Playful Connection - Filling Your Child’s Emotional Cup | Ignite Martial Arts
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I've been a student here for about 6 months now, and I was afraid this was going to be an intimidating experience. Wow was it ever not! The staff are really friendly, and all of the other students are supportive of one another. This is a great place to build up some self esteem, burn off some fat, and meet some new friends!

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Trail Martial Arts has really built up my children’s self esteem and encouraged them to take leadership roles by using a fun positive environment.

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Started doing the fitness kickboxing class in January. Been at it for almost 6 months the and I love it! I have more energy than I have ever had! I've lost fat and built muscle! I love it!

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Trail Martial Arts is an amazing place. Our whole family is a part of what they do! We have benefited from the programs greatly. The staff are amazing! I highly recommend them!

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A really great, intense and fun workout for getting in shape and stress relief!

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I’m amazed at the progress my child has made in less than a year with her confidence and physical awareness. It’s a great sport and the instructors are awesome with capturing the kids attention and teaching them skills.

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4 of my kids are in the martial arts program so far. They have gained knowledge in physical fitness and defense, skills that will trickle into all aspects of their lives, and developed social skills as well. I can't say enough good things about this program and the instructors that run it! The instructors are patient, encouraging, and take the time to work on individual improvements. The kids are always excited to get to their next level of belt testing, and a recent goal I've heard from one of them is that they are determined to get their black belt. A wonderful goal to have! The instructors put on even more, extra activities that the kids love and the whole family can enjoy. Absolutely love Trail Martial Arts!

Kerilyn Stephens reviewed Ignite Martial Arts
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My daughter (who is 3) has just begun at Trail Martial Arts and I'm already all in! The staff has been so welcoming and patient with my reluctant ninja and have brought her out of her shell. She told me yesterday that "Josh is my best friend!" An amazing place!

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Playful Connection – Filling Your Child’s Emotional Cup

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

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

One of the easiest ways to connect to a child and fill their emotional cup is through play. As Lawrence J. Cohen, author of “Playful Parenting,” stated, “The single most important skill parents can acquire is playing.” When children are babies, parents do just about anything silly to get them to laugh. But as children get older and can occupy themselves, playtime with parents is rare, if at all. Since play is the language of children, parents must learn to play again. Hide and seek, roughhouse and chase are just a few of the types of playtime connection children seek the most. The laughter that comes with this fills their emotional cup and reduces the chances for unwanted behaviours.

To help parents fill their children’s emotional cups, the SKILLZ Child Development Centers created the Parent SKILLZ curriculum. Eight skills were developed in this program, based on research in the areas of science and psychology. The first skill in the 8-part series involves connection. This quality time is easily implemented and nurtures the parent-child bond. Since a connection is a biological and emotional need that all humans have, being proactive in fulfilling it will benefit everyone. The release of endorphins and oxytocin during playful connection fills the emotional cup, optimizes brain development, and creates positive neural connections.

As children grow and develop, parents need to continue nurturing their bond with their children even as they get older. This continual filling of the emotional cup will help children learn that they are loved and learn to love others. Providing children with quality playtime connections is a proactive approach to parenting that will not only reduce negative, attachment-seeking behaviours but will foster healthy self-worth.

Author: Jennifer Salama of Skillz Worldwide

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