About the Trainer | Tuition & Registration | Training Includes | Who Should Attend
Kidz in Contact is a child-to-child, peer based, healthy touch program which utilizes respect, healthy boundaries and permission at the core of our initiative. No child must ever receive healthy touch if they do not wish to, and in turn some may request it during different parts of their day. This initiative allows for the exploration of what healthy touch is, and how to utilize it appropriately while exploring the benefits for children.
School playgrounds and organized children’s groups, are commonly full of potential social challenges for children. While some children may thrive in these social situations, too many of our children are not thriving in these group and school settings. The pressures of peers, academic anxiety and bullying are just a handful of the issues they face on a daily basis.
We all hope that one day each child will no longer interpret these experiences as negative but will flourish instead. It is our duty as health care providers, educators, caregivers and members of society to work together towards safe and healthy solutions for our children.
Why “Kidz in Contact”?
Contact is defined as touch, connection and communication which are demonstrated in our focus to promote healthy respect for others through the use of safe touch. Kidz in Contact promotes the integration of safe and healthy touch into children's schools and organized children’s activities to allow kids the opportunity to learn the differences between good touch versus bad touch, how to apply healthy touch with respect and how best to request healthy touch when they need it. We strive to address critical needs of children through the power of touch.
Addressing Peer Pressure
Fitting into a rigid social structure that is the setting of classrooms and lunchrooms is immensely challenging, leaving many children unable to “fit in.” Friends and classmates may try to push kids into making choices they would not normally make on their own in fear that they may lose friends or not make friends at all. Under later life reflection we know that a true friend will still be by your side regardless of the choices you make, but as a child this is difficult to understand and has not yet been learned. As a young child it is not uncommon for your parents to help choose your friends and arrange play dates. However as children grow, they must navigate these waters alone developing the choice of friends with limited parental intervention.
Children make dozens of decisions every day, and peers influence their choices and behaviors. As children become more independent, peers play a greater role in their life. As school and other activities take them further away from their family, they begin to develop close friendships with peers. Children often follow in the footsteps of their peers because of their desire to fit in, which in many cases is positive, while other times is not.
Addressing Academic Anxiety
We live in an increasingly competitive world, and understandably, parents and educators are reacting. We all want our children to succeed, and ultimately excel. As a result, we are pushing our kids to achieve better grades and receive higher test scores, without meaning too, we are causing children greater childhood stress and anxiety.
Academic anxiety arises out of the apprehension of being reprimanded by teachers, parents and peers regarding poor academic performance. Once a child has developed a state of academic anxiety, they may show a decrease in attention span, concentration and memory. When a child is suffering from this increased anxiety, their grades actually begin to suffer.
Bullying has become an epidemic, not only has it caught the nation’s attention but it is continually part of our mainstream media. Bullying happens more frequently than you may realize; in the United States alone it is estimated that between 15 to 25% of students are frequently bullied.
Research indicates that the amount of children bullied has increased, but also the type of bullying has changed as well. This shift in the way kids bully is partially due to children’s exposure to increasingly graphic or aggressive media images which can cause desensitization to violence. Coupling this desensitization to violence with society’s acceptance to criticize others and our children are at great risk. When this type of insensitive behavior relates to children it is commonly identified as bullying.
An Imbalance of Power: Kids who bully use their power—such as physical strength, access to embarrassing information, or popularity—to control or harm others. Power imbalances can change over time and in different situations, even if they involve the same people.
Victims of bullying can have many serious and lasting negative impacts. Numerous studies have demonstrated that children who have been bullied may be more withdrawn, depressed, anxious, insecure, shy, lonely, isolated and avoidant of social activities. Often times they experience a host of health complaints including changes in eating patterns and sleep.
Effects Due to Lack of Touch
Positive human touch is not only the kind of sensory interaction children crave most, but it is vital for their healthy growth and development. Through observations, and research, it has been demonstrated that children who are touch-deprived don’t growth emotionally, physically and cognitively. When children are deprived of healthy touch, they become numb to the fundamental need to touch and be touched. They become touch-phobic, and can keep an emotional distance from others. This is not only harmful during childhood, but the effects carry with them throughout their lives.
