Back to School Tips for Parents | Gracie PAC MMA
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Maria Vega reviewed Gracie PAC MMA
5
via Facebook

My wife and I were looking for a friendly, family oriented MMA classes for our son (10) and daughter (12). They love martial arts and have been doing it for years, in an after school program (TKD). Well, after looking around, we joined Gracie PAC MMA. Let me tell you, this place is perfect. Their staff and coaches are incredible; friendly, helpful, knowledgeable and experience on everything MMA. Professor Cris Rodriguez is great with kids, amazing teacher. We are extremely happy with Gracie MMA, their staff is great, they are very organize and their curriculum (bjj, muay thai, kick boxing, etc....) has everything we were looking for. Great place for the entire family.

Tiffany Teal Montague Simmons reviewed Gracie PAC MMA
5
via Facebook

Come train with the BEST! This is NOT your normal after school karate class. We were amazed at the amount of technique even the youngest students pick up after just a few classes. Coach Cris is awesome with the kids. She expects more then just good fighting from them. She stays involved with how they are doing in school and at home, giving her students the incentive to be the best at everything they do.

Dana Fields reviewed Gracie PAC MMA
5
via Facebook

I have been looking for a great exercise program to get involved in and finally found it here. I have learned so much in the two months I have been here and can't wait to continue to get stronger. Love This place!! Coach Cris is the best at making me not want to give up.

DorothyandMark Winter reviewed Gracie PAC MMA
5
via Facebook

PAC MMA is fitness for the whole family. Kids programs, adult classes and even the best woman's fitness and self defense around, this is the place to go. Make your family a part of the PAC family.

Amanda Fletcher Moyer reviewed Gracie PAC MMA
5
via Facebook

Best place ever! My daughter attends the after school program there and she loves it. I just started taking the kickboxing class & it's the best class I have ever taken. Everyone there is awesome.

Gina Lopez Fernandez reviewed Gracie PAC MMA
5
via Facebook

I can't say enough about how much I love this place! My son is learning so much and he LOVES going to class. There's something so rewarding in watching your child learn and grow so quickly :) Coach Chris, Coach Dan and Coach Rich have all been amazing! I couldn't ask for a better environment for my son. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and so much of yourself - we truly appreciate it!

Erica Ramirez reviewed Gracie PAC MMA
5
via Facebook

Heard thru word of mouth. Then checked it out and noticed great character in their students and the attentive staff. The coach had noticeable rapport with the kids in the class. My daughter loved it. She can't wait to get back. She even cleaned her room! Huge plus.

Dan Martinez reviewed Gracie PAC MMA
5
via Facebook

Gracie PAC MMA has been one of, if not the best, mixed martial arts gym I have been a part of. The kids program/instruction is second to none, and offers world class BJJ instruction for adults as well as one of the most promising striking programs in the US, Bang Muay Thai. Countless kids and adults have competed at the highest level under the GPAC banner, with even more discovering what martial arts can do for them. Whether you want to compete or get in great shape, this facility has the program for you

Nicole Dunn reviewed Gracie PAC MMA
5
via Facebook

Our family has been coming to Gracie PAC Tampa for nearly two years. We began sending our son first. Our main goals were for him to experience the physical and mental benefits derived from regular physical exercise. Instantly we realized how special this place is, and how amazing Coach Cris is with the kids, as well as adults. She is fair but firm, and as she commands respect, she encourages these kids to rise to their full potential, also providing valuable discussions on character, sportsmanship, and leadership, as part of her curriculum.

My husband takes some of the adult jiu jitsu and kickboxing classes, from which he has benefitted greatly, and I truly enjoy being a member of the ladies' bootcamp group. These ladies represent a wide range of fitness levels and ages. Each class, we all get together to kick butt, do our best, and encourage each other in a true team environment. I never leave this class disappointed.
Gracie PAC Tampa MMA - best place EVER for your anyone in your family to train at.

