Pandemic Parenting - Understanding Your Child’s Regressive Behaviors | 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.
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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.

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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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Pandemic Parenting – Understanding Your Child’s Regressive Behaviors

Raising a child can be one of the most rewarding jobs around. And while it’s exciting to watch children grow and develop into caring humans, parenting definitely brings about it’s fair share of challenges. Fast forward to 2020 and we are now faced with parenting during a pandemic which presents with even more difficulties. And to make an already stressful situation worse, many children are exhibiting a regression in behaviors that is contributing to parental frustration. Therefore, it’s imperative that parents have support so they can be empathic during this tough time and be attuned to differing behaviors of their children.

During times of stress, cortisol floods into the brain and puts us in survival mode. Since children’s pre-frontal cortex is still developing, stress makes it harder for them to follow rules and they act out to get attention. What’s important to understand, however, is that this is an unconscious process. Since our higher brain functioning is exhausted and we are inundated with stress hormones, just trying to get through the day is enough of a challenge. Attempting to process all of this, logically, is an impossible feat for children in today’s circumstances.

Therefore, parents should expect their children to behave differently and understand that this is the way they communicate their feelings. Taking steps backwards in development is likely and can include varying behaviors depending on the age of the child. Younger children may have nightmares, be fearful of social situations, start wetting the bed, etc. Older children and teens may argue more or be quieter, which is important to understand since silence speaks volumes and can be an indication of anxiety or depression. Whatever the age or behavior, however, being attuned to their children’s actions is essential.

For parents to help their children through this, they should become curious about any regressive or acting out behaviors they observe. Being attuned and taking time to connect to their children helps parents understand the behavior in a truer way. Instead of disciplining or scolding regressive behaviors, parents should validate their children’s feelings, so they can begin to make healthy strides to feeling empowered again. By doing this and being empathetic, parents can nurture their relationship with their child and reassure them of a positive future.

Since most everyone feels “cut-off” in some way from community support systems, it’s important for parents to have access to resources that assist them in creating a way for

their children to regain skills while also nurturing the parent-child bond. The SKILLZ program is a child development course that helps children build skills physically, intellectually, emotionally, and socially. Parents can utilize the in-person classes, virtual classes, or at-home training planners for their children. Each of these courses provides them with the tools to maintain healthy development while also building essential life skills. In addition, SKILLZ offers a supplemental course, Parent SKILLZ, that assists parents in understanding their children in these unprecedented times.

While everyone is attempting to navigate through this unique experience, parents feel a more significant responsibility to ensure that their children come through this pandemic with the least amount of regression. Understanding that regression during stressful times is common is important so parents don’t feel as if they are failing their children. Skills will be regained and utilizing resources that aid in this will be beneficial for children and their parents as we all continue to move forward to a new normal.

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