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Is your child jumping off the couch?  Running and crashing into people and objects, seemingly intentional?

Each child requires a certain amount of activity and proprioception input into his body to feel comfortable and well-regulated.  Without this, a child may behave aggressively, act controlling or react impulsively.  Imagine if you were sitting in an all-day meeting with no chance to move around  – you start tapping your pen against the table, rattling your feet and shifting uncomfortably.  These are unconscious attempts to regulate your nervous system so that you can continue paying attention and behaving in a socially appropriate manner.  Children don’t have as much practice at regulating themselves as successfully as adults do and, in fact, may require a greater amount of input to bring their body chemistry into a balanced, well-behaved state.

When your child is demonstrating symptoms of poor regulation (e.g. tantrums, screaming, violent behaviors) try taking him swimming.  Being in water helps regulate brain chemicals to a more calm and alert internal state.  So go outside and enjoy the rest of our Minnesota summer in a pool, lake or river!

Or – if you’re reading this at night, help your child into a warm bath to obtain the same calm state.  Add a few drops of organic lavender oil for added relaxation.

4 Comments

  • […] her body.  Enveloping your child in a soothing rhythm calms the brain and creates a sense of ease internally.  Remember how you rocked her to sleep as an infant?  Use […]

  • mary dillard says:

    I am just responding to your “Water Soothes” comments. I am a social worker that works with children with mental health needs. In the past I have also taught swimming and my own children were very involved in swimming. I appreciate your comments about the calming aspects of water. Along with the water soothing children also can learn water safety and the skill of swimming. Most of the children I work with need work in skill development and being comfortable and safe in the water is a skill that can stay with them always. At the present time I am woring with a young child who has a great fear of water due to past traumatic event. Encouraging his mother to approach water tasks- bathing, playing in the water, running through a sprinkler, etc slowly has been challenging—- but the youngster is slowly becoming more comfortable with water in general. I know I am not just responding to what you wrote, but just felt the need to add a comment. Thanks.

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