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The Quirky Kid Clinic

The Best of Friends® Industry Research Collaboration The Quirky Kid® Clinic’s collaboration with the University of Wollongong provided the evidence base to scale the innovative The Best of Friends® program

The Quirky Kid Team and The University of Wollongong’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation), Professor Jennifer Martin would like to invite you to a presentation of the industry research collaboration between Quirky Kid® and the University of Wollongong (UOW) on The Best of Friends® program.

Grassroots to global opportunity - UOW provides the evidence base for Quirky Kid to scale - Vimeo

This event will provide you with an expanding small business’s perspective on collaborating with a university as an effective innovation pathway. You will learn how Quirky Kid leveraged their innovation spend through various programs – including Tech Vouchers, Internships and UOW’s incubator iAccelerate – to maximise impact.

The Best of Friends® program was developed in response to increasing demand from schools to address the social and emotional learning (SEL) challenges that children experience, and to offer them the academic and social benefits that SEL provides.

The research conducted by Quirky Kid® and the University of Wollongong added to the growing evidence of the efficacy of The Best of Friends® program, which Quirky Kid®  was then able to use to scale their product so their expertise could benefit kids in schools not only across Australia but around the world.

Representatives from Quirky Kid, the University of Wollongong, and NSW Government’s Boosting Business Innovation Programs will be on hand to answer your questions and get you started on your own innovation journey.

Friday 9 August, 9:30am-12:00pm
Level 49, MLC Centre  (19 Martin Place, Sydney)

9:30-10:00am Showcase demonstrations and networking
10:00-11:15am –  Presentation and Q&A:

  • Innovation in Social Emotional Learning – Dr. Kimberley O’Brien (Quirky Kid)
  • Collaborating with UOW –  Zahra Shahbazian, Industry Research Manager (UOW)
  • Leveraging your innovation spend  –  Leo Rocker (Quirky Kid)

11:15am-12:00pm: Networking and light refreshments

About Quirky Kid

We’re one of Australia’s leading Child, Adolescent and Family Psychology Clinics and passionately committed to providing clients with the highest standard of service delivery. Quirky Kid is a member of the University of Wollongong business incubator program, ‘iAccelerate’. We operate clinical spaces in Sydney and Austinmer with a new clinic opening soon in Canberra.

You may also know of Quirky Kid as an award-winning publisher of unique therapeutic resources for young people and families. These include Face it cards, Tell Me A Story cards and the popular programs, Power Up, The Best of Friends® and BaseCamp which are used in schools around Australia and overseas.

The post Quirky Kid and University of Wollongong Collaboration Launch appeared first on Quirky Kid Clinic.

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The Quirky Kid Clinic

As we enter the last couple weeks of term one, the dreaded tests and exams period approaches! Whether it is your child’s first experience with formal examination periods or they are a seasoned regular, it is easy to feel unprepared and nervous. The following article will discuss strategies to assist with these nerves and help boost your child’s confidence!

Strategy #1 PREPARE FOR YOUR ASSESSMENTS 

Sometimes the most obvious strategies are overlooked. Make sure you know when your child’s exam is. Mark it on the calendar. Knowing how long you have to prepare will help you and your child to appropriately schedule study times and reduce the chance of your child feeling overwhelmed.

Similarly, find out what is on the test! Some exam notices will indicate particular chapters and topics of importance. For the Higher School Certificate (HSC), students will be provided learning outcomes that explicitly highlight what knowledge will be examined. The Board of Studies has created helpful pages for each exam that outline what to expect as well as the equipment needed for each tests and exams, which can be found by following the link here.

Strategy #2 TIMETABLE

This is the time to get out the coloured highlighters and get organised! On a weekly planner, mark out all the times where you have commitments already scheduled (e.g. school, dance class, soccer practice, family BBQ, etc.). Then, working with your child, (let them do it on their own if they are capable), schedule in one to three 30 minute blocks of time on weeknights (depending on the number of tests and exams: and child’s capability) to cover a particular subject. Prioritise the subjects they find most difficult.

Breaking up the work into more manageable chunks of time will make the pressure of exams less daunting. Structuring study this way will also help to overcome any avoidance tactics.

For the weekends, you may want to discuss adding a couple more study blocks, where your child can choose the topics. Remember to schedule in fun breaks and small rewards to keep your child motivated. For example, spend 15 minutes playing their favourite game or having a snack after 30-40 minutes of study.

Strategy #3 STUDY ENVIRONMENT

Research has shown that your memory recall is best when it is in a similar environment (Godden & Baddeley, 1975). Although you cannot take your child to school to study in their regular school classroom, you can try to make their study space at home reflect the conditions of tests and exams.

For example, encourage your child to study at a desk, sitting upright in a supportive chair, in a quiet environment. Although it may be more comfortable, studying in bed will be less effective!

Strategy #4 MAKE STUDY ACTIVE

How does your child study? Most commonly, children and adolescents alike will flick through their books and highlight more words than not. Though this can be helpful, it can often lead to an illusion of knowledge – “if it is highlighted, I should know it!”

