Ideas for Helping Your Child Overcome Anxiety

Anxiety is not just an issue that impacts adults—it’s also often experienced by school-age children.

There are different kinds of anxiety disorders that can affect children and teens: generalized anxiety disorder, separation anxiety disorder, social phobia, specific phobia and selective mutism. Fortunately, there are ways we can help our children cope with or overcome anxiety.

It’s important to remember anxiety can stem from many different things, like genetics, brain chemistry, life situations and learn behaviors, so it’s always wise to reach out to a trained professional for a definitive diagnosis and advice for addressing your child’s situation.

Common Signs of Anxiety in Children

While some signs of anxiety may not be easily picked up on, there are plenty that can be quickly identified.

Some of common signs of anxiety in children include:

  • Agitation
  • Restlessness
  • Inattention (poor focus)
  • Somatic symptoms like headaches or stomach aches
  • Avoidance
  • Tantrums
  • Crying
  • Refusing to go to school
  • Emotional meltdowns
  • Difficulties with transitions within school and between school and an activity
  • Difficulty settling down for bed
  • Having excessively high expectations for school work, homework and extracurricular performance

How You Can Help

One of the first things you should consider doing is taking your child to talk with a trained and reputable therapist. He or she will be able to talk and listen to what your child says and will know the best way to handle the various aspects of anxiety and anxiety disorders.

There are also many ways you can help your child outside of seeking professional help.  You can work to anticipate situations that may cause anxiety for your child, and may find that gradually exposing your child to the cause of his or her anxiety can help ease the situation. Unfortunately, avoiding anxiety-causing situations is usually not the long-term answer.

Be sure you are not downplaying your child’s anxiety and be self-aware about how you’re reacting to it. You mean well, but there could be a circumstance where your reaction is still making things worse for your child. Don’t forget to also make sure that your own needs are met, as your anxiety level could be impacting that of your child’s.

Some other suggestions to help kids cope with anxiety are:

  • Practicing relaxation strategies such as deep breathing and progressive muscle relaxation
  • Having them write down their worries and anxious feelings
  • Teaching them to “talk back” to anxious thoughts, which ultimately helps give them control over the situation

At Drama Kids, we welcome children with various anxiety disorders.  In fact – our classes and programs are designed to offer ALL kids great benefits, including helping kids who are experiencing anxiety overcome their fears and anxieties and “come out of their shells”.  Shy, introverted children soon gain in confidence and are able to express themselves more fluently.  They learn to relax and interact more easily with other people, thus paving the way to a happier, more fulfilling life.  Energetic extroverts learn the importance of being able to focus their energy and enthusiasm into controlled situations and so produce worthwhile results. 

For more information, visit our website at www.dramakids.com

Keeping Our Kids Safe in This Digital Age

From smartphones and tablets to video game consoles and smart TVs, there is no shortage of technology these days. And with that increased access to technology comes an increased risk of danger, especially to our kids.

There are many dangers out there in the digital world that we must work to protect our children from, but fortunately, educating them about safe technology practices doesn’t have to be difficult!

Digital Danger

It can seem like a new online threat pops up in the news almost weekly, but it’s important to sort out which ones pose the greatest risk to our children.

Some of the threats that we should be extremely cautious of include:

Cyberbullying. It’s estimated that 43% of kids have been bullied online, with one in four having it happen more than once. Even more alarming is that only one in 10 kids will inform a parent or trusted adult if they are a victim of cyberbullying.

Cyberpredators. These predators can be found lurking online, on social media or game sites, and are waiting to prey on a child’s innocence. You can use these tips from the FBI to help teach your kids safe online practices, but also, be sure you’re talking to them about what is going on in their lives to help detect potential problems.

Posting private information. Our children don’t always understand social boundaries and may not realize that posting personal information on public sites can give out too much information to the wrong people. Make sure your children’s profiles are all set to private and remind them that if you can see it, others can too.

