Forced Seating

We actually had a kid go to government school. 9th grade, one year, one kid once. This broken kid showed up at our home at 10 years old and hated my guts. ALL moms were going to reject him so his main goal was to not get hurt by this new mom. Due to all the moves and trauma learning was of no interest to him for those first 5 years. So, off to indoctrination camp so I could be freed up to enjoy the two younger siblings we adopted with him.

He left the house at 6:15 and didn’t get home until after 4. The 40 minute bus ride on a 17 minute journey was the beginning of a day of sitting. Then sitting in class and sitting in athletics class when he wasn’t cooperating, sitting in his agricultural mechanics class because they were lectured and shown videos instead of making things.

Sitting is the new smoking! At least as far as it’s something you can do something about. I’m guilty for sure, but my kids aren’t.

Some interesting studies are being done on children sitting for long periods of time. BothVascular affects, and  bone formation – these are some starter sites for you to do your own research on how sitting has long term negative impacts.

So, your kid is sitting on the bus, at school on the bus and what do they want to do when they get home? Play video games! Help! Sitting is a struggle for homeschool parents also.

ADHD is the victim, not the culprit of  the sitting crisis. Humans are designed to move and children need as much movement as possible to fully develop. What the system calls a disorder (ADHD) in children is actually a disorder in the system not the children.

So, last year out of the blue our adoption agency called and said they had three brothers 2, 3, and 4 who’d been in 9 placements in two years and they needed that forever home. Being older I was sure when I called my husband at work he’d say no BUT he said, “Of course we’ll take them.” These little brothers came with a long list of therapists including a physical therapist who saw the 3 and 4 year old twice a week. After a few weeks she asked me what we were doing different. I asked her what do you mean? She said they are so much better, the three year old can now ride his bike jump and climb on the play structure in the yard. His label is “low muscle tone” but when I looked it up it said gymnastics was a good sport for this issue. Is that a disability? This kid is also amazingly flexible! It’s simple really, we went outside and played without any special therapy except what the therapist had assigned for us to practice.

The sweet therapist had been with the boys almost 2 years after the bio family broke some bones and they got removed. She really loved the boys and did everything she could but if the daily life didn’t include playing outside her ability to help the boys was limited to 1 hour twice a week. These little guys were so weak when we got them and unable to help themselves climb, swing, jump etc but just 3 months in they were doing great.

However, being weak wasn’t considered the problem with these tiny brothers or the reason they were moved constantly, it was their loud, angry and destructive behavior that was considered the problem. Guess what went away with outdoor play?

Why can’t these kids just sit still and behave?!!! Because they’re kids you moron!

As we approach the one year anniversary of our “Gotcha Day” what adopters refer to as the day they got the kids, I’m amazed at the difference in these boys. Our now 4 and 5 year old are swimming and the 3 year old would be swimming but he has to wear his float until he’s fully potty trained 🙂

So, what’s the solution? If you’re like us you get wrapped up in your day, doing math, listening to kids read or doing flashcards, all the things that need to get done in a homeschool day. We literally set the timer and put our stuff aside and play OR if someone is getting antsy they can go play. Everyone doesn’t have to learn to read at 4 years old, everyone doesn’t have to do everything in the curriculum you bought. Everyone does need time to play, run and climb.

Our outdoor activities have to fluctuate with the seasons. When it’s cold we take afternoon walks when it’s hot we go swimming or to a splashpad. The beauty of homeschooling is we can play outside in the morning when we know the day will be scorching hot and do seat work during the heat of the day. At school if your class has recess at 11am that’s great in the winter but in the summer are the kids really going to run around and play? That’s if the ADHD labeled kid isn’t left in the classroom because he wasn’t behaving while being forced to sit for hours. Now that’s a stupid solution to a problem.

The main point I’d like to make is that movement is the answer to most of the childhood learning and behavior issues not medication.

Our oldest adopted kid was labeled and medicated to sit still and medicated to help him sleep at night. Why doesn’t that seem like a stupid idea to doctors, teachers and parents? Maybe because there’s very little money in healthy habits?

I’m at a seating by choice stage, not forced and I can feel the negative impact. I’m always feeding people, sitting to listen to them read, do flash cards etc. So, now I have to get moving myself because at 55 I’m going to need to be in better shape to raise a 3 year old 🙂

 

 

 

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