Day 2 Shifting Weight on the Sitting Bones
Standing (assisted) is easier than sitting: generally, children learn that function first. In standing, most of the extensors can be used simultaneously. For sitting, children have to know how to engage the extensor (erectors) of the back, while at the same time keeping the musculature of the hips soft and easily accessible. In walking, children are faced with the additional challenge to balance their upper body and head while shifting weight. This is what this lesson is about.
Put your child between your legs. You need a rather hard surface, like a floor with a thin carpet - this will not work well on a soft mattress.
If necessary, let the child lean against you. It could either sit Indian fashion or - preferably, if easy - with the legs apart.
- Take the child`s hands and start to glide with them over the legs, your legs, and the floor. Go only where it is easy. The length of the arms does not change, this movement is created by hip joints and spine.
- Feel the sitting bones. You can take your time with it.
- Gently help the child to roll the pelvis forward and back. Do this very slowly to feel the differentiation in the hip joints, and the way the movement travels up the spine.
- Your goal is to engage as many vertebrae as possible in a smooth movement, not creating a big movement with the pelvis. If the child is able to play or talk you are doing perfectly.
- Look where it is easiest - for most humans the movement is not symmetrical.
- After working on the easiest direction for about 3 minutes, try variations.
- Moving a toy up and down to direct the eyes or playing might support the movement
- Rest and play.
- It is okay to shift the whole upper body with it, but try to go slow enough to avoid startling movements. Again, remember, this is not about going far - you are training the child`s vestibular system, breathing pattern, and agility of the spine.
- Try the other sitting bone.
- Go to a position with the sitting bone lifted, hold the upper body more or less in the position it is in, and just lower and lift the sitting bone, down to the floor, and back to your starting position.
- Repeat with the other side of the pelvis.
- If your child is heavier and /or can sit on its own when holding on to something, you might put it on your knees. Try to get one knee under one sitting bone. Push one knee off the ground to lift it, and move the child with your knees.
- Do lift one sitting bone, then the other in a walking rhythm.
- To finish up, try touching the child`s legs and the floor again, as you did in the beginning.