Children may be able to hear us but can’t listen. An adult may have a similar challenge when the internal dialogue of what he/she feels (physically or emotionally) gets in the way of understanding what is being said. Researchers Alfred Tomatis and Christian Vold focus more on the problems of “listening” then “hearing.” The brain gets a great deal of “silent traffic” from a matrix of metabolic processes (sensations in the body) that can get in the way of listening. Could this be one reason our children can’t “hear” us?
Take care of the basics on listening first by taking care of the sensations of the body:
TAKE CARE OF THE PHYSICAL
4 BASICS TO IMPROVE LISTENING
- Drinks lots of water. Sound simply? If you want your child to take better care of his/her self and their attitude have them drink water. The brain is growing rapidly in a child and the brain “eats” water. Drinking water makes “salt water,” an ionic charge assisting communication between thinking feeling, moving and learning.
- Is your child hungry and does he/she eat balance meals? Is the plate of food full a variety colors? Serving a variety of foods will insure getting a balances meal with all the essential nutrients they need to think, grow and learn. These nutrients are from the basic food groups especially: vegetable, protein (meats or legume + grain), and grain. Eat sugar? Eating sugar wipes out the power of nutrients so try to only have on occasion, and not when sick. Can’t get kids to eat veggies? Blend veggies into smoothies with fruits, mix into grains chopped fine, or sneak them into a sandwich spread. Surprisingly if just one food group is missing all other essential nutrients have a hard time getting absorbed into the body. Ideas for healthy snacks: eat food from the earth to the mouth (nuts, fruit, carrot, etc.).
- Rest and physical activity. For children rapidly growing and learning rest is essential. Children “download” information while sleeping. Physical Activity (especially aerobic and joyful!) helps release pent up energy and physical tension. If children sit still (at computers) for too long their bodies could affect emotional health. Lack of movement can also make the mind “numb” to others. If a child is medicated or confined sitting still for too long the body-to-brain information can’t communicate and attitude can slip into lack of motivation, emotional instability, even depression. Regular movement clears busy minds, moves stagnation and relieves stress.
- Wellness Through Movement lessons are Body-to-Brain steps in finding the WHOLE CHILD (See A New Sensory Self-Awareness book).
No Place Like Home Breath and Personal Bubble trains attention to be both inside and with others. “Home” is deep sense of self, the feeling sensation from long exhalations and attention inside. Attention follows the movement of sound vibrating the word “home.” Children are taught to feel the physical sense of “home” (or in Hawaii the Na’au). Difference in communication is compassion versus emotional reaction. Awareness of “Home” slows down reactions that are fueled by attention solely “out there” versus what is truly trying to be expressed from inside. Attention shifted inside fines kinder choices of words and actions to communicate. The sense of “Home” (or Na’au) from sensory motor relearning steps attention back away from “out there” to a deeper sense of the heart. The whole child comes into the situation and challenges “out there” feel less intense, while curiosity finds a new way to response.
Still no improvement? Motor Patterns May Play an Important Role
For some children physical activity or attention “inside to out there” may not change behavior. What could be more important is how he/she feels inside. Motor patterns can lock them into habitual behavior controlling our emotions instead of us. A trained Feldenkrais Practitioner observes how movement explains the inner dialogue stuck in a pattern dysfunctional to comprehending or listening. Wellness Through Movement (WTM) games integrate body-to-brain communication: physical to emotional and emotional to mental, and mental and emotional back to physical. How we move (or motor circuits) reflect habitual ways of “thinking.” Scientific American Mind says, “Motor circuits (muscle movement) doesn’t just feed thinking THEY ARE THINKING.” WTM reeducates motor circuits to improve sense of self thus self-regulation and self-help. When mind and body work together character improves, and sense of self and awareness to one’s uniqueness is honored.
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