Parent • Caregiver

I NEED HELP…

( √ ) My Kids Don’t Listen…

I want something quick and easy to help my child listen…

Yes. If your child is five or older, something quick and easy to do is use deep exhalations to turn attention inside the body. Exhalations are often used by a parent to help a child calm down. The key is to use attention with the bodily sensations of the long exhalations. We aren’t just interested in calming the child. We are helping the child learn what is going on inside the body and how to express it.

If you take this process one step further, you will shift behavior.  Ask the child to put their hand on the area of the body where the exhalation ends. The feeling of the hand is used to help the child’s attention stay inside the body. The child is then asked to share from that area of the body. 

When using “attention with breath,” the child’s mind and body become a sensation of one. This is the bridge of the body-mind. The awareness clarifies why the child can’t listen. Listening is more than just hearing sound waves through the ears. If something is troubling inside it is hard to listen.

Once experienced

  1. The child becomes aware of what is going on emotionally  
  2. The emotion calms down with attention inside the body 
  3. And the physical feeling inside is used to guide the child’s attention 
  4. Within seconds the child is able to shift emotions and share
  5. When they learn how to share, they will be able to listen better.

This practice needs to be first learned during a fun and playful time. When a child is stressed or upset, it’s harder to shift the emotion. For sustainable results add a sound to the exhalation and the physical sensation of the exhalation becomes more tangible. Instead of relying on the parent to calm the child, the child relies on what is felt inside the body. 

If a child can feel the physicalness of the emotion, he or she understands what needs to be communicated without getting so upset. If for some reason the child still cannot understand what is going on for him, he may need a lesson on internal spatial awareness. Here’s a lesson to help. (Personal Bubbles Home Breath lesson) or the child may be too young to sense his body (four years of age or younger).

There are two tracks to this process, a fast or long track  ( GSA ) This is a free program to help enhance your children’s wellbeing and personal growth. It teaches children honesty through an awareness in the tangible sense of the physical body.The physical sensations clarify for them what they are doing or trying to say). The fast track helps for temporary relief. The long track will improve character and disposition, and adapt a body-mind awareness into daily living so improvements continue as the child ages. 

My words are not getting through to my child…

There could be many reasons a child isn’t listening. Often, if the child is not listening, it is not intentional. Younger children feel through their bodies to listen. For children, listening is a whole-body experience. The body carries the dialogue of sensations, both physical and psychological. For example, children love to get buried in the sand, roll in the waves, play through movement but are not aware this movement is helping development and listening. READ MORE

The WTM Bridge is a new orientation of enhancing the biological nature of listening and thinking. The practice is not a tool but becomes a natural way of how the body wants to work with the brain. When the body-mind experiences this awareness, the brain, body, and mind all work better. Become aware of this interconnection, and we can enhance it. The Wellness Through Movement (WTM) methods give the experience of how.   

What is essential to ask if you are a parent or teacher is, “Could my child be feeling something in the body that is getting in the way of listening?” Here is a checklist If your child is hyperactive look “(√) My children are climbing the walls…”

I need to know what to do when my child isn’t listening…

The program, Get Sensational Attention (GSA) has been proven effective in increasing the ability to listen, lengthen attention, and healthy wellbeing. The GSA program is not actually “a program” but a culture. Once learned, it weaves into any school, classroom, or family culture. This program offers steps on opening a child’s inner world of the body to an emotional reaction. Questions in the User Guide develop a child’s ability to communicate clearer. 

Where do I begin?

Imagine, if in seconds, children discover from a place within themselves how to calm their emotions, focus their attention, and increase their ability to reason. Most importantly, when children feel their bodily sensations they understand how they need to learn.

They stay engaged, and  learn how to become self-directed learners.  Children learn a sense of their uniqueness. Usually, “a sense of self” isn’t discovered until after college. If they learn this as a child their own uniqueness improves as they age.

Try This. There’s a Fast Track and a whole program.

“Get Sensational Attention” video program introduces
the mind to the thinking body. 

Not Just “Movement” Games

A New Sensory Self Awareness

Learn how to give your child awareness of how they think

with games and movement.

