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Building Self-Esteem In Children

Self-esteem can be defined as feeling of perceiving worthwhile about you. With a good self-esteem a child will not be scared of trying new things without much fear of failing. A good self-esteem in a child will let him reach out and make friends. It will also help him to settle down the frivolous problems that he comes across. Your child would build a solid foundation for life with a good self-esteem. Self esteem develops during infancy and keeps going on until we are adults. A child may experience low self-esteem if he does not feel loved by his family. Likewise, a child who is hesitant about his or her own abilities can also develop a low self-esteem.

Kids keep on trying new things unless they succeed, thus developing ideas about their own capabilities. Therefore, childhood is the best time to develop and promote self-esteem. Parents play a key role to helping kids form accurate, healthy self-perceptions. Given below are few tips for parents to follow that will help their child to develop a healthy self-esteem:

  • Be a Positive Role Model: Children see their parents as their role models. They do whatever their parents will. If the parents will often say ‘I can’t do’ or ‘I won’t be able to do’, then children will also start developing the ‘can’t do’ attitude and will shirk from work.
  • Encourage Positive Risk Taking: A self-confident child will have the inner fortitude to try new things or kids activities, even if there is a risk of failure. Encourage them as they try out new skills. Walk with your kid on unfamiliar paths just for the adventure of seeing where you reach. This will raise the confidence of trying out new things within your kid.
  • Let Children Make Choices: Let your toddler choose what he or she wants to wear for the party. Let your kid make a choice on whatever he wants to eat when you go out for a meal. After he is done with his selection let him know about the good and bad aspects of the food item that he ordered, in a calm and humble way. Asking the kid to select what he or she wants, will lead to attain self confidence in a child.
  • Let Children Solve Problems: When a child is in some frivolous problem, let him help himself. There is no need to rush to help him. Just give him time to be creative enough to sort out things. This will not only develop self confidence in your child but will also help him to be self-dependent.

We at Boys & Girls Club of Central Texas organize ‘Goals for Growth’ program for kids between the age group 8-12 years. The program helps them identify their own strengths and enhances their self-esteem with various kids’ activities. 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.

Athletics For Kids

Involving your kids in athletics could be one of the best things you could be gifting them. It means fitness and self-confidence for lifetime.  It has been observed that kids these days have a tendency of slipping into sedentary lifestyles owing to the boom of technology. They prefer spending their free time on computers or watching their favorite TV shows instead of participating in outdoor activities.

The rise of obesity in the United States of America is a sign of the alarming condition of today’s kids. A poor lifestyle leads to poor eating habits, which in turn make kids lazier leading to unnecessary weight gain and other health complications at an early age. It is high time parents in the United States motivated their kids to participate in athletic and other kids activities for their better future.

Athletics comprise of running, jumping and throwing, all being activities that require strength and regular practice. Athletics benefit kids profoundly in the following ways:

  • Health benefits: Athletics help kids stay active and fit due to the nature of activities involved. This keeps a check on their weight as they eat only when hungry and do not suffer from unnecessary cravings of junk food. This discipline as far as food and an active lifestyle are concerned stays with them throughout their lives keeping them lean even as adults. Another major health benefit is that such kids are less prone to stress and depression as adults.
  • Socializing: Athletics give kids an opportunity to interact with other kids from different backgrounds thus improving their social skills. They learn how to put up with all sorts of behavior like tantrums and bossiness displayed by other kids. Being a part of a team helps them learn the value of cooperation with others and sportsmanship. Kids develop great friendships on the field and learn to respect each other. They end up becoming disciplined adults with strong work ethics and perseverance to go through the toughest situations.
  • Better academic performance: Kids involved in athletics show signs of improved motor skills and strategic thinking, which helps them perform better academically. They even focus on their studies better as they are less tempted to go towards drugs and other wrong habits.
  • Inexpensive: You do not have to think twice before engaging your child in athletics as it is very affordable as compared to other forms of sports. All your kids need to do is change into their sports gear and run off as there is no expensive sports equipment involved.

We at Boys & Girls Club of Central Texas organize various sports and recreational activities for your kids including 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.

Make Your Kids Eat The Right Food

As a parent, you are always thinking about what kind of food your kids should eat in order to maintain good health. Since a balanced and healthy diet is essential for a kid’s growing body, every parent must know the importance of nutrition. Nutritious food gives your children the energy they need and help in their overall physical and mental development. With little efforts, parents can easily instill healthy eating habits in their kids at an early age. However, peer pressure and the growing trend of junk food makes this task a challenge for the parents. Therefore, it becomes extremely important for the parents to make their kids eat the right food in a very positive way. Let’s see how parents can teach their kids healthy eating habits.

