Never did I know how much the world will have of changed when I made the bold statement … “The World is Changing…..“
I could see how technology was stripping some of our children of their basic needs of connection. How our autopilot lives were taking us further away from enjoying life, the here and now. How play was becoming less valued in exchange for outcomes and new pressures.
Well, within the midst of the Corona-19 virus, our world has certainly changed, worldwide too. At Aqua Sensory our values of connection and #togetherwemakeadifference have never felt as strong as it does right now.
As reflect, I can see how our previous writing has never felt so relevant.
But, as I observe the world right now, I am feeling for our children.
I can see how the uncertainty is affecting their sensitive sensory systems.
There are new social distances rules, seeing friends, going out, school, nursery, work, shopping… well, everything is restricted. Creating an unsettling feeling for us as parents, but also a knock-on effect for our children.
But, equally now is the time not to dwell on what we have lost, but to focus on the opportunity to learn some new life lessons.
Whilst the world is on a ‘pause’ what an amazing outcome it would be to be able to look back in time ….
“let’s not see this virus as a bad dream and ignore it…. but to view this pandemic as an opportunity to shape us.”
Wouldn’t it be sad if we simply propelled ourselves back into our old systems and patterns of behaviour?
What valuable lessons can we pass onto our children during this time?
How can the water bring us together?
Connection is something we can create not only in our thoughts in the messages we send to others but also to ourselves. Connection doesn’t always have to be physical.
All so often we use the internet and social media, to provide us with the external means of connection. In times like this, of course, the need for internet has never felt more necessary as we work from home or school at home. But as with all things in life, there is a need for balance. All too often it is easy to over-consume and become overwhelmed, by social media stories written simply to bate us.
Show your child how ‘tuning out’ for a while, is GOOD…… as in fact this is “tuning in.”
Connection starts with our selves.
Being present in the moment.
Understanding our emotions.
Finding inner peace and happiness.
Whilst our world is on ‘pause’ we can create greater connections.
Listen to the world around you.
Use all of your senses to feel, see, hear, taste and smell.
Often when we are busy we filter out sensations.
Tuning into our senses means we can feel so much more.
Wait, watch, wonder
What inner gifts does your child have that will shine through?
Give them the time and space to truly explore the world around them.
At Aqua Sensory …. “the more we listen, the more we hear.”
We have created a parent partnership approach in the water.
We understand that the words we choose to speak to our children, matter.
We enjoy creating close circles of connection in our classes with our swim practices.
We carefully consider our holds and moves so our children feel safe.
We look for the windows of opportunity where we can see our children are ready to explore.
Life would be all so easy if every day there was nothing to pull us off our path, and for our bodies to feel in harmony. But, of course, life often gives us bumps in the road. Understanding our regulatory systems and helping our children to self-soothe could be one of the greatest gifts we all learn through this crisis.
Let’s look inside our brains. We have three clever systems that can switch on our emotions to help us react in different ways…. Drive, threat and soