From the moment of conception, we are moving. Movement is the essence of life; it is the foundation of change, of attention, of action. Children are active, moving creatures. They learn primarily through experience. Bodily felt sensations elicit first reflex activity, then reaction and ultimately, action. A child’s first language is movement.
So many of us are having difficulty finding words to describe how we feel right now; confused, scared, tired, dismayed, angry, anxious, depressed, moody, jumpy….
If we, as adults, can’t find the right words to describe our feelings, think how our children must feel - this new reality is just as foreign to them as it is to us. But they don’t have the words, or ability to translate their feelings into any tangible way to communicate to us how they are feeling.
Bottled-up feelings can lead to behavioral challenges, physical illness and emotional distress. So how do we help our children express their feelings, especially during this difficult time?
We put on music and let them dance. We create a safe space, we dance with them to help them get started and then we let them move, explore their bodily-felt sensations, commune with each other and clear their bodies and minds. Afterwards, we sit with them and let them talk. Parents and caregivers: answer questions gently and honestly. Let your children know that you “hear the words they danced” and will keep them safe.
Always, let your children dance; give them an opportunity to go back to that safe place of movement - the place it all began.