Summertime is usually one of the best times of the year for kids because they get to play most of the day. This free play time can be wonderful experience but can create chaos that can lead to conflict between kids and caregivers.
Here are 3 tips to help avoid the drama and conflict and have a fun summer:
Make sure the essentials are covered: Rest, sleep, food and water are essential for human life and our mental functioning. People, especially kids, can get super cranky, or “irritable” as the professionals label this behavior, when they are hungry, thirsty, sleepy or tired. So the tip is to teach your kids about the importance of having good sleep hygiene and getting rest throughout the day so that they can have more fun when well rested. Teach them about eating or snacking throughout the day so that they don’t get “hungry.” Explain to them that drinking water, lots of water, will help them stay hydrated and play longer. Lastly, the best way to encourage them to follow this tip is by leading from example and making sure that you are also getting enough rest, sleep, food and water.
Create Routine: Most kids do better with structure and routine. Thus to avoid drama or full blown tantrums create a bit of a daily or weekly routine. The daily routine should cycle between periods of less structured activities with periods of more structured activities. For example, waking up and playing for a bit on their own is less structured followed by a more structured breakfast and then with outside play time followed by reading a book. The key is to create a routine that works for both and be consistent. The weekly routine can be something like on Mondays you read books, on Tuesdays you play a boardgame, on Wednesdays you bake together, on Thursdays you watch a movie, on Fridays you go for a bike ride together, on Saturdays you watch a YouTube kids video and on Sundays you practice your draw together. Some examples of unstructured activities include pool time, outdoor play, video games, building stuff or any other type of free play. Examples of structured activities can include meals, card games, reading, Taekwondo class, drawing, watching and talking about something educational, meditation or cooking just to name a few.
Keep your cool: I think it goes without saying that if caregivers lose their cool and yell, express anger (notice that this is different than feeling anger) or in some other way have an “adult tantrum,” then the situation just got a whole lot worse. So to keep your blood pressure down you wan to first be aware of your moment to moment feelings and thoughts because you can avoid having yelling if you’re not aware that you’re feeling angry or thinking that your child is disrespecting you. Surprisingly, this can be very difficult for many but like any skill, it can be learned with practice. The best way to practice awareness is by getting into a habit of daily 2-5 minute meditation in a quite place so that you can pay attention to your thoughts and feelings during the meditation. One way of practicing meditation, called “Mindfulness Meditation” has you practicing three easy steps: 1) close your eyes and focus on your breath as you inhale and exhale breathing slowly and deeply; 2) notice your thoughts or feelings or perhaps sounds that distract you from focusing on your breath and; 3) returning your attention gently, without judgement or criticism, back to your breath. That’s it! Simple focus, get distracted or aware of what your are thinking or feeling in that moment and then refocus. Do these three easy steps over and over during the 2-5 minute meditation and get to know yourself better! Even better, practice with your kid/s and help them became more aware of their thoughts and feelings too.
Question: Let us know what your favorite tip is or do you have your own tip to share?
I hope you find these tips helpful and you have a great summer. If you’re a caregiver wanting a bit more support or structure for yourself or your kids, know that our sister program, Intuition Wellness Center, can help or if you want to start taking Taekwondo classes, either live or virtually, check out our programs, TKD Wellness.
Written by Yoendry Torres, Psy.D. Head Coach @ TKD Wellness & Clinical Psychologist
Just a few more hours before 2020! Can you believe it?
Back in August I hinted on a Facebook post at a collaborative project between TKD Wellness and Dancesequences Inc. I’m pleased to share that we’ll have Kareene and Sabrina from Dancesequences joining us for a special 8-session program starting on Saturday, Jan 11, 2020 (more details below).
The program will be a part of the Saturday kids TKD classes. Dancesequences will take the reins at 9:40am and go to about 10:15am. I’ll be joining the fun too. There will be no fee for this program and everyone (including parents) is invited to participate and move.
I’m hopeful that this program will help students get more comfortable with moving and in turn find their own expression of the “art” of Taekwondo.
