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Childhood Fears

Posted: January 13, 2022

Children of all ages have fears, from babies to teens. And whether these fears are from real or imaginary places, they are nonetheless scary. Since our brains are wired to protect us, fears are a normal part of a child's development. Children will eventually outgrow fears but being knowledgeable about what fears are more common at certain ages will help parents navigate their children through them in the healthiest and most successful way. Having a plan to help children build bravery regarding their fears will help them learn to self-regulate and face other anxiety-producing events straight on.

 

When we think of fear, we generally consider it to be a bad thing. However, some fear is okay and can help children be cautious and set limits for themselves. But when fear begins to limit a child's ability to participate in normal daily activities and is persistent or overly intense, intervention with a professional may be needed. Normal developmental fears for infants are things such as loud noises and strangers. Toddlers are generally afraid of being separated from their parents. Young children usually fear things such as monsters in the closet and the dark. For older children, fears become more real-life and include things such as bad people and natural disasters. Teens begin fearing failure in school, social situations, and more significant worldly problems such as war.


How Motor Skills Affect Learning

Posted: January 06, 2022

Most are aware of the benefits of physical activity for people of all ages… a stronger cardiovascular system, improved muscle tone, weight management, motor coordination, etc. Additionally, there are brain-boosting benefits that help children with brain function and learning, leading to better school performance. Unfortunately, however, many adults aren’t knowledgeable about the significance of underdeveloped motor skills, especially balance and coordination, on the learning process. Therefore, children engage in activities that boost these skills leading to more learning success.

 

Although balance and coordination don’t seem like they would directly impact learning, they are linked. When children have problems with balance, which is a skill needed for body control, they fidget more and have bad posture; therefore, they struggle to focus and retain information in school. Balance is part of the vestibular system and is responsible for motor planning and hand-eye coordination. When this system isn’t developed, there is a disconnect between the brain and the body, requiring that children use their focus to keep their bodies calm instead of on learning. Because balance is achieved through our center of gravity, girls tend to have better balance than boys. As a result, boys are observed to be more fidgety and active in classroom settings.


Playful Connection: Filling Your Child's Emotional Cup

Posted: December 30, 2021

Over the years, healthy connection levels between parents and children have decreased, leading to more challenging behaviors from children. Today's modern lifestyle has interfered with the opportunity for the parent-child bond to grow. This vital aspect of a child's life is essential for their emotional cup to be full, giving them healthy self-worth and self-esteem. To fill their cup, children need quality connection time with their parents every day. When they receive this, children will develop healthy self-worth and self-esteem and, therefore, approach the world with more kindness and compassion.

 

The "emotional cup" metaphor created by Upbility, publishers of therapy resources, asks that you imagine children have a cup that needs to be filled with attention, affection, and security. When this cup doesn't get filled, misbehaviors, arguments, and aggressive behaviors may be exhibited. The cup can also be emptied by stress, loneliness, and punishments. Children need positive emotional fuel to get through their day in the most successful way possible. But when their emotional needs aren't met, they will misbehave to get the attention they are seeking from their parents. Implementing ways to keep their cup full will lead to more positive behaviors because children feel secure.


Fostering Empathy in Children During the Holidays

Posted: December 23, 2021

‘Tis the season! A season of giving, a season of patience, a season of all things warm and inviting. Doesn’t it all sound magical? As we go into this time of year, the excitement fills the air and the anticipation of gifts and fun activities encompasses our very being, no matter what age. And while the spirit of the season surrounds us, the hustle and bustle often leaves parents exhausted and children focused only on the “gimme” of presents. To counteract this, it is important to revamp our priorities and utilize the holidays as a starting point for helping foster empathy in children.

 

The first step in doing this is helping children understand what empathy is. Being able to see things from another person’s view can be a challenge, especially the younger the child. The good thing is, we are all born hardwired with the ability to be empathetic. However, it doesn’t just evolve…empathy is developed through experiences and practice. Empathy is an emotional and cognitive experience.


Parenting during the holidays

Posted: December 09, 2021

It's the most wonderful time of the year! Shopping for gifts, decorating the house,

baking goodies, attending parties, visiting family…there are so many fun and exciting

things to do. With all these wonderful events, who wouldn't be happy all the time?


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