Amazon

Paypal

( √ ) My Kids are Climbing the Walls…

Why are our children fidgety and need to move? Imagine being a bundle of energy and being told to sit still. We need to be able to control our children but telling them to sit still can feel to them like a time bomb ready to explode. Getting exercise or movement releases energy but there is a more sustainable solution. Most parents understand that children’s movement is important. If you build on the concept that movement patterns have an internal dialogue between the brain and body, the brain development and well-being improve. The methods we teach have been tested and proven successful. ( Methods)

I want to know what movement has to do with emotional and mental behavior

This topic is the key to the uniqueness of the Wellness Through Movement. Imagine movement as something more than just physical. Movement in the human body is trying to teach us how to grow. Children have a lot going on inside the body. The body has a dialogue of sensations like soundwaves. The feeling of a body is like blaring and distracting sound waves of sensations on a loudspeaker. The results? Children’s bodies are taking over the mind but they are not aware of it. When the children feel their bodies they can sense how the movement is trying to teach them. As a parent, you try to wonder about their movements. The movement is trying to orchestrate learning. In the movement there is a connection between children’s emotions and how they learn. In Wellness Through Movement, we learn how to watch movements to understand how to teach the whole child. 

Astonishing changes happen in childrens’ behaviors. Some of the results range from having longer attention spans to being simply kinder and supportive with their peers. With the movement program, even physical conditions improved. With time, the children resourced the methods from the program on their own when needing to handle stress, violence, or depression. 

The most significant and sustainable results happen with children between the ages of five and eight; however, adults also reported benefiting from the process. Here’s the Get Sensational Attention program, an intro program that can help. 

In full disclosure, please understand organizational movement lessons will be necessary for severely challenging behavior. Here are some lessons in this book A New Sensory Self Awareness, but best seek professional help for these children. To find a Feldenkrais practitioner near you check here.

For professionals in research and movement, here’s a link to lessons that we used: Part I & Part II (TBA) of the Wellness Through Movement program. To learn more about the Biomechanics of Psychology and how we bridge the work into research and schools.

Tip: Reframe the idea of movement as the witness between intention versus action

When reading the lesson, reframe the idea of movement as just an exercise of muscles and bones. Think of the senses (sound, touch, smell, taste, & feeling) and the physical sensation to emotions and the body’s structure. All of these effects create “movements.” With these types of movements, a baby doesn’t have to “think.” They are bundles of sensations— sensations that educate the development.

Give me things I can do as a parent of a hyperactive child…

First, ask yourself, “Can I slow down and just observe my child?”

·       Wonder, are there patterns of movement being repeated? 

·       Is there an awkwardness in a child’s balance or coordination? 

·       Could the way my child moves possibly show me an alternative solution to help her behavior? 

·        Could there be a biological need in the action that is trying to calm the hyperactivity?

(Biomechanics Psychology)

Understanding these biological needs takes time and patience. Seek professional advice to assist you. READ MORE (SCIENCE, FELDENKRAIS, Checklist)

I want an alternative to medication to help my child…

There is an alternative to using sedative medications to manage your child’s behavior. Hyperactive children have little awareness of their behavior and how it disturbs others. Think of your child’s behavior not as misbehavior but as behavior that shows how to uncover the answers of what type of help he or she needs. The movement reveals the internal dialogue between the body and brain. When you help children’s brains feel and reeducate what is happening in their bodies, it clarifies how their actions affect others. The WTM methods help children learn the bridge between their actions and their brains by first teaching spatial awareness inside. ( SCIENCE and FELDENKRAIS

I know my hyperactive child has something special…

Children who have a lot of energy have a gift. The question is, “Can my children learn to use these gifts?” Let’s watch what the body is trying to do to learn about these gifts. The overly sensitive children that need to move are given sensory stimulus activities or medications to calm their systems. These tactics, though valuable for a time, are not sustainable. 

Hyperactivity is like being a live wire without the ground wire. The results? Children feel over sensitized with no place to go. Being sensitive is not a problem if the children’s nature is grounded. There are road blocks between movement, senses, and intention when children aren’t grounded. Imagine children having all kinds of energy, but their bodies won’t behave because they just want to jump, tumble, climb, and run. Think of their movement as a morse code trying to describe how they need to feel whole. The sensitivity is trying to use movement to synchronize the senses with feeling and thinking. 

Over eight years, every child within the spectrum (hyperactive, ADD, and ADHD) that we worked with needed a sense of groundedness and stability. Feeling stable on the ground helps children sense READ MORE where they are in space and their relationship to the circumstances they face. Children’s development starts from the feet up. Researchers, Esther Thelen and Linda Smith showed that if you suspend a toddler in a swing and offer a ball, the toddler reaches for the ball with the feet as if the feet are hands. (Thelen and Smith, 1994). Movements from the toes and feet are primal reflexes of motion to engage the feet into the legs and lower body. The lower body alignment helps with posture. The intelligence of movement in the feet is trying to organize the alignment of the legs into the pelvis and spine. This is how a child finds stability and why groundedness is so important. 

When a child feels grounded, the senses can now plug into the whole child, mind, body, and spirit. Getting grounded orchestrates and synergizes the senses so they work together. Children that once could not function well in their environment or with themselves came into balance. They become aware of the effects they have on others and learn their differences have gifts.There are lots of examples in the book A New Sensory Self Awareness but let me give you a few tips.

We begin to teach children the sense of groundedness by first finding their bodies. We do this process by combining attention with sensation. We ask the child to lie down and tell us what is touching and not touching the floor. If the child can’t sense much, or lie still enough to sense anything, we have the child notice this.  (For example refer to this lesson: p. Pancake body, finding an internal spatial awareness, A New SENSORY Self Awareness book ).

The second step is to use the tendencies of body movements. Certain movements help the body find ways to connect the muscles and bones to the senses. For example, if a child likes to climb, the movement may be trying to find parts of the body that can help with balance, coordination, and stability. WTM movement would then start with a GI Jo crawl. The child is on her belly and tries to crawl like a lizard. The crawl will reveal if the feet or legs are engaged with the floor. Are the right and left legs both being used to propel the body forward? The lizard crawl helps the child sense how the lower body parts work or don’t work together.

If there is an awkwardness in this movement, the key is found for what kind of motion is needed. Movement organization is not easy to accomplish if the symptoms of the child are severe. Extremely dysfunctional children need expert hands to help the child’s body sense the organization of motion between body parts. (FIND Feldenkrais Practitioner)? A functional integration lesson (FI®) uses tactile stimulus from a hands-on session sending movement through the body. The sessions give these gifted children functional ways to use their energy throughout their bodies. In other words, thinking and doing cooperate, and behavior becomes calm and productive. (More A New SENSORY Self Awareness book – Part I, and Part II {TBA)

ReCap

NEEDS missing in hyperactive children

1.    Groundedness 

2.    Coordination and balance from their lower body

If not grounded or coordinated, how not being grounded can affect cognitive function see this link (Biomechanics Psychology, Check List, Feldenkrais Practitioner)

I want to know if my child may develop a learning or behavioral disorder…

YES! This is a very good and KEY question! Here is a Checklist (below) Pay attention to the “5 points” statements. Keep track of your number of points and there will be an explanation below. For some of the statements, you may need to ask the parents.

NOTE: The Checklist describes general areas to look for with a child or grand child’s behavior and help seek the right professionals for help. The Checklist is not meant to take the place of seeking professional help.

