Should I Worry? Tuning into Teens’ Emotional Shifts | Bay Area Martial Arts
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Kristen Matarazzo

I studied with Adrian for many years. He is by far the most focused and knowledgeable instructor I've ever known. The lessons I learned from him go far beyond just Martial Arts but also basic life skills. I was also fortunate enough to teach at the dojo and see firsthand the benefits of Martial Arts training for young children. As an elementary school teacher, I can't emphasize enough how the skills he teaches in his classes, focus, discipline, responsibility, positively affect students in their academic lives. One of the best decisions I've ever made was to train with him!

John Geltmeyer

I am a grandfather, father, and teacher with 40 years experience, elementary to high school. I thoroughly enjoy watching my grandchild participate in BAMA.

We want our children to be successful, to grow in a healthy environment; we want our children to be challenged, and to have fun. The Bay Area Martial Arts staff provides all these aspects. They love to teach, they know their material, and deliver with passion and compassion.

Thank you, BAMA staff.

Erica Tran Wang

This place is awesome. My 4.5-year-old attends the early skillz level at BAMA and he loves it. He’s been learning fundamentals like kicking, punching, and blocking all while practicing patience and perseverance with his peers. The instructors do a great job at making it fun while teaching discipline. If it were up to my kid, we’d come here every day. I love seeing the big smile on his face at every lesson, how proud he is when he earns his stripes each week, and his excitement about advancing to the next belt color. We’ll be coming here a long time!

Rich Proulx

My son has been going here for a couple of years. Great instructors. They have a really good sense of how to tailor the program to where the kids are at, age-wise. They manage a really good mix of hard-core martial arts (or the need precursors) and fun.

Emily Mabry

I have trained at Bay Area Martial Arts for almost 10 years; from the age of 9 until I was 18 years old. I loved coming to class and the teachers were great. I did not just learn self-defense, but also gained self-confidence. At Bay Area Martial Arts you learn skills that help you develop and grow as a person.

Joshua Jansen

Our 5-year-old son (and us parents) absolutely love Bay Area Martial Arts. The staff is incredibly positive with the kids and have created an environment where kids learn respect, martial arts, and have fun at the same time. Scheduling is easy and we love that we can come multiple times per week and love the various camp offerings. We didn't think it could get better but just completed a b-day party where all 25 kids had an incredible time learning martial arts, swords and lightsaber fighting techniques. Our son is still talking about how he broke a board....Well done team BAMA!

Kaari Tattar

This is a top notch martial arts school! We have known the owners for years as they are part of the SKILLZ organization. They offer quality training and strive to make students become the best version of themselves by improving in all areas of development - physical, intellectual, emotional, and social. The instructors are amazing!

Cecilia DeSilva

This is an extremely great place to bring your kids to train martial arts but this place is a whole lot more than that both of my boys train here and the skills that they have learned go way beyond the dojo. The amount of respect my kids have learned is mind-boggling for a 5- and 7-year-old, I know it's hard for them to understand the word let alone, start showing respect to their elders, they listen better the first time around. We were really struggling with our kids' behavior before they started here, I spoke with one of the Sensei's and they really helped us transform our family dynamic for the better.. both my boys have been here for over 2 years.

If you have any kids SEND THEM HERE. This place rocks. It can really help.
#BAMARocks!

Shonnon Schey reviewed Bay Area Martial Arts
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I signed my kindergartener daughter in the six-week promotion to see if she would enjoy martial arts. I knew after her first class that this was going to be truly enriching for her, and she loves going to her classes.
I love that the classes are age specific- and you can see how the teaching styles are geared towards each age group. As explained by Sensei Adrian in our assessment- four-year-olds and seven-year-olds are capable of different things at different times. Having them in age-appropriate classes will help them succeed because they are with their peers.
The instructors are firm but fair, and are amazing with a large group of kids. They don't coddle anyone, they have the same expectations of everyone.
I'm proud of how my daughter has taken to BAMA in such a short time. She has gotten stronger and already shows more self discipline (as much as can be expected from a five-year-old)!
My husband and I are so happy that we found Bay Area Martial Arts!

Christina Chandler reviewed Bay Area Martial Arts
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My son just started and I already can see the difference in him. Thank you. This place is GREAT! You all should see if your child or children like it.

