The Social Effects of Covid-19 on Children and Teens

Theatrical plays, special interest clubs, field trips, recesses and lunch breaks, inter-school events and final year traditions like proms and graduations have always been something that students look forward to throughout the school year. These events provide a sense of enjoyment and fulfillment after spending long hours within the four walls of their classroom. These also give them a chance to express themselves in a unique way.

When Covid-19 hit, educational institutions were one of the first sectors that needed to adjust to ensure the health and safety of its thousands of students and instructors. Following the government’s safety protocols like BC’s Back to School Plan, protective measures have been strongly implemented by schools. Physical distancing, along with the creation of small learning groups, are observed during recesses, lunch breaks, and extracurricular activities. Playground activities and clubs like dance, theatre, sports, and music will see some changes as physical contact is minimized. Furthermore, it has been strongly recommended that inter-school competitions and festivals are cancelled during this time. 

To reduce the spread of Covid-19 and to abide by the various protective measures, schools have made the hard decision of suspending or postponing social events and traditions, specifically those that typically attract a large gathering of students. As a result, students have been missing out on many of the important social activities and opportunities to make memories with friends and family.

Even though it is essential that we understand and comply with the Covid-19 restrictions in place, it is worth taking a deeper look at how children and teenagers will be affected as a result.

Feelings of disappointment or dismay, specifically in younger children, may emerge out of not being able to meet with friends and experience special occasions to the same extent as before. Also, anxiety levels can increase as children may worry or fear for the changes occurring around them, potentially affecting their future.

Through an email interview with Mary Yan, clinical counsellor and family therapist, she provided insights about childhood anxieties. One of the approaches she personally uses to help understand children's emotional struggles is called Synergetic Play Therapy. Through the use of this therapy, Yan has been able to take a more thorough look at parents' roles, applying her methods and learnings to the Covid-19 pandemic.

According to Yan, “There are at least two things that trigger anxiety, or threaten the nervous system. The Unknowns (not knowing what’s going to happen) and Incongruence (what I see or am told do not match what I feel and sense in my body)." She emphasized how important it is for parents to help alleviate their children's uncertainties.

Yan advises that ensuring constant communication between parents and children is an essential part of improving wellbeing for everyone. It is an essential thing for parents to be appropriately truthful with their children about their thoughts and feelings. Moreover, parents can help their children see the deeper meaning behind the adjustments being made and talk about creative alternatives to enjoying activities and celebrating special occasions without physically meeting.

Yan also advised parents to establish routines for their children to provide a more stable structure in their daily lives, which in turn will boost their sense of control, decrease their feelings of uncertainty, and will ease their anxiety. Planning everyday tasks like family time, arts and crafts activities, mini sports competitions, and regularly checking in with each other are extremely beneficial.

She also notes that as parents, ”we can’t really tell children that they, their family members, or their friends will never get sick, but we can tell them that we can wash our hands more often when outside of the home, keep physical distance and keep ourselves healthy.” To ease fear and worry, parents can reassure their children that those who do get sick are looked after and cared for by families and doctors. They can provide moral strength and improve their children’s state of mind with reassuring statements.

Amidst the present circumstances, technology is a key resource that parents can utilize to help their kids celebrate social traditions and connect with their friends. Some educational institutions and groups of students have welcomed a new normal by continuing events online, with club activities, proms, and graduations being held virtually. Through FaceTime or Zoom, students are able to experience their proms and graduations in the safety of their homes. Parents can hold intimate homestyle graduation ceremonies and photoshoots as a gift for their children, while special interest clubs like drama, music, and dance can do their performances virtually.

Despite the shifts in our way of life due to Covid-19, it is inspiring to see how we all are continuing to learn and adapt in the face of adversity. Traditions like school celebrations and extra-curricular activities may change in structure, but they remain valuable and should not be forgotten. These events are moments that children keep in their hearts for a long time, and should be treated as such.

Author: Marielle Valmores

 


The Story Behind Build a Biz Kids

How It All Began

Build a Biz Kids was co-founded by Leah Coss and Braden Ricketts using their values and beliefs as the foundation of the Company, their many ideas as the construction plan with an endless elevation, and their inspiration and drive as the mortar holding everything together.

