Some of my favourite memories of childhood and adulthood are of moving – the rope swing into the river, balancing on the horses rump, hooking my knee around the bar at school and spinning round and round and round, climbing trees, climbing mountains, riding my bike, learning to kayak with my husband, teaching my children how to use a swing, going on a Ferris Wheel for the first time at 43…
Memories are not the only great reason to move though. As an Occupational Therapist I see many of the difficulties that people come to us with as having their foundations in a lack of movement. Our children learn to manage their bodies, eyes and hands as they move through space and manage the risks that come with movement. The reflexes that we are born with need movement and conscious control of that movement to be integrated so that they no longer control how we move as we explore and take mastery over our world.
Even as adults we need to move – to maintain our joints, our muscle condition, our balance and stability, our fitness and health.
The Box is still the best part
Adults the world over have wondered what was wrong with the gift they chose after they watch the child receive it joyfully and 5minutes later be captivated not by the toy, but by the box it came in… I sometimes wonder, would my children be just as blessed if all I gave them was a bunch of wrapped boxes?
It’s not the fact that the box looks better or that the box is cooler or that they got a box just like Jimmy down the street. The box (as funny as it sounds) allows a child to step out of the box and get creative. The possibilities are endless when all you have is a box – build with it, fill it, pull it apart and use it for a roof over another box house. The imagination is the limit and the child becomes the architect, the astronaut, the artist, the shopkeeper or the banker, the designer of a new way of doing things or being.
This is the gift of a box – to empty expectation and simply watch as our children do what they are best at. And that may not be what we expect! Our children don’t need us to be managers, they need leaders who inspire them to be more than they think, coaches who remind them they can do what has until now been called impossible, Mums and Dads who allow them to be bigger than the box of our expectations.
Have fun exploring the possibilities with your little people and watch them expand their world!