Phishing, scams & accidentally downloading malware. It’s always wise to educate a child on the dangers presented by unknown email addresses and downloading from sketchy sites.

Posting something that can come back to haunt them later. It has become commonplace to see celebrities, politicians and other public figures suffer the consequences of ill-humored and offensive jokes/content on their social media pages. Be sure to discuss smart posting practices with your child, and stress the importance of remembering that once something has been posted online, it can always be found again.

Ways to Protect Your Child

They may be living in a digital world, but there are still ways we as parents can help protect our children when they’re online.

Start healthy tech habits from a young age by setting limits for screen time and ensuring that your child isn’t alone while online. It is always wise to know who your child’s online friends are, and be sure you are modeling the same safe tech practices you are preaching.

Most importantly, never forget the value of face-to-face communication!

Drama Kids International is here to help children learn and establish valuable communication techniques through drama.

Drama Kids International Ranked Best Children’s Enrichment Franchise For Under $50,000 In Entrepreneur Magazine’s 2019 Franchise 500®

FORT MYERS, Fla. – Jan. 18, 2019 – PRLog — Drama Kids International, the nation’s largest after-school drama program, announced that it has once again been ranked the Best Children’s Enrichment Franchise For Under $50,000 in Entrepreneur Magazine’s 2019 Franchise 500®. In addition, the company was again ranked in the top 200 franchise systems worldwide among over 1000 franchise brands evaluated. Of the 111 child-related franchises considered, only 46 made the list of top 500 brands.

“We are very honored and proud that the nation’s top business magazine for current and aspiring small business owners has once again recognized the success and excellence of the Drama Kids organization. The growing demand for our classes nationwide signifies that students and parents are seeking fun and enriching ways to build students’ self-confidence, public speaking and communication skills, as well as their creative thinking abilities through the fun of developmental drama. We are the nation’s largest after-school drama program because we develop important life skills in children to help them discover their full potential.” said Drama Kids President, Charlie Kerr.

Kerr also pointed out that in the lead-in article to the rankings in the January edition of the magazine, Entrepreneur editors noted that franchises aimed at kids have been growing steadily recently, and that children’s enrichment businesses continue to perform well.

“Drama Kids is the perfect low-cost, home based franchise business opportunity for anyone with a passion for making a difference in the lives of children”, noted Kerr. “We are poised for even greater success in 2019, with plans to award approximately 20 new franchises throughout the U.S.”

Recognized by entrepreneurs and franchisors as a top competitive tool of measurement, the Franchise 500® is the world’s first, and most comprehensive franchise ranking. The key factors that go into Entrepreneur’s evaluation include costs and fees, size and growth, support, brand strength, and financial strength and stability.

To view Drama Kids International in the full ranking, visit www.entrepreneur.com/franchise500. Results can also be seen in the January 2019 print issue of Entrepreneur available now on newsstands.

About Drama Kids
Drama Kids International is the largest after-school drama program in the USA with over 15,000 students currently enrolled. Its copyrighted curriculum features original, creative lessons with a built-in advancing scale of development that enables students of different ages and abilities to progress at their own rate. Its curriculum differs significantly from traditional drama and other after-school programs, with an emphasis on fun drama activities that are designed to allow all students to fully participate and develop acting, public speaking, and collaboration skills regardless of age or prior experience level.

Drama Kids offers age-appropriate classes for students ages 4 through 17 years old. Classes meet once each week for one hour at locations throughout the country. The program allows for new enrollments throughout the year, space permitting. Drama Kids also offers Drama Kids Summer Camps, DKI Acting Academy and Drama Kids At School, an in-school program for elementary and middle schools that brings its innovative curriculum directly into the schools as part of the school’s after-school program. For more information, visit www.dramakids.com. For franchise information visit www.dramakidsfranchises.com.