In 2018, Coss was a Franchise Consultant and Ricketts was working with the YMCA doing career counseling, program development, and grant funding. Coss had recently made it her goal to be the best and most well-known franchise consultant in the world. To do this, she started scheduling meetings with a variety of CEOs to compile a database of information that could help her accomplish this goal.

After having conducted a few interviews, she spoke with a woman named Tressa Woods, Founder and CEO of Young Entrepreneur Learning Labs (YELL). YELL is an organization that offers hands-on learning for children through entrepreneurship programs. Not long after talking to Woods, Coss changed directions completely, deciding to launch her own licensed YELL program alongside Ricketts, registering themselves as a non-profit company under the name Biz Kids Practical Education Association, also known as Build a Biz Kids. The Company now develops their own practical education programs and hands-on learning curriculums for children aged 8-14.

 

Who We Are

Build a Biz Kids provides youth of all backgrounds with access to practical education that prepares them for a continuously evolving world. The Company mission is to prepare a new generation of forward-thinking youth to tackle whatever challenges the future may hold. Their practical education programs are designed to provide kids with hands-on learning experiences through real-world projects. They encourage the application and development of foundational soft skills that will remain relevant for a lifetime, such as critical thinking, resiliency, decision-making, leadership, adaptability, self awareness, communication, and collaboration.

One of the main goals of Build a Biz Kids is to push the boundary of traditional education. On a larger scale, the Company aims to transform the way humans are valued in society. This is accomplished through allowing kids to think differently, supporting the idea that one’s value should be based on the discovery and pursuit of their passions and fostering a lifelong learning mentality from an early age.

 

Advocacy

In addition to the practical education goals of Build a Biz Kids, the Company seeks to alleviate and eventually eliminate the societal challenge that is the “digital divide” – the gap between those who have access to computers and the internet and those who do not. The digital divide has been increasing alongside technological evolution, and the onset of the COVID-19 Pandemic has caused it to be exacerbated. This is because educational institutions, like many other industries, were forced to go completely virtual, leaving behind anyone without access to adequate technology and high-speed internet.

The efforts of Build a Biz Kids toward the reduction of the digital divide are being done by spreading awareness on social media, facilitating dialogues, and educating on the many ways in which people can get involved and contribute. The Company collects funds to purchase computers for donation, in addition to upcycling used computers that have been donated by organizations.

As an outcome of the 2020 COVID-19 Pandemic, Build a Biz Kids launched BBK Network, an online learning platform operating under the same guiding principles and goals toward providing practical education for children. Unlike its non-profit sister brand, BBK Network is a benefit corporation social enterprise. A social enterprise aims to achieve social, cultural, community, and/or environmental outcomes through their operations. For each class of BBK Network students, one laptop is donated to a family in need, and one student in a BBK program receives subsidized tuition.

 

The Build a Biz Kids Team

It is a community effort that drives Build a Biz Kids forward. There is a volunteer army working behind the scenes and contributing to the Company mission utilizing their own expertise to reach new levels and goals. It is through the passion of the community, partners, and growing team that Build a Biz Kids has been able to see such incredible results in such a short amount of time.

The Company will continue to pursue their mission and vision, advocating for change and progressing in accordance with shifting environmental conditions and adversity, just as they encourage their students to do through their practical education programs. Coss, President of Build a Biz Kids, states that “There is no right answer, there are only better answers that evolve over time.” She believes that education systems should focus on developing incredible human beings, not just good calculators, and her values will always be the heart and soul of Build a Biz Kids. 


Benjamin's Entrepreneurial Journey

Starting a business is a Journey no matter how old you are! This is Benjamin's story from choosing his product, the trials and errors of perfecting his product, to making game day decisions to increase his sales and success!