Instead, encourage active study. This includes rewriting information in their own words, making mind maps, talking about topics, creating quizzes, using past exams questions and testing knowledge. Children can either do this independently or with parents and/or friends. Research shows that this leads to better learning and understanding of the material (Prince, 2004).

Strategy #5 SLEEP

Adequate sleep is so important, especially for the exam preparation! During sleep, our brain consolidates learning, so while your child may think it is better to stay up studying until the early hours of the morning, they will be better off getting in the zzz’s (Stickgold, 2005).

Strategy #6 NUTRITION

There is no one key ‘brain food’ that is guaranteed to lead to success. However, a diet rich in whole grains (oats, brown rice, wheat bread), omega-3 (fatty fish, nuts and seeds, avocado) and vitamins (eggs, leafy greens) has been shown to improve brain function and development and improve concentration (Torrens, 2017).

In particular, for older adolescents, limiting caffeine is recommended. Although energy drinks or coffee may be considered helpful because they increase alertness, their stimulant effects may make it difficult for adolescents to wind down, negatively impact sleep and lead to daytime sleepiness (James, Kristjánsson, & Sigfúsdóttir, 2011).

Strategy #7 EXAM DAY

Important things to remember on the day:

  • Make sure your child has a good, wholesome breakfast – think brain food, such as eggs on toast with avocado.
  • Engage in positive self-talk: remind your child of the hard work that has gone into preparing for the exam. Remind them they can do this! Manage expectations and focus on the effort your child has put in, not the achievement.
  • Arrive early: this is especially important for the HSC, as sometimes exams can be in rooms different from normal exams or classes.

Remind your child to:

  • Take three deep breaths to help settle their nerves.
  • Read all the instructions carefully.
  • Wear a watch to keep track of time.

Have something enjoyable arranged for after the assessment – your child has earned it!

Strategy #8 REDUCING ANXIETY DURING TESTS AND EXAMS 

Though the above strategies can help support your child, it is normal for them to experience anxiety. Recognising the physical and mental symptoms of anxiety can help your child break the anxiety cycle.

Racing thoughts, difficulty concentrating, feelings of worry and negative self-talk are common psychological symptoms of anxiety. Physical symptoms may include an accelerated heart rate, sweaty palms, upset stomach and tension throughout the body (American Psychiatric Association, 2013).

Some strategies to help reduce anxiety include: deep breathing exercises (long, slow breaths in through the nose, out through the mouth), positive self talk (“I can do it”), grounding exercises (focus on what is in the room, not racing thoughts), and taking a break to go and exercise (Furner, & Berman, 2003; Otto & Smits, 2011).

If you notice your child’s exam anxiety is persistent and detrimentally affecting your child’s ability not only to study but to effectively function in other areas of life, it may be indicative of a more serious issue. Should you have any concerns please don’t hesitate to contact our friendly reception on (02) 9362 9297.

Best of Luck! Done with your assessments? Or just going back to school? Check out our term programs! References

American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). Washington, DC: Author.

Furner, J. M., & Berman, B. T. (2003). Math anxiety: Overcoming a major obstacle to the improvement of student math performance. Childhood Education, 79(3), 170-175. doi: 10.1080/00094056.2003.10522220

Godden, D. R. & Baddeley, A. D. Context‐dependent memory in two natural environments: on land and underwater. British Journal of Psychology, 66(3), 325-331. doi: 10.1111/j.2044-8295.1975.tb01468.x

James, J. E., Kristjánsson, Á. L., & Sigfúsdóttir, I. D. (2011). Adolescent substance use, sleep, and academic achievement: evidence of harm due to caffeine. Journal of adolescence, 34(4), 665-673.

NSW Education Standards Authority (2018). Exam advice and resources for students. Retrieved 17th September, 2018, from http://k6.boardofstudies.nsw.edu.au/wps/portal/nesa/11-12/hsc/exam-advice-resources

Otto, M, W., & Smits, J. A. J. (2011). Exercise for mood and anxiety: Proven strategies for overcoming depression and enhancing well-being. New York, NY: Oxford University Press Inc.

Prince, M. (2004). Does active learning work? A review of the research. Journal of Engineering Education, 93(3), 223-231.

Stickgold, R. (2005). Sleep-dependent memory consolidation. Nature, 437(7063), 1272-1278. doi:10.1038/nature04286

Torrens, K. (2017). 10 foods to boost your brain power. Retrieved 17th September, 2018, from https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/howto/guide/10-foods-boost-your-brainpower

The post Top Tips to Prepare Children for Tests and Exams appeared first on Quirky Kid Clinic.

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Quirky Kid Clinic by Leonardo Rocker (quirky Kid Staff) - 1M ago

The Quirky Kid Clinic

Australian child psychology services provider and publisher Quirky Kid is growing up, receiving significant federal and state government support to take its strategies for tackling children’s mental health issues to Australia and the world.

Quirky Kid has been named among the first seven successful recipients of a grant from the Department of Social Services (DSS)  $7 million Sector Readiness Fund (SRF), managed through Impact Investing Australia’s Growth Grant.

Quirky Kid, founded by the visionary duo Dr Kimberley O’Brien and Leonardo Rocker, is a provider of mental health services for children, as well as educational publishing services, products and software.

