Fostering Empathy in Children During the Holidays | Glens Falls Karate Academy LLC
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AJ Van Wie reviewed Glens Falls Karate Academy
5
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The adult Karate and kickboxing classes have been a great addition to my weekly routine. I am learning self-defense as well as meeting great people and gaining confidence while getting into great physical condition. Sensei Murphy is a knowledgeable instructor and explains things well while demonstrating techniques. I highly recommend Glens Falls Karate Academy.

Alicia Macier reviewed Glens Falls Karate Academy
5
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The adult class is a really great and supportive group to learn with! Not only is Sensei Murphy awesome, but the other dojo members really go out of their way to make it a welcoming atmosphere. The self defense part of the training is my favorite! Having the ability to dissect the moves and practice them weekly makes me feel more confident in my everyday life.

Jocelyn Lawrence reviewed Glens Falls Karate Academy
5
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Our son goes to Glens Falls Karate Academy. They are very welcoming and have a great program. The Sensei is amazing with children!

Krista Clements reviewed Glens Falls Karate Academy
5
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I love classes at Glens Falls Karate Academy! We're one big family who help each other succeed! Sensei Chris Murphy and Senpai Joe Traina are excellent teachers! They are thorough in their training and have a passion to share their love of karate with their students!

Tina Sackman reviewed Glens Falls Karate Academy
5
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Sensei Murphy is patient and encouraging. He is sincere and giving of his time.
Karate is such an incredible sport. It teaches you control, focus, & balance - physically and mentally. It stimulates your mind because you have to think about the strategies. What's interesting about this sport is that it is more about the skills and the techniques and applying them correctly, than your physical size.

Wanda Dutcher Sowizdrzal reviewed Glens Falls Karate Academy
5
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I've have known Chris Murphy for several years and he is a wonderful man. His teaching style not only teaches the art of Karate, but he teaches the children pride, respect of self and others and hard work.

Kate Austin-Avon reviewed Glens Falls Karate Academy
5
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Chris really knows his stuff, and is such a nice guy too. He's a great teacher! We are lucky to have him in our community.

Danielle Volks reviewed Glens Falls Karate Academy
5
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We love karate, Sensei and Miss Stacey. What a wonderful program to be a part of. My son looks forward to karate each week.

Koda Orion Taylor reviewed Glens Falls Karate Academy
5
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I'm in the Tuesday/Thursday adult class and I love it can't wait to continue learning I always look forward to the next class

Jim Peterson reviewed Glens Falls Karate Academy
5
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Had the pleasure of giving a seminar there this weekend....Sensei Murphy should be very proud. He runs a top notch school with a bunch of talented students. I am very proud to have him represent us as his governing organization.
Shihan Jim Peterson
8th Degree Black Belt
Vice President of the Goshin Ryu Karate Assn.

Stephen Leather reviewed Glens Falls Karate Academy
5
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I had my first lesson in Goshin Ryu Karate on 1/12/2015. Even though I have a martial arts background myself in both Jiu-Jitsu and Tae Kwon Do, I found Sensei Murphy's class to be fantastic. It was amazing to work on my sparring skills with such a knowledgeable instructor as him. I am very much looking forward to continuing my training with him.

Pam Fisher reviewed Glens Falls Karate Academy
5
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My son was looking for a new athletic activity this past Spring and decided to try karate. I couldn't be happier with Glens Falls Karate Academy, and the positive influence Sensei Murphy has had on my son. It's a great program for athletes of all abilities. Great place!

Nikki Hoague reviewed Glens Falls Karate Academy
5
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My daughter has been a student here for years and I would highly recommend this school to anyome looking to learn new martial arts and not be like every other martial arts school in the area! Chris is a great teacher and leader to these kids. They offer adult classes too, Come try a class and make your own opinion.

Heather Richards reviewed Glens Falls Karate Academy
5
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My daughter started a few months ago and has enjoyed the challenges, friendships, structure, community and education that sensei Chris Murphy provides. There is never a moment she isn't excited to go to class! As a parent I have noticed the difference in my child's focus, attitude and confidence not only about herself but in what she is doing as well!! Thank you sensei!!!

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Fostering Empathy in Children During the Holidays

‘Tis the season! A season of giving, a season of patience, a season of all things warm and inviting. Doesn’t it all sound magical? As we go into this time of year, the excitement fills the air and the anticipation of gifts and fun activities encompasses our very being, no matter what age. And while the spirit of the season surrounds us, the hustle and bustle often leaves parents exhausted and children focused only on the “gimme” of presents. To counteract this, it is important to revamp our priorities and utilize the holidays as a starting point for helping foster empathy in children.

The first step in doing this is helping children understand what empathy is. Being able to see things from another person’s view can be a challenge, especially the younger the child. The good thing is, we are all born hardwired with the ability to be empathetic. However, it doesn’t just evolve…empathy is developed through experiences and practice. Empathy is an emotional and cognitive experience.

As babies, empathy is mirrored as strictly an emotional reaction to a situation. For example, when one baby cries, the one next to it often begins crying as well. This is when mirror neurons in the brain are firing in response to the behavior being observed. The same happens when babies mirror facial expressions even when they are only a few days old.

As children get older, they begin to tap into the cognitive side of empathy. This is because their executive functioning skills are more developed. This means that they are better able to understand others’ points of view, regulate their own emotions, and self-monitor. However, it is more natural for children to be selfish than empathetic. This is why it is important to give children experiences that exercise the empathetic muscle throughout childhood and adolescence.

Even though children are not instinctively considerate of others, it is important to not dwell on that and, instead, find opportunities to work with them on this. When they exhibit selfish behaviors, parents should empathize with their child and then rephrase the situation to elicit a more empathetic reaction. In behavior therapy, it is called “shaping a new response.”

When working on building empathy in children, there are many things parents can do to help. Giving children the opportunity to be part of the decision-making process when choosing an organization to donate to or volunteer for, is a great way to start. This helps them feel excited about giving and they learn generosity. Another important thing is to teach children to be thankful for things they have and the gifts they receive, no matter how small or if it’s not exactly what they wanted. Teaching gratitude helps children learn to appreciate what they have, and therefore helps them understand that not everyone has the same things. But above all, parents being a role model of empathy year-round will help children learn this concept.

The holidays are a wonderful time to spend moments fostering empathy in children. By teaching generosity, compassion, and gratitude, children have a better understanding of the true meaning of the holiday season. Making events of generosity a tradition throughout the year will solidify these lessons even further. In turn, we are shaping the next generation to be caring adults.