Contact
Charlie Kerr
***@dramakids.com
866-809-1055 Ext. 201

Source Drama Kids International
City/Town Fort Myers
State/Province Florida
Country United States
Industry Business, Consumer, Education
Tags Childrens Franchise, After-school, Low Cost Franchise, Drama Franchise, Acting Franchise, Low
Investment Franchise, Home Based Franchise
Link https://prlog.org/12749761

Building Life Skills That Will Help Kids Find Success

 

Helping a child become the best version of his or herself is something all parents strive for. While it may seem like a daunting task, it doesn’t have to become overwhelming. You can help your children be successful in life’s journey simply by setting them up with valuable life skills.

What Life Skills Should Our Kids Possess?

At Drama Kids International, we often talk about the value of skills like leadership and creative thinking. While these skills can make quite a positive impact on a child, there are others that can be just as important.

Problem-solving is a skill that can help your child get a leg up in this competitive world, as thinking critically can help kids observe, analyze and come up with solutions to complex issues.

One way you can help encourage strong problem-solving skills in your child is by turning questions into projects. When he or she asks a question, find a way to flip it around, presenting the opportunity to come up with theories and do some research to find the answer.

Another skill children need to grasp is understanding money. Having a solid understanding of how to handle money is one thing that could make or break your child once he or she reaches adulthood.  It may not always seem fun or easy to discuss financial topics with your child, but the sooner you are able to instill habits like saving or valuing money in your child, the better. Don’t shy away from giving your older children the opportunity to manage their money, as this hands-on education can truly show them how everything works.

Don’t Forget Those Common Skills

Your child should also master some common tasks that can be done around the house before adulthood.  Does your child know how to do the laundry or cook a simple meal? There’s no time like the present to have him or her learn! How about hammering a nail or cleaning the bathroom? These skills may seem basic, but ultimately, they can pay off dividends later on in your child’s life.

There are many other life skills that children will learn and master as they grow up, and fortunately, most of them will come from watching you! At the end of the day, you can “teach” your child the most important of life skills simply by modeling them on a daily basis.

Drama Kids International takes the process of teaching children valuable skills seriously, and is excited to partner alongside you as they journey through life. Want to know more about how our drama programs for kids can help them blossom into successful adults? We’d love to discuss them with you.

Drama students dressed up

A Look at the Many Benefits of the Arts for Children

 

Drama students dressed up

There is a reason why we are so passionate about providing high-quality drama programs for children, and it is directly related to the number of benefits it can have for them!

These benefits are obtained in the classroom, but can be more far reaching as well, helping set children up with the skills and tools they need to succeed academically as well as throughout their adult lives and professional careers.

What Are The Benefits?

The benefits of participation in the arts can be seen in a child’s academic life and personal life. Being able to promote creativity has a long-lasting impact on children.  Creativity can help them think outside the box and come up with innovative and often insightful solutions to problems they may face. Yes, creativity plays quite a large role in helping a child develop key problem-solving abilities.

Instead of being consumed by the unknowns of the situation, children’s creativity can help them become more adaptable and comfortable with those uncertainties—each situation becomes a new way to think outside the box and try out new ideas.

Participation in the arts can also help children developmentally through things such as:

  • Motor skills
  • Language development
  • Decision-making
  • Visual learning
  • Inventiveness
  • Cultural awareness

All of these skills play a vital role in helping children not only develop their personalities, but also have a better understanding of how the world works, as well as what they can do to leave their mark on it.

How It Relates to Success

According to a National Educational Longitudinal Survey, there is a “significant connection” between a child’s involvement in arts learning and his or her general academic success.  It was also found that involvement with the arts not only led to academic success, but also pro-social outcomes, such as volunteerism, involvement in the community and civic participation.

Regarding academic success, a report from Americans for the Arts has found that young people who participate regularly in the arts are four times more likely to be recognized for academic achievement, participate in a math and science fair, or win an award for writing an essay or poem.

Drama Kids International has created a curriculum that is centered around using drama and the arts to help with a child’s personal growth. Interested in learning about what our programming can offer your child? Contact us to learn more!

