Tuesday 24 February 2015

Feb Player Profile - William - 3 1/2yrs

Child's Name: William Flanagan
Age: 3 ½ years old
Venue/s attended: Balmoral

How long have you been coming  Little Kickers?  1 ½ years
Favourite Little Kickers game? When I get to do small kicks  
What do you like best about Little Kickers?  The new games
What do you want to be when you grow up?  A pirate
Favourite healthy food?  Crackers
Who is your favourite coach?  Merryn
What do you love? My pillow

Parent or Carers Perspective on Little Kickers: 
The teaching at Little Kickers has helped William improve his ability to concentrate and listen to instructions. He enjoys the games and the wonderful coach's enthusiasm is contagious.

Tuesday 10 February 2015

Jan Player Profile - Max - 6yrs

Child's Name: Max 
Age: 6
Venue/s attended:Sacred Heart, Glendowie  

How long have you been coming to Little Kickers? 2-3 years
Favourite Little Kickers game?  The Football Game!

What do you like best about Little Kickers?  Playing football with my friends

What do you want to be when you grow up? Architect

Favourite healthy food?  Salad

Who is your favourite coach?  Ahmed

What do you love? Mum & Dad

Parent or Carers Perspective on Little Kickers: Max started coming along to little kickers as way to burn off some energy on a winters days but over time has learned to really enjoy the game and developed some good skills.

Thursday 6 November 2014

Sibling Rivalry

It’s rare for a family with multiple kids NOT to have at least some experience of sibling rivalry.  We have recently entered into the stage of bickering on top of the usual fighting (twin 6yr old boys and a 2yr old boy). I checked the definition of the word and yes, the boys definitely bicker:
 Bicker - verb - 1. To argue about petty and trivial matters.
 They have always fought but with Master 2yrs being so talkative now the sibling rivalry has really turned up a notch. I thought it might be interesting to do a bit more research into the subject, why siblings argue and ways in which experts feel it ought to be dealt with – is there a more scientific method than just sending kids to their rooms?  

Kids fight for many reasons – generally though, they don’t just fight because one toy is better than another or one piece of cake is bigger. Instead, the majority of fights arise due to underlying causes such as birth order and family dynamics.   Competing desires for your attention and differences in developmental stages can lead to moments of jealousy or misunderstanding and most of the causes of these, such as age difference or temperament, are impossible to change, which unfortunately makes sibling rivalry inevitable.  That said, just like everything else in childhood, the underlying reason why siblings fight is that they need to learn something.  So what are they learning as part of the fighting process? 

Siblings are of equal status when it comes to the love of their parents and the rules that govern life in their family.  Teaching each other tolerance, and “give and take” (even when they don’t want to!) is a great exercise in learning to love someone even when they don’t like what the person did.  Your child’s relationship with their siblings acts as their first opportunity to develop skills such as kindness, tolerance, patience and most of all, conflict resolution.

As a parent, our initial instincts tend to be to try to stop the fighting.  However experts suggest that it may make sense to switch the focus from stopping the fighting (which after all teaches valuable skills) to stopping the rivalry.  The rivalry is the thing that can cause lifelong damage between siblings. Below are some tips from childhood development specialists (including Sharon Silver, author of “Stop Reacting and Start Responding”, Dr Sigmund Norr from the Cleveland Clinic Children’s Hospital and empoweringparents.com) on making the switch from stopping the fighting to tackling the cause of the problem and stopping the rivalry:

1.     Stay calm, quiet and in control: pay attention to what your kids are doing so you can intervene before a situation escalates.  Keep your cool and your kids will learn to do the same.
2.     Remember that it takes two to tangle: rarely will you witness all the events leading up to the fight – avoid playing the blame game.
3.     Don’t be judge and jury: most parents feel the urge to try to step in and help resolve issues.  The problem with this is that kids don’t learn how to resolve things themselves.  When a parent decides who is right and who is wrong and what should be done about that then one child will feel angry and the other will feel like a winner.  They are not working together to practice the resolution skills they need to develop in order to be successful in later life.
4.     Be a facilitator: to get your kids to be on the same team you need to help facilitate and help guide them towards resolution of their own fights.  In order to do this you need to teach them how to express the feelings that motivated the fight in the first place.  For example“Sophie, why are you angry?  Please give me 3 ideas you think will help work this out” – ask both children the same questions and treat them fairly.  Listen when they talk through the feelings that motivated the fight – they will most likely be frustrated and emotional at this stage, and whilst this is no excuse for negative or aggressive behavior, children will be more likely to cooperate if they feel they are being heard.
5.     Explain that we don’t hurt those we love.
6.     Don’t compare your kids: comparing kids does not make them rise up and work harder – it makes them feel resentment and lack of self worth.  Rather, create opportunities for cooperation and compromise.  Bear in mind that how parents interact with each other sets an example for how their children interact, so don’t forget to set a good example! 
7.     Focus on each child’s unique talents: help create high self-esteem in your kids by using “specific praise” – ie focused on their unique talents – rather than global praise.  Avoid labels / pigeonholing and let each child know that he / she is special to you by spending time with them individually.
8.     If a spat between the siblings results in the need for punishment, avoid making the conversation public: this can shame a child in front of their siblings, creating greater animosity between them. 