The health impacts of touch deprivation are vast and include increased stress and body tension both behaviorally and biochemically, as well as, an increase in aggression behavior and physical violence. The stress caused by touch deprivation might eventually change an individual’s brain chemistry so as to cause depression. We may also see a noticeable drop in the level of serotonin which correlates to a strong relationship to touch deprivation and sleep disturbance.
Positive Effects of Healthy Touch
Children, parents and their educators are searching for solutions that make children feel safe, less vulnerable and create more compassion among peers. Knowing that each person’s experience with touch can be influenced by their environment, including the way their family or culture views touch, the beliefs they have developed over time, and their experience with their peers, it is imperative that all children receive a healthy dose of nurturing and positive touch throughout their lives.
The types of touch each child receives can have direct effect on the architecture of their brain. During the first five to seven years of life, it is extremely critical that we provide healthy touch, as this is the optimal time for brain development. It is during this period of time that children are extremely responsive to sensory stimulation.
Massage and touch therapy research has suggested that healthy touch can have a direct effect on lowering cortisol levels, increasing serotonin and thus lowering violent and aggressive behavior.
We believe that the introduction of safe and healthy touch will have a great impact on the future lives of children, ensuring that children feel cared for, loved and empowered to make appropriate choices that affect their future in a positive way.
Learn more about Kidz in Contact – A Healthy Touch Initiative for Children
- Since 2005, Liddle Kidz Foundation, Director, Tina Allen, has educated parents, educators and of healthcare professionals around the world in the many benefits of healthy and nurturing touch. “Kidz in Contact – A Healthy Touch Initiative for Children” is a program developed and provided by the Liddle Kidz Foundation
- Kidz in Contact provides hands-on training, education and tools to support educators and caregivers in teaching healthy touch in a peer-to-peer based program for children.
- Through Kidz in Contact support and training, caregivers improve their ability to nurture a child's development in such key areas as language, social, cognitive and physical skills. Our program facilitates healthy boundaries and resilience in children, which establishes a strong foundation for their future.
- The materials and curriculum are designed to empower caregivers in simple methods including developmentally appropriate tactile stimulation, healthy touch and caring which can improve a child’s critical development.
- Education presented by Kidz in Contact is done so in respect of all cultures and specifically adapted on a case-by case basis, so all materials are culturally adaptable. The material is richly infused with storytelling, games, songs and developmental movement to adapt its curriculum to any culture.
- Kidz in Contact education reaches not only developmental goals of healthy well children, but also addresses varying special healthcare needs. In this way, all children benefit from receiving healthy and appropriate touch.
About the Kidz in Contact Trainer
With over a decade of service to children and families, Pediatric Massage Master Teacher Tina Allen, founder of leading children's health and nurturing touch organization Liddle Kidz Foundation (LKF), has become an internationally respected expert in the field of infant and pediatric massage therapy. Tina is largely credited with popularizing pediatric massage therapy and has appeared on NBC and The Learning Channel's Bringing Home Baby.
Her innovative approach has allowed her to create pediatric massage programs in leading medical institutions including the Mayo Clinic, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children.
Tina’s work has garnered international honors including the Massage Therapy Foundation/Performance Health Humanitarian of the Year and the American Massage Therapy Association Award for Distinguished Service.
Read Tina Allen’s Entire Biography
Tuition & Registration
Please see our Calendar for upcoming Kidz in Contact Training Dates and Registration Information.
Kidz in Contact Training Includes
The Kidz in Contact Training Workshop is best presented to individuals who work with children on a regular basis, so it is easily implemented into their daily care.
Your Kidz in Contact Training Manual is included in your tuition cost.
Who Should Attend
The Kidz in Contact Training is primarily designed for those who work with children such as daycare providers, elementary and preschool teachers, school readiness teachers, Head Start Program Teachers, and other educators. However, we welcome other education and healthcare professionals as well as parents to attend.