Helping Your Child Pick—and Stick—to Their New Year’s Resolutions

 

As we will say goodbye to 2018 and welcome the new year, it is a time to consider New Year’s Resolutions.  While many utilize their New Year’s resolutions to help spur on weight loss and other healthy habits, they can also serve as an important learning lesson for kids.

Why Make a New Year’s Resolution?

When you take away the term “New Year’s resolution,” the basic principles behind it are setting goals and achieving those goals. This is something that all children can benefit from—and even enjoy!

Many may think having your child come up with a New Year’s resolution is a bit excessive or overambitious, but childhood can be the best time to teach new habits. Although adults may make resolutions and not stick to them throughout the year, this does not necessarily mean that children will follow suit.

Helping Your Child Succeed

One of the best ways to help your kids pick and stick to a New Year’s resolution is to encourage them to consider something fun and measurable. You should also guide them toward narrowing down the list to their top three resolutions, including only things that are realistic and achievable.

There are four areas that are ideal for establishing goals:

  • Personal goals
  • Friendship goals
  • Helping goals
  • School goals

We are the greatest example for our children, so if we serve as a good role model in the resolution department, they are likely to follow suit. Remember, it takes six weeks to create a habit!

New Year’s Resolution Ideas for Kids

There are plenty of excellent New Year’s resolution ideas for children that are fun, healthy, challenging and positive. The one area you may want to steer your child away from are material goals.

Here are some ideas that may work for your child:

  • Invite someone from school or an after-school program over twice a month
  • Spend at least one day a month, if not more, unplugged from technology
  • Help cook one healthy meal two times a month
  • Read two new books per month
  • Learn or improve a skill, such as public speaking
  • Participate in more physical activity
  • Perform a random act of kindness once a month
  • Maintain a certain letter grade average throughout the year

Goal setting and achieving those goals are just two of the many life skills children need to learn in order to lead successful lives. Drama Kids International is proud to offer drama programs for children that can help them learn other important life skills, such as leadership, public speaking and self-confidence.

How Kids Can Give Back Over the Holidays

 

The holiday season is upon us. Finding the perfect gift and spending quality time with your family are probably two of the more pressing issues on your mind. What if we told you there was a way to easily achieve both at one time?

Volunteering during the holiday season is a way to do just that! You’ll not only enjoy quality time together, but you’ll also be giving the perfect gift to those in need!

How Volunteering Benefits Kids

There are plenty of benefits for children who volunteer, including:

  • Making them more likely to make positive, healthy choices
  • Helping enhance self-esteem
  • Improving psychological well-being
  • Encouraging compassion and altruism
  • Providing experiential learning opportunities
  • Helping children experience and appreciate diversity
  • Teaching valuable life skills

And the benefits of participating in a community service project aren’t just limited to the ones we’ve listed!

Ideas for Holiday Volunteering

No matter the age of your children, there are always simple ways they can volunteer and help out the community.

If you have a younger child, he or she can help pick out non-perishable food items that can be donated to a food bank, decorate cards for soldiers overseas or children who are in hospitals, or even stuff new socks with items that homeless men and women could be given when passed on the streets.

Older children can donate gently used books and DVDs to local children’s hospitals, schedule a visit to a nursing home and interact with the residents, or host a hot chocolate or cider stand from which the proceeds are donated to a local charity.

Keeping the Volunteer Spirit Year-round

It’s great to volunteer with your kids throughout the holiday season, but keeping that effort going year-round is a fantastic goal to have!

By keeping some form of volunteering on your family’s schedule, you’re helping your child learn that it’s not about what you have, but about empathy and the value of giving to others.

You can help encourage your child’s altruistic side by letting him or her pick a cause to support and discussing the difference between donating time and money. Both are valuable donations for the cause/charity of your family’s choosing, but it’s still important for your child to learn the difference between the two types of donating.

