Should I Worry? Tuning into Teens’ Emotional Shifts | Ignite Martial Arts
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Jodi Sheehan

The instructors are fantastic!! They're patient, understanding, illustrate clear expectations and are very active in participating with the students in each class to make sure they learn the techniques safely and properly! Beyond the Martial Arts aspect of the class that we knew we were signing up for, Jason, Mike, Amanda and Josh are great catalysts for 'life skills' within the classes as well with the lessons of friendship, respect, compassion and humor being integrated into the class instruction. The instructors interaction and class participation have all gone above my expectations with our Autistic son and he looks forward to his classes every week!

Brandon Racette

This place is incredible! Staff is amazing, incredible program run with lots of energy! Our 3 year old started here very nervous and had developed a huge improvement in her self awareness and confidence. They have so much patience for the kids and provide an amazing opportunity for growth for them. It's been great to see her become a part of this amazing community!

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Loving our membership package! We get to pick the days that work for us. The price stays the same even when we go to more classes. The staff is so nice and helpful. They are also doing great stuff for Covid as well. I feel so safe sending my son there. Looking forward to much more time spent at Trail Martial Art Studio. UPDATE: We have now been with the Ignite Family for 2 months now, and I can honestly say it is my favourite child programming to date, and we have tried several over the last few years. This crew blows me away, and my son is loving the program and his Instructors. I am so thankful for each and everyone of the Ignite crew, especially during these difficult Covid times. Speaking of Covid, Ignite's procedures are above any I've seen in our Community. I have no concern with sending my son there, which is high praise coming from me. We are extra cautious as both my son and I are Asthmatics and in the high risk category group.

Natalie Gauthier

This school offers amazing "ninja classes" that not only teach kids martial arts, but life skillz too! Every kid I see come to class leaves with a smile, a boost to self confidence, and amazing discipline. I'd recommend this school to anyone with kids looking for a fun, structured class.

Heather Salivaras

We have been with Ignite now for 2 years, started with just one son enrolled and waited patiently for our youngest to turn three so he too could be enrolled. It’s an incredible way for our family to learn strategies to overcome challenges, to be playful while still being respectful and most importantly to never, never, never give up! The homework is so much fun and our boys are so motivated to earn their rewards, strips and new belts...they have really come to appreciate what it means to work for something and earn it! What Chad and his team have done for our family we will never forget, so very grateful to have an option of somewhere to go every single day of the week that teaches our boys powerful life skillz. Highly recommend to anyone!!

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Our son has been practicing martial arts with the academy for almost a year. He has enjoyed every single class, and his improvement has been incredible. The instructors are very skilled, super enthusiastic, and amazing with the kids. The program is the perfect balance of fun, learning and discipline! They are great at what they do! The building is immaculately maintained and their safety standards are above and beyond. They have done a fantastic job keeping us parents informed, keeping our children engaged, and keeping the program running throughout the challenges presented with Covid! I highly recommend Ignite martial arts! They get our vote for best children’s program in Castlegar!! Their birthday parties are a must try as well!!

LeeAnn Zaitsoff

I participate in the fitness kickboxing classes at Ignite Martial Arts. The classes are always a great work out, they are fun and held in a very friendly environment. The instructors are very welcoming, they strive to help you push past your personal fitness boundaries and have extensive knowledge when it comes to martial arts/ kickboxing. I highly recommend Ignite Martial Arts for any class, you will not be disappointed!

Susanne Thomas

This program is run by amazing instructors that teach the kids much more than just Martial Arts! My ninjas have been going since the center opened in 2017 and they’ve loved every minute of it. The instructors work with the kids to build confidence, perseverance as well as leadership skills to just name a few.

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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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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!

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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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Should I Worry? Tuning into Teens’ Emotional Shifts

As we approach the one-year mark of an ever-strong pandemic that has rocked our world, we are searching for ways to keep ourselves mentally and emotionally in check. For teens, this has been an even more difficult feat. Adolescence is already fraught with stress and moodiness, but adding in the social isolation and fear has led to an even greater rise in anxiety and depression among teens. And while parents are doing their best to manage their own stress and provide for their families, alarming signs of depression in teens are being overlooked. Therefore, parents must be attuned to their teens’ “normal” moods and know when they exhibit more harmful ones.

As teens grow and develop, it’s no surprise that the raging hormones, along with academic, social, and even athletic stressors, set the stage for teenage angst. And while it’s not always easy to discriminate between typical teenage moodiness and depression, observing continuous and persistent behaviours is cause for concern. Teen brains are already overly sensitive to stress since their prefrontal cortex is still developing. Therefore, the onset of serious psychological disorders is during these years. And even more disturbing is that the beginning of emotional distress seems to now be trickling into younger age groups, generally around age 10.

Our modern lifestyle has, no doubt, played a role in the increased stress in our teens. They typically get less exercise, eat more processed foods, and spend hours on some form of technology or social media. They get outside less and get minimal amounts of quality sleep. And to exacerbate things, they are now living through a pandemic that has decreased their social support systems and kept them out of school off and on or indefinitely. So, things that once served to alleviate some of the pain are now gone too. Moreover, experts believe that teens have been raised with unrealistic expectations about the real world because many parents have tried to shield them from pain and disappointment instead of developing coping skills and dealing with a problem head-on.

Since anxiety and depression present in varying ways, parents must be attuned to their child’s baseline personality. Sadness often shows up as withdrawal or irritability. And while moodiness often accompanies typical teen emotions, watching for extreme shifts in their mood and how long these things are lasting can give parents an enormous amount of insight. Now, more than ever, parents must do daily mood checks with their teens. However, these moments are when parents should be gentle but persistent while also being ready to listen without trying to fix things.

As a part of the SKILLZ Child Development program, the Parent SKILLZ curriculum provides tips for parents to connect with their child, no matter what age. Being attuned to their normal personality traits can help parents better nurture their teen bonds through patience and consistency. These things will encourage open dialogue, so teens will feel their emotions are taken seriously. Also, encouraging a healthy lifestyle with plenty of physical activity, balanced meals, and sleep will help stabilize moods.

Teens often have difficulty expressing how they feel, so it’s up to parents, teachers, and other caregivers to identify the signs when moodiness turns into depression. Reaching out to other trusted adults for help with teens and get them talking is important. The uncomfortable feelings associated with stress and other adolescent woes will be more manageable due to coping skills and a strong support system.

Author: Jennifer Salama of Skillz Worldwide

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