The $130,000 grant from the SRF will be used to engage Social Impact Hub’s services to help Quirky Kid become impact investment ready, including working with Quirky Kid to deliver impact assessment and a capital raise by July 2020.

Earlier this year, Quirky Kid was selected to join two International immersion programs, the Dubai EdTech Bootcamp organised by the Australian Trade and Investment Commission (Austrade) and the India Entrepreneurs International Bootcamp funded by the NSW Government and led by the Sydney School of Entrepreneurship.

Quirky Kid also exhibited at the world’s largest trade fair for children’s literature and creative content, The Bologna Book Fair in Italy.

Last year, Quirky Kid received two prestigious nominations at The London Book Fair, winning the Best Educational Initiative Award for Basecamp®, an educational program designed to support children to manage anxiety. Basecamp® has also received two other local awards and nominations, such as Best Designed Educational Primary / Secondary Book at the Australia Book Designer Awards.

The SRF aims to change the way Australia addresses social issues by investing in growing enterprises delivering positive social outcomes. In announcing the SRF grantees on 17 May 2019 (former) Minister for Families and Social Services, Paul Fletcher MP said: “The seven social impact investment organisations [have] demonstrated growth potential to deliver positive social outcomes.”

“Social impact investments can be a game changer in the approach to some serious and entrenched social issues and the Sector Readiness Fund forms part of the Government’s commitment to tackling disadvantage through innovative financing models,” Mr Fletcher has said.

Quirky Kid, described by the Sydney Morning Herald as a “quiet Australian success story, used by thousands of organisations around the world” link to report, has been diligently delivering innovative products and solutions for schools and families, such as a new online application to support parents and professionals called BriteChild (see https://britechild.com).

Quirky Kid is a resident at The University of Wollongong incubator, iAccelerate, which is committed to helping social entrepreneurs deliver meaningful impact.

“Quirky Kid has taken an innovative idea to deliver mental health services for children and are building a thriving business with a social conscience. We look forward to continuing to support them further on their journey,” iAccelerate CEO Omar Khalifa said.

Dr O’Brien and Mr Rocker said: “Since 2016, we have engaged an incredible team to make sure we can raise the necessary capital to escalate our impact and commercial success. Our ambition is to continue to scale without compromising our impact”

Quirky Kid is due to open a third clinic in Canberra at the end of 2019.

Founder and Director of the Social Impact Hub, Jessica Roth and her team are delighted to be working with Quirky Kid. According to Jessica: “Impact investment will help Quirky Kid scale its business, to deliver its quality programs to more kids and families, leading to improved wellbeing and outcomes for many, as well as generate financial returns for impact investors. The Social Impact Hub is committed to supporting purpose-driven businesses as they scale, and we are thrilled to have won an Impact Investment Ready Growth Grant to work with Quirky Kid.”

Sabina Curatolo, Director of Social Enterprise Development at IIA added “raising capital to grow these for-purpose businesses often requires new skills and advice that these change-making entrepreneurs would not already have. The grants from this new fund enable successful applicants to seek this specialist advice from intermediaries, enabling their businesses to grow and increase their impact. In this way, we are also encouraging growth in intermediaries which is key to effectively growing the impact investment eco-system.”


About Quirky Kid

We’re one of Australia’s leading Child, Adolescent and Family Psychology Clinics and passionately committed to providing clients with the highest standard of service delivery. Quirky Kid is a member of the University of Wollongong business incubator program, ‘iAccelerate’. We operate clinical spaces in Sydney and Austinmer with a new clinic opening soon in Canberra.

You may also know of Quirky Kid as an award-winning publisher of unique therapeutic resources for young people and families. These include Face it cards, Tell Me A Story cards and the popular programs, Power Up, The Best of Friends® and BaseCamp which are used in schools around Australia and overseas.

The post We’re Growing Up appeared first on Quirky Kid Clinic.

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School camps, slumber parties and sleepovers are important steps to your child gaining their independence, but for some kids and their parents, this potentially positive experience can be riddled with anxiety. Thankfully, there are effective strategies which resolve some of the most common concerns around sleeping away from home or without the comfort of family.

For kids in later primary school, Term One here in Australia often includes the obligatory school camp. Similarly, the school holidays for tweens and teens often provide an exciting opportunity for children to engage in fun overnight holiday camp programs, or perhaps your child may be invited to their first sleepover at a friend’s house. Whether it is a slumber party, school trip or even an overseas camp, the emotions and concerns you and/or your children may have remain the same. Although it is not unusual to have apprehension around first-time sleepovers, the good news is that there are ways to manage these worries and make it the positive experience it should be for both parents and kids.

Read on for our top tips for successfully navigating this adventure together.

Why can Overnight School Camp seem scary?

Just like anything new, overnight trips present children with a series of unknowns. These can range from primal concerns around their safety, to social concerns about fitting in and getting along with peers, to practical concerns like whether they will remember everything or pack the right things. Knowing the main theme of your child’s concern will be the first step in assisting them to feel more confident.

