There’s a new book available for kids that’s getting a lot of interest right now Starting Strength with Bodyweight Exercises & Activities for Kids 4-8. I asked the Author Aaron J. Perry about how and why he wrote this book and he was kind enough to write this guest post…
My name is Aaron but friends call me AJ. I was born in 1972 with a hole in my heart and my parents were told to wrap me in cotton wool and not let me over exert myself as I grew up. Thankfully my parents didn’t do that to me. I was always active and had energy to burn, even now I hate sitting still for too long.
My parents always kept an eye on me but they encouraged me to run around, play sports at school and after school. I live near a beach and spent most weekends swimming, waterskiing, windsurfing or surfing. I never let my heart condition slow me down but when I was 17 I over did it free diving down to collect scallops. A couple of months later I had surgery to fix the hole in my heart. A few months later I was back playing sports and started at the gym to put some muscle back on.
So that was my childhood but right now I’m 41. About 10 years ago I helped start a new martial arts school and I was shocked at the level of physical skills and general fitness in the kids classes. They were great kids but most were lacking in strength, balance, eye-hand co-ordination, etc. These were all things I took for granted as a kid. I grew up before video games even really existed, there were only a couple of channels on TV. These days it seems most of the activities for kids involve sitting around and staring at a screen rather than riding a bike or throwing a ball around.
For the Martial Arts classes I created a collection of Games and Challenges to bring out the competitive nature of kids in a fun and friendly way. They worked better than I expected and the young kids showed almost instant improvement in all their physical skills. Initially I shared this information with other Instructors in our group & then with their encouragement opened it up to Martial Arts Instructors all around the world in different styles.
The bodyweight exercises and Games/Challenges have been successful for all of them and recently I was convinced that it shouldn’t just be for Martial Arts. Most of the games/challenges focus on building certain physical skills that are great for all variety of sports and general health. I hoping this book can help get all young kids excited about getting off the couch and actively playing with their friends and family the way I did as a kid. I never looked at anything I did as exercise when I was a kid, I was just busy having fun playing with and challenging friends.
This book “Starting Strength with Bodyweight Exercises & Activities for Kids 4-8 ” is written as a collection of quick physical challenges and games for kids. It’s easy to read with instructions and a lot of photos so parents and kids can follow along. It doesn’t have to be read in order, readers can pick out the games/challenges that they want to try. Initially it was written for parents to bond with their kids and help speed up their child’s development but I’m already getting feedback from coaches and teachers saying they will use it as a reference which is also very cool.
Another important issue is that young kids should not be doing any weight training with actual weights (dumbbells, barbells, etc) as it can put an un-natural stress on their growing bodies. Their bones are still growing and their tendons, muscles and ligaments are still stretching and developing.
The safest form of strength training for young kids is bodyweight exercises because their body is already accustomed to their own bodyweight. All of the games/challenges in the book can be played daily if they want to. As always parents should supervise the kids and they should always start easy and build up. There are modifications included in the book so that the challenges can be increased as the kids grow stronger.
“I hope that kids have a great time with this and that we can turn back the current trend of childhood obesity by simply making an active lifestyle the fun option.” – A.J.Perry
The book is available as an eBook or as a Paperback from Amazon.com
I just heard on the radio that Swine Flu is baaaaack. Let’s do everything we can to prevent spreading germs! Use the inside of your elbow to cover both your mouth and your nose. You don’t handle anything with your elbow, so you won’t be spreading germs.
Here is a demo from Andrea:
We are arming our children with cellphones to keep tabs on where they are and help us feel better about them being out in the world. No matter where they go, we are only a phone call or text away. While the i-phone was once too expensive to give to our children, it is now a basic backpack item. Along with the smartphones, comes social media and a whole slew of changing policies and algorithms that put our children at risk.
When someone uses Facebook from the cellphone (over 90% of users do so) Facebook displays the location of the user. I found this out quite by accident when I was making a thrifty purchase through a deals group. The seller was taking precautions and meeting me in a public place, however she was completely unaware that Facebook told me almost exactly where she lived!
I contacted Facebook directly and asked how to turn this feature off but they have not responded. You can turn off location information from your phone but your children are not likely to do this because it keeps many of their favorite apps from working properly.
Your children can be contacted from anyone on Facebook, even if they are not a friend. Make sure your children:
Keep all photos and posts available only to friends and not to friends of friends (under the who can see my stuff tab)
DO NOT RESPOND to any messages they receive from others they do not personally know. (even if they display a photo of another child)
Limit the posts they make and messages they send through Facebook from their cellphone.
Show you anything that looks a little weird or gives them a funny feeling when they see it. (Kids have great gut reactions)
In the mean-time, try contacting Facebook about adding a feature to turn this off. https://www.facebook.com/help/?ref=contextual
What is your goal in life? Would you recognize it if you were involved in a plane crash? Take a peek at this video and see if it rings true for you.
Now if you just can’t relate: I need to tell you a secret…IT’S OK!
