Hudson Valley Parent

HVP September 2019

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Page 20 of 31 n Hudson Valley Parent 21 self-confidence from the minute they step foot on the mat." Martial Arts is performed in a group, but children work towards personal goals during each class. "Karate is a sport, but it also teaches communication, discipline, and strength," says Jessica Harrelson, a Newburgh mom whose introverted son thrived in karate classes at Just For Kicks. "Karate will help build their self-esteem and self-worth. It proves to themselves they can do and be so much more." Splash around on a swim team Swimming is another excellent activity for introverted children that doesn't leave a ton of room for anxiety- provoking situations or overstimulation. "The water can be so calming," says Becca Stevens, reflecting on her son's past experience on a private swim team. "He had the ability to focus on his individual goals and made friends during practices and relay races where teamwork was encouraged." Swimming allows children the opportunity to stay active and healthy while building friendships with others. Classes and swim clubs are available all-year-round. Build and create at a LEGO club LEGOS are not just toys. The act of building with LEGOS takes patience and concentration; two skills that come naturally to several introverted children. Some schools have even started LEGO clubs, where kids can come together to create masterpieces alongside their peers. LEGO clubs and classes provide introverts options for socializing or working independently, without having to commit to one or the other indefinitely. Whether you're building alone in a room with others, or building something directly with friends, these amazing blocks can help introverted children form close bonds with kids that have similar interests and personalities. Be supportive There is nothing wrong with being an introvert, but your child might not see it that way all the time. Encourage your child to see the positives in their personality and behaviors when others see the negative. Be supportive when they need a break or feel overwhelmed in a situation where most children don't bat an eye. Remember that ev- eryone is different- and don't forget lots of hugs! Michelle Peterson is a freelance writer, Director of Content and Writing Services for Esquire Brand Management, and a stay-at-home mom of three boys in Poughkeepsie. AFTER THE BELL MUSIC * ART * KARATE * SPORTS DANCE * THEATER * SCIENCE HVPARENT.COM/ ENRICHMENT-GUIDE

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