Strategies for Parents of first-time School Campers

Overall, the main goal for parents is to focus on positives. Think about what your child has to gain from this experience. It is very likely to be a great opportunity to establish new friendships, participate in hands-on learning experiences and, importantly, gain a sense of independence outside of the family network. The following considerations and tips may be helpful for parents:

  • Are you yourself anxious? In preparation, it is important to check-in on how you are feeling yourself. What are you worried about as a parent? How are you addressing these concerns? In these times, if you are worried, you are more likely to present as flustered and somewhat erratic. This can heighten anxiety in young children, who could interpret camp as something to be concerned about. It is important to manage your own anxiety first!
  • Homesickness chat. This is a big one! You may have experienced some separation anxiety with your child in the early years when beginning preschool. This experience is quite relatable in that it is an unknown situation. If your child is worried they may miss home too much to enjoy themselves, an easy fix can be to have your child bring with them an important item from home that can easily be popped in their bag.
  • Pack together. Make it fun! Often camps will provide you with a list of required items.For a sleepover, you can call the other parent and jot down a list. Then turn packing into a game, such as collecting the required items as if on a scavenger hunt. Further to this, make sure you do not leave packing to the last minute! Think of the classic saying ‘failing to prepare is preparing to fail’; packing ahead of time will allow you to make any last trips to the shops if required.
  • Reduce the sense of the ‘unknown’. Talk about what to expect and perhaps see if you can get a rough schedule for the camp. Where possible, make a rooming request with teachers/staff if the child is not given the option.
  • Share your own positive experiences. Simply talking with your child about your good experiences on camp may help to further ease the fear of the unknown. It is okay to talk about experiences that also didn’t turn out too well, however it is important to emphasise the learning that came out of that experience!
  • Normalise that some anxiety is okay. It is always important to emphasise that all feelings we experience are normal, and good, and part of our body looking after us. Holding onto anxious feelings is not helpful in the long term, however. Help your children to recognise when they don’t feel good, and to challenge an unhelpful feeling with a helpful thought or saying to themselves, for instance, “I’m feeling nervous, but I know I’ll have a great time with my friends on camp”.
  • Account for any travel sickness or dietary needs in advance. As parents, you know what your child can and cannot handle. It is important to make staff aware of any accommodations that need to take place to help mitigate the likelihood of any predictable problems.
Strategies to Enhance your Child’s Confidence during School Camp

While there is a lot you can do to put your child at ease, it is important that they know how to be present and manage their anxiety while they are at camp without you. Teach your child to:

  • Ease physical tension. When we are anxious, our body responds physically. Stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline can linger and perpetuate negative feelings. Practicing relaxation techniques at home will help your child to self-soothe while away. Examples include deep breathing and Progressive Muscle Relaxation.
  • Worry diary. If something is bothering your child, encourage them to write it down in a journal, and leave the thoughts there until they are at home again.
  • For the night-owls. If there is a certain item at home that helps your child get to sleep, let them take it to camp to help put them at ease. If your child seems embarrassed about having a comfort toy at camp, you could find a small precious object to pop under their pillow instead. A drawing/portrait of the toy or letter (perhaps even written in the voice of their special toy) are also good substitutes.
  • Practice talking to staff. If your child does require assistance, often they may feel too anxious to tell someone about it because they do not want to get into trouble or bother anyone. Practice at home ways to approach and engage with staff or get their attention. This can be practiced with regards to how to complete activities, if a peer is unkind, when feeling homesick, or where to get their special dietary food from.

Some anxiety around first camps and overnight stays is normal and an important part of your child’s emotional development. If this distress is persistent, however, and detrimentally affecting your child’s overall functioning in other areas of life, it may be a warning sign of an ongoing issue. If you feel that you and/or your child require further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact our friendly reception on (02) 9362 9297.

For more on understanding children: Why Don’t Kids Like Chores?

References

NSW Government (2019). Preparing for School Camp. Retrieved from, https://education.nsw.gov.au/public-schools/practical-help-for-parents-and-carers/family-wellbeing/getting-ready-for-school-camp

The post Keeping Cool for School Camp appeared first on Quirky Kid Clinic.

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For the sixth episode of Impressive, a young scientist by the name of Angelina Arora, the inventor of bioplastic, tells the story behind her interesting work and how it has been taking her to greater heights. Also, she shares the insights that she gained while on her journey towards success.

Listen up as we explore:

  • How Angelina’s parents supported her passion for science and inventing.
  • How to seek out a support network of teachers, professors and mentors to make your dreams a reality.
  • How to find friends who are equally passionate about their own endeavours, while balancing schoolwork with international research.
Enjoy the Episode

006: How to Stimulate a Young Inventor with Angelina Arora - SoundCloud
(1194 secs long, 106 plays)Play in SoundCloud

Recommended Resources Keep updated with The Impressive Podcast

Join Dr Kimberley O’Brien on the Impressive Facebook Group to receive news, share your opinion and learn about resources for home and school. You can also Join the Mail List.

About Impressive

Impressive is a weekly podcast that sheds a new light on the world of parenting. Join host, Dr Kimberley O’Brien PhD, as she delves into real-life parenting issues with CEOs, global ex-pats, entrepreneurs, celebrities, travellers and other hand-picked parents.