Check List

1.    My child is extremely sensitive with one or more senses that she can’t function effectively in the classroom (such as sounds, light, or touch). (5 points)

2.    The positions and alignment of my child’s feet are different. (2 points)

3.    My child does not make noises when trying to verbalize. (3 point)

4.    When my child crawls, climbs, or walks, he is not coordinated from one leg to the other. (5 points key)

5.    When my child was an infant, she had a difficult time rolling from the belly to the back. The rolling motion was like a solid log instead of a spiral movement. (2 points)

6.    When my child was an infant, she could not move to a sitting position on both sides in the same way or without any help. (3 points)

7.    When my child was an infant, and even now, he does not use his feet against the floor in a GI Jo crawl (belly on the ground moving like a lizard). (5 points)

8.    When my child was an infant, she did not crawl much, if at all, before walking. (5 points)

9.    When my child crawled, he did not move his legs and arms in homolateral and cross lateral movements. When the leg and arm move together forward and back from one side this is a homolateral movement (right arm to right leg). When the arm and leg move forward and back from opposite sides, this is cross lateral movement (right arm to left leg). (5 points)

10. When I watch my child climb up or down stairs, there is an awkwardness in her balance. (3 points)

11. My child exhibits strange behaviors such as repetitive movements. (4 points)

12. My child changed behavior suddenly. For example, stop talking, or isolate and withdraw from a group. (3 points)

What should I do if my child meets any of the criteria on the checklist?

Each question has a value next to it. If the answer is yes to any of the “5” point statements, seek professional advice. Look for a therapist that knows how to re-education motor patterns from a neurological and psychological level. Both the brain and the body movements must be integrated. If the child has many of the symptoms, I highly recommend a Feldenkrais® practitioner on the team. Feldenkrais® practitioners should be able to integrate the work of the other professionals. You can also contact me for a consultation (info@wellnessthroughmovement.com). If the symptoms in the child are severe, you would want a team that consists of a development specialist, doctor, Feldenkrais® practitioner, and counselor. With scores of 12 or higher, get the child into a developmental movement program (such as the federal funded program here in Hawaii, “Tutu’s and Me” program and other programs near you). These types of movement classes may help: free dance, yoga games, or tumbling. It is important to address the issue as soon as possible.

Where do I begin?

Imagine, if in seconds, children discover from a place within themselves how to calm their emotions, focus their attention, and increase their ability to reason. Most importantly, when children feel their bodily sensations they understand how they need to learn.

They stay engaged, and  learn how to become self-directed learners.  Children learn a sense of their uniqueness. Usually, “a sense of self” isn’t discovered until after college. If they learn this as a child their own uniqueness improves as they age.

Try This. There’s a Fast Track and a whole program.

“Get Sensational Attention” video program introduces
the mind to the thinking body. 

Not Just “Movement” Games

A New Sensory Self Awareness

Learn how to give your child awareness of how they think

with games and movement.

Amazon

Paypal

( √ ) My Child Gets So Emotional …

I am in a market, and my kid starts screaming. Help!

As a parent, when our child screams and cries it’s our worst nightmare, especially if we are in a public place. There is one thing you can do right away in the market. You can stop and notice what you are feeling inside. Your children feel your energy and it can fuel the problem. A way to immediately change the situation is to help the child take long exhalations and most importantly, feel inside the body to explain her needs.

Learning this awareness in the body and doing exhalations together with the child needs to be practiced long before the grocery store. The earlier you start with the child, the better. Teaching children how to explain themselves needs to be learned long before being in a public place. 

The first step is to ask yourself, “Is this type of tantrum a familiar way of how my child communicates her needs?” If it is, that is something you need to look at. 

This very easy and simple method anyone can do and was tested with hundreds of children who were upset in an elementary school setting. At our pilot school, Kohala Elementary, Principal Garcia applied the method and he claimed, “I’ll preach this (technique) until the day I die.” It takes seconds to do. Just use long exhalations and the sound of a word. The WTM program uses the word “Home.” Here’s a link to the details of what we did. The use of sound and exhalations helps children turn their attention inside and feel their bodies. Feeling where the exhalation ends, children put their hands on that part of the body. They are then asked to share how they feel from there. Children shift their emotional reactions and share what is going on in a centered (yet still upset) way. 

Principal Garcia used this technique whenever an upset child was sent to his office. He believes that this technique is what helped stop bullying, improve social-emotional wellbeing, and the school environment. After our pilot program was completed, the school was able to continue on its own and Principal Garcia reported there was no bullying. 

