How to Prepare Kids to Thrive in a Rapidly Changing World | Gracie PAC MMA

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Maria Vega reviewed Gracie PAC MMA
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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
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
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
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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
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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
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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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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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How to Prepare Kids to Thrive in a Rapidly Changing World

We live in an uncertain world. Modern times from politics to illness to how the economy functions, racial and gender bias and even the opening and closings of schools and camps has taught us that. Nobody can perfectly predict what is to happen from year to year, month to month and even from day to day. The world we know can feel disturbing and unfamiliar, at times. In the wake of what feels increasingly threatening and unpredictable to parents, moms and dads are pushing their kids to excel, swooping in to rescue them from struggle if it gives them an extra edge, and leaving the kids unprepared, fragile and reliant on others when they are faced with challenges and adversity. And I can’t forget to mention, the stress and anxiety, exhaustion, overwhelm and distress that come in heaping portions when kids wake up facing a future that they have not been prepared for or they feel ill-equipped to cope with, it not exactly a recipe for success. Of course, we too, as parents are stressed out as we compare ourselves incessantly with the Jones’s who are leading their perfect lives on Facebook and Instagram while we worry about what school our children will attend, which extra sport or activity they can take to round out their resume and when in the world they will learn another language to make themselves more marketable. But, there is hope. We are learning what skills our children really need in order to succeed- and they have to do less with learning to code and taking AP history and more to do with adaptability, mental agility, curiosity, collaboration, tolerance for failure, resilience, and optimism.

Most important, the day-to-day solutions parents can use to raise kids who are prepared, enthusiastic, and ready to face an unknown future with confidence and optimism.

Important Messages:

  • Anxiety – partly genetic and partly environmental. 30% of kids have an anxiety disorder. The genetic component hasn’t changed- so what’s going on with the environment?
  • “Genetics loads the gun and environment pulls the trigger.”
  • What’s happened in this culture that’s impacted anxiety?
  • In order to solve the anxiety problem in young people, we have to go back to the definition of success. Success has had a very narrow definition for a long time. It’s been about good grades, it’s been about the right college, the select team, very performance-based. In things that are public. In narrow-related areas. (Parents are putting a bumper sticker on their car that says “proud parent of the best car-collector).
  • Scarcity mentality. If your kid gets into Brown, then my kid will not. It’s become competitive not collaborative. Companies are looking for collaboration. Content has gone to the bottom of the list. It doesn’t mean that content doesn’t matter- it’s what you DO with that content. Collaborate? Creative?
  • What do people who are in the middle of change saying about change? What were they looking for? Competence, flexibility, self-regulation, resilience, creativity. These are teachable skills.
  • We haven’t been preparing our children for the “new” type of successful they truly need to be. They look great on paper but not in real life.
  • How do you solve this problem? What are parents going through? Must deal with themselves. Jobs require different skills. How are we preparing them? Why are we not preparing them? We are incredibly anxious selves.
  • 1 in 3 kids have anxiety. 1 in 3 adults are anxious too! Bifurcated economy. Winners or losers. Nobody wanted kids to be losers. Head nodding. Can’t afford for my child to be “an experiment.” But kids need to become more creative and adaptable- can’t afford for them not to be.
  • Parents need to do some self-reflection: What are they worried about? Kids not making a living? Not keeping up with the neighbors?
  • Dinner time conversation: Is it reflecting the positive values you want? Family culture needs to be what you truly value.
  • Most would tell them what went wrong- showcasing that life is about challenge and you have the skills to overcome them.
  • Scenario: Math grade falling, parents concerned. Three options, take guitar away, get tutor, when grade comes up- more time on guitar. Mentioned to head singer of Metalica- what happened to start a band? Expand notions of our own notions of creativity, much better off.
  • Arts might not help GPA- but that is where creativity is valued and developed. Pay attention to your child when they exhibit creativity.
  • Showed boredom when patients would talk about grades but perked up when talked about creativity.
  • Parents need to listen. How well do you listen to your kid?
  • These skills are critical. They’re necessary. They make for better workers, better partners, better friends, better parents. They are foundational skills.
  • The skills that we are often dismissive of or think are a lesser- find out when kids become passionate or enamored by it- show grit about it in process of learning, learn to collaborate, learn to self-regulate. Might be chemistry. Might be ferns. But you can learn skills during this. If they are engaged and serious about it- translates into a life skill.
  • The culture of the house is important. Listening is important. Drop the agenda.
  • Accumulated anxiety- if you are doing everything you can to make sure your child isn’t exposed to what makes him uncomfortable, it’s the exact opposite thing you are supposed to do.
  • Help them create mantras: You can do it! You can do hard things.
  • You get confidence when you are competent. They can ask for help- you can be the support.
  • Must be taught to tolerate disappointment.
  • How many people have never had their heart broken? How can you learn to tolerate having your heart broken?
  • Four Ss: What kids need to thrive. Stability, security, being soothed, being seen. You may be having a hard time but if they have those things- these 4 Ss are what you need. Do the best you can.
  • What’s the goal? To come out of this with an intact family.
  • Communicate some trust in your child that they can handle this.
  • Try practicing the phrase; “Hey Honey, I think you’ve got this!”

Notable Quotables:

  • “Our kids’ lives have become incredibly competitive as opposed to collaborative. This is
  •  completely out-of-line with what corporations are looking for in employees.”
  • How do admirals, generals, CEOs, heads of hiring navigate change? What are they looking for? Competence, flexibility, curiosity, creativity, self-regulation and resilience. These are all teachable skills. They are just as teachable as Calculus! But we have always considered them soft skills and haven’t devoted the time to them that we have to ensure that SATs are high.”
  • “In this incredibly bifurcated economy there were winners and losers. Nobody wants their kid to be a loser so they push and push. Parents say; ‘I can’t afford for my child to be an experiment.’ I say; ‘you can’t afford for your child to NOT become more creative, more adaptable, more flexible.’”
  • “What you focus on makes a difference.”
  • “Life is full of challenge and you have the skills to overcome them.”
  • “No matter how much your kids roll their eyes at you, you are still the most important person in their life.”
  • “Every kid is different. Every family is different.”
  • “When a parent tells me that their kids don’t listen to them I ask; “how well do you listen to your kid?”
  • “These skills are critical. They’re necessary. They make for better workers, better partners, better friends, better parents. They are foundational skills.”
  • “What is the goal? To come out of this with an intact family.”
  • “Create an environment where your children feel stable, secure, soothed and seen.”
  • “I can promise you, that that grade that your child got in Social Studies in the 7th grade does not matter what matters is that your kid has a good moral compass, has good values, knows how to respect people, who makes good relationships and wants to contribute.”
  • “You can focus on your kids but focus on yourself because how you are doing has more with how your kids are doing than anything else.”

-From the Blog of Dr. Robyn Silverman