Honestly, if wanting to be a better parent is not at the top of your list of goals in life..and you feel guilty about it…let it go. It means that you define yourself outside of the tasks of parenting. That means that you have even more to offer your child, because children learn by example. In other words, if you don’t put your children at the top of every list, and you actually have a desire to achieve things other than raising a child, you are teaching your child that the world has a lot to offer.
Now understand that some people DO put parenting at the top of the list. They have wanted children all their lives..some will raise as many children as they can. Some parents read every parenting blog and parenting book they possibly can because their biggest desire in life is to be a parent. The children they have are the biggest blessings in their lives. Guess what? Those parents get to live out their highest goal!
Yet even those parents who put their children above everything else often carry with them a huge burden of guilt. As they read each parenting blog, magazine, and book, they start to second guess themselves and often feel guilt about trivial things.
In order to be the best parent your child can have, you need to take care of yourself. Understand who YOU are and what makes YOU happy. Then you will have a gut feeling about what the best decisions are for your family and your child.
This is a brilliant program that every teacher would want to implement but can’t. The class pet is a dying breed, but this library is taking over in one area. They allow Children to come in and read to a therapy dog which anxiously listens to a child practice fluency skills by reading aloud to the animals.
If you are a teacher, or your child is allergic to dogs, you can also have a teddy bear tea day and have your child(ren) read to Teddy bears.
I’m pretty sure if you are alive right now you would agree with the title. I’m a little worked up with this entry so I may have to delete it later. I just read an “article” by a psychologist (I should have known) who claims..well here:
Like you, lots of parents are beginning to realize that with rare exception, the advice dispensed by so-called parenting experts over the past 50 years has been useless, counterproductive and even harmful. During that time, parenting has mutated from something people went about casually and confidently into a highly stressful endeavor (especially for women), and the mental health of America’s kids has plummeted. To top it off, today’s kids are misbehaving in ways that would have been unimaginable to a parent who raised children in the 1950s and before.
Seriously? First off, since this psychologist lists himself as a parenting expert on his own website, I guess he must be the “rare exception” to which he is referring.
Second, I agree with him that for many, parenting is stressful..but Mr. psychologist guy…this isn’t the 50′s! Woman are doing more today than they were in the 50′s. They are contributing, sometimes the only income source of the family, acting as taxi driver because schools don’t bus kids to activities anymore and trying to figure out what kind of food offered at the grocery store is going to be the least harmful to their kids. To make matters worse, PEOPLE LIKE YOU judge them and tell them they are doing things all wrong. I’m really angry here, can you tell? I think I’m actually going to use the “s” word here.
Yes, Mr.Psychologist guy. Stop making matters worse. Let parents trust their guts. Stop judging them and Shut Up!
There is a slew of informaiton out there about how to speak to your child about the tragedy that the world is morning openly on television and the radio. This is one of those moments that makes us feel a whirl of emotion. As parents we might question the whole of humanity. We might be angry at our government or our school system, and we might be worried about our own children’s safety.
Our children look to us for comfort and safety, but how can you be “the rock” when you feel unglued yourself?
HelpGuide.org has a great list of steps you can take to help yourself and your child throught this tramatic event. Remember it is ok for your child to know that you are human and that you have emotions.
The traumatic event or disaster may trigger or bring up unrelated fears and issues for you or your kids. Acknowledge and validate these concerns, even if they don’t seem relevant to you. When your child says they are afraid, acknowledge the fear and move on, don’t be tempted to tell them there is nothing to be afraid of and don’t ask them to elaborate on the fear.
Monitor television watching. Limit you and child’s exposure to graphic images and videos but realise that watching news reports of the tragedy with your children will give you a good opportunity to talk and answer questions.
Watch for physical signs of stress in both you and your child. The symptoms of traumatic stress may appear as physical complaints such as headaches, stomach pains, or sleep disturbances.
Sometimes bad things happen and they are completely out of our control. If you are an action taker, find a a group of other concerned parents and take action against this type of tragedy. Your older child might be compelled to do the same at her school.
While thousands of prayers are said for the families of those directly connected to this tragedy, I pray for every parent who fears for their child while trying to make them feel safe.
A Canadian study released in October shows scientific proof that more sleep makes for better conduct in children. This is another case of science that proves common sense. Sleep is a physical need. When our physical needs are met, even parents are better able to deal with “life.” Make sure your child gets enough sleep, and you are more likely to have a happy and cooperative child. I think you already knew that.
This article is a sad example of how bullying is effecting our children in the classroom. Two lessons can be learned from the article.
First, the D.A. Adriana Briggs, explains the reason encouraging your children to fight is not the answer to bullying: “You’re teaching those children that violence is OK and it is the way to solve a situation,”
Second, the mother reported that she had her no complaints about her child’s behavior at school. The lesson here, is don’t wait for a report. Make every effort to stay in touch with your child’s teacher and work as a partner in your child’s education. You may find that when you or your child have a problem, a friendly relationship with the teacher will be helpful,