22 June 2017

Tips on Helping Clumsy Children

There are some children that by the time there are in kindergarten, it is extremely obvious that they will not be taking the field at Yankee Stadium or  playing tennis center court at Wimbledon. Children like these are described by child development specialists as having a difficult time with gross and fine motor skills. However, when on the playground they are simply called klutzes by their classmates.

As a child passes through elementary school and moves into adolescence, there are increasingly profound social and academic implications associated with being a klutz. Not only does it interfere with social relationships, oftentimes it also decreases the self-esteem of preadolescence, especially among boys. Additionally, nobody wants their child to be running into their shelves and knocking over their finest china, or taking a lump out of their large indoor water features through some form of carelessness.

Early education teachers and psychologists nowadays are paying a lot more attention to the academic and social issues that often go hand in hand with clumsiness. They are also developing strategies to help children like this to improve in aspects which, at first glance, may appear to be unrelated.

For example, children that have poor physical coordination could also have difficulty focusing their attention on the academic tasks at home- Basic concepts such as "under," "over," and "through," often are much more difficult for them to understand. Research has shown that children who are clumsy are at much greater risk of experiencing social problems as early as the first grade. A huge part of self-concepts that children have as well as how they perceive others are formed by motor skills. Children with coordination issues tend to not have very many friends who will play with them.

Physical skills are developed by children at different rates and times. Generally, if a child is a few weeks or a few months behind on mastering one or two basic coordination feats, for example being able to sit up, walk, or run, it is accompanied by long-term consequences. However, if there is a consistent and broader pattern of difficulties and delays, you should pay closer attention. Around 5% of children experience noticeable coordination problems, Oftentimes, these problems will not disappear on their own, Research has shown the 50% of children who experience these issues when around the age of five, will still have them when around the age of nine.

Most children in need of assistance with overcoming clumsiness are boys. It is uncertain whether this is due to them experiencing more coordination problems or because parents and teachers have much higher expectations for them.

There has been recent evidence that a majority of the children whose teachers and parents believe them to be uncoordinated, actually have underlying issues with their sense of balance. There are those who consciously have to work even at sitting up straight - things which by the time other children are toddler, they automatically do. If these children are placed in a classroom where they are required to sit in a chair as they write a report, most of their energy will be placed

It takes practice to improve a child's physical coordination. Even though most children will find physical activity to be fun, oftentimes those who are clumsy often view games and sports as yet another opportunity for rejection or failure. Here are a few things that can be done to help:

1. Play Active Games With Your Child

There are children whose parents do not chase them around and play catch with them when they're toddlers and pre-schoolers who by early elementary school, have a difficult time physically keeping up with their peers. Keep in mind that it is more important for your child to have fun and throw a ball around during their early years then for them to do well. If your child loves to laugh, then you are both doing a great a job. Here are some good games.

2. Work On Skills Where Balance is Required

When it comes to coordination, balance is fundamental. Pretend with your child as you walk on the sidewalk along a line or on a narrow board, that you are circus performers. Try ice-skating or roller skating. Once again, remember to place the focus on fun and not so much on technique.

3. Work on Fine as Well as Gross Motor Skills

These two do not always go together. Some children may be very good at performing delicate tasks with their fingers, such as threading beads or handwriting, yet when it comes to gross motor skills such as running or jumping, they are not very good.

4. Show Sympathy

If your child has trouble hitting a ball or has expressed that he is not good at sports, let him know you are aware of how upsetting this can be. If you do not give it importance or argue, your child will most likely not listen. The next best step would be to help your child understand that he is not a complete failure. Focus on activities that he is more successful in. For example, a child that expresses his lack of ability in baseball  may actually be very good at catching a ball However he may be so distracted with hitting issues, that this aspect of the sport is the only one he pays attentions to.

5. Enroll Your Child in an After School Sports Program

The downside here is that there are some of these programs which may cause and clumsy child to feel even worse. One sign of a program that is good for children is one which emphasizes personal accomplishments as opposed to simply winning.

There should be ample encouragement and on-on-one coaching. Also if the only thing offered by the program are team sports, you child could become even less self-confident and enthusiastic. Interviews those who are running the program. Watch a few sessions, and discuss with other parents who also have their children in the program. Keep in mind that it is far more interesting to children to better their skills as opposed to simply winning.

6. Provide an Environment that is Safe so Your Child Can Build Skills

One-on-one coaching, whether it is provided by you, a teacher, or a coach, or even an older child can help a child that feels awkward to catch up with his peers. As will some informal family games which allow you to only provide some discreet pointers, but also provide praise for progress. Expect to be tested by our child as to how you will react to failure, will you become upset and throw in the towel? Never overdo this practice. Usually, twenty minutes day will be more effective than let's say three hours a day.

7. Never Allow Your Child to Become Inactive

A child who feels incapable of keeping up with their peers or of performing well enough can respond in ways which will only worsen the problem. They could avoid any form of athletic games and then boom sedentary. You will possibly have to something your child will not like, such as unplug the television, to encourage your child to go out and play.

Disclosure:  This is a contributed post.

No comments:

Post a Comment