Lynzie Johnston reviewed Gracie PAC MMA
5
via Facebook

Well it's about time I write a review! My boys joined Gracie PAC as little Ninjas about 4 months ago. They absolutely love it! Professor Cris is an amazing teacher! She's very enthusiastic about teaching and she is very patient. My boys love going to class. They are 4 &7 . They never want to miss a class. They have learned so much and continue to learn with each class. They love earning strips on their belt. This is a really great positive atmosphere for kids and families. I'm very satisfied with our experience.

Jesse James Maldonado reviewed Gracie PAC MMA
5
via Facebook

I took Jiu Jitsu a few years back at another facility and decided to give this one a try. I took my first lesson last night and could not believe the content. Very structured and professional. Easy to learn and everyone was eager to assist me being the new guy. Other places teach you a couple of moves. Each involving many steps and you still won't understand it. Garcia PAC teaches you a technique and teaches you other techniques that involve some of the same steps. It made me confident that if I try something and am not able to secure the submission, then I can roll into another technique just as easy and It gives you options and makes you think. I liked that approach rather than what I was given in the past. A+ school and is 100% legit. I am confident this time around I will take it all the way with my training. When you find a place like this you take advantage of the opportunity to train there.

Meghann Thacker reviewed Gracie PAC MMA
5
via Facebook

We love it at Gracie PAC! They focus on fitness, strength, form, and most importantly they work hard every lesson to help teach my children how to effectively defend themselves against bullies and other attacks. It's easy to see this group of educators clearly loves kids and have a passion for sharing their vast knowledge with their students! Best MMA in the Bay for kids!

Chandra Ahrendt reviewed Gracie PAC MMA
5
via Facebook

I took my first class tonight. As soon as you enter, you are greeted by smiling faces who are just as excited to have you there as you are to be there. The coaches there were phenomenal. They were so incredibly encouraging and patient, it was a breeze picking it up because there was no pressure. Great job at creating such an inviting atmosphere.

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Back to School Tips for Parents

Summertime is coming to an end, and with that comes all of the back to school anxiety and jitters that are common amongst children. Your child may experience common physical effects of anxiety associated with back to school time including symptoms from stomachaches to sleeping problems. They will also experience emotional stress from the fear of making new friends, meeting new teachers, fears of being bullied, the pressure of making good grades, and worries of being unpopular. With that said, it important for parents to first remember that these physical and emotional feelings are very common, and even the most well-adjusted kids are bound to feel some sort of pressure when they return to school.

The question becomes: what can parents do to help their children cope with the physical and emotional stresses associated with the back to school season? In this article, I will provide you with some tips that I’ve shared with parents in the past that have deemed to be very helpful.

Tip #1: Put your child on a healthy sleeping pattern right away!

Children need at least 8 to 10 hours of REM sleep each night. Children that do not get adequate sleep the night before tend to be groggy, grumpy, and thus have a harder time concentrating in class, not to mention tend to become more sensitive to social disputes. Sleep also contributes to a healthier immune system. You can help your child enter each school day with a more energetic and positive approach simply by making sure they get the right amount of sleep each night.

Here’s how to set a healthy sleeping pattern with your children:

1. Establish a set bedtime and wake time for the weekdays.Make sure that you specify that this time is non-negotiable.

2. Set up some rules for 1 hour prior to bedtime.There are many things that can affect how well your children sleep at night. If you set up some ground rules, then you’ll see better sleeping habits:

~Make sure they eat dinner no later than 1 hour prior to bedtime. If they eat just before bedtime, then chances are they will not fall asleep right away. Your child can have a warm glass of milk or some fruit just before bed if they are hungry.

~Cut out all physical activities no later than 1 hour prior to bedtime. Children need adequate downtime to get their heart rate down.

~Cut out any intense “stimulating” activities no later than 1 hour prior to bedtime. This includes video games and computers. Both can be very addictive and keep your child’s mind over-stimulated even after they’ve stopped.

3. Establish a 20 – 30-minute nightly “calm-down” bedtime routine.

The routine should include taking a bath, putting on their pajamas, reading, and other relaxing activities. TV viewing at bedtime is not recommended because it may affect your child’s ability to fall asleep.

Tip #2: Put your child on a brain-strengthening diet.

