Supporting Children’s Emotional Needs During the Pandemic | 4GK Martial Arts
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Danna Davis

My 6 year old son has been attending Ninja class at 4GK since August 2018. He loves it and I do too! He loves the skills and games and I love the discipline he is learning. I’ve spoken with a child-behavior doc about what he gets to do in class and the doc was *thrilled*. It’s clear that he believes in the philosophies Sifu and Miss Heidi teach about the importance of play and physical activity for children for all aspects of their development.

Jen Robinson

I took a kickboxing class and it was amazing. I was so pumped and ready to take on the day. Everyone was super nice and the routine was so much fun I would definitely recommend and be back for more!!!

Laura Miller - Owner, Little People's Center reviewed 4GK Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

Had the pleasure of visiting Heidi at 4GK Martial Arts and observing both her EARLY SKILLZ for children ages 3-4 and MOMMY AND ME class for children 18 months and up. The children are guided through the basics of martial arts with hands on gross motor activities set at their own individual pace. It was a pleasure to see.

Di Trudden reviewed 4GK Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

My daughter completed her first group class tonight and I could not be a prouder or happier mama right now! Heidi Burmann and Raquel made Lily feel welcome and were so patient with her as she was learning the kicks and routines. I am so happy that we discovered a healthy and fun new hobby for Lily! If you are looking for an affordable place where your little one can learn and grow then 4GK is for you!

Everyone knows I have been on my own little health journey creating Our Mommy Movement and finding new ways to exercise. I signed up for kick boxing classes through 4GK and am really excited to try them out! Seeing how patient and kind the staff was with Lily I don’t have to worry about being surrounded by people who will judge me while I try to keep up with the moves.

Tina Dos Reis reviewed 4GK Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

Great school and awesome team! Everyone is extremely friendly. My nephew Sebastian just loves his Extreme Skill class and after watching the team work together, I decided to try the kickboxing class. Frank put the entire class through a great workout! I can't wait to lose weight and build muscle. It's just the change I was looking for! Thank you 4GK!

Jennie D'Ambroise reviewed 4GK Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

Great school! Adult kung fu classes are approachable for all levels. You will learn a lot and you will work hard. Sifu and your fellow students will help you to improve and you will make great friends. Kickboxing classes will also kick your butt. Women, train here, you are welcome at all classes and the atmosphere is friendly and supportive.

Tommy Aliberti reviewed 4GK Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

This has always been a home away from home! Very much a family, and I have been part of this system for 18 years! Great values, hard work, and many lessons to be learned every time, which I have taken with me in the ring, and in everyday life! 5 Star recommendation!

Donnie Keegan reviewed 4GK Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

My daughter has been studying here for, two months shy of, three years. She still loves it! I my self have decided to join. Love the staff. they are constantly innovating and improving,both the structure of the school and its teachings. I can only hope to improve myself to the degree in which my daughter has been improved herself! Absolutely top notch school!

Rachel Ramsey Weir reviewed 4GK Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

We have had a great experience in the last year that our son has been attending 4GK. He has become more disciplined in his actions, his body has been strengthened and he knows the rewards of hard work. The dedication of the staff is evident in each class. It is clearly a labor of love!

Cheryl Anne reviewed 4GK Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

Fantastic staff !!!!!!!!!! Fantastic fun classes, they know you're name, they know how to make you work while you happily sweat toward a better you !

Katie Bacigalupo reviewed 4GK Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

LOVE the kick boxing class! It is such a great work out and fun at the same time! I always feel great afterwards and can't wait to get back to the next class!

Michelle McCann reviewed 4GK Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

Great atmosphere, awesome staff and incredible workout! Love it!!

Victoria Ingoglia reviewed 4GK Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

I absolutely love the atmosphere. It's clean, friendly n very challenging. I've given some awful dirty looks while stressed n I get high fives later. High intensity fire burning workouts keeps me motivated!!

