of four teenage deaths in addition to cancer and heart disease. The need of the hour is to follow a holistic approach towards maintaining good health. A good diet, physical exercise and healthy mental health are vital in these crucial years.

Peer groups become an indispensable part of a teenager’s life. They prefer sharing their feelings, secrets and sorrows with their peers. Parents are shoved into their outer circle and peers suddenly find space in their inner circle. It is important for parents to be patient and understanding during this transitionary phase as it is a sign of maturity and is a natural process. A balance has to be struck between parents and peers for a positive outcome in the long run.

Enroll your kids in various programs offered by the Boys and Girls Clubs Of Central Texas. These programs aim for improvement in health care of your kids. For more details, 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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Teenagers And Drug Abuse

Drug abuse, also known as substance abuse refers to the excessive and maladaptive pattern of alcohol or drug consumption. A person suffering from drug abuse has a strong desire to take illicit drugs, faces difficulties in controlling its habit and gives more priority to drug use than to other activities etc.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of teenagers who fall victim to drug abuse. They usually begin taking drugs voluntarily but with the passage of time and continuous drug use, they become drug addicts. This is because the prolonged use of drugs affects the functioning of the brain.

The reasons why teenagers take drugs include, but are not limited to factors like having fun, making friends, being called a ‘risk-taker’ or ‘rebel’, getting stress relief, escaping difficult decisions, peer pressure, being a part of significant group of people, curiosity  etc.

Parents can make out if their kid is suffering from drug abuse with the help of following warning signs:

  • Having bloodshot eyes or dilated pupils.
  • Stays isolated, withdrawn, depressed or angry.
  • Being secretive, particularly about his/her peer group.
  • Losing interest from old habits and being untruthful about new interests and activities.
  • Demanding privacy and avoiding eye contact.

If your child is abusing drugs or alcohol, it is very important to take an action right way. There are certain institutes which deal with various teenage related problems.

We at Boys and Girls Club of Central Texas offer various programs for the betterment of youngsters. We aim at guiding your kid not just in the academic field but also in extracurricular activities. The special programs at our club like SMART Moves and SMART Leaders prepare teenagers to help them resist alcohol, tobacco, other addictive substances drugs and premature sexual activity.

For more information regarding our programs or for any other related queries, feel free to visit us at Boys and Girls Clubs Of Central Texas, located at 304 W Ave B, TX- 76541. You can also call Ms. Carol Dunn (Administrative assistant) at 254-699-5808, Ext: 102.

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