Dancesequences’ IN MOTION classes encourage individual and group movement expressions and take inspiration from the free approach to body movement pioneered by Barbara Mettler. In IN MOTION, there is no “right” or “wrong” way to move. Utilizing improvisational creative problem-solving modalities, we explore what it means to follow our own movement feelings while simultaneously cultivating awareness of the larger group. Each person learns to value individual choices; in turn, the group provides support for individual creativity. Among the themes that we will explore are Sound and Movement (with a wide variety of self-accompanied percussive instruments, vocals and spoken word), Moving with Objects (both man-made and natural items), Movement and Art (exploring the intersection between 2-dimensional art and body movement), Moving Cultures (exploring cultural themes through movement), and many, many more. We will creatively move together, discover new ways to communicate and connect with each other, and find inspiration from each other.
Dates: 8 Saturdays, beginning 2020
Jan. 11, 18, 25
Feb. 1, 8, 15, 29
Times: 9:40 am – 10: 15 am
Notes: Open to TKD Wellness students, families and friends
This project is supported in part with funding from Ong Family Foundation.
On December 21, 2019 Taekwondo Wellness held its Q4 promotion test and it was a great success. A big congratulates to the following students on their rank promotion and display of effort, dedication and perseverance.
Gabriel who promoted from red belt to deputy black belt (1st Kub)
Allen who promoted from brown to red belt (2nd Kub)
Kirk who promoted from brown to red belt (2nd Kub)
Mylo who promoted from blue to purple belt (4th Kub)
Chris who promoted from green to blue belt (5th Kub)
Lena who promoted from orange to green belt (6th Kub)
Rodney who promoted from orange to green belt (6th Kub)
Kawsa who promoted from orange to green belt (6th Kub)
Alaina who promoted from yellow to orange belt (7th Kub)
Braydon who promoted from yellow to orange belt (7th Kub)
Roger who promoted from orange to green belt (6th Kub)
Odin who promoted from yellow to orange belt (7th Kub)
Bridgett who promoted from white to yellow belt (8th Kub)
Liam who promoted from white to yellow belt (8th Kub)
Want to see highlight photos & videos from the promotion test? Visit our facebook page. Hope you enjoy the photos/videos… if so, please like and share to help us recruit more students! Much gratitude, Master Torres
Halloween is upon us and it can be super fun and exciting for some but… parents beware that ghouls and goblins aren’t the only dangers to watch out for during your trick-or-treating adventures with kids. There are spooky things to watch out for like cars while crossing the road, trips and falls, and candy quality. So, here is a cheat-sheet of safety tips for kids and parents.
Whenever possible cross the street at corners using traffic signals and crosswalks.
Remember to look left, right, and left again when crossing… and keep looking.
Keep electronics away so you can listen to and look at your surroundings.
Always walk on sidewalks or paths or if there is not sidewalk, walk facing traffic as far to the left as possible.
Carry a flashlight or headlight to light the path once it gets dark to avoid trips and falls.
Watch for cars that are turning or backing up.
Don’t go into the homes of people you don’t know.
Adults should examine candy before eating them.
Never eat open or unwrapped halloween foods.
Ask your parent or guardian if unsure about eating a treat.
Call the National Poison Center toll-free number if your child becomes ill or believe the treat was tampered with: 1-800-222-1222
Use reflective tape on costumes and bags to help drivers see children at night.
Make sure costumes are the right size to avoid trips and falls.
Avoid wearing masks that limit obstruct field of vision. Wear face paint and makeup instead whenever possible.
Carry a glow stick, glow necklace, or glow bracelet to help spot your child at night easier.
Drive slowly in residential neighborhoods.
Take extra time to look for kids at intersections.
Enter and exit driveways carefully.
Eliminate distractions in car to improve alertness and concentration on driving.
Anticipate heavy pedestrian traffic.
Turn on your headlights earlier to help be seen.
Be extra alert during popular trick-or-treating times – 5:30pm – 9:30pm.
KIDS TRICK-OR-TREAT WITH AN ADULT
Children under 12 should trick-or-treat with adult supervision.
Parents with young children might want to bring a stroller to carry tired children or extra candy.
Bring a backpack to carry extra candy.
Remind children who are mature enough to trick or treat without adult supervision to stay with their group in light and familiar areas.
Are you (or your child) new to Taekwondo in Tucson or elsewhere and want to be the best? Then Keep reading because I’m going to share 3 hacks that will help new students 1) kick higher and stronger, 2) block & punch with power and 3) learn your poomsae faster.