  • Be a good role model: Parents are a role model for kids who are likely to do whatever their role model does. They will develop the eating habits of their parents. If the parents pick up healthy snacks and cereals to eat, the kids are sure to follow and eat a healthy and nutritious meal. Frequent family meals encourage the kids for healthier food choices.
  • Take your kids out for shopping: Whenever you go out for grocery shopping take your kids along with you and talk to them about various food products that are sold in a grocery store like fruits, vegetables, meat and eggs etc. Tell them how these foods effect the body and what are the several benefits of eating healthy stuff. This will make a good impression of the healthy food stuff in their minds and they will log on to a nutritious diet.
  • Flexibility in food is also necessary: Don’t just stick to a healthy meal choice for every day. A special treat of pizza or any other food just once a week won’t do any harm. Rather this would help make them have an enjoyable experience and will also help your child to maintain healthy eating habits.
  • Prepare a personal food planner with your kids: A personal food planner will help your kids pick up more nutritious food and avoid unhealthy food. Sit and prepare a chart with your kids that include the food stuff that should be avoided and all the healthy meals that should be included in his diet.  In the chart you can also include the food stuff that your kid likes but is not much healthy and can be eaten occasionally. This will help your kid to pick nutritive food items.
  • Avoid highly processed food:  Highly processed food contains preservatives, chemicals, synthetic fats, additives, artificial sweeteners, and food colorings. These things are harmful for a growing kid. He/she may develop certain allergies, obesity, high blood pressure that leads to hazardous diseases. Therefore, try to completely avoid this food stuff or you can allow your kids to eat them seldom.

We at Boys and Girls Clubs Of Central Texas run various child care programs to incorporate healthy living and active learning in your kids. The program emphasizes on good nutrition, physical activities and overall well being. To register, visit us at 304 W Ave B, TX- 76541 or call Ms. Carol Dunn (Administrative assistant) at 254-699-5808, Ext: 102.

Fine Arts For Kids

Molding a kid into a successful person not only involves good grades and knowledge gathered from the classroom, but also involves other kids activities including expression through art. Art is often seen as a   pastime for which many do not have enough time to indulge in due to their busy schedules. However, it is one of the most important aspects of education for the holistic development of a child’s personality.

Fine arts for kids is not just limited to drawing and painting but encompasses a lot more such as printmaking, collages, mixed media, sculpting, architecture, engraving, music, theatre, etc. Exposing children to such forms of art during their free time will do much more good to them than letting them slouch in front of TVs and computer screens. Here is a list of some major benefits that children who are involved in artwork experience:

  • Improvement in academic performance: In addition to tapping your child’s creative potential, the involvement of children in any form of fine arts that they like has a positive impact on their academic performance. Such children develop the confidence of participating in competitions like essay writing, science fairs, poetry, etc and fare better than those who are not into art.
  • Emotional outlet: Children who make fine arts a part of their lives exhibit calm dispositions and cope with stress better. They show fewer signs of irritability like tantrums and addiction to gadgets and media. These children are self-reliant and usually take refuge in their artwork when overwhelmed.
  • Brain development: Kids passionate about art are more receptive to learning as it is believed that both the sides of their brain are fully active and exhibit more neural connections than the brains of other kids. They are open to new ideas and have an inclination towards thinking out of the box in every sphere of their lives.
  • Overall development: Children engaged in fine arts not only exhibit better academic performance but also show better results in non-academic areas. They perform better socially due immense cultural exposure, have high self esteem, express themselves better, and develop a sense of aesthetic awareness.

Making art a regular part of the lives of children both at school and at home will have profound benefits on their personalities making them sensitive to world around, helping them solve problems better, learn the importance of teams and help them value order, integrity, and cooperation.

We at the Boys and Girls Clubs of Central Texas organize year-round fine art programs for kids between the age group 6-18 years. These programs include drawing, painting, printmaking, collage, mixed media and a lot more. To register your kid in the various art programs, please call Ms Caroll Dunn at 254-699-5808.

Teaching Your Child Basic Computer Skills

Be it at home, in schools, or at the workplace, computers have become an intrinsic part of our lives these days. They not only have an important role in the lives of adults, but also form a major part of the lives of children today. Gone are the days when children were restricted to papers and pencils and some toys. Now they have access to lots of informative material, games, and other websites for their entertainment.

Some parents feel it is not important to accustom a child to the computer in his early years, but this could be a fixation that could make him lag behind in major areas of his studies in school. Children will need computers for research work regarding their homework, school projects, online exams, and later in their college years and careers.

The least you can do, as a parent is to introduce your child to some basic computer skills early on. The following is a list of some things you can familiarize your child with:

  • Provided your child is capable of holding a pencil on his own and figuring out what it is meant for, he is ready to master the basics of a computer. You can start with teaching him basic etiquettes like cleaning hands and keeping eatables aside before handling the computer.
  • Teach him how to turn it on and off laying special emphasis on patiently waiting for all the programs to load before starting any activity. Let him know switching it off directly can be harmful for the computer and he should use the shut down option instead.
  • Let your toddler experiment with sound and number games  in addition to fun activities like painting and scribbling with a cursor to master the art of using a mouse or touch pad.
  • Slightly older children who are of school going age can be introduced to the concept of search engines and how to use them for their homework. At this stage, it is important to impose some rules regarding using the internet and use parental control to prevent your child from having access to inappropriate websites.
  • Accustom your child to the keyboard and teach him skills like clicking and dragging a mouse. Handling a mouse can be a tricky job for a preschooler and this is where you have to patiently teach him how to coordinate all his movements until he learns how to handle the mouse without lifting his gaze from the computer screen.