Leah Martin reviewed Bay Area Martial Arts
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My 13 year old son started at the dojo when he was 5 and my 9 year old daughter started when she was 3. Bringing them here has turned out to be one of the best decisions that my husband and I made for our children. The amount of focus and discipline that they have learned through martial arts has encompassed all parts of their lives. Both are excellent students and know how to stick up for themselves. My daughter will not think twice about being an ally for someone else. I am blown away by their self confidence. They have learned that you can succeed at anything you put your mind to with hard work and perseverance.

While learning the skills of working hard and self esteem, students get a great work out and have fun with Sifu Adrian and Sensei Ceci. They create a nurturing environment where children learn skills at their appropriate developmental stage. They have become family and I am forever grateful for all that they have done for my children.

Kelly Correll Brown reviewed Bay Area Martial Arts
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My 7 year old son started at Bay Area Martial Arts in January of this year. After nearly 6 months I have seen such a change in him both physically and emotionally. My son was always scared of trying new things - like riding a scooter or doing a handstand - because his balance has never been that great. Martial arts has really helped him build confidence and the physical strength to try new things. Respect for yourself, your family, and people in the wider world is something that he is learning and doing. Sensei Adrian, Nate, and Ceci have been so wonderful not just to our son, but to our whole family. They really care about these kids - not just to make them ninjas (because lets face it... what kid doesn't want to be a ninja?!?!), but about helping them be the best version of themselves that they can be. Thanks so much you guys!!!!

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Should I Worry? Tuning into Teens’ Emotional Shifts

Should I Worry? Tuning into Teens’ Emotional Shifts

As we approach the one-year mark of an ever-strong pandemic that has rocked our world, we are searching for ways to keep ourselves mentally and emotionally in check.

For teens, this has been an even more difficult feat. Adolescence is already fraught with stress and moodiness but adding in the social isolation and fear have led to an even greater rise in anxiety and depression among teens. And while parents are doing their best to manage their own stress and provide for their families, alarming signs of depression in teens are being overlooked. Therefore, it is vital that parents are attuned to their teens “normal” moods and know when they are exhibiting more harmful ones.

 

As teens grow and develop, it’s no surprise that the raging hormones along with academic, social, and even athletic stressors set the stage for teenage angst.

And while it’s not always easy to discriminate between typical teenage moodiness and depression, observing behaviors that are continuous and persistent are cause for concern. Teen brains are already overly sensitive to stress since their prefrontal cortex is still developing. Therefore, the onset for serious psychological disorders is during these years. And even more disturbing is that the beginning of emotional distress seems to now be trickling into younger age groups, generally around age 10.

 

Our modern lifestyle has, no doubt, played a role in the increased stress in our teens.

They typically get less exercise, eat more processed foods, and spend hours on some form of technology or social media. They get outside less and get minimal amounts of quality sleep. And to exacerbate things they are now living through a pandemic that has decreased their social support systems and kept them out of school off and on or indefinitely. So, things that once served to alleviate some of the pain are now gone too. Moreover, experts believe that teens have been raised with unrealistic expectations about the “real world” because many parents have tried to shield them from pain and disappointment instead of helping them develop coping skills and dealing with a problem head on.

 

Since anxiety and depression present in varying ways, it’s vital that parents are attuned to their child’s baseline personality.

Sadness often shows up as withdrawal or irritability. And while moodiness often accompanies typical teen emotions, watching for extreme shifts in their mood and how long these things are lasting can give parents an enormous amount of insight. Now, more than even, it’s essential that parents do daily mood checks with their teens. These moments, however, are when parents should be gentle but persistent while also being ready to listen without trying to fix things.

 

As a part of the SKILLZ Child Development program, the Parent SKILLZ curriculum provides tips for parents to connect with their child, no matter what age.

Being attuned to their normal personality traits can help parents better nurture the bond with their teen through patience and consistency. These things will encourage open dialogue so teens will feel their emotions are taken seriously. Also encouraging a healthy lifestyle with plenty of physical activity, balanced meals, and sleep will help stabilize moods.

 

Teens often have a hard time expressing how they feel so it’s up to parents, teachers, and other caregivers to identify the signs when moodiness turns into depression.

Reaching out to other trusted adults for help with teens and get them talking, is important. Then the uncomfortable feelings that come along stress and other adolescent woes will be more manageable due to coping skills and a strong support system.

 

 

 

Author: Jennifer Salama of Skillz Worldwide

Jennifer is a 4th-degree black belt and has been training in martial arts since 2001. She has a Masters Degree in Child Psychology and has embraced the SKILLZ curriculum because of its focus on child development and using martial arts as a vehicle to develop the child as a whole.