Supporting Children’s Emotional Needs During the Pandemic Part 1 | 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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Supporting Children’s Emotional Needs During the Pandemic Part 1

As the pandemic carries on, our coping skills are starting to unravel. For many people, this has become the ultimate emotional test. As we continue to maintain our distance from each other, not only have our social lives been halted, but our emotional support is wavering as well. And while we have been living this reality this for some time, it is not getting any easier. In fact, it is getting a bit harder, especially for children. In order to mitigate this emotional imbalance, it is important to put things into place to help them feel more stable.

Understanding that feelings and responses to the same pandemic are going to vary from person to person is important. Parents need to take time to reassure their children that all emotions are okay and that what they are feeling is normal. There is no right way to cope. What parents can do is begin implementing the first four, of eight, parent tips to support their children’s emotional development during this time.

1) Practice Patience: While the situation is getting more and more difficult for everyone to deal with, children are greatly affected. Younger children may be more rambunctious and teens may be sleeping more. However your child is responding, it’s important to be patient with them and how they cope. Parents should also be patient with themselves and know that some days will be better than others.

2) Adjust Expectations: We’ve all heard it…”Make the best of this pandemic.” We have more “free time” now than we’ve ever had. School work can be finished in a short time and since there are no extracurricular activities going on, many parents expect that their children would want to learn new skills or set new goals. And while it sounds like a great idea, it’s just not realistic for everyone. Adapting to how children need to cope during this uncertain time is going to support them more emotionally.

3) Listen Thoroughly: Children express their emotions in many ways. Being attuned to their feelings and the way they are expressing them is important for parents to be aware of. Observe the way they react to situations and information, watch for non-verbal cues such as behaviors, and listen to their tone of voice. Spending time carefully observing their children will allow parents the ability to better support their children’s emotional needs.

4) Demonstrate Compassion: Everyone is feeling the frustration of the shelter in place order. And since children show this through their behaviors, it’s important

for parents to show empathy and give more love and support to their children. Nurturing children through the ups and downs of our current reality will teach them empathy for others and help them feel more secure.

We are all facing uncertainty and a new type of stress. Children have less experience on how to deal with this. Since they have strong emotions but also have lower self-regulation skills, parents need to make sure that they are being patient, adjusting expectations, listening, and showing empathy. These things will help children feel supported emotionally and give them the space to process things in their own way.

Check back next week for four additional parent tips for supporting your child’s emotional needs during the pandemic.

Make it a great day!

Sensei Adrian