Adapting To A New Body

Growing up, I recall one strange day when I crashed my head into a low hanging horizontal beam of the block of flat where I lived.  I’ve run below that beam a thousand times with no problem, until that day.  It wasn’t obvious to me that I had grown taller.

As a mom of 2 boisterious little boys, I used to grab them by the arms when they misbehaved.  They would struggle to free themselves of my hold, but I was strong enough to overpower them.  But one strange day, the same struggle with the elder son resulted in me being knocked over.  It wasn’t obvious to him that he had grown bigger and stronger. The same happened with my younger son.

There was a season when the boys were unbelievably clumsy and kept hurting their toes because they kicked the legs of our home furniture.  They just weren’t used to their new large feet, and the distance that needed 4 steps to cover, now needed only 3 and a half steps.

When we estimate something, we do so in the context of past experiences, be it length, mass, volume, distance or time.  Unconsciously, the most common gauging tools we rely on as points of reference, are our own bodies.  And since children’s bodies are changing so quickly, their perceptions will need to continuously adapt to match.  What they thought was heavy one year ago, may not be heavy today.  An arduous journey last year may be enjoyable today.

The point I’m getting at is this: you need to continuously revisit the conversations on measurement and comparison with your children.  They need to adjust their ideas of heavy, and far, and big and other adjectives, with reference to the new bodies that they now have.

Such conversation will help your child grow in spatial and situational awareness.  When they know that they have grown in strength, and are able to intelligently identify that which is weaker, they will be more willing to be helpful.

Happy Parenting!

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