Please Note: If the technique doesn’t work, there is more that needs to be understood about how the body affects thinking, behavior, and communication. Refer to the book or the webpage, “Biomechanics of Psychology” to learn more and what may help. (Rosasco-Mitchell, 2013, pp.13, 34, and 60)

Here’s How to Teach Communication

Learning to verbalize starts as early as one day old. Check out the astounding research done in 1945 with hundreds of children at an orphanage in Hungary with Magda Gerber. (RIE approach).)The orphanage’s children showed signs of understanding their caretakers as early as infancy. What were the results of learning how to communicate? Babies seemed to wait calmly for their needs to be met. The training starts with the parent or caregiver.

As parents, we have to remember children learn to communicate by feeling energy. Think of them as balls of sensation. Their senses, keen to the outer world, pick up every sound, light, texture, and action around them. The words have meaning according to the energy behind the word. The intonations, gestures, volume, or speed of the word all find ways into the meaning. 

In Gerber’s orphanage, caretakers talked to infants as if the infants understood. If the baby needed a bottle, the caretaker would say something like this: “I know you are hungry. Please, you have to be patient. I am getting your bottle.” Meanwhile, the caretaker’s intonation is tender, patient, and calm as she  animates what she is saying. For example, as she is talking, she shows the baby the bottle being prepared. This is not easy to do as a parent, but as a guiding force you will calm the child.

The process works for babies even one day old. I observed this when I took care of newborns from drug addicted mommas. Typically, if a baby is screaming, a feeling of panic in the adult can amplify the situation. From the response of the adult, the baby affirms what they feel is correct. Without thinking, the baby’s body senses if the adult is panicking and may feel, “Surely not getting my bottle is a life and death situation!” As a result, the baby learns that screaming and crying is how to get her needs met.

Age Groups

Babies

The parent’s words are secondary to the parent’s energy. Watch children’s movements and physical reactions and you will see their energy. Are their actions displaying a need and can you as the parent put words to that need? Long before the brain understands words, the baby’s body will show movements in every emotion and physical discomfort (hunger, tiredness, or uncomfortable positions). Remember, we are trying to help a child learn to communicate their needs. The brain learns words from the feeling in the emotions and physical sensations. With every emotion and physical sensation, there is an experience of movement. From the experience in the body and the parent putting words to the feeling, a child finds ways to identify the words.

 Children three to eight years old

It is crucial to first help children become aware of how to feel their bodies. It’s hard to understand what is meant by “feel their bodies.” Ask any child to lay down and tell you what parts of their bodies are touching or not touching the floor. The three year olds won’t know what you are talking about. The five year olds will often say, “Nothing is touching the floor.” Surprisingly, research also found most adults could not feel the details of their bodies.( Body Ownership Rubber Hand Illusion)

Children, like all people, need to be trained to feel their bodies to become aware of what they are doing. In a playful way we teach children to turn attention inside the body.

For example, trace their bodies on a piece of paper. Ask them what they feel is touching the floor. If they can’t feel anything, just tell them to notice that. Then do a movement activity and have them lie on the floor again and notice the differences. In this way you are teaching from-the-body-to the brain. There are examples of more movement games like Personal Bubbles Freeze Dance in the book. (Get Sensational Attention program) Once the children learn to feel the tangible sensations of their bodies, understanding their emotions or thoughts is easier for them. For children, words are the language of the head and the body is the  language of the heart. WTM lessons teach the head and the heart to develop simultaneously. Then children learn from both their heads and their hearts.

Where do I begin?

Imagine, if in seconds, children discover from a place within themselves how to calm their emotions, focus their attention, and increase their ability to reason. Most importantly, when children feel their bodily sensations they understand how they need to learn.

They stay engaged, and  learn how to become self-directed learners.  Children learn a sense of their uniqueness. Usually, “a sense of self” isn’t discovered until after college. If they learn this as a child their own uniqueness improves as they age.

Try This. There’s a Fast Track and a whole program.

“Get Sensational Attention” video program introduces
the mind to the thinking body. 

Not Just “Movement” Games

A New Sensory Self Awareness

Learn how to give your child awareness of how they think

with games and movement.

Amazon

Paypal