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.