Looking for other ways to inspire your child to become his or her best self? Check out the programs Drama Kids International offers that are specially designed to help kids gain valuable life skills.

Three Thanksgiving Crafts Your Child will Love

 

The Thanksgiving holiday is fast approaching, and while menu planning and Black Friday strategizing are probably near the top of the list, chances are that coming up with fun, kid-friendly Thanksgiving craft ideas is also something you’ve considered.

We know it’s a busy time of the year, so we’ve found three kid-approved ideas that are simple, yet fun!

Kid-approved Thanksgiving crafts

Not only are these activities a fun way to keep your child occupied, but they also present an opportunity for him or her to get involved in the holiday festivities and help with the decorating!

Feather Place Mats

This activity requires some feathers, orange (or whatever Thanksgiving color you prefer) card stock, kid-safe scissors and glue.

First, your child will trace the dinner plate you plan to use on your turkey day table. Then cut out the traced circles. Once those have been cut out, all he or she will need to do is put a dab of glue on each feather and then glue them along the edges of the circles. Voila—brand-new feather place mats!

Paper Leaf Table Runner

Break out the fall-colored construction paper or lined paper and child-safe scissors—and let your child’s creative side shine!

This is another crafty activity that lets your child become part of the Thanksgiving decorating, by having him or her cut out leaf designs. Once the designs have been cut out, your children can then write a few things they are thankful for on some of the leaves.

Then glue the leaves together into small groups, to create a design that will run down the center of your table. The finished product creates a heartfelt, homemade runner for the family table.

Corn Husk Flower Painting

Corn and Thanksgiving are just a natural fit, so this craft is something that makes sense and is fun for kids!

You’ll need some dried corn husks, some non-toxic paints, chalk markers and a hot glue gun to make this project come to life. First, an adult should hot glue the corn husks together in a flower pattern. Then allow your child to paint the “flower petals” to his or her heart’s content once the glue has dried.

Thanksgiving is about spending time with family and being thankful. Hopefully some of these craft ideas will inspire some quality family time and help your child embrace his or her creative side just a bit more!

Drama Kids International offers age-appropriate developmental after-school enrichment classes for children ages 4–17 that help them learn to better communicate and express themselves, harness their creativity, and build confidence and self-esteem

 

Halloween Treat Ideas for the Classroom

 

Halloween is right around the corner and while you’ve probably been busy helping come up with the perfect costume for your child, chances are Halloween treats for the classroom haven’t yet crossed your mind.

Don’t worry, our Drama Kids International team has got you covered on the tasty Halloween treat front!

Easy Halloween Treats

The goal is to come up with a Halloween treat your child can share with friends that is both delicious and easy to make. Of course—you always want to check with your child’s school to make sure that treats are allowed and learn of any special requirements or limitations.  Below you will find some of our favorite options.

Halloween Muddy Buddies

Delicious and festive, these muddy buddies are an obvious choice! You’ll need Rice Chex cereal, chocolate chips, peanut butter, butter, vanilla extract, powdered sugar, Kit Kats, candy corn, candy skulls, sprinkles and candy eyeballs to make these happen.

The best part? Halloween Muddy Buddies take less than 10 minutes to make! You can find the full recipe here.

Before you send these treats with your child, be sure that items containing peanut butter are allowed in your child’s classroom and/or school. It’s important to be mindful of food allergies. (See below for allergy-friendly treats!)

Rice Krispie Treat Mummies

This Halloween snack option only need three ingredients: snack-size rice krispie treats, white chocolate chips, and black edible piping gel or icing. In under 10 minutes, you can have adorable little mummies who are just waiting to be eaten. The full recipe for these treats can be found here.

Looking for more festive ideas? Woman’s Day offers a number of different options, all with varying degree of difficulty and time required.