"My name is Benjamin an my business is called Benjamin’s Bomb-a-licious Bath Balms. The teacher of the class was doing a slide show and none of them really caught my eyes or my focus but when I saw the bath bombs I really felt engaged and I really wanted to do it. It took me a long time and a lot of tries and they always kept on falling apart. We actually made them last minute yesterday 9 to 12. There's a lot of things here that you don't learn at school and I had no idea they ever existed before I took this program. It also, it teaches kids how to fend for themselves instead of their parents buying them stuff and learning to earn money and learning how to do this before they grow up. Well I didn't really get a lot of customers at in the first 30 minutes so I was kind of worried 'cause I didn't make any money, but then my uncle came and he told me to upgrade my elevator pitch and now I have a lot of customers"

Click here to view next semesters KidPreneur Program Schedule

*** Like Us On Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/buildabizkids/
@buildabizkids
**Follow on Twitter - https://twitter.com/BuildABizKids
@buildabizkids
*** We are On Instagram!! - https://www.instagram.com/buildabizkids/
@buildabizkids
** LinkedIn Too! - https://www.linkedin.com/company/build-a-biz-kids-bizkids-practical-education-assn/

Kid entrepreneur programming is offered by Build a Biz Kids, a local non profit society focused on helping kids to develop and strengthen their essential soft skills. Students gain confidence, and learn foundational skills such as critical thinking, resiliency, financial literacy, leadership, decision making, self awareness, communication, public speaking, and so much more! Find out more about us and our incredible students at http://BuildaBizKids.com


"Those Big Lumps In Your Path" Brynne

Meet Brynne! She had a tough time in her Kid Entrepreneur Program and has to make some tough last minute choices on her business. But her resiliency muscle was flexed and the payoff was HUGE for her.

"My name is Brynne and the name of my business is Wooden Wonders. My favorite part of the program, it was honestly, it was really hard when things kept popping up when I was under a lot of stress during the time where I was preparing. I had to come up with a last minute resort but my favorite part was the best feeling when you overcome that and when a customer comes up, and all you’ve been through is just for this one moment where you're selling. It's amazing! When like yes, OK here's your money, feels awesome because you know all of these things you struggled through. It's the best feeling when you get over them and this customer comes up, not knowing what happened, but they still want to buy stuff from you. There will always be those big lumps in your path and it'll be hard to get through them but you will and it’s the best feeling after that. They should take this program 'cause it teaches them, it's really fun of course, but it also teaches them to get over these big struggles and it will all turn out OK if you just keep working through it."

Click here to view next semesters KidPreneur Program Schedule

*** Like Us On Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/buildabizkids/
@buildabizkids
**Follow on Twitter - https://twitter.com/BuildABizKids
@buildabizkids
*** We are On Instagram!! - https://www.instagram.com/buildabizkids/
@buildabizkids
** LinkedIn Too! - https://www.linkedin.com/company/build-a-biz-kids-bizkids-practical-education-assn/

Kid entrepreneur programming is offered by Build a Biz Kids, a local non profit society focused on helping kids to develop and strengthen their essential soft skills. Students gain confidence, and learn foundational skills such as critical thinking, resiliency, financial literacy, leadership, decision making, self awareness, communication, public speaking, and so much more! Find out more about us and our incredible students at http://BuildaBizKids.com

 


Owen's Lesson in Resiliency

Are you ready for a lesson in Resiliency? Meet Owen from Purrfect Totes! he has a few lessons he wants to teach you, and kids, about starting your own business and how tough it can be sometimes.

"My name is Owen and my business name is perfect totes. My favorite part of the program would probably be during market day because market day is when you get sales. You're so happy but then people don't come and you have to prepare yourself to get ready for people saying no to you and being denied. Everybody should take this program because it gets you prepared for real life. people are gonna say no to you, walk by you and say I'm gonna come back later and just run. So it's a great program to get you ready for people to say no and still say thank you."

Click here to view next semesters KidPreneur Program Schedule

*** Like Us On Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/buildabizkids/
@buildabizkids
**Follow on Twitter - https://twitter.com/BuildABizKids
@buildabizkids
*** We are On Instagram!! - https://www.instagram.com/buildabizkids/
@buildabizkids
** LinkedIn Too! - https://www.linkedin.com/company/build-a-biz-kids-bizkids-practical-education-assn/

Kid entrepreneur programming is offered by Build a Biz Kids, a local non profit society focused on helping kids to develop and strengthen their essential soft skills. Students gain confidence, and learn foundational skills such as critical thinking, resiliency, financial literacy, leadership, decision making, self awareness, communication, public speaking, and so much more! Find out more about us and our incredible students at http://BuildaBizKids.com


Practicing Decision Making

Did you know that Decision Making is a Skill? It falls under Soft Skills but it is anything but soft, it's critical!

