Holistic Social Development – “Dealing With The Clown”

We all deal with Clowns in different ways.  Clowns can be scary, funny, and anywhere in between.  But how do we deal with Clowns as a family?  It’s amazing how powerful a simple social moment can be…”  –  Dan

I think Lynne Griffin, R.N., M.Ed.put it very well by saying

Encouraging healthy boy/girl friendships is the best way you can teach your child about healthy adult relationships. “


Research shows that positive emotional development is crucial for intellectual development, social development, aesthetic development, and, health.   For pre-teen boys and girls, a fair amount of emotional development is centered around interactions with other pre-teen boys and girls.  Naturally, boys and girls quickly find themselves gravitating toward play with members of their own sex due to similar interests.   However, when children practice learning to talk and interact with kids of the opposite sex at an early age, they do so without the extreme emotions that will complicate their physical relationships later on in life.   As children discover their own identity, what’s important to them, their interests, a larger and more varied social group gives a child a chance to see what’s best for him or her.  So, how does one encourage boys and girls, whom inherently have different “likes,” to come together for socialization?

Rock’n Rob

Kids?  You have to trick ’em!  🙂

The increasingly popular “toys” of today are digital in nature, and, provide interactive entertainment.  However, the content that kids are exposed to these days tend to further segregation of boys and girls,  and more so, tend to be questionable in nature.  So, again, how do you get kids to come together for socialization?  At Judobaby, we say TRICK ‘EM!  Have a look at our buddy Rock’n Rob, above, whom if you are lucky, is animating with his guitar.  We designed Rob to trick boys and girls into liking him.  For boys, he’s a cool guy with a guitar.  For girls, we modeled him after the Jonas Brothers.  And, to take it a step further, we made sure that the theme of Rob’s interactive entertainment was both positive in nature and chock full of interest for both boys and girls.  Still, tricking the kids into playing together was a requirement.  Our solution?  Dogs playing Football!!!  🙂  Those are two broad nets, pets and sports, rolled into one, and bound to catch a boy or girl her and there… Have a look below, or better yet, show your kids and see what they think.  🙂

Parents?  You have to invite ’em! 🙂

“Parents see themselves having less impact on their children’s behavior, relationships, and attitudes than the media and marketing which directly targets children.  As a result children’s senses of themselves and self-images are under pressure.” Holistic Education, Inc.

The positive emotional and social development of children enters the realm of holistic when you, dear parent, guardian, family member, engage in the interaction.  This is tricky, as your role is generally scene as authoritative.   But when the core engagement is interactive entertainment, the focus is shifted from authority to fun family socialization… in theory.  🙂  For many adults, interactive entertainment can be intimidating.  However, many families have discovered that games made for families on the Wii can be easy engagement for all.  As a result, we built Dog Football, a family “board game” of the day, so that anyone in the family could play… even the grandparents.  We even included a variety of characters, both human, and dog, to cover a broad range of interests.  Even the levels, from Tahiti to Hawaii, and audio, from rock to orchestra, can draw in a broad audience.  You see, with parents, you often have to trick ’em to join the game when invited (Dad’s are pretty easy to pull in with football).  🙂   And once the family is together socializing through the entertainment, the positive social development can begin, holistically, with all genders and generations represented (it’s a 1-4 player game).  Have a peek at these families (below)… you get the idea.  None of this is canned, it’s just how it works!

Dealing With The Clown

“Your presence and the presence of other adults will go a long way toward keeping your child’s friendships appropriate. Every child benefits from the social and emotional coaching that makes friendships work well. And when your child and his friends know adults are around, they feel safe, secure and are less likely to find themselves in situations beyond their emotional capabilities.” Lynne Griffin, R.N., M.Ed.


A matter of debate while developing our game Jerry Rice & Nitu’s Dog Football was “should we include the clown?”  You see, we focus test everything we do, extensively, with both kids and parents, and there was a lot of varied opinions on the clown.  Some people love clowns while others are down right terrified by them!  Now imagine it’s time for little Johnny and littler Sarah to play Dog Football, and Johnny, knowing Sarah, is terrified of clowns, goes right for the big red button pusher.  Positive social development time is about to enter the not-so-enjoyable emotion zone.  Or is it?  Our clown has music and voice over to make him the “not scary” clown, so once the kids are playing, it’s fine.  Further, the character personality focus shifts with each kids turn (they choose their own characters unless they play on the same team).  Plus you have plenty of cute doggies for distraction.  🙂  But to take this a step beyond, if you were not intending to join your kids in play for a full family holistic session, you are about to be drawn in to settle the Clown controversy.  It is for this reason that the clown remains in the game.  He’s a fun character, and, a great way for you, dear parent, to engage your children in conflict resolution in a rather safe and controlled environment.  After all, if they can’t get along, you always reserve the right to turn off the games.  🙂

“We at Judobaby will continue to work hard to bring products to your family that help promote holistic social development.  We can provide the tools.  It’s up to you to pick them up and put them to use.”  –  Dan

After all, as they say at Holistic Education, Inc., “Parents, in increasing numbers, realize that just learning academics is not enough.”


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