Not all diets are for weight loss. Even children that have great athletic physiques are susceptible to the after-effects of poor eating habits, including fatigue, anxiety, poor concentration, and mood swings. You can help your child feel better each school day simply by adjusting their diet and getting rid of foods and snacks that are counter-productive.

Here are some healthy eating tips:

1. Purge the bad foods in your house.

Open your refrigerator and get rid of the foods you know are unhealthy for your children including sodas, snacks that are high in sugar, and foods that are high in fat.

2. Create a healthy menu.

Sit down with your child and create a breakfast, lunch, and afternoon snack menu together. Create at least three different healthy meals for breakfast, lunch, and snack time and allow them to choose what they want to eat each day. If your children help with the process, they will be more intrinsically motivated to stick with the diet. You can make it fun by having them design a fun menu with their meal options and also have them go to the grocery store and help pick out all of the ingredients. If you are struggling with how to create a proper diet, do some research or speak with a licensed dietician that can help make a list of heart and brain-healthy foods.

3. Lead by example.

If your children see you eating unhealthy foods then you are contradicting what you say. Children are smart, and they will fight you on this subject if you don’t lead by example yourself. On the bright side, this is a great way for you to maintain a healthy lifestyle too!

Tip #3: Make sure your child feels comfortable communicating with you

Communication is crucial when it comes to all of the challenges your child will face each day at school. It is important for your child to feel comfortable speaking with you about bullies, fears, and anxieties. You can turn any challenge around if you set it up right.

Here are some important tips for helping your child feel comfortable about communication:

1. Never ignore your child’s anxieties or stresses.

This is a crucial mistake that many parents make, and most of the time it is on accident. Sometimes parents get tangled up with all of their own responsibilities that they brush aside situations brought up by their child that don’t seem important. What you need to remember is: EVERYTHING your child says to you is important to them.

2. Ask them about their day to keep an open dialog.

Sometimes children hold back sharing their fears and anxieties simply because they don’t want to bother you. By asking them how their day was and if there was anything they wanted to talk about, you are showing them you care.

3. Try to put their anxieties and stresses into a perspective that they understand.

For example, everyone is bullied at one point in their life. If your child’s stress is about bullying, share your bullying experience and let them know that you understand how they feel and then provide a simple solution that they can handle.

Tip #4: Continually seek opportunities that increase your child’s self-confidence

The very best thing you can equip your child with is self-confidence. There is absolutely no substitute for self-confidence. Let me repeat that because this line is very important: There is absolutely NO substitute for self-confidence! Confident children face every day with a positive outlook and tend to have better grades, more friends, and less stress.

Here are some tips for increasing your child’s self-confidence:

1. Help them find their inner talents.

Everyone has an inner passion or ability that they can sink their teeth into. This includes sports, music, reading, writing, arts, etc. Ask them what their favorite hobby is or interest, and then find a way to help them pursue their passion. Don’t ignore their requests to play the piano, or pick up a new sport. Just remember that if they do find a passion make sure you help them follow-through. Some children tend to get lazy simply because they lack motivation. It is up to you to keep them motivated.

2. Find positive role models.

Coaches, tutors, and babysitters can have a positive influence on your child’s life. In fact, many children will listen or open up to their role models more so than they do to you because they feel a special bond between them. This is not a bad thing! Think about the special people that you confide in. I bet you have special people besides your parents that have helped shape your life. Don’t be afraid to cut the cord and let your children seek inspiration from other people that you know are great role models for them.

3. Remind them every day of how special they are. Confidence begins at home. Praise their efforts and accomplishments whether they are big or small. You don’t have to go overboard but you don’t want to let the little opportunities that build your child’s confidence slip by you.

Final Thoughts…

Reflect back to when you were a child and think of how you would have parented yourself. What would you do differently than your parents? What would you do the same? Life is a mystery and an adventure. Both good and bad experiences are part of life and can help you understand your children a little better. Keep this article somewhere special and read it when you feel like you need a little parenting boost. Hopefully one day you’ll share these tips with your child as they enter adulthood and become parents too.

If you would like to enroll your child in a Martial Arts program, check out our school here www.graciepac.com/program/kids-martial-arts