We at Boys and Girls Club of Central Texas organize Skill Tech program to develop kids’ proficiency with basic computer skills, word processing, spreadsheet and other productivity software with fun, engaging lessons and projects.  To make your kid a part of this program, contact Ms. Carol Dunn at 254-699-5808 or visit Boys and Girls Club of Central Texas at 304 W Ave B, TX- 76541.

Making Studies Interesting For Kids

Grasping new things and learning new concepts at school can sometimes be boring and quite frustrating for kids. The young ones may also start shirking study time. If somehow we can make study process interesting and more like a plaything for kids, then they will definitely develop interest in studies. Here are a few tips on how you can make study time fascinating for kids:

  • Give practical examples: Giving relevant real life examples will make the kids understand any new subject. You can use various objects in and around to demonstrate many of the simple mathematical and scientific fundamentals. A kid would understand the logic better when taught in a practical way.
  • Play games: You can improve the vocabulary of your kids and also help them learn spelling by playing fun games like scrabble. Creating simple crossword puzzles and asking the kid to solve them would let him/her remember new words along with their meanings. Various tried-and-tested mnemonic tricks or the ones created by you would help the kid to remember certain lists, for example VIBGYOR to remember the seven colors of rainbow in sequence.
  • Songs and dances: You can help your child memorize particular facts by framing them out in some dance and songs. Singing and dancing in a certain flow or rhythm will help your kid grasp the topic with utmost ease.
  • Online search: Use internet to make historical figures more interesting for your kids. You can search for the particular historical figure that your kid is studying about in the school. Tell him/her the fun facts about that historical character. Narrating the importance of that character in history would also generate interest in kids. For example, you can tell your kid the story of Graham Bell who discovered telephone or Aryabhatt who introduced ‘0’ in mathematics.
  • Museums and science parks: You can take the children to various historical museums and scientific parks, where they will learn more easily about the things that are being taught at school. Going into details might confuse the kids. Therefore, tell the most prominent features that the kids would easily remember.
  • Kids club: There are certain parents who cannot give enough time to their kids. This problem is faced by most of the working class owing to their tight office schedule. This can make the kids suffer in studies. Therefore, there are various kids clubs to deal with this problem and make the child academically strong. These clubs for kids aim at making studies exciting and more interesting.

We at Boys and Girls Clubs Of Central Texas organize ‘Power Hour’ for kids between the age group of 6-16. This program aims at helping kids in their homework and providing them tutoring classes. We also encourage them to become self-directed learners. 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.

Healthy Eating Habits For Teenagers

Teenage years are a crucial period for growth and physiological changes, which in turn put a high demand on the body for energy and nutrients. Eating healthy during these years can have immense benefits in adulthood. There will be fewer chances of weight related problems and chances are, you will end up looking younger and being highly energetic.

Teenagers always seem to be in a hurry and in the process, compromise on their meals. Most of them skip breakfast while others munch onto some junk food to compensate for a missed meal. The immediate effect of this is a slow metabolic rate and varying blood sugar levels, which play havoc with the overall well being of the body.

The following are some guidelines that may be helpful in the development of healthy eating habits in teens:

  • Lots of energy and nutrients: Teenagers who eat a balanced diet comprising starchy carbohydrates, lots of fruits and vegetables, protein, and dairy products help their bodies develop to their fullest potential and feel fresh and full of energy. Fatty and sugar rich foods should be taken in negligible portions. Other than this, they should drink plenty of water.
  • Never skip a meal: Teens are obsessed with weight loss and skip meals thinking it will help them stay lean. On the contrary, skipping a meal only ends up making you feel sluggish and increases the urge to binge on “anything” when a hunger pang strikes. Eating in time, that too small portions of about six meals a day, keeps your weight in check. In addition to the three basic meals of the day, incorporating healthy snacks in between could be a great habit that will pay back in the years to come.
  • Avoid dieting: Dieting seems to be a shortcut to having the perfect body for girls. However, it is not good for your health. During these years of growth and development, your body needs all types of foods and depriving it will only show its ill effects on your skin, hair, and body. In fact, after dieting, your body tends to put on almost double the weight. The best policy is to eat everything in moderation and to choose what you eat.
  • Eating etiquettes: Basic eating etiquettes like eating slowly, sharing your food, and taking small servings first can help you eat wisely and judiciously as a teenager. Eating slowly lets you eat only how much you require. Small servings will discourage overeating while sharing with others cuts down on the quantity you consume.

We at Boys and Girls Clubs Of Central Texas run various programs to incorporate healthy living and active learning in your kids. The program emphasizes on good nutrition, physical activities and overall well being. 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.

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.

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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