The post 006: How to Stimulate a Young Inventor with Angelina Arora appeared first on Quirky Kid Clinic.

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Competitive individual and team sports are a ubiquitous part of childhood. The benefits are well understood, but sports participation can also present challenges for both kids and parents alike. Preparing your children with strategies for good mental game-play will help them navigate some of the emotional and social obstacles that may arise.

What Competitive Sports Can Teach Your Child To Foster Healthy Competition in Kids

There are many reasons to encourage your child’s participation in competitive sports. Other than the positive impact physical fitness can have on your child’s health, research highlights that additional key benefits from healthy competition in kids can include (Eime, Young, Harvey, Charity, & Payne, 2013; Hansen, Larson, & Dworkin, 2003):

    • Teaching children important team-building, problem solving and social participation skills.
    • Improved cognitive function and motor coordination.
    • Helping your child learn that healthy competition is a natural part of life and that effort can lead to success.
    • Improved general motivation and engagement in other activities.
    • Boosting self-esteem – there are many valuable lessons in both winning and losing.
    • Mood stabilisation – participation may help protect your child from experiencing low mood and depression.
    • Decreasing risky behaviour – sport provides a structured and supportive environment, as well as an outlet for expression.
Risks in Overdoing It

Undoubtedly, you want your child to succeed in life, and sport is no exception – but in your eagerness are you perhaps pushing your child too hard?

While engagement in competitive sport has its merits as outlined above, when young athletes overwhelmingly commit to a single sport year-round with next-to-no downtime, there can be considerable risks. Research suggests that putting too much pressure on a child and emphasising outcome-goals (winning) instead of process-goals (participation and personal bests) can have negative consequences. This can lead to (Brenner, 2007):

  • Burnout – Negative mental, physical and hormonal changes, can make children feel tired and disinterested. This can actually lead them to them perform worse in competition.
  • Overuse injuries – If a child is unable to adequately rest and recover due to the pressure of competition, they can injure a bone, tendon or muscle.
  • Loss of interest – Negative experiences early on can reduce the likelihood that your child will engage in future physical activity. Watch for phrases like “It’s not fun anymore!” and “I don’t care.”
How to Foster a Love of Healthy Competition in Kids

Whether you are a supportive parent or a sports coach, the following approaches can be used to help foster healthy competition in kids and give your little one a greater sense of well-being when engaging in sports.

Strategy #1: Modify Expectations

Expectations are normal in the realm of competitive sports (and of course you want your child to succeed), but rather than framing your expectations in terms of winning and losing, it is often more beneficial to frame sport participation as a form of leisure time or social engagement for your child.
For example, use dialogue such as,

“You looked like you had a lot of fun playing soccer with the team today!”

Highlight personal bests and growth, rather than focusing on winning. For example,

“This week you swam to the flags. That’s longer than last time – great work!”

Emphasise the importance of your child following through with a commitment once it has been started. Statements such as,

“I am proud of you for playing your best all season!” are really encouraging.

Strategy #2: Visualise the Event

If your child gets nervous leading up to a game, mental exercises like visualisation can be really helpful. For example, if your child is running a race, have them imagine each stage – Walking up to your lane, bending down, taking deep breaths, pushing off the ground and quickly taking the lead, making sure to remember to breathe as you continue to charge through the race. 

Tasks like these will help your child prepare for every aspect of the race or game ahead of time (Quirky Kid, 2018).

Strategy #3: Teach Your Child To Self-Check

One way to promote healthy competition in kids is to teaching your child to self-check is a two-part process.

First, check in on physical nerves. Having your child check in on their immediate physical state can help them identify and manage the physical symptoms of anxiety.

The second part of a self-check involves your child reflecting on their thoughts. Is there any self-doubt arising as the event/game gets closer? If yes, encourage your child to try replacing these unhelpful thoughts with more helpful thoughts.

Strategy #4: The Pep Talk

‘Pep talks’ are ubiquitous in competitive sport. Whether led by a captain or coach, these talks are often the last step before the event starts, meaning these words leave a lasting impression. You want to inspire the children and motivate them so they are ready to compete. Be careful, however – there is a fine line between pumping children up and placing unneeded pressure on them.

Recent research suggests that the best pep talks are those that follow a competence support approach (Fransen, Boen, Vansteenkiste, Mertens, & Vande Broek, 2017). Put simply, a pep talk should encourage your child to focus on improving their performance and reflecting on positive times already encountered in previous games, rather than thinking only of winning. Framing a pep talk in this way improves children’s sense of team unity and increases their intrinsic motivation (i.e. self-motivation) to compete – so be sure next time to give this approach a go.

If you notice your child experiencing negative emotions, which are persistent and detrimentally affecting your child’s ability not only to engage in competitive sport, but to effectively function in other areas of life, it may be indicative of a more serious, or potentially more pervasive issue. Here at Quirky Kid, we implement an award-winning program, Power Up!®, designed to enhance mental resilience and performance in young athletes. Should you have any concerns about your child, or are interested in helping them maximise their sporting potential in a healthy way, please don’t hesitate to contact our friendly reception on (02) 9362 9297.

