Meaner Than a Junkyard Dog

Academy MetroWest uses cooperative, non-competitive physical activity as a vehicle to help kids see themselves in a more positive light and to interact better with their peers. While there’s more to any improvements in social skills and self-image than playing a bunch of games with other kids, using games that bring the focus away from kids vs. kids competition is our […]

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Because Then We Wouldn’t Be Playing Foosball – Thoughts on Gender Differences

In the 2 minutes each year in which I’m not working or with my family, my favorite thing to do is to play music with my band.  Since 1998, I’ve been writing music, singing, and playing guitar with 3 of my closest friends. If the rest of the world felt the same way about our music as we do, we’d […]

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Oreo! Oreo! Oreo! – A Tale of Natural Consequences

A few weeks ago, I was sitting in my office with a group of 3rd grade boys. We were finishing up our session with a snack and a quiet activity – to the extent that doing anything with a group of hyperactive 3rd grade boys can be quiet. As I asked the boys what they wanted for snack, one of them […]

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Evidence Based?

Once I start reading a book, it has to be utterly abysmal before I decide to give up on it. The book I’m reading now is putting my resolve to the test. The book is called The Optimistic Child. It’s written by an eminent psychologist named Martin Seligman. Those of you who took Intro. to Psychology in college may be familiar […]

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ADHD Anonymous

“ADHD?…they used to think I had that. Now they know I have Mad Cow Disease!”                -11 y.o. Academy MetroWest participant When new kids enroll in our program, the first step in the process is undergoing an initial interview. We run through some activities in our gym with them to help us get a […]

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An Instructive But Possibly Patronizing Story About Yelling

The Wall Street Journal just ran an article about a study on disciplinary strategies out of the Universities of Pittsburgh and Michigan. The authors found that parents can inflict similar harm on their kids by yelling at them as they can through hitting or other forms of physical punishment.  “Harsh, verbal discipline” used on 13 year old children was found […]

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Bully Pulpit

NPR just ran a story about a study published by researchers from Duke University and University of Warwick in England. It looked at what happens over a long period to people who were bullied as kids. According to the authors of the study, the results suggested that “Being bullied is not a harmless rite of passage but throws a long […]

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Manners 101

Once upon a time, a long time ago, I went to college. Hofstra University, located in scenic (not really) Hempstead, NY, is my alma mater. I was a liberal arts guy but Hofstra was primarily a business school. Far be it from me to come across as anti-business or even anti-business student but you could always tell the business majors […]

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Cooperative Play Rules! (Not That I’m At All Biased)

In the work that we do at Academy MetroWest, we run gym-based groups that center on  cooperative, non-competitive physical activity, aimed at helping kids feel better about themselves and improve the way they interact with others. Groups of up to 6 kids participate in weekly 75 minute groups. In basing our groups around cooperative activities, we create a low stress […]

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The Lure of the Console (Part I) – Quirky Kids and Video Games

“TV is just like video games. But without all the work!”– 15 year old Academy MetroWest participant During the summer, Academy MetroWest runs a small day camp.  Since we started the camp, I’ve worked not only as a co-director, but also as the counselor for the oldest boys’ group. Every Friday, we go on a field trip or run some type […]

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