How can I learn math? Will my child learn to read? Will my child be empathic? What will I be when I grow up? (parent , Veronica & child, Stevie age 6)
When I meet with educators, professionals and parents regarding child development and how to maintain optimal health; Veronica and Stevie’s questions are echoed across the conference room. Endless questions on the outcome of a child – relationships, learning, and career.
So how can I confidently support an adult and child to see that all things are possible?
- Stay in the here and now
- Understand that the mind/body work to organize information to decide whether to go towards (safe) or away (threat) from the situation, body, person.
- Embodied connections lead towards more integrated experience which is optimal for health and learning.
I cann’t just decide to be a reader – I have to read. I can’t just decide to be empathic – I need to connect with others through and with my body movements.
For Stevie – she had all the answers in front of her and within her body choices. Stevie was able to experience the D.A.N.C.E of learning and therapeutic growth.
Together, Stevie and Veronica joined to witness their individual movements (D: Differentiate) – how, for example, in order for Stevie to listen, she would move her fingers gently in her lap, that her head would turn to the side and she would sit up tall. These individual movements were differentiated (seperately looked at and appreciated).
She would then, (A: Attach) these movements together to raise her hand for a question, or settle her back down lower to release her muscles.
Next, her mother would communicate verbally what she saw in her daughter (N: Narrate). By narrating about her daughter’s body movements – Stevie was aware of her choices and could feel safe in her learning space, she felt validated, and she found joy in the learning experience.
Stevie and her mother, brought (C-Consciousness) awareness of this process happening in her body – feeling her smile and her breath.
And lastely, (E-Empathic Engagement) Stevie and her mother had engaged with one another which promoted more communication, and curiosity for continued learning and connection.
By using the lens of D.A.N.C.E the child and mother are able find nurturing and health in every moment of learning and development. The interactions are meaningful and the learning process is valued.
When children move through their world, we adults often take these frequently occuring experiences and see them as common place, “a given”, no big deal. Yet, if we can slow down and grasp the vastness of each interaction, each moment of learning, and all the movements that are displayed – then our children are healthful and there are endless limits for learning and achievement!
Everyday I work with children of all ages and their families to support their development and connection to one another! For more ways to learn how to embody parenting and support your child through life Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at (310) 966-0700 to schedule your time.
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.