For a better understanding of the PowerUp Program visit: Performance Psychology For Kids

References

Brenner, J. S., & Council on Sports Medicine and Fitness (2007). Overuse injuries, overtraining and burnout in child and adolescent athletes. Paediatrics, 1199(6), doi: 10.1542/peds.2007-0887

Eime, R. M., Young, J. A., Harvey, J. T., Charity, M. J., & Payne, W. R. (2013). A systematic review of the psychological and social benefits of participation in sport for children and adolescents: informing the development of a conceptual model of health through sport. International Journal of Behavioural Nutrition and Physical Activity, 10(98). doi: 10.1186/1479-5868-10-98

Fransen, K., Boen, F., Vansteenkiste, M., Mertens, N., & Vande Broek, G. (2017). The power of competence support: The impact of coaches and athlete leaders on intrinsic motivation and performance. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports, 28(2). doi: 10.1111/sms.12950

Hansen, D. M., Larson, R. W., & Dworkin, J. B. (2003). What adolescents learn in organised youth activities: A survey of self-reported developmental experiences. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 13(1), 25-55. Doi: 10.1111/1532-7795.1301006

Quirky Kid (2018). Power Up! Retrieved from https://childpsychologist.com.au/service/workshops-info/power-up/

The post Fostering Healthy Competition in Kids appeared first on Quirky Kid Clinic.

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The Quirky Kid Clinic

Welcome to the fifth episode of the Impressive podcast. Rachel Peachy, a design expert, entrepreneur, and co-owner of Racket Design Studio is here to share how it is like travelling with her partner, Paul Mosig, and their two kids while working on projects exploring playground culture and organising exhibitions for their work. Enjoy:

  • How to seek out family-friendly international gigs;
  • The pros and cons of hiring a babysitter while working abroad
  • A three-month stint of homeschooling away from home base
Enjoy the Episode

005: Berlin Playgrounds & Family Adventures with Rachel from Racket Design Studio - SoundCloud
(1156 secs long, 92 plays)Play in SoundCloud

Recommended Resource Keep updated with The Impressive Podcast

Join Dr Kimberley O’Brien on the Impressive Facebook Group to receive news, share your opinion and learn about resources for home and school. You can also Join the Mail List.

About Impressive

Impressive is a weekly podcast that sheds a new light on the world of parenting. Join host, Dr Kimberley O’Brien PhD, as she delves into real-life parenting issues with CEOs, global ex-pats, entrepreneurs, celebrities, travellers and other hand-picked parents.

In an approachable on-air consultation style, she listens to some of the smartest, kindest parents share their latest parenting challenge with their incredible kids. Together they brainstorm solutions and Kimberley offer handy tips and valuable resources to help bring out the best in toddlers, teens and in-betweens. Drawing mostly on two decades of experience as a child psychologist, Kimberley also shares her personal insights as a mother of two and entrepreneur with a passion for problem-solving.

The post 005: Berlin Playgrounds & Family Adventures with Rachel from Racket Design Studio appeared first on Quirky Kid Clinic.

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Quirky Kid Clinic by Leonardo Rocker (quirky Kid Staff) - 3M ago

The Quirky Kid Clinic

Are you constantly asking your child to tidy their room, to put away their washing, or to help clean the car? You’re not alone! Getting kids to complete  the chores is hardwork. Here at the Quirky Kid Clinic, we’re familiar with the frustration of parents who regularly ask: how can I get my child to help more around the house?

As children move through their developmental stages, involvement in domestic duties can be challenging in various ways. Research suggests, however, that your perseverance in engaging kids in household chores may yield considerable benefits for them. Your child/ren will gain a sense of responsibility, basic life skills and team-building experiences (Coppens et al., 2014). The less you do for them, the more they will learn.

The following article will discuss some of the common challenges faced by parents when encouraging their children to be involved in chores, some suggestions for how to overcome these, and the considerable benefits that children and families can experience from working together.

#1 Build up your child’s skills

As parents, we need to remember that we’ve had a lot of practise when it comes to particular chores, and over time we have refined our understanding of what is required for each task. If your child is struggling to start or complete a chore, you may consider: is there a skill deficit here? If you think there may be, allow some time to support your child in building their fine and gross motor skills, or their organisational skills in relation to the task.

One simple way to build new skills is to break a task down into easily-manageable steps, and assess whether your child is actually capable of performing the task. Pair each step with praise and parental attention. If a child is struggling with how to do the task, try teaching the skill in a practical way with visual guides, role-modelling, prompting and sometimes physical guidance.

Lancy et al. (2010) explains that a key way children learn is by first observing others, building their skill repertoire in this way. Provide opportunities for your child to observe you completing tasks. As your kids start to show interest, actively encourage them to join in at a developmentally appropriate level. For example, if you are folding the washing, your child may take charge of finding matching pairs of socks or picking out the clothes that belong to them and sorting these into an organised pile. Eventually, they will acquire the skill to also fold them. During these activities, remember to praise and reward your child with attention, to show them how much you appreciate their contribution to the shared task.