When kids are given the space to make decisions, and do so, it's important that we use that moment to credit them with that. Not the topic or actual choice that they made, but the action of choosing, making a decision, is one we want to encourage.

For my son, I want to encourage him to try new things. New food, new clothes, hair styles, friend, sports, and so on. You can see that moment in your kids eyes when they over think something and it becomes a really big, painful deal. An easy example for us is trying new food. Our son is not a fan of new food and, when we tell him he has to try it before declaring he doesn't want it, you can see the panic start to rise the longer he thinks about whether he will actually put it in his mouth or not.

The other week he asked if he could try something we were eating. That is an action we want him to do more.

Another example is what he is going to do to keep himself occupied while we work. Often it is a struggle to get him to do anything other than watch his iPad, which is very limited in our home, so when he made a quick decision to take his scooter to the skate park, we were elated!

Teaching moments are all around us, but it is so important for us, as parents, to be aware of WHAT it is we are wanting to praise. Praising results, even if the results are exactly as we wanted them to choose, are not the actions we want to praise. That is what can develop into people pleasing, low confidence adults.

Instead we want to praise the process of how they got to those decisions, the action of deciding what they wanted or thought was best, whatever that may be.


Are You Winning or Losing? Does It Matter?

Imagine your child won a Nobel Prize for giving one big idea to the world, through taking action. Do you believe this is possible? Do they have it in them to be exceptional?

I really hope you said yes, because it's true. No matter what intellectual, physical or other limitation they may have, giving the world a great idea and taking action on it is in all of our power and control, but it can be a tough road.
Developing a Growth Mindset is not just about helping them do more or become smarter kids, it's about developing their coping skills and having a healthy attitude towards difficult obstacles they will face in life.
Why is it that we love to watch biographies or hear stories about incredible people who have done incredible things? Do we just enjoy hearing about the part where they won the medal or their book was published, or they climbed the mountain? Of course not! That part is only satisfying when we can hear the "story" of how they did it.
It took how many years to write that book? And she was how old? And so broke that she was behind on rent?
Oh my gosh! You mean she broke her leg but managed to win an Olympic Medal in Figure Skating? How??
They got the idea for how to plant more tree's faster by watching their daughter play in the sandbox? So cool!
It's the story of how the band Queen came to be formed that is interesting. It's how someone like Oprah ends up becoming Oprah. It's the story of the invention of the first light bulb and Michael Jordan's rise to fame that keeps us in ah. But why?
A part of all of us believes we are capable of more than we currently present. When we hear stories of "success" and their grass roots, we are reminded that everyone starts our the same. In diapers, curious about the world and falling over and over again as we learn to walk.
Yes, we all have different upbringings. Some of us have incredibly supportive parents and others were in households of abuse. Some were encouraged in sports and had the means to pay for expensive equipment and coaches, while others had none but always loved to play. For every story of success where someone "had", there are just as many stories from someone who "had not" but still become a success.
Why weren't we those exceptions? Life is tough. End of sentence. It really is, but I don't mean in a physical sense. Bills need to be paid, yes, and that person cut you off in traffic that caused an accident, that really sucks. But when I say life is hard, I mean that no matter where you come from, the have's or have not's, we all fight battles in our heads.
"Did I do that well enough?"
"I know I could do more but I don't feel like it"
"Why are they doing better than me? Why can't I have that as well?"
"What am I doing wrong?"
"I wish I had said something differently back there. Now it's too late"
Man, it's exhausting being in ones head. Whether you appear confident or not, whether you can afford things or not, our brains are constantly questioning what we are doing and trying to convince us of false truths. It's an animal with basic needs to protect and survive. It does this to help but it is mental torture for many.
So, let's bring this back to a growth mindset in our kids. Why is it so important?
Because the commentary in a growth mindset sounds more like this:
"Wow, that didn't go as well as I thought. Now I know what they want to hear for next time"
"I'm tired today but I have almost reached my goal. I can't wait!"
"I wonder how they got all of those things? I should ask and learn from them"
"What am I doing wrong? I should ask someone experienced for help"
"I missed an opportunity to say how I felt. Next time I will remember to express myself more clearly"
Well I'm inspired. And Excited! A growth mindset uses energy to grow, not beat down and dwell on things that no longer matter.
This Weeks Growth Mindset Parent Challenge is, "I love that you didn't quit on this, even though it was tough."
The key to instilling a Growth Mindset is to keep their self identity and "pride", if you will, in the process of doing and trying, not on the results. You will notice that the phrase doesn't specify if they got an A or not. It doesn't say, I love how you won the game and didn't give up. This isn't about winning! Every top athlete has lost many games before they won. Every successful business owner has failed at numerous things before succeeding.
Encourage them never to quit, even when it get's tough. Get their brain to attached to positive emotions and chemical stimulation when they encounter something tough. That's their cue that something satisfying is here and now. Not when they get the A. The process is the exciting part.
Try using this phrase and add it to your collection from past weeks. Like all things, practice takes perfect, mom and dad. That goes for you too.