Rebecca Manzella reviewed 4GK Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

4GK is excellent! I signed up my son for Basic Skillz just a few weeks after his 4th birthday. He loves coming to class to see his fellow ninjas and I really enjoy watching him learn new skills. In a short time, I had already noticed a behavior improvement while in a group setting and the two half hour classes a week are perfect for his attention span. Thank you Miss Heidi and the rest of the staff for your patience and influence on Neil.

Dawn-Marie Francois reviewed 4GK Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

The school is great!!! Classes are manageable and they push you to do your best. Staff is friendly and patient.

Frank Gil reviewed 4GK Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

I wanted to make a change in my life. I was stagnant, not active and unhappy honestly. One day my brother and friend convinced me to take a class at 4gk. That was years ago and thousands of punches and kicks ago and I love it every bit now as I did that first class. The instructors are amazing, knowledgeable, and were always willing to work with me at my level. I've spent a lot of time here and find no matter how my day has been I can't help but smile when I walk through the 4gk doors. It's a great environment for people who want to challange themselves and grow and there is no place else I'd rather be

Roseann Wander Walsh reviewed 4GK Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

I absolutely love it there. Everyone is very welcoming and make you feel very comfortable. I've done kickboxing at several other place and all the people there were very clicky I am very comfortable here and would recommend it to everyone.

Kimberly Lago reviewed 4GK Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

My oldest daughter has been coming here for a year. We fell in love immediately after seeing how wonderful the staff is with working with children of all ages. My second daughter was dying to be in a class also. As soon as she turned 3 we gave it a try and she has blossomed. Seemingly shy I was curious to see how her first class type activity would be. She loved it. Just waiting for daughter number three to be old enough because she is only two, but already feels like she belongs. We absolutely love it.

Shannon Marr reviewed 4GK Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

I love this place. Everyone is super friendly and makes you feel like a part of the family. I get constant encouragement to keep going. And when I had sprained my ankle and couldn't come for awhile, they worked with me financially and kept sending me encouraging messages to take it easy and get better. I get the best work outs and never any judgements.

Leianne Marques reviewed 4GK Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

4GK is an awesome school. The entire staff treats you like family. I take the kickboxing and skillz fit classes. The encouragement and motivation you get from the instructors makes you feel like you can achieve your goals, do anything you want, even if your first instinct is to say no when they all you to do something. I accomplish something in every class and have learned to think yes I can instead of there is no way I can.... the instructors break things down so you can easily understand each move. Everyone is made to feel important and special in each class, no one is left out. I can't imagine going anywhere else.

Linda Cummings reviewed 4GK Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

We just started the mini skillz program a couple of months ago. I admit, after being in the free play, no rules music program for the entire spring, my 2 yr old granddaughter was starting to rebel against listening. The first day of class I was almost in tears after five minutes when I realized how bad her behavior had gotten without structure. I'm so glad I stuck it out though. The second class was a joy, with her listening intently and using her brain. Miss Heidi has the patience of a saint. She is also on top of age appropriate skills and stresses them at each class. We've learned taking turns, following direction, jumping, kicking and punching, and many, many other useful things. She loves going to her class twice a week and I truly love taking her. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend these wonderful people and this fantastic school to anyone.

Danielle Hulse Maloney reviewed 4GK Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

My two sons have been coming here since December 2016. They absolutely love it & have THRIVED since coming! The older one suffers from anxiety & general fear, he has since built up tremendous confidence & has learned to verbalize any issues he may be having. The younger one is a ball of energy that needed direction & a release, he has achieved focus & better listening skills. The staff is AMAZING! They are welcoming, accommodating & listen to any issues you have whether it be with them, the class or your children. I could go to any of them & speak with them about ANYTHING & feel very comfortable doing so. Si Fu teaches the class in a low-key, fun manner that has the children engaged AND having fun at the same time, it's not the typical militant style. We received a military discount since my husband is a former marine AND ... They run a monthly themed Parents Night Out that gives parents a break without their kids from 7:30-10:00! I am thrilled that we found them & highly suggest to anybody looking for a martial arts school to check them out!