#2 Adopt a team approach and foster family cohesiveness

Let’s face it, many adults don’t enjoy doing chores. However, we often enjoy it more when doing them with someone else. Coppens et al. (2014) describe the concept of “learning by observation and pitching in (LOPI ).” LOPI increases the child’s collaborative initiative by feeling part of a shared purpose. The earlier a child can be encouraged to participate in the household activities or chores, the more likely the child is going to willingly participate and be interested in contributing to the family activities long-term. Children as young as 2-3 years old are able to help when given the right task!

By encouraging an environment of shared purpose and teamwork, children learn that chores are part of being in the family unit and they are a shared responsibility for all family members. Hold regular family meetings to discuss fun activities you can engage in together, and plan for team chores to be completed just before an exciting family event. For example, if the children are excited about a day out at the beach with ice-creams and surfing, ensure that before the beach day starts, everyone has tidied their rooms and sorted their washing for the week. Children will be less likely to express resistance to chores if completing a job signals transition into fun activities.

Completing chores as a family, particularly when children are younger, helps the child to share in a sense of accomplishment and unity as a family. This is especially important if a child’s skill level requires support, in which case chores may be broken down into small tasks relevant to the child’s developmental age. For example, when cleaning the bathroom, the youngest child could wipe the vanity benchtop and check the toilet paper is well stocked, an older child might scrub the bath, while the parent cleans the toilet. Setting a time limit and making a game of the task, or making up a silly song together while you’re cleaning may also help support comradery.

#3 Understand and develop your child’s motivation

The behaviours of toddlers are motivated and reinforced by parental praise, affection, attention and anticipatory games such as peek-a-boo, tickles and chasing games. In most cases, simply joining in with their parents during household activities is deemed fun by a young child, and the positive responsiveness of the parent to the child’s participation will ensure that the child continues to want to join in.

To successfully engage young children, parents should provide encouragement, minimal teaching, and allow the child to freely explore the task. Doing so helps the child to develop a sense of accomplishment, whilst utilising their ‘intrinsic motivation’ skills. Areepattamannil et al. (2011) describe ‘intrinsic motivation’ as the child’s internal satisfaction with a task, without reliance on external factors. If a parent tries to “take over” and show the child what they are doing wrong, the child is more likely to view the interaction as less fun or rewarding, and they will be less likely to willingly join the parent in such tasks again in future.

Support participation from young children by praising the child’s effort, rather than the success of the task. As the child increases their fine and gross motor skills, and their organisational skills, increase parental reinforcement around the outcome of the task.

For older children, competing priorities such as playing with their toys, devices, time with friends, interest in extracurricular activities and completing homework means extrinsic rewards are often required to promote continued participation in household chores. ‘Extrinsic rewards’ increase the motivation to do the task based on externally-regulated contingencies (Areepattamannil et al., 2011).

Provide extrinsic reward systems such as sticker charts or pocket money to show the child that by participating in the household chores they are working towards earning items of their choice. Ensure that the reward items are relative to the size of the chores, and continue to emphasise a team approach to chores involving all of the family. Tasks may be picked by the child based on their preferences and swapped within the family at times to ensure that all family members are role-modelling the duties. Fun approaches to chores may include a “chore of the week” that is turned into a game, has a larger reward attached to it, or is completed with a whole-family approach to include fun, laughter and togetherness.

Just like adults, children need to understand the task (what it is and why it is necessary) in order to want to engage with it. In the absence of a meaningful purpose, the task can seem pointless to a child, and they are less likely to be motivated to complete it. For example,; to some children, making one’s bed seems like a waste of time, as the bed is simply messed up again at bedtime! Explaining a rationale to the child in relation to the chore will support their engagement and motivation. Ideas may include:

“We make our bed because it feels warmer when we get into it at night,” and

“it helps the room to stay organised and an organised room helps you to know where your favourite toys are,” or,

“wayward pets will be unable to make themselves cosy in your bedsheets.”

Encourage children to take ownership of tasks, inspire a sense of pride in the completion of chores and provide lots of positive reinforcement (praise and recognition) for completing the task. Taking a photo and sending it to Grandma from time to time, or printing out a photo and putting it up on the fridge as a “great work example” may encourage children to feel more positively about a task.

#4 Lead by example and reflect on experience

Parents’ expectations of their children and chores are guided by their own experiences. Take some time to think about what you were expected to contribute to the household as a child. Were you expected to participate in all of the chores around the home? Were you provided rewards for helping with the chores? Or did you actively try to avoid participating in chores, and manage to get out of helping around the house? Your own childhood experiences with chores will shape your expectations for your child and influence the ways in which you try to engage your child. If you had, or still have, a generally negative approach to domestic duties, take the opportunity to reframe your own thinking and consider your positive motivations for completing chores. Remember your positivity as a parent about the task will also support the child to see the task in a positive way. If you are dragging your heels and trying to avoid chores, your child will naturally adopt this same attitude.

Conversely, if you are frustrated by your child’s opposition to chores that you believe you didn’t express as a child, reflect on what motivated you. (Or check with your own parents to get their perspective on this!)