Allergy-Friendly Halloween Treats

Food allergies are increasingly common in this day and age, especially among children. While a child can be allergic to any food, there are eight common allergens that account for 90 percent of reactions:

  1. Milk
  2. Eggs
  3. Peanuts
  4. Soy
  5. Wheat
  6. Tree nuts (walnuts, cashews, macadamia nuts, etc.)
  7. Fish
  8. Shellfish (including shrimp)

Because of the prevalence of peanut allergies, many schools are peanut-free zones in order to protect their students. If you’re worried about coming up with allergy-friendly Halloween treats for your child’s classroom don’t be—we’ve included some excellent options for you below!

Cheese It Up

We know how much children enjoy cheese and there’s no reason why this snack favorite can’t be made festive. You can make fun pumpkin or other Halloween-related shaped cheese treats by getting a cookie cutter or two for a tasty and nutritious treat. Note, this is not the right treat choice if there is a dairy allergy in the classroom.

Popcorn for All

You can decorate a paper bag with Halloween stickers and colors and fill it with homemade popcorn quite easily. Add a bit of fun to it by adding food coloring to the butter and shaking the popcorn in it for a festive treat.

If your child’s classroom requires labeled or packaged items, remember that there are allergy-friendly options out there, such as BoomChikaPop, which can come in individualized bags and simply be put inside the Halloween-decorated paper bag.

Sweet Tooth Options

Sometimes a sweet treat just hits the spot. Consider these candies, which are all guaranteed safe for nut allergies: Tootsie Roll Company brand items like Tootsie Rolls, Junior Mints and Caramel Apple Pops, York Peppermint Patties, Skittles, Starbursts, or Jolly Ranchers.

We hope you find our quick and easy Halloween treat suggestions helpful or inspiring! One more thing: Don’t forget to share once you figure out the perfect treat for your child’s class!

Drama Kids International provides children with a place to learn much more than drama! Our focus is on life skills and confidence building. Interested in finding a program for your child? Visit our website to find a Drama Kids location near you.

Tips for Helping your Child Handle Bullying

 

Tips for Helping your Child Handle Bullying

 As the school year progresses, chances are your child will experience bullying. He or she may not be the victim, but could still witness it in the classroom, hallway or on the playground.

October is National Bullying Prevention Month, and Drama Kids International is here to share valuable tips on how to help your child handle bullying.

How common is bullying?

Bullying is a very common thing, with more than one out of every five students having reported being bullied. Female students are more likely to experience a form of bullying.

There are three types of bullying—verbal, social and physical. Students who are bullied report that they are called names, insulted, pushed, shoved, tripped, spit on and excluded from activities on purpose. Bullying is reported to take place in the hallways or stairways at school, in the classroom, the cafeteria, outside on school grounds, on the bus, or in the bathroom/locker room.

How to help your child

First, your child must know how to identify bullying. It’s likely that he or she has been teased by a sibling or friend at some point, which is usually not harmful and done in a playful manner. But your child will need to know that when the teasing crosses the line into being hurtful, unkind and constant, it has become bullying.

Be sure children know it is not their fault if they have been the victim of bullying and reassure them that together you will figure out what to do about it. It’s also important for your child to know that it’s OK to speak to a teacher, principal or counselor about what is going on. Keep the lines of communication open and support your child.

ACT UP! to Stop Bullying

We know how detrimental bullying can be for children, which is why we created the ACT UP! to Stop Bullying program. This is a series of workshops designed for third through fifth graders, which utilizes student participatory drama activities and group discussions to teach children about the various forms of bullying and how they can properly respond. In ACT UP! to Stop Bullying, children will learn things like:

  • The different forms of bullying, including physical and verbal attacks and more subtle forms like leaving someone out from a group on purpose
  • Different roles they can play when bullying occurs, such as silent participant, observer or preventer
  • How to model good behavior

 

Bullying is something that must be taken seriously. If you would like to learn more about our ACT UP! to Stop Bullying initiative, reach out! Our Drama Kids team would love to see it come to a school near you!