Imagine for a moment that it was difficult for you to sit up. You might be able to manage to sit up part of the time, but it’s a struggle to maintain, and you frequently fall over and have to wrestle yourself back up again. How easy do you think it would be to learn if you were constantly struggling just to be upright? How much attention to you think you’d have left for other tasks? And how good do you think your school test scores would be?
If you can’t sit easily, learning becomes much harder
According to this study, babies who were able to sit unsupported were able to use patterns to differentiate between objects. Babies who were slightly younger and couldn’t yet sit unsupported were unable to use patterns. The reason? Once a baby is able to sit up without support, he can easily reach for, grasp, and manipulate objects. If his focus doesn’t have to be on balancing, he can more easily focus on exploring objects and learning about them.
Once younger babies were given full postural support, they learned as well as the older babies
This indicates that the ability to sit easily is crucial to a child’s ability to learn. It also suggests that children who learn to sit later than their peers may miss learning experiences that affect other areas of their development.
“Helping a baby sit up in a secure, well-supported manner during learning sessions may help them in a wide variety of learning situations, not just during object-feature learning….
This knowledge can be advantageous, particularly to infants who have cognitive delays who truly need an optimal learning environment.”
-Rebecca J. Woods, study co-author
Now what if, instead of giving these struggling children support, you taught taught them to sit easily on their own?
It’s the old idea of “teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.” Once a child can sit easily on her own, she no longer needs to depend on supportive devices or the assistance of other people. She can focus her attention on learning at any time, in any place, without requiring any help. This is far more empowering than any external support could be.
The Feldenkrais Method® teaches you to sit more easily, without support
Since the Feldenkrais Method® is a system of movement education, it’s well-suited to help children (or adults!) learn to sit more easily on their own, without the need of external support devices. By learning to improve each of the tiny sub-movements that comprise a larger movement, balanced sitting becomes much easier.
And it doesn’t just help with sitting—it helps with standing, walking, reaching and carrying objects.
As the study showed, each of these seemingly small actions is necessary in order to explore and learn from one’s environment. When each of these actions requires less effort, your child won’t have to struggle just to sit up. And he will have much more attention left to focus on learning. Perhaps with this extra focus, he’ll even do better on his school test scores.
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