Monday, June 23, 2014

Positive Focus - "I am a Positive Child!"

Earlier this year in February, having exhausted my methods and ideas  to try to make DinoBoy control his sudden temper outbursts in school, I was at my wit's end feeling vexed and troubled.  I was surfing the net, trying to look for some more ways to help us when I chanced upon Positive Focus.  While reading about their Positive Kids® program this caught my attention;

"Learn emotional management tools to help them understand and manage anger, fears, frustrations and disappointments." 

Their tagline "Nuturing Positive Habits That Lasts A Lifetime!" intrigued me to want to learn more from them.

I contacted Positive Focus, spoke to them to understand more about their program and decided to sign DinoBoy up for their March 2014 Holiday camp.  He was only able to attend 2 out of the 4 days camp as he had a busy March holiday schedule.  It was supposed to be a drop-off camp but I made a special request to join in as I am interested to know more about Positive Focus.  The 3 hour long workshop was packed full of fun and laughter, we jived and danced to happy tunes, we had maximum fun and I was dead tired at the end of it!

First Day of Positive Me Camp - "The star in me! Discover your strengths and shine like a bright star!", the kids were taught to identify their strengths and ways to overcome their fear(s).  The Camp Leader Ms Hasnah, or "Miss Has" as she is fondly known by the kids, did a great job in engaging the kids and throughout the 3 hours the kids had maximum fun while learning ways to overcome their personal challenges.

I learned a new technique too that day and has been using it since, it is more effective then constant reminders of "Don't shout." "Lower your voice please".  At the beginning of the workshop Miss Has told the kids that it is a small room and there are 10 of them, so they should try not to shout out loud especially when they are feeling excitement, instead the kids should use their "Projection Voice".  What is a "Projection Voice" you may ask.  Well imagine shouting has a level 5 volume, tune it down to perhaps level 2 or 3 and it become "Projection Voice".  It is loud enough to let everyone hear you but it does not hurt their ears.  It's a simple instruction but the amazing thing is the kids understand it and reminded each other by saying out loud in harmony "Projection Voice!" when one of them suddenly shout out very loudly.  Cool right?  

I really like the vibes in the room, every one was watching out for each other and gave huge encouragements to the shy and timid ones when they were asked to do a solo dance move or even a short catwalk.  They gave loud cheers when some one accomplished a task on their own. 

At the end of the workshop the kids were asked to list down their strengths.  I was anxious to see what DinoBoy will list out and was happy when I saw his list, he truly is a boy who has all these traits.  I understand why he wrote "sometimes kind" in the list, he is referring to the incidents where he was too overwhelmed by his emotions and let it out on his classmates and teachers with his shouting and destructive behavior.  I am glad that he recognized that his actions during those explosive times are not acceptable and he is trying hard to control them.

Second Day of Positive Me Camp - "I am a survivor!" has activities and games to help build confidence in the kids.

I did not stay for the camp but it was obvious DinoBoy had tremendous fun as he was all pumped up with excitement.  He met me with a big smile and can't wait to tell me what he had done.  Ms Has shared an activity the kids did; they were supposed to go to one of the neighbour's office, introduce themselves, asked a person's name and get a name card from that person.  The kids had a choice of going in pairs or going alone, all of them bravely choose to go alone.

She further shared with me that DinoBoy walked into an office confidently, did a 90 deg bow (wow~), said a loud "Good Morning Sir!" and did a self introduction plus the purpose of his visit.  He got the person's name and one of his name card effortlessly.  Well, that's my boy~  He was never stranger shy since he was a toddler and has never been afraid to go up to anyone to start a conversation with them.

I look at the worksheet he brought back and was surprised to see that he penned down "be patient" under the I Can section.  I must agree that his level of patience is low, most of the time he couldn't wait for his turn to do things or speak to the teacher and that's when he started to raise his voice or show disrespect to them which usually will escalate to him blowing his top.  Now I know that he actually understands that being patient with himself, his friends, his teachers and every one else is something that he has to take control of. 

Take a look at the following video taken during the March 2014 Positive Focus Camp, you can see how the workshop is usually being conducted.  (Video taken with permission from Positive Focus facebook page)

Everybody can combine their strengths, Mind & Body are always One - DinoBoy

DinoBoy has these to add - I like Positive Focus camp because I get to do fun & enjoyable activities, I learned to be positive and not to get angry easily.  When I am getting angry I can calm myself down by taking deep breaths and also by thinking positive thoughts,  (I asked him "What are the positive thoughts?")  such as putting ice on myself to cool down the anger and stress that I have.  I like to move around when I sit down on the floor -in the classroom- now I think I can sit down quietly with the half lotus position. 

Overall I am very satisfied with the Positive Me Camp, the kids definitely gained some useful techniques and had a better understanding of themselves; I know DinoBoy did!  I have taught DinoBoy some of the breathing & calm down methods, told him a million times to ignore what the others said but he always fail to do it.  I believe by hearing it from some one else and discussing the various challenging situations in the class helps him to understand that it is possible to change the way he feels and think when he is so overwhelmed with emotions.  

I also like the idea of using yoga in the classes as I believe yoga helps improve the level of  concentration and the rhythmic, focused breathing also helps sooth the mind and lower stress levels.  

Some time in April; about a month after DinoBoy attended the camp, I spoke to and received good feedback from his teachers in school and student care centre.  They told me that though there were a few episodes that he got mad, started to breathe angrily and heavily, he was able to calm himself down without exploding.  And till date his outbursts are once or twice a month, it is a great improvement from 2-3 times a week.

We actually planned to go for their June 2014 Holiday Camp but I was unable to take leave for that week.  We will most definitely go for their September 2014 Holiday Camp!!!

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The Positive Me Camp runs for 4 days with different theme each day which are not related and not a continuation of the previous day's lesson so your child can either attend all 4 days; which I highly recommend, or choose the day(s) which you think your child will benefit most from.

"The Positive Me Camp offers many innovative experiences for children to learn how to tap into their creativity while getting to know themselves and others. Through, creative drama & dances, children are encouraged to find and express their authentic voices and self-expression. This provides opportunities for them to gain a sense of accomplishment and a feeling of success, which promotes positive self-esteem. Through Positive Psychology, NLP, Kids Yoga, a system of mind & body exercises, children learn very important life skills like how to be calm as well as how to deal with frustrations and anxiety and the ability to concentrate for longer periods of time."

Positive Focus also holds weekly classes from infants at 4 months old to kids at 12 years old.  If you think Positive Focus is able to help your child in any way give them a call to find out more about their program and weekly class schedule.  Besides that, Positive Focus also conduct parents/teachers workshop and private coaching sessions too.  Their June 2014 free trial class is ending soon but they will be having a 50% trial class promotion @ 50% when you sign up in the month of July and August 2014.

Positive Focus Studio
9 Penang Road
#12-13 Park Mall
Singapore 238459
Tel: 67372977
SMS: 81637042

Disclaimer : I am in no way affiliated to the management of Positive Focus nor have been compensated to write about this.  All opinions are 100% based on our experience with them during their March 2014 Holiday Positive Focus camp.


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