Hello everyone! I’m right back now and the topic today is: What is the Importance of Self Awareness?
A child with self awareness (aka body awareness) can struggle anywhere – at home, outside in the playground, and of course in school too. In school there is a curriculum and a structure to follow which of course is very important for the discipline of the students but for certain children it is not so easy especially children with poor body awareness. (It might be hard for everyone, like it is for me…. but for them it is a real struggle)
What is the Importance of Self Awareness?
If your child is lacking the awareness of her own body he/she can have many difficulties in school. I will list some of them here and explain it in my article.
- Hard to sit still
- Bumping into other kids
- Difficulty learning right and left
- Reverses direction of letters and numbers
- Doesn’t use non dominant hand
- Motor Planning
Hard to sit still
For a kid that is not aware of his body, the only way he will feel alert and in control is by turning and moving from one side to another side.
We all know that school is a place where siting still is required and moving around can cause some unpleasant consequences. If the teacher expects them to sit like everyone else in the classroom it makes them feel frustrated and uncomfortable.
The same is at home, mom and dad are sitting at the dinner table and little Joey cannot sit still, he keeps on jumping around, from his chair to the table spilling drinks, and making a mess. This can be very frustrating for everyone involved.
Bumping into other kid
For kids that are not aware of themselves, when it comes to socializing with other kids especially during play time or while doing activities like arts & craft it can be really hard for them.
Here is an example: Sophia was playing with her friend Emma. Together, they built an enormous palace with Magna – Tiles. They were both thrilled but then, from one minute the next and one haphazard move from Sophia, all the hard work that both of them put in to build the palace went crashing down to the floor. Oh how many tears it caused! I’m sure you can imagine…
Difficulty learning right and left
Being able to recognize where your right hand is and where your left hand is very important. Most kids that are lacking body awareness are missing this skill.
I asked seven year old John “where is your right hand?” He started a guessing game – he stretched out his left hand and said “This one!” but a second later he decided that he is actually not so sure about this fact so he tried another guess. He straightened his right hand and with not so much confidence as before he said “This hand”. He thought for another second and quietly asked me “Can you tell me which one is my right hand? I don’t know.”
I child like John will have a very hard time in school too. Take an example like this: John’s class is learning Math. John’s teacher tells everyone to take out their Math Workbook. The teacher says “turn to page 47 and we will do all the examples on the left side of the page.” It will be a very big challenge for John and all children with poor body awareness to follow along with the teacher.
Reverses direction of letters and numbers
Because these kids do not understand where they are in space, it is very hard for them to understand the difference of the right and left side, as a result they will reverse letters and numbers.
They will confuse numbers and letters that are shaped the same but in a different direction. They have a very hard time learning b/d (lower case), p/q (also lower case) and the same is with 9/6 and 5/2.
Doesn’t use non dominant hand
We all have two hands but most of us have one hand that is the dominant hand. This is the stronger hand. By most people, their right hand is the dominant hand and the left hand is the non dominant hand. The dominant hand is the one that does most major tasks like writing, eating etc. Although the left hand is the non dominant hand it is still very helpful to the dominant hand.
Let me give you an example. When you write on a paper, if you are going to use only your dominant hand to write, what is going to happen? Exactly! The paper will rotate and turn upside down! The very simple thing here is to use the non dominant hand to hold the paper while you write with your dominant hand.
In the case of a child that is lacking body awareness they don’t use the non dominant hand to help out the dominant hand. This can result in messy handwriting and not being able to write on the line.
This actually also shows that they have issues with crossing the midline. (We will talk more about crossing midline in an upcoming post.)
If your child’s body awareness is not developed, his brain will not build up an image of his body. In order for motor planning to happen his brain needs to know where he is, in which position he is, and how he should move.
For example, when you want to pick up your glass of water from the table and drink your brain will tell your hand to pick itself up, move it to the cup hold on to the cup, bring it to your mouth etc. A person lacking body awareness has a hard time doing such simple tasks because his brain does not know where he is and in which position he is.
To sum it up
Alright! Now we can somewhat understand the importance and how necessary body awareness is and how difficult it is for children when they do not have body awareness. All we need now is to learn how to build up your child’s body awareness and help them succeed in life and especially in school.
If you have any questions or comments feel free to leave them below or send me an email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Looking forward for next time!