It’s a short way down from the head to the toes,
But if we don’t link them who knows where we goes.
In a nutshell, really, I’d like to say
I need your child to do more chores today.
A good way to begin here is to tell you about my dog Ollie. It’s a short tale about a long dog, he’s a dachshund.
I was watching him this morning walking across a low, single brick wall as he went for a jaunt around the garden. He balanced casually and then reversed a little to re-smell a spot he missed. He behaves a lot more like a cat than a dog when he moves.
Did you know that dogs often don’t have rear-end awareness? Yip, that is what it’s called. They have no idea that they have an extra pair of legs behind them. Out of sight, out of mind, I suppose. But my wall-walking dog seems to have figured his hindquarters out.
His brother, on the other hand, has not. He often slips off a step he is lying on or twists his back because he jumps down from things like he’s a bi-ped.
This unawareness of the brain to connect to these useful hind-limbs can cause them problems.
Humans work in a similar way.
Our brains need to be aware of all our body parts so that we can use those parts with control and dexterity. We need this for things like writing and tying our shoelaces, for understanding mechanics or doing long division, for walking on walls both forwards and backwards.
To give a dog some awareness of his posterior mechanical advantage you need to get him to use his legs more.
The same goes for our kids. They need to use their bodies.
Two things you can change right away are:
1 – sports
2 – chores
Sports like judo are excellent for body awareness. The pressure that judo provides in the holds serves a purpose, it helps the brain to connect to each part of the body. Awareness brings control and regulation to the nervous system.
Chores bring a whole lot more. Inclusion in the family life, connection, self-care, dexterity and most relevantly to this story, awareness of their whole system.
Here are a few I recommend, but you need to be mindful of their physical ability, age and dangers like swimming pools, the height and their reach, weight and dangerous substances. Then let them loose…
- Let them help you carry the shopping bags.
- Sweep or mop the floors together
- His job after dinner could be to wipe down surfaces
- The kids can wash the dogs
- Get them scrubbing anything
- Mow the lawn (for older kids) and work in the garden
- They can help lift heavy loads like the laundry when it is wet
- They can wash the car for pocket money
- Or move literally anything around
Do your own research online, there are plenty of fabulous chore charts and lists separated usefully by age. I’ll be talking a lot more about chores and how wonderful they are for your children in coming articles.
I’ll also be chatting about how children view chores, it is so different to adults. They actually want to do them if you do it right.
We’ll talk about reward charts and if they work.
But for now, get them a little more involved in things they can do. Don’t expect perfection, it scares them off, just get them started with something they can handle and go from there.
Oh, and don’t call them chores. Just ask them to help you carry in the shopping bags one day.
This does not in any way replace the advice of a professional therapist or medical practitioner. We do not claim to be medical or mental health professionals. Always seek professional advice if you are concerned and before starting in any new programme. You are participating voluntarily in this information and understand that there are no guarantees as to the outcome or results of this information. This information is simply intended to empower parents to seek their own answers and to include healthy routines and tasks into their home life.