When you’re in the midst of the battle-zone it’s easy to feel that it’s only your kids who fight like cat and dog. Take comfort from the fact that it’s an inevitable part of growing up for children who have siblings and it teaches them valuable skills that will be very useful to them in later life. There is nothing you can do as a parent to completely remove normal sibling rivalry and jealousy from your kids’ lives.  What you can do though, is to make sure that there’s enough love and positive reinforcement for each of your children, whilst at the same time setting limits on the amount of chaos that ensues from this bickering behaviour.  

Remember that in time, things usually settle down.  Your children will most likely continue to squabble from time-to-time, but eventually you will start to see signs of bonding between them. 

Sharon Silver, author of “Stop Reacting and Start Responding”
Dr Sigmund Norr from the Cleveland Clinic Children’s Hospital empoweringparents.com

Tuesday 21 October 2014

Little Kickers announce a partnership with Ellerslie AFC

Little Kickers are very pleased to announce our partnership with Ellerslie AFC who continue to offer a strong junior football program. We will be working together to get the same outcome, growing football at grass seeds level and beyond.

Little Kickers are running classes at YMCA Ellerslie, Michaels Ave. next to Ellerslie AFC’s grounds under their club name, for kids from 18 months to 7 years, working alongside Ellerslie’s youth program.
Little Kickers will directly link into the club, graduating to junior football with a defined pathway and skills base. 

Ellerslie Football Club’s website: http://www.ellersliesoccer.org.nz/
Little Kickers NZ’s website:

Tuesday 30 September 2014

Oct Player Profile - Lilly Day - 6yrs

Meet the future deliverer of our Grand-kids!

Child’s Name:  Lilly Day
Age: 6

Venue/s attended:  Woodend, Christchurch
How long have you been coming to Little Kickers? 3 or so months
Favourite Little Kickers game? What's the time Mr Wolf
What do you like best about Little Kickers? Because it is fun!!
What do you want to be when you grow up? Midwife
Favourite healthy food? Apples
Who is your favourite coach? Coach Justin and Emily
What do you love? Babies, horses and football

Parent or Carers Perspective on Little Kickers: 
The low numbers in the class, the positive and very encouraging coaches, the number of different games/ drills each week always different. It has been a really good thing for our shy little girl, she is much more confident and can’t wait each week till Little Kickers thanks to you guys!!

Thank you Jemma for your lovely comments about Little Kickers, we're so glad your beautiful daughter Lilly is finding confidence in our classes.

Wednesday 3 September 2014

Sept Player Profile - Joshua - 4yrs

If you're ever in trouble just ask Dr Joshua and he'll make everything better ... 

Child's Name:  Joshua House
Age: 4

 (Joshua & one his favourite Coaches)

Venue/s attended:  Lincoln
How long have you been coming to Little Kickers?  About 4 weeks nowFavourite Little Kickers game?  I love all of them, but my favourite is 'What's the time Mr Wolfy!'What do you like best about Little Kickers?  Apart from the football skills gained, the children are taught to listen to the teacher.
What do you want to be when you grow up? A Doctor!Favourite healthy food?  StrawberriesWho is your favourite coach?  Coach Leanne & Coach Gareth
What do you love? Going to the park, swimming and going to 'Clip and Climb'

Parents Perspective on Little Kickers: 
The children are taught the essentials of listening, respecting others, while having fun. Well thought out exercises that the children enjoy and keep them interested. 

Tuesday 5 August 2014

Player Profile - Nicholas - 4 years 8 months

Choo Choo!!

We look forward to hearing about all your adventures as a Train Driver and maybe one day you can give all the future budding footballers a ride on your train. 

Child's Name:  Nicholas Henderson
Age: 4 years 8 months
Venue/s attended:  Point View School, Dannemora
How long have you been coming to Little Kickers?  6 months
Favourite Little Kickers game or imagination?   Kicking the ball into the net
What do you like best about Little Kickers?  The colour games
What do you want to be when you grow up?  A Train Driver 
Favourite healthy food?  Bananas
Who is your favourite coach?  Coach Ashley and Coach Sonia
What do you love? Mummy and Daddy

Parent or Carers Perspective on Little Kickers: 
Little Kickers is fantastic for helping children with their fine motor skills.  We really enjoy how the activities help with their learning such as counting and colours.


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