So here are the 3 Taekwondo hacks:
One of the biggest mistakes that new students make is not pivoting their feet. It’s important to pivot the foot that is on the floor so that the heel is facing the direction one is kicking. This opens up the hips and allows for greater range of motion… meaning higher kicks! So try this routine and practice 3 sets of 10-25 round kicks and 10-25 side kicks against the wall making sure your heel is facing the direction your kicking. Your kicks will be higher and stronger in no time!
The second hack will help new students block and punch with more power. However, first new students have to slow down, way down! New students tend to be excited about learning martial arts and want to jump right in and do every movement fast and strong, which is wonderful… however, this may lead to poor technique in the long run, which will reduce both your blocking and punching power. Try this instead: Practice all blocks and punches in slow motion 5-10 times making sure that your rotate wrist at end of every block or punch and the blocks and punches are ending in the correct endpoint (e.g., soloplex, shoulder level, etc). Once you’ve done these drills enough, muscle memory will take over when executing techniques at full speed/strength and your blocks and punches will be much stronger.
The third hack will help the new students to learn their poomsae. It’s no surprise that new students struggle to learn poomsae, as most poomsae are 20 or more steps with defensive and offensive hand and foot techniques. The cool thing is that we can use brain science to help us better memorize our poomsae. Research on cognition and memory has shown that chunking material into smaller bits of information greatly increases our ability to memorize large amounts of data. So try this poomsae training tip: If your poomsae is 20 steps long, then break it into 4-step chunks and practice each 4-step chunk starting with the first 4 steps of the poomsae until you have memorized and mastered the technique. Try doing 5-10 repetitions of each chunk. Chunking can also help advanced students perfect their poomsae by drilling the chunk they want to improve. This type of practice is called deliberate practice.
What tips do you have for new Taekwondo students?
Let us know in the comment section below.
TKD Wellness teaches olympic sport Taekwondo in NW Tucson, AZ and is a member club of USATaekwondo. Our goal is to have fun while getting fit and empowering our students through Taekwondo.
Taekwondo is probably one of the funnest ways to get our dose of weekly exercise, in my opinion. Not only are Taekwondo classes a great workout but they are fun! Taekwondo classes are also energetic because we’re training with friends and because the the drills rotate and change from class to class, keeping it fresh. Most importantly, we will continue to exercise via Taekwondo because its fun and whether we realize it or not, we’re cultivating our minds, bodies and spirt.
Speaking of minds… also known as our brains. Did you know that there are an ever-growing body of research that shows the many ways regular exercise benefits our brains. For example, Wendy Suzuki, neuro-scientist, recently gave a wonderful review of these brain benefits of exercise in her TED talk. Check it out below:
Summary of the brain benefits of exercise:
Boost in mood: Immediate effect on our moods due to increased neurotransmitters after workouts that last at least 2 hours. Other research suggests there is an “exercise dose” for anxiety (high frequency 5-6 days a week short duration 20-30 mins workouts) and for depression (low frequency 3-4 days a week with longer duration 45-60 minutes workouts).
Improved focus: Exercise actually improves attention. For example, a study from 2013 in the Journal of Pediatrics concluded that exercise has “positive implications” on how children with ADHD perform at school.
Long term memory: The hippocampus is involved in long-term memory and is positively impacted by regular exercise in that it produces new brain cells, increasing its volume and enhancing our memory.
Protects against brain diseases: Neurodegenerative diseases like dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease can be warded off by exercise. This is thought to be because exercise helps improve one’s cardiovascular functioning in our brains as well as the rest of our body.
Remember that there are other great reasons to train in Taekwondo such as to get physically fit, make friends, or learn self defense. Whichever the reason, I want to encourage everyone to go out and exercise for a healthier you.
On June 30, 2018 Taekwondo Wellness held a promotion test and I want to congratulate the following students on working hard to improve their skills and not giving up on themselves.
Blue who promoted from green to blue belt
Gabriel who promoted from green to blue belt
Gamal who promoted from white to yellow belt
Austin who promoted from white to yellow belt
Kirk who promoted from white to yellow belt
I also want to share a fun “action movie style trailer” video that I created to show some highlights from the promotion test that can promote TKD Wellness. Hope you enjoy the video… if so, please like and share our video!