The Developing Mind -- Understanding Your Child’s Behavior | Apexx Martial Arts
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Staff and instructors are very nice and always gives me a great workout. The work outs are never the same and I love that. Such a great place to work out at.

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My daughter LOVES this program. She never wants to leave when I arrive and tell her it's time to go. I can not say enough good things about all the coaches and how they are helping my daughter develop valuable skills she will be able to use for a lifetime!

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This has been a great choice for a summer camp. The kids are always doing something and my child is excited to go back day after day.

Amanda Stites

Amazing staff, they truly care about their students. This has been such a positive experience for our children, looking forward to continuing our kid's training at Apexx.

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This is such an awesome place for families! Students really enjoy the programs and the staff is amazing!

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Dedicated and attentive staff! It takes a village sometimes and Apexx is part of ours! Our daughter has enjoyed the last several months very much. Thank you to the staff for keeping her accountable and encouraging my daughter to do her best!

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My children’s confidence and self-esteem and discipline have increased tremendously since they have been at Apex! The instructors are caring and set very high standards for the students. Mr. Rankin is an amazing leader!

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I've only been taking classes from here for approx. four months now, but I've learned so much in that short time. From day 1, everyone makes you feel like family and clearly wants to see you do your absolute best. A great school, full of great people!

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Pursuing a passion of mine since I was a kid! The experience so far has been great. The instructors and practitioners have all been very helpful and encouraging. I am glad I found this place.

Amanda Loyd Talbert reviewed Apexx Martial Arts
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Our experience with (Apexx) has been great. My son is learning such great skills and character traits from his instructors. I love how they teach respect and discipline. I can tell that it's making him pay closer attention to adults. And he's setting goal after goal because he wants to be like his instructors. For me, I'm very happy because I'm seeing a lot of growth in him.

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My son has only attended for a short amount of time, but already we have seen such an improvement in his behavior and attention span. Everyone here from the staff at the front desk to the class instructors are so nice and helpful!

Valerie Thomas reviewed Apexx Martial Arts
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We really enjoyed our trial experience at WR Martial Arts. I was very impressed with how they interacted with my rowdy 3 year old and have seen a big difference in his behavior at home. My 5 year old also learned A LOT in a very short amount of time. We are giving our kids a chance to check out some different sports but if they decide they want to continue with Taekwondo - we will definitely be coming back here! Great staff and program.

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My son had his 9th B-day party here and oh my gosh...so much fun!! The kids loved it! Never a dull moment. Games, food, class and a beautiful sword to cut the cake with. Best part...he keeps the sword! What a great addition to a great day. Great value! My son will remember this party for a long time.

Steven Sheffield reviewed Apexx Martial Arts
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We love it here. It has helped my daughter in so many ways. It has given her so much confidence and higher self esteem. The bonus is learning self defense skills. The staff here love their jobs and really enjoy teaching the kids. It's their passion.

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Great place! Staff are friendly and knowledgeable. We truly enjoyed our visit. Thank you all.

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The Developing Mind — Understanding Your Child’s Behavior

One of the biggest struggles in parenting is understanding why perfectly sweet and smart children can, in an instant, turn into the most difficult beings ever faced. It’s often as if a switch was flipped and chaos has ensued. This typically results in parents becoming frustrated at their child and disciplining them in the heat of the moment. And while this may seem like the best option, it can be counterproductive in many ways. When parents become knowledgeable about the basics of brain development and how this affects behavior, they can help integrate all areas of the brain and have better parenting success.

The key to whole-brain integration is having a basic understanding of children’s brains. To simplify this, Dr. Daniel Siegel and Dr. Tina Payne Bryson, created the concept of the “upstairs brain” and the “downstairs brain” in the book “The Whole-Brain Child.” When children are born, their primitive, “downstairs brain” is well developed. This part is responsible for the basic functioning of the body such as breathing and the heart beating but also incorporates innate responses related to strong emotions such as fear and anger. The amygdala, a tiny, almond-shaped mass, is the supervisor of the downstairs brain and stays alert for anything threatening. When there is perceived danger, our basic survival instincts kick in and we act before we think. For children, this often presents as a tantrum because they are flooded with stress hormones and strong emotions.

Above this is the sophisticated, “upstairs brain.” The pre-frontal cortex, specifically, is where higher thinking, decision making, and problem-solving take place. This part of the brain shows us the bigger picture and helps regulate our emotions. During “downstairs tantrums,” this is the part of the brain that needs to jump in and help. The problem is the upstairs brain doesn’t reach full development until our mid twenty’s. Since it is not fully functional until then, children are not able to access this part of the brain all the time to make better decisions during an emotional flood.

Armed with this knowledge, adults can help reinforce the metaphorical “staircase” from the downstairs to the upstairs brain. This is where vertical integration takes place. If downstairs tantrums are handled with discipline, it can, instead, force children even further down into emotional turmoil. Instead, this is best handled with attunement and connection. As a tactic of the Apexx/SKILLZ Child Development approach, these two concepts create a more constructive way of dealing with an emotional flood and strengthens the child’s ability to tap into the power of the upstairs brain on their own.

This approach allows emotions to be resolved, instead of ignored, while also engaging decision-making skills. As a result, children can self-regulate and return to a place where they can learn and retain things better.

Since adults aren’t typically knowledgeable about how the brain develops and functions and what this has to do with children’s behaviors, they must become informed. By becoming familiar with the development of the brain, adults can be more understanding and patient with children during upstairs tantrums. Knowing that these types of tantrums are due to a lack of skills in the upstairs brain, not a lack of motivation to be good, we can take a more productive approach to parenting.