A 4D Approach to online safety | Gentle East Martial Arts
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Our Physical DOORS and DIGITAL DOORS are OPEN! Secure your spot & get started today with our FREE EXCLUSIVE online offer!

By opting into the web form above you are providing consent for Gentle East Martial Arts to send you periodic text messages. Standard rates may apply. You can reply HELP at anytime or learn more. You may opt-out anytime by replying STOP.
Erin Elam reviewed Gentle East Martial Arts —
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I can’t explain just how amazing this place is! My daughter was born at just 23 weeks, 1lb. She just turned 3, and is doing well but had a long bumpy road. With said, she has some visual impairments, mild cerebral palsy, and severe anxiety issues. We are four classes in now, and although my daughter cries each time we get to the school, the instructors (every single one) ALWAYS treat her like their own and take their time with her. She comes out of class so happy and oh so proud of herself! They do not treat her differently because of her impairments, they are all patient and kind, and above all understanding. We are BEYOND pleased with GEMA, and the staff to include the wonderful families we have met. Thank you GEMA for creating a better world for my daughter!

Marc Grenier reviewed Gentle East Martial Arts —
5
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An awesome martial arts school that truly cares.

Hillary Hogan reviewed Gentle East Martial Arts —
5
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I have had a blast. I look forward to continuing to learn each form.

Sharon Takai reviewed Gentle East Martial Arts —
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We love the instructors and family atmosphere! Thank you!

Kathryn Carson reviewed Gentle East Martial Arts —
5
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I've tried a bunch of martial arts over the years, but it wasn't until I got to Gentle East that I realized that the art itself doesn't matter so much--it's the attitude of its practitioners. These people aren't learning and teaching how to kill, but how to live. How to live despite trauma and illness, and to keep practicing their art even if it's just in their hearts. The tenets are courtesy, integrity, perseverance, self-control, and indomitable spirit, and they mean every word. They teach the kids that other dojangs won't. Autistic, physically challenged, special needs, you name it. They're fully engaged with the messy business of life. A whole lot of families are glad that Master Barbara Robinson followed her vision. Ours is one.

Melody D. Choate reviewed Gentle East Martial Arts —
5
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Love, love, love this place! The staff is incredibly kind and supportive, and the family atmosphere is palpable the moment you walk in the door! I am so impressed with the work being done with autism spectrum kids, as well as other kids with physical challenges. No one is made to feel like they don't belong here! I even joined the mommy class and my toddlers are allowed to run around us while we work out. I've lost a few pounds, and gained some amazing (non-judgemental) mom-friends! An oasis of kindness and support in the middle of what is often a 'keep up with the Jones's " area of town.

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A 4D Approach to online safety

Children of all ages are spending more and more time on digital devices. Online schoolwork and staying connected to family members are positive ways children can use technology. And while video games and social media apps are ways for children to connect and “play” with friends, these platforms are also a breeding ground for inappropriate content and predators. So, in the same way, parents educate their children on awareness and danger in the physical world, danger in the virtual world should also be addressed.

There is a multitude of apps and software that can block certain content and help parents monitor their children’s online activities. Still, nothing compares to parents being attuned to what their children are doing virtually. Keeping an open, age-appropriate dialogue about this can help children make smart online choices and stay safe.

Intellectually: Children are smart, and even the youngest know how to navigate social media and the internet, often, better than their parents. And while this can be useful in some ways, it can create a pathway to inappropriate content and dangerous situations. By connecting one-on-one with their children, parents can educate them on the potential risks of varying online activities. This will help children to be more cautious and smarter about their virtual choices.

Socially: The virtual world has been a means for people of all ages to connect with friends and even make new ones. Children frequently use social media apps and online games to spend time with their friends and for the past few months, this was one of the only ways they could stay connected. However, the increased use of this medium has created more chances for predators to interact with children. To help them avoid any threats to their own well-being, parents should prompt children to make appropriate social choices online and only engage with those they know.

Emotionally: While the world wide web has a lot of useful information, it also has a lot of negative material that can be emotionally overwhelming. Children often come across this content when friends post about it or simply when scrolling through various social media apps. This constant flood of negativity can be traumatizing, especially when parents aren’t attuned to how this is affecting their children. Therefore, it’s essential that parents are in tune with any significant changes in their child’s emotions and continuously check in with them.

Physically: When we think of online activities, we are often not concerned with our physical safety. Children, especially, don’t understand the physical danger that can come from information and photos they share online. From posting a selfie from their current location to their neighborhood entrance sign being visible in the background of a picture, predators can gain lots of information from seemingly innocent posts. Therefore, parents must be consistent in monitoring their children’s posts to ensure that any revealing information about their physical location is hidden.

As the requirements for the use of technology continue to grow, parents must be even more diligent in monitoring their children’s online activities. In the same way that there are threats in a community, there are also dangers online. But when parents keep their children’s development and safety top of mind by being proactive with education and supervision, the benefits that come with the use of technology will outweigh any fears.