This is not some new revolutionary theory – moving and being active is the key to physical and mental well-being. In order to feel happy with movement your child needs to learn basic skills and build on those to become physically competent and confident.
This does not imply that your child has to be / aspire to be an elite athlete or even make the team for their school or local club. They do not have to be “sporty” or a boy (the number of people who still believe this is astounding). It is about discovering the joy of using your body for what it was designed to do. Just a little clue – you are not designed to stay indoors and sit.
Your body is designed for movement.
All the potential is there from day 1 – as babies progress through their first month of life, they begin to discover their bodies. The discovery of a hand and a foot is a big moment, and it’s an even bigger moment when your child realizes the control of that hand and foot. A baby is constantly moving and willing its body on. From birth they push and twitch and try to move….The venting of that frustration when their body does not do what they want it to do can be epic.
Before you know it, your tiny baby is crawling and walking and then running (of sorts).
And then encouraged / allowed to sit in front of a screen or holding a screen. But that is another story….
Let’s get back to the need to move.
Over the past decade, more and more children are being assessed as having attention issues and possibly ADHD. At the same time, children are expected to sit for longer periods of time.
The problem: children are constantly in an upright position these days. It is rare to find children rolling down hills, climbing trees, and spinning in circles just for fun. Merry-go-rounds and see-saws are a thing of the past. Break times have shortened as a result of educational demands, and children rarely play outdoors due to parental fears, liability issues, and the hectic schedules of modern-day society. Let’s face it: Children are not nearly moving enough, and it is really starting to become a problem. And it cannot be fixed by simply giving a child something like a fidget spinner.
Children need basic movement skills – Fundamental movement skills are a specific set of skills that involve different body parts such as feet, legs, trunk, head, arms and hands. These skills are the “building blocks” for more complex and specialised skills that kids will need throughout their lives to competently participate in different games, sports and recreational activities. In other words – the skills to feel confident to move. And therefore the skills to unlock so much more of their potential.
In order for children to learn, they need to be able to pay attention. In order to pay attention, we need to let them move. In order for kids to feel comfortable moving we need to teach them basic skills.
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