Labeling Your Kids to Shape Their Identity

Parents Growth Mindset Challenge Week #2!
How did it go last week? Did you practice using the Growth Mindset Phrase?
It takes practice but WOW! What a difference you will see in your kids.
Try to actively use this weeks phrase. This Growth Mindset statement is doing 2 things.
Firstly, it is positively reinforcing great behavior, which in this case is asking for your opinion. Kids, and all of us, want to do good things. We all want positive attention and be praised for good behavior. Asking for other peoples opinion is a great skill to have. It demonstrates leadership, helps others feel valued, and can build incredible teams who can do incredible things as a strong unit. Humble people ask for others opinions; Insecure individuals and those with inflated egos do not.
Secondly, this phrase is labeling them as a "Considerate Person". We are helping to ground their identity into a positive personality trait. By pointing out that they are in fact a considerate person based on the action they just displayed, it is not an empty comment. They will feel like the compliment has been validated in their minds and, therefore, must be true. When humans can tie their identity to a trait, they act in accordance to it naturally without effort. New connections are made in their minds to display this behavior and every time they act in accordance with it, it reinforces it further. It becomes who they area.
But be careful, it works both ways. If you label your child negatively, the same thing will happen. We never mean to do it, but it does happen. Perhaps they are playing with another child and take the other child's toy away. You want to immediately correct this behavior but stay something like, "Don't do that. You aren't not a good sharer." That statement is just as effective as the positive label. They will believe you and find opportunities to prove that phrase is correct.
Or perhaps you ask them to clean their room for the 10th time and finally say, "You are a terrible listener!" or "You are so messy!"
We never intentionally mean to hurt their identity, but it happens. Everything worth doing takes conscious practice until it becomes an unconscious, positive habit.
Try this weeks Growth Mindset Parent Challenge. Intentionally use it. Find opportunities to use positive labels with your child and watch them develop almost overnight.
Stay tuned for next week!

How to Instill a Growth Mindset

A growth mindset is one that enjoys a challenge, doesn't give up and believes that they can learn and accomplish anything with the right effort, focus and practice.
As a parent, you have a significant amount of influence on whether they will develop a strong growth mindset. No Pressure, right?!
We want to help. Using the right language is one of the biggest, if not the most effective, method for instilling a growth mindset in a child. When done consistently, the results can be almost over night! Watching them grow and take on challenges is one of the most fulfilling things I can watch my child do.
So how do you do it? What are those magic words?
Like a any new skill, it takes focus, effort and practice. So here's what we want to do. We are going to provide 1 new Growth Mindset phrase each week for you to mindfully use with your children at every chance you get.
Practice and be present when the opportunity strikes to use one of these Growth Mindset Statements. Soon, it will become natural.
To see our Weekly Parent Growth Mindset Statements, Follow Us on Facebook or Instagram