Over the years, parents have come to see movement as a rebellious act or a tantrum that needs to be curtailed as early in the years as possible. The digital addiction is not helping. When children need to learn on their own through free play, parents disrupt the natural flow of learning through distractions such as gadgets and increase in screen time.
Scholarly studies show that new skills and aptitude are mapped out in the brain similar to basic body functions. This study is helping experts shed light to the connection of the human body, its environment and the learning process.
The study is certainly not new. Maria Montessori made a connection between Mind and Body in her book “The Secret of Childhood” released in 1936. Montessori said movement or physical activity is essential for intellectual growth through contacts with external reality. Through these contacts, we eventually acquire abstract ideas. And science is proving that she is right. A strong predictor of academic excellence was how young or early a child comes to enjoy movement and explore on their own.
Back to Basics
It’s time to get back to basics. In truth, we need not complicate things for kids to learn. They have all the tools they need to develop their potential on their own. A grown up’s job is to support the normal flow of how kids learn.
Moreover, kids are movement-based and it is against their nature to restrict this. Fidgeting and their excitement is not an act of rebelliousness but a natural reaction to what they need to do. In fact, children who are more active perform better on standard and cognitive exams.
Even more, parents and schools are fully capable to further encourage movement in their kids and environment. Establishing a movement-based curriculum is one while partnering with private institutions who have the same objectives. There are exercise programs for kids with modules for fun-filled activities to help kids explore how their bodies function in an unrestricted and compatible environment.
More importantly, kids’ support groups are able to come together to create a culture that loves movement. That being the case, movement becomes a positive and enjoyable experience for kids at home and in school.
Solving Juvenile Obesity
We have to admit that we lost ourselves to what is natural for kids and even adults. Parents and teachers punish kids who could not sit still in class, thus, alienating and curtailing these kids’ natural developmental growth.
As a result, obesity in kids is one of the most challenging health challenges of the century. Schools focus on academic modules 6 hours a day with hardly any time for play or physical activities. And we wonder why some kids cannot focus.
Physical activities or exercise not only has a developmental impact but also physiological effect on our bodies. Science explains that exercise increases oxygen to the brain which improves memory, concentration, and positive outlook. Only exercise coupled with a nutritious diet improve children’s problems with weight. Cardio-movement goes hand in hand with a good physical outlook, even among children. This eventually becomes good habits that children can learn at a young age, and obesity need not be a problem anymore.
It is perfectly normal for kids to want to move around, explore or what others call, fidget. Without digital devices, kids are normally out and about, exploring and discovering on their own. We need to stop making things complicated for our children to become who they are. And it need not be difficult for us to parent this way. This is how they learn and become individuals that we want them to be.