Going with the Movement

Brain Development vs. "Getting it Right"

A regular child´s development is anything but straightforward. Failures and falls are more common than achievement and success. Children do irrational things - they crawl backward, get stuck under sofas, love hilarious sounds, and bite into soap and toes. All of this is part of their learning experience.

The urge to push ahead, to show children how to do it properly, and to fix problems can be overwhelming. The stakes are high. But while we spur them on, we see only part of the picture - the moving hand, not the visceral tension or suppressed breathing. We expect them to get the most difficult part right - the fully developed function of crawling, for instance - without all the steps in between. But these failures of child development are not failures. In each unsuccessful attempt - like rocking instead of crawling - a child gains invaluable insights into balance, gravity, and effort.

Most important of all: straightforward is not the way children learn.

This program is based on learning experience and brain development. The biggest difference to other methods might be that we are willing to wait, to accept detours, to learn from mistakes and not certainties. 

As soon as I constrict a child`s movement to show them whatever I think is important, I send out misleading signals. For example, this boy will tense the muscles of his legs to kick - or kick his legs because the muscles are already tense, and this somehow seems like a good idea (many early movements happen not premediated but by "coincidence"). If restricted, instead of the resulting movement caused by the sensation in his musculature, he experiences the increased tension of working against a resistance - my hands. His effort stops making sense.

Cause and effect - the basis of development - are difficult to figure out for a child under these circumstances.

Some processes take what seems like an incredible amount of time. The boy in the first video took more than two minutes and several tries to move a finger. But once he had it, he kept doing it again. And again.

It takes more courage to accept the child`s experience, movement, and speed. It is also more fun. Be ready to fail, and not know where this is going.