Nurturing Children’s Social Development During the Pandemic | Bay Area Martial Arts

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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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Nurturing Children’s Social Development During the Pandemic

For the past two months, we have been asked to socially distance ourselves from others in order to stop the spread of COVID-19. We’ve put most of our “normal” daily living routines on pause and created a secluded environment for ourselves and our children. And while many things are in a holding pattern, one thing that has not taken a break is children’s development. And yes, we are living in unprecedented times but as the world begins the “re-opening” effort, we must prepare ourselves and our children for what our social lives will look like moving forward.

Children’s social development is being impacted by the guidelines surrounding social distancing. They are no longer able to attend school and interact with their teachers and friends and most parents are also limiting their children’s time spent going on errands as well. Therefore, their ability to interact with others is limited. And what’s worse is that many people have taken the term “social distancing” to mean that they cannot interact with others at all. The stress of getting sick has instilled fear in our minds and caused many to avoid eye contact and greeting others, in addition to staying 6 ft. apart.

For children, “social distancing” can be confusing, especially when parents are avoiding others on all levels. And while the intention of this phrase is good, it has sent the wrong message. What we need to teach children is to “physically distance” themselves from others. This term tells them to maintain distance while also letting them know that eye contact and greetings are okay. This way, children learn what they should do to avoid getting sick while also learning and reinforcing the necessary social skills.

In order to meet children’s social development needs, parents must find ways to teach social skills by providing children with creative opportunities for this. One way to start this is by parents’ role-playing social scenarios. This will be especially important since in-person social interactions will look different as daily activities resume. And while most families have continued to connect with extended family via video chats, parents should also have time set aside for virtual play dates or classes where children can interact with other adults and their peers.

Through the SKILLZ program, children around the world have continued to engage with their peers and instructors while under stay at home orders. Since SKILLZ focuses on developing the whole child, each class targets social skills that are appropriate for a certain age group. And while it’s a bit different now that classes are done virtually,

instructors are still able to create interactions between students and allow time to check in with them. Nurturing children’s social development, during this time, is vital in preparing them for interactions with others again.

While we don’t know, yet, what the long-term effects of social isolation on our children will look like, what we do know is that children will be different. To help mitigate any regression in social development, we must take the time now to form a unity between parents and the community and invest in our children’s social growth. By doing this, we are preparing them for success and helping them feel confident in knowing how to interact with others in a safe, yet compassionate way.

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