Child development: moving to grow!

Your baby never stands still? Rejoice! The movement is essential to allow the proper physical and intellectual development of a small when urbanization and screens transform our daily life!

Child development: moving to grow!
Child development: moving to grow!

To grow, a child needs to move!

“From the birth, and until the age of 7 years, explains the psychomotrician Pascale Pavy, the body is central to the development of the child. His thought is built when he has human actions. “As the baby moves, touches, feels, experiences, his brain accomplishes his work of connection and memory. Moreover, it is under severe test! He must always re-evaluate his knowledge: hardly has he integrated that he is endowed with two arms that these grow: it must be done to their new size. Hence the clumsiness, so frequent at that age! Building a tower of cubes, climbing to an outdoor play structure, is solving a problem: is this cube bigger than this one? Is it better to put my leg there, or to turn over to grab this rope? In seeking its solutions, by trial/error, the child constructs his thought. Moreover, contrary to what one often imagines, it is extremely concentrated when it moves. The movement also allows him to acquire landmarks in space (above, below, between, besides), to evaluate distances, to coordinate his gestures and his gaze, as many skills that will have to be mobilized to learn writing, for example. This applies to all types of gestures, even those that seem trivial. For example. This goes for all kinds of gestures, even those that seem small. For example. This applies to all types of gestures, even those that seem trivial.

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Small gestures essential to develop skills

  • Marion Ysebaert is an occupational therapist who describes her job as: “It is a matter of helping children to be as independent as possible in their daily life and school.” She regrets that cerebral, as well as gestural solicitations, are that the latter nourish the intellect: “Button his shirt, make his laces, cut out his meat … To save time, parents prefer the scratch and zips. By forgetting that these small gestures are essential, including to develop more academic skills. “
  • When we look at it, we mainly complain about the “agitation” of our children, when it is not appropriate to the situation. The physiotherapist Isabelle Gambet-Drago observes that today’s children are agitated at times when they want to “keep quiet” (at the table, in class …), but move less, in the together than previous generations. Physical activities used to be more inescapable: one walked to school, whereas today one jumps from one car to the classroom and then the other way around, without having walked. We ran, we climbed trees, we biked, we “unwrapped” outside … The urbanization of lifestyles, the appearance of screens “that occupy children, the acceleration of everyday life … have an impact on physical movement. For example, who among us has not been annoyed by the attraction of his child for urban furniture? No time to wait for him to climb the bench, to walk along the wall, to throw all the stones … To climb up the wall represents for the children an apprenticeship of ” complexity that involves precision, balance, victory over apprehension, self-confidence, concentration … All the skills and qualities that are fundamental to “being well in one’s sneakers” child grows up a little every day, in his head as in his body!

Screens: an obstacle to movement

The three professionals solicited for this file (physiotherapist, psychomotor and occupational therapist) each spontaneously spoke about the use of screens (tablets, video games) and the anxiety that it gives them. “The child needs to experience his environment with his own body,” recalls Pascale Pavy. If one reduces its environment to the two dimensions of a screen – and the name “3D” or “tactile” has something lying – which gives it much pleasure, it develops speed to the detriment of the body, he finds it hard to concentrate and accept the expectation and effort. “Isabelle Gambet-Drago adds:” Today, adults may be paying less attention to the child’s body. It is occupied by a screen when formerly it was given a piece of modeling clay.

Games and massages to do together to be well on his body from head to toe

The game of pizza

No ideas for massaging? Pretend to prepare a pizza: your child is lying on his stomach (or kneeling) and presents his back (the pizza dough). You will need it, knead it … by commenting on all your gestures: “I spread out the dough (you press with your thumbs) and I go to the edges (you overflow on the flanks), then I add the tomato sauce (you vary the gestures and ingredients), olives, peak spike, etc. “Once the pizza is cooked, you have to cut it (you draw” parts “with your index finger). Then you reverse the roles.

Rolling hugs

We take the child on his knees, his shoulders against our breast, on a couch, and we clasp the knees of our arms so that it forms a ball, which can be swung back and forth. The pelvis is well retroverted, that is to say backward, and the movement calm. Even back work is lying on a carpet. The child can then catch his feet like a baby and roll back and forth, or on one side and the other, massaging his lower back. If the parents do it too, it is laughter assured!

Massage and massages

We can already teach the child to be self-sufficient: first the toes, one by one, then we go up, etc. to the head. You can also massage the child, but he can also massage you: “When the child masses the hand of the other, notes Isabelle Gambet-Drago, he uses his hand, and it also benefits him. “Massages also improve the skill of the child. His “blunders” are often because he grows up faster than he incorporates his body pattern.

Super powers of the hand

One may have the impression that touch sticks to the surface of things. Is that true? To check it, make this game. Choose a few different objects: a fruit or a large vegetable squash type, a wooden object, cloth … Blindfolded, have your child touch the object. In just one contact, he can evaluate his temperature and texture. If he follows the contours, it informs him about his form and size. If he raises it, he can say whether it is dark or light. Moreover, if he presses it, he will check if it is hard or soft. After that, it seems obvious that a “tactile” tablet solicits only a tiny part of the touch. Besides, the movement of the index finger on a screen is minimal compared to the amplitude of the human arms.

Inside Outside

We sit down or lie down. We are silent for a while. Then we tell what happened, what we feel. The child may evoke what is going on outside him (“I heard a noise,” “something scratching” …), or inside of it (“my belly grows bigger than it diminishes,”I am cold,”” I thought of … “) … It is up to us to bring it, thanks to our questions, to become aware of other things. It is a game that can be done inside, but also outside. In this season, it is straightforward to feel that the air that is being inhaled is cold, but when it is exhaled, it has warmed up. Moreover, if one lies down in the snow, one feels the cold of the ground on his back and his belly the heat of the body. Just be attentive!

Practical advice: hunt down your legs!

Have you ever tried lunch sitting on a high stool without being able to put your feet on a bar? It is extremely unpleasant. This is what we impose very often on our children, at home, and at school. As the legs hang down, the pelvis tilts forward, the back is hollow, putting the body and the brain under tension: they experience an unconscious falling sensation, as if they were never completely safe. Physiologically, the body produces adrenaline (the stress hormone). Whereas when the pelvis can be retroverted, that is to say in a rearward tilt, oxytocin (the well-being hormone) takes over, and the calm comes. In practice, it is already possible to ensure that at home, children have seats adapted to their size, which allow them to put down their feet.