With one house and 5 people, the volume can get very intense, space can feel sparse and my sanity can feel at its end. What can we do? (parent, of 3 kids – COVID-19 Time)
During these months, Moving Moments will bring you specific stories geared towards supporting our needs during, what’s being called Social Distancing. While we are physically distant from extended family, friends, work environment and school – we are still emotionally connected, still physically connected to our children, and we may even feel closer than ever.
So, how to get stillness and quiet in close proximity with the same people (children) everyday? Listen how, Cole, Lydia, and Matt learned about their own needs, noise, and novel spaces!
During our virtual sessions, I got an immediate tour of their household. Matt, the youngest shared how he had no room for his little body with toys, clothes, paperwork and devices. Their parents concerned with active kids, dishes, assignments (in progress) and clothes, to a name a few, added how the space seemed to be tightening over the past weeks.
With movement, we started a game called “free space” I watched and instructed each child 1) create a pose and stand still 2) take turns to find the spaces around the posed person that are not occupied (the space between fingers, legs, the space around the back, and under arms) 3. Play with close and far distances. The children laughed trying to find larger areas away from one another, and small intimate spots that no one else had found yet. Their mother and father, even stepped in and created even more opportunities. The best part was the kids and parents had permission and guidance to challenge them in using their bodies, words, and reading one another’s facial cues/gestures to plan and move accordingly. Their parents expressed that simple words like “may I” and “I see you and now” seemed to translate into further discussions during the week – “I smiled hearing my kids use kind words and thoughtful choices before moving on one another,” said their mother.
Next, we took a scavenger hunt of the rooms. We identified and tapped into schooling subjects (math measurements/geometry/map reading) by looking at the house layout; Spelling and writing (as the kids wrote out the preferred spaces and different size of rooms); and even mindfulness (becoming aware of the expansiveness in such small and varied spaces). Lydia realized if she made a blanket hang from her ceiling onto her bed – it created a fort that appeared to expand as tall as the sky. Cole, realized that under his bed had potential for storing treasures and building materials. And, Matt started to enjoy the varied options in closets, and even the shower for singing loudly in a sound proof space.
I had them connect during our session to explore sounds and play movement games like Simon Says but with the added suggestions of turn taking, voice tones, and room locations. By becoming experts at variation, choices, creativity, and play – the family moved together with new paths for purposeful movement.
During the days following, both parents reported that as soon as the movement, sounds, and space were explored, there seemed to be a shift. “The kids will find separate spaces just on their own. I didn’t even know Matt was reading, when I found him in my closet, (a space we agreed was available for reading),” said his mother.
During life changes, comes new pathways for connection. When we view challenges as insights into the areas we need to explore – a theme can be investigated (ie. Space/Sounds), and our intentions, wants and needs will be met. The silence we are seeking will be found. And, the noise along the way, just might even be enjoyable!!
Everyday, I work with children of all ages and their families to support their communication styles, movement choices, and beautiful connections! During this Pandemic, therapeutic support and resources are available! For more ways to learn how to embody parenting and support your child through life, Email me at email@example.com.
Please Note: These stories are based on real moments but all names, ages, and identifying information has been changed to ensure confidentiality and safety for all individuals involved. The events are a composite of related scenarios used to illustrate the work; bringing understanding to the benefits of supporting children through a mind/body connection.