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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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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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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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Sharpen Your Computer Skills At Boys And Girls Club Of Texas

Computer is an important and needed element in the present times. Thus, it is a very good idea to introduce computers to children at an early age. This will help the children to understand and learn the functionality of a computer by the time they enter school. 

The children in preschool age can gain knowledge of how to turn on the computer and operate the mouse. There are also various games designed especially for this age group that instruct and strengthen basic skills of school readiness in them.

Boys and Girls Club of Central Texas provides a special computer time to your children. Structured activities and games provide an opportunity to the child to explore the functioning of a child. Children are made to name each and every part of the computer. They are also made to play games that require dragging and dropping things also develop their mouse skills. This knowledge facilitates the children to use the computer parts in a proper manner. 

At Boys and Girls Club of Central Texas, children are made aware of the usefulness of the children in the present times and they are prepared for a world in which expertise in computer is extremely essential. 

The instructors at the club are trained and expert in their work. They give special attention to each child and understand the importance of giving assistance to every child so that he can reach his full potential. They do not teach computer as some course. They make the classes interesting and enjoyable by illustrating to the kids that is very much fun to learn and try something new. 

Children are also provided an exposure to various software programs that enhance their creativity in conjunction with an introduction to technology.  

The club helps to sharpen your child’s computer skills through a step by step exposure to it. Moreover, the controlled atmosphere of the club promotes enjoyment and learning. Make your kid a part of Boys and Girls Club of Central Texas today by contacting Ms. Carol Dunn at 254-699-5808.

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