When a family member is diagnosed with an illness it impacts the whole family. Adults, teens and young children try to make sense of these new challenges and cope with complicated emotions. Parents often struggle with explanations of the illness and treatments to young children. Our guest blogger today has faced similar struggles and created a wonderful resource to help others.
Guest Blogger, Brooke Chaplan
Kids benefit from having the opportunity to compete against others in sports and other activities that they love. When kids compete, they learn valuable social skills such as how to gracefully win and lose. They also develop the ability to focus under pressure, which is a skill that they will use for the rest of their life. While there are many wonderful things that your kid gains when they are encouraged to participate in competitions, they can also experience extreme pressure and anxiety that can negatively affect their growth. It’s important for your kids to push themselves, but also for them to have fun and relax. Here are some ways you can help your kids develop by enabling them to compete without stress.
Provide Enough Time to Practice
Being unprepared for a public performance is always stressful. Make sure to set up a regular schedule for practice times that include sessions at home as well as during their lessons. In some cases, your child may need to focus on only one sport or activity to make sure that they have enough time to practice at the advanced level. Once you have the practice routine in place, be sure to stick to it. Your child will feel less stressed during their competition when they know their routine by heart. Make sure your child also has enough time to play and enjoy their childhood—a major cause of stress in children can involve the constant parade of activities and sports to compete in.
Make It Easy to Stay Organized
Competition days are often filled with a frenzy of activity. This is especially true if you must travel for competitions. Trying to search for a lost shoe or pair of tights can generate unnecessary stress for your entire family. Help your child stay organized by having them pack days in advance. You could also take advantage of specialized duffels and luggage for specific sports that make it easy to know what to bring and where to store it. For instance, competition dance bags have mesh pockets ensure breathability for fabrics, and they also increase visibility so that your child can immediately see where their things are without having to dig around. Organization is key.
Balance Competitions with Fun
Many competitions are held in areas that are fun to explore. If your child is competing out of town, then plan something fun to do afterwards. You could take them to tour a museum or visit an amusement park. For local competitions, consider enjoying a dinner out that night. Tying the competition to something fun helps your child make positive associations with the activity.
Celebrate Personal Successes
Winning is always awesome, but your child should also know that you are proud of his or her efforts no matter what happens. During competitions, watch to find at least one thing that you can mention that your child did well. This helps you to remind your child that hitting personal goals is also important, and you can also boost his or her self-esteem.
The ultimate goal of having your child compete is to build their self-confidence. It is normal for kids to feel a little nervous before a competition, but you need to watch for signs that they are dealing with too much stress. If you notice that your child is tense or no longer enjoying a favorite activity, then make a few adjustments. Whether your child needs help staying organized or just a reminder of how much fun competing is, you can make a difference in your child’s enjoyment of their sport.
Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most of her time hiking, biking, and gardening. For more information, contact Brooke via Facebook at facebook.com/brooke.chaplan or Twitter @BrookeChaplan
Guest Blogger, Kimberly King
It is imperative that we start talking about sex education and sexual abuse prevention more seriously. It is an essential tool for prevention. Helping kids set healthy boundaries for their private parts can be a daunting and awkward task for parents, counselors, and educators.
Written from a kid’s point of view, I Said No! makes this task a lot easier. To help Zack cope with a real-life experience he had with a “friend,” he and his mom wrote a book to help prepare other kids to deal with a range of problematic situations. I Said No! uses kid-friendly language and illustrations to help parents and concerned adults give kids guidance they can understand, practice, and use.
- One of a kind, unique book created for kids and shared in a kids voice
- Told from a child’s perspective, based on a real-life kid story
- Full of real-life kid scenarios that your child may encounter
- Presented in kid language that provides comfort on a tough topic
- Using a simple, direct, decidedly “non-icky” approach that doesn’t dumb down the issues involved, as well as an easy-to-use system to help kids rehearse and remember appropriate responses to help keep them safe.
- How and where to go for help, and what to do if the people you’re turning to for help don’t listen
- Dealing with feelings of guilt and shame
- The body boundaries and rules about private parts
- How to use colors to identify feelings and listen to them
- Guided “what if? Scenario training for kids and parents to rehearse
- Developing a family safety plan
- Practicing the Think, Say, Do plan
- How to handle the new online threat of pornography and dangerous people
- How to identify red flag situations, feelings, and people. A solid education on healthy sexual development paired with sexual abuse prevention strategies will prepare your children as the develop and grow. Utilizing techniques to avoid dangerous situations, implement safety plans, and understanding body boundaries and concepts will serve both boys and girls in a positive way.
The facts are astounding.
It is highly likely that you know a child who has been or is being abused.
1. Experts estimate that 1 in 10 children are sexually abused before their 18th birthday.
2. 30% of children are abused by family members.
3. As many as 60% are abused by people the family trusts.
4. About 35% of victims are 11 years old or younger.
5. Nearly 40% are abused by older or larger children.
Stranger danger is a MYTH
Research shows that the greatest risk to children doesn’t come from strangers, but from friends and family. People who abuse children look and act just like everyone else. In fact, they often go out of their way to appear trustworthy, seeking out settings where they can gain easy access to children, such as sports leagues, faith centers, clubs, and schools.
About the Author:
Kimberly King left her traditional job as a kindergarten teacher to write books for children on difficult and often emotional topics. Kimberly King is a child-development professional, certified early-childhood educator, and darkness2light.org sexual abuse prevention Stewards of Children facilitator. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in early childhood development and family studies from the University of Maine and a Master of Science degree in early childhood education. She is the author of, I Said No!, the best-selling children’s book about sexual-abuse prevention. King is the author of three kid-to-kid guides:
- When Your Parents Divorce,” a kid-to-kid guide to dealing with divorce
- Finding Your Fit, a kid to kid guide to fitness, food, and feelings
- I Said No! A kid-to-kid guide to keeping your private parts private
King lives with her family in Connecticut and is available for media trainings, interviews, school visits, and author signings.
We will be giving away a free copy to one lucky winner. Choose one or more ways to enter:
1. Sign up for email notifications at ChildLifeMommy.com and leave a comment below.
2. Facebook: Follow Child Life Mommy and tag a friend.
3. Facebook: Follow @KimberlyKingBooks and post a comment about the giveaway.
4. Twitter: Follow, Like and RT the post to @ChildLifeMommy.
Good Luck! The winner will be chosen on 10/20/19.