Lastly, the type of day you have had and the stress you may be under as a parent will affect your expectations for your child in relation to helping around the house. Remember to consider the type of day your child has had too, as they may be just as tired as you are and, depending on their age and school year, they may also be under considerable stress. As calm and positive parents, allowing yourself to accept the stresses in your day and the emotional thoughts in your head without battle or negativity will help you be present in the moment with your child (Coyne et al., 2009).

Generally if you:
  • Encourage your child to participate in the household chores from a young age;
  • Build up your expectations slowly in accordance with your child’s developmental skills;
  • Reward the chores with praise and attention for younger children and extrinsic reward systems for older children;
  • Allow children to choose their preferred chores;
  • Approach chores as ‘teamwork’ and ‘being part of the family collective’; and
  • Acknowledge stressful time periods in your child’s life when chores may need to be delayed you will have more success in encouraging your child to participate in household chores with motivation, engagement, effort, and with less resistance.

If you would like some help learning how to implement these strategies, please contact us on 9362 9297 to discuss the ways in which our team could assist.

For a unique approach to extrinsic rewards, try our Quirky Kid Tickets. Check them out here.

References

Areepattamannil, S., Freeman, J. G., & Klinger, D. A. (2011). Intrinsic motivation, extrinsic motivation, and academic achievement among Indian adolescents in Canada and India. Social Psychology of Education, 14(3), 427.

Coppens, A. D., Silva, K. G., Ruvalcaba, O., Alcalá, L., & López, A. (2014). Learning by Observing and Pitching In: Benefits and Processes of Expanding Repertoires. Human Development; Basel Vol. 57, 150-161.

Coyne, L., & Murrell, A. (2009). The joy of parenting: An acceptance and commitment therapy guide to effective parenting in the early years. New Harbinger Publications.

Lancy, D. F., Bock, J. C., & Gaskins, S. (Eds.). (2010). The anthropology of learning in childhood. Rowman & Littlefield.

The post Why Don’t Kids Like Chores? appeared first on Quirky Kid Clinic.

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Quirky Kid Clinic by Leonardo Rocker (quirky Kid Staff) - 4M ago

The Quirky Kid Clinic

Quirky Kid will be in Bologna from 1st to 4th April for the annual Bologna Children’s Book Fair. As the world’s largest trade fair for children’s literature and creative content, Bologna brings together leading International authors, illustrators, publishers and agencies from over 100 countries! A platform for both traditional and digital media, the fair is a global epicentre for discussion on trends, innovative ideas and new perspectives in children’s publishing.

Quirky Kid will join the Australian collective stand on Hall 25, Stand B66. View the 2019 catalogue.

Continuing our success on the international stage from three previous Bologna Book Fairs, the Chinese Children’s Book Fair, the London Book Fair, and the Frankfurt Book Fair, we are excited to share our award-winning books with different audiences and perhaps even discover some unique new additions to the Quirky Kid resource collection.

From the clever kids at Quirky Kid

This year we will, of course, be taking our entire stable of our Quirky Kid publications on the road, but we will be showcasing two very special products in particular: Basecamp® and BriteChild®.

Basecamp® is our latest publication to become an award-winner, now we can’t wait to take it on tour and show the world why! An innovative cognitive-behavioural program, developed for managing anxiety, it is a unique, interactive and customisable tool, disguised in the familiar form of an illustrated book. BaseCamp® won “Best Designed Educational Book” at the 2018 Australian Book Design Awards, it won the “Educational Initiative Award – International Excellence” at the 2018 London Book Fair and was shortlisted for the “Educational Resource Award – International Excellence,” also at the 2018 London Book Fair. While we’re pleased-as-punch to receive this recognition for BaseCamp®, we’re not really altogether surprised. Our most important judges have been giving it the “thumbs-up” for a while already!

BriteChild® is our latest initiative and one for mums, dads and big people in the lives of little folks. Not a traditional children’s book, BriteChild® is a digital application, which connects parents and organisations to children’s development specialists, to address a broad range of challenges. BriteChild® is our first, truly digital innovation and we couldn’t be more pleased with what we’ve developed. We’re feeling quietly confident grown-ups around the world will be singing our praises soon too!

Bologna is a fantastic opportunity to spread the word for our evidence-based therapeutic tools to a global audience. As in past years, we also expect The Best of Friends® and PowerUp (more of our award-winning books) will continue to be really well-received too.

Quirky Kid has a few new resources under development and we are keen to create a big impact on the Social, Emotional and Educational sector. You can find out more about The Quirky Kid Resources on our website or at our publishing page.

When in Rome… well, Bologna anyway!

This year you will find Quirky Kid in Bologna at Stall Hall 25, Stand B6  at the Children’s Book Fair. Why not come and say “Bonjourno!”.

Take a peek!

To see the full range of Quirky Kid publishing products, have a browse around our catalogue at: https://www.publishers.asn.au/documents/item/670 and https://therapeuticresources.com.au/collections/by-quirky-kid

We will be sharing our time at the fair on our social feeds including Facebook, and Twitter, so be sure to follow us on our adventure!

The post Ciao! We’re off again to Bologna appeared first on Quirky Kid Clinic.

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