Yaoska Fleming reviewed 4GK Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

Great team! My daughter loves the school. She has learned so much since she started a year ago. I am so happy I found this place. I am so grateful for Ms. Heidi, Sifu Mike and all the team. Their love and dedication is shown in every class. Good job!!

Neil Manzella reviewed 4GK Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

I highly recommend 4GK to anyone considering Martial Arts for their children or themselves. The staff has been doing an amazing job with my 4 year old son. He has a safe and fun outlet for some of his endless energy supply and the staff do a great job keeping all of the students involved, active, and engaged in the classes activities. My son loves it and looks forward to it every week!

Christina Annessa reviewed 4GK Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

We just started a month ago and my kids are in love & can't get enough of it. Everyday they ask do they have class. Its great for all ages and I really like that they split them up. My daughter is 5 and is learning age appropriate skills while in the next class my 8 year is learning different things. The staff is super friendly and always accommodates our needs. I absolutely love the fun nights they do as well, the kids get to hang out & have fun while I get to relax a bit a home. Overall very satisfied with this program.

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Supporting Children’s Emotional Needs During the Pandemic

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 these 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. Schoolwork 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.

5 – Encourage Self-Discipline:

When irritation is the driving force of our feelings, it’s hard to do things exactly as we are expected to. These are the times, however, that coping skills can be extremely useful. Helping children develop ways to deal with their strong feelings can help them now and in the future. Parents should take time to prompt children to develop some coping skills and then compliment them when they apply them.

6 – Maintain Routines:

While our “normal” routines have been upended by the pandemic, we’ve been forced to create new habits. And although many children are continuing to adhere to the new routines, others have created habits of procrastination and crazy sleep schedules. Having days to do “nothing” is okay, but maintaining some sort of consistency in a child’s life is key in helping them re-acclimate to their typical routines once things are back normal.

7 – Utilize Technology:

Parents typically try to limit their child’s time spent on devices. Currently, doing this is not realistic. In addition to using technology to talk to friends, children are completing their schoolwork online. For children that are used to a traditional classroom, online school isn’t as fun. Finding ways to make learning fun at home will relieve some of the frustration children are feeling and build more motivation.

8 – Stay Connected:

Although we are stuck inside, there are still things that must be done. Anything from cooking meals, to cleaning the house, to work, responsibilities are constant. However, parents should utilize the extra time that they have to make stronger connections with their children by providing their undivided attention. It is also important to allow children time to virtually connect with their extended family and friends.

We are all human and our responses to our current situation vary. Some have hunkered down and sorted through their new reality in a way that has motivated them to complete tasks and put new goals in place. Others have become increasingly overwhelmed and feel like they have no control over their lives at all.

It’s important to note, however, that there is not a right or wrong way to respond to what we have been presented with. It solely depends on each individual person and how they cope.

And as parents are working to navigate their own emotions, they must also help their children manage their feelings. When parents normalize feelings and show empathy, children are more receptive to creative ways to manage the current situation.

Helping children establish behaviors that will meet their emotional needs while also giving them more balance in their daily schedule is important.

It will be a long time before we know the effects of this isolation. The good thing is that children are resilient. By implementing the 8 Parent SKILLZ in a way that addresses the emotional support children need right now, parents will help children come through this pandemic with strong emotional stability and a more positive outlook on future obstacles.

To learn more about the powerful Skillz childhood development program that uses martial arts as the vehicle for growth, or to chat with other parents in the Patchogue area about these challenges, join our Facebook group by clicking the button below:

 

 

 

 

 

 

4GK MARTIAL ARTS

380 East Main St

Patchogue, NY 11772

631-776-8060

www.NotKarate.com

 


Author: Jennifer Salama of Skillz Worldwide

Jennifer is a 4th-degree black belt and has been training in martial arts since 2001. She has a Masters Degree in Child Psychology. She has embraced the SKILLZ curriculum because of its focus on child development and using martial arts as a vehicle to develop the child as a whole.