“This is about you”, I said to my 10 year old client. You tell me when you’re ready to stop. We were doing an assisted movement (which is just like it sounds- a movement in which the child needs assistance in order to complete it) and I wanted him to know that it was up to him to tell me when he felt like he was “done”. He- his brain and body- really seemed to be enjoying the movement and I let him continue until he gave me the word that he was all set.
Whenever I first start working with clients at Brain Fit, I make sure that they understand that the sessions are about them- for them. I want them to know that it’s not up to me to choose the activities. We rely on the body for that- using muscle checking or letting the client pick activities they are drawn to. And then once we are doing an activity or exercise how long we do it is also up to them.
I will tell you that there are certainly some children that find that kind of “freedom” a little daunting at first- especially in the beginning of coming to Brain Fit or if they are deep in the fight/flight/freeze response. In which case I would certainly help to guide them more. But generally speaking, it’s up to them to decide.
Having said all of that, I would like to add however, that this doesn’t mean the complete session is run by the child. That’s not the case. We have a structure that we follow. That structure may vary slightly depending on the age and needs of the child, but there is structure none-the-less. And giving the child choice within that structure is also important. That’s why they are allowed to choose the order of our movement time- the “work”, “play”, and “rest” portion.
You may be wondering- why is this so important? Why is important to let the children guide the session- for them to have so much “power”?
Well, I’ll tell you the way I see it:
First of all, we trust the body. Plain and simple- at Brain Fit Academy, we trust the body to tell us what we need to know.
Secondly, don’t kids spend the majority of their life being told what to do and how to do it? I know I’m guilty of that. As a parent- telling my kids what I would like them to do. And it certainly happens at school, right?
Brain Fit is a place where the kids learn to listen to their own bodies. They learn to tune-in to their own needs and to do what feels right for them. They start to understand what they need at that moment. And all of that- is empowering!
We are empowering and preparing kids with skills that they can used the rest of their lives. We aren’t expecting our clients to leave Brain Fit and never have a bad day or to not run into any road blocks along the way of life.
What we are doing is giving our clients the tools to enable them to listen to their own body. We are giving them the “power” and freedom to tune-in to what feels right for them at the time. And we are teaching them ways to help themselves.
We are empowering these children because it’s not about me- and it’s not about you.
It’s about them.