I love it when a parent tells me that their child has started to ask for some of the movements. During my sessions with kids through Brain Fit Academy (since we are a movement based program) we do a lot of different movements. Some of these movements are ones that my clients really enjoy and feel good to their bodies. As I wrote about in the post “The Body Knows- it Just Might Need a Reminder”, the brain and body knows what it needs. So, when we introduce children to certain movements there can be an immediate liking to them. Kids are often drawn to certain exercises and will want to do more of them.
One of the movements I find that gets requested a lot (especially at the beginnning) is one we call “milkshakes”. Milkshakes is a rhythmic movement that can have a very calming effect on the nervous system. I have had many kids that literally seem to “melt” when doing milkshakes during a session. We use the movement to help integrate the MORO reflex so it’s typically one of the first activities we do with clients.
MORO is the “fight” part of the Fight/Flight/Freeze response and an unintegrated MORO can definitely contribute to sleep disturbances. I guess that’s why so many kids like to do milkshakes at bedtime- it calms the system to prepare for sleep.
I know that for my own son, milkshakes is one of the movements he loved the most. He asked for it. In fact, for a long time we had a routine of about four rhythmic movements that we would do with him every night and milkshakes was number one on the list. It was a movement that always worked to calm his system and help him to sleep.
In fact- it still does. When school started back up this year and there was a lot on his mind, he started having some difficulty sleeping. We put our milkshakes routine back into bedtime and he began sleeping better starting that first night!
Like I said- I love it when kids start asking for the movements because I know that it is their brain and body telling me (or their parents) something. They are telling us that that particular movement is what they need. They recognize on a conscious (or maybe subconscious) level that the movement is doing something to help them- even if they can’t quite articulate it.
Part of my job as a coach, of course, is to guide the famiy with those “asks”. Helping parents to know when it is the best time to do particular movements. Teaching them how to do them with their child, and revising the plan as we go.
My client asking for movements is a start to them recognizing what they need and noticing what feels good to their system.
I encourage my clients when they ask for particular movements.
I encourage it, I look forward to it, and I embrace it…