Preparing Children to Return to School – A Social Approach | Kato Karate
ACCESS OUR SCHEDULE
& EXCLUSIVE WEB SPECIAL

Secure your spot and get started today with our EXCLUSIVE offer!

By opting into the web form above you are providing consent for Kato Karate to send you periodic text messages. Standard rates may apply. You can reply HELP at anytime or learn more. You may opt-out anytime by replying STOP.
ACCESS OUR SCHEDULE
& EXCLUSIVE WEB SPECIAL

Secure your spot and get started today with our EXCLUSIVE offer!

By opting into the web form above you are providing consent for Kato Karate to send you periodic text messages. Standard rates may apply. You can reply HELP at anytime or learn more. You may opt-out anytime by replying STOP.
Amanda Danberry

Master Flynn has done an amazing job with this program as well as my son. Would highly recommend this program to anyone looking. Thanks Master Flynn for all you do!

Diana L. Vigil reviewed Kato Karate
5
via Facebook

Great place with instructors that care and give their best every class! 😃 feels like family

Heather Davey reviewed Kato Karate
5
via Facebook

Tim is a great instructor, he works well with my kids and have taught them a lot! My daughter and son really enjoy going to karate each week! They have learned a lot! Thank you Master Flynn!

Jason Lieske reviewed Kato Karate
5
via Facebook

Tim is an excellent instructor! He is truly passionate with his profession and even more so about his students. He keeps his class sizes small so he is best able to provide the detailed instructions to help your child engaged and informed.

He also does an excellent job working with adults. I took part in his class and was very impressed with his ability to work with beginners like myself and really make them feel comfortable and confident!

There are many life skills that Tim teaches his students. On top of that it is an excellent way to stay in shape and be fit.

I would highly recommend to anyone interested in a fun way to work out as well as any one with children looking for a great activity to get them involved with.

Keep up the great work Tim Flynn.

Colleen Bidwell reviewed Kato Karate
5
via Facebook

KK is an excellent place for All ages to be. Such a Great Family Feel!

Christie Nelson reviewed Kato Karate
5
via Facebook

Inviting, welcoming environment. Tim is AMAZING with both kids and adults - he is a natural teacher - and it shows. The class sizes are small - which is so helpful for young learners - it was easy for our son and daughter to pay attention and they were not waiting in line for stations. Tim is respectful and professional and at the same time relates very well with kids. Would recommend Kato Karate to anybody interested!

Dan Heart reviewed Kato Karate
5
via Facebook

Highly recommend!!! The coaches are so Great and truly put Passion into teaching every child!!!Amazing!!!

Kato Karate Mankato Martial Arts & Fitness for All Ages!
Call us today to get started 507-381-5933
Request Information

Blog

Our latest news & thoughts

Preparing Children to Return to School – A Social Approach

Over the past few months, interactions have been minimal, and our social skills are rusty. Since prolonged school closures have a negative impact on children’s social development, we are now faced with how to regain skills while moving forward with new skills. Though some children will return to a brick-and-mortar school, others will virtually engage with teachers and classmates. But no matter how they attend school in the beginning, all children will return to in person classes eventually, so we must prepare them now so they can feel confident as they re-engage with friends, classmates, and teachers when the time comes.

The extended time away from school, in conjunction with periods of isolation and the summer break, have exacerbated feelings of uneasiness when it comes to social interactions for children. And while they may be excited about seeing their friends and teachers again, the anxiety that they are feeling may deter them from regular social interactions in the beginning. Children need a refresher course in age-appropriate social interactions that will restore their social skill set.

To help children navigate through any social anxiety and apprehension, parents can begin building their child’s social confidence again by implementing the following three steps.

1) Identify Social Concerns – Just as any new school year generally brings on a little anxiety, this year will bring about slightly more. Even for children that have been able to interact with extended family and some friends, concern about meeting new teachers and classmates will be heightened because interactions will now look different. By opening a conversation and being attuned to children’s behaviors, parents can begin identifying what children feel will be their most significant challenges about facing social situations again. Being supportive and nurturing will be key in working through this.

2) Refresh Social Skills – As children have regressed in some age-appropriate social skills and have been unable to develop any new ones, parents must now help them regain momentum in their development. However, since social exchanges now require a different approach, we need to be creative with our “no-touch” greetings. Anything from air high fives, to elbow bumps, to giving a peace sign, everyone is learning a new way to interact. Children who are still developing these skills, especially younger ones that are more hands-on, will need to learn to communicate differently. As they move forward, encouragement and reminders of age-appropriate and pandemic-appropriate social interactions are essential.

3) Role-play Social Scenarios – As children talk through their anxiety and refresh their social skills, it is vital to put them into action in a safe space. Engaging in role-playing scenarios will help children work through a new way to socialize while still asking questions when they are unsure. Simple things such as saying hi with a wave or a foot tap can be practiced, which will create consistency and instill a sense of normalcy for new ways to interact. Additionally, using this time to come up with different ways to play while socially distancing can also make children feel more confident in interactions.

An effective way to help work through these three steps is by utilizing the SKILLZ program. This fun, game-based approach to developing the whole child creates an environment where children can interact with others their age, whether in class or virtually. Since the instructors create an entertaining and supportive environment, children feel more secure with interacting socially. In addition, the Parent SKILLZ supplemental information helps parents learn ways to connect and be attuned to their child’s emotions and behaviors while giving them ways to enhance the parent-child relationship so social development can flourish.

As we work through helping children regain lost social skills, it’s important to remind them that things will eventually go back to normal. But for now, engaging them in creating ways they can socialize with others is important. Remind them that they can still smile and wave, they can still talk to others, they can still play with their friends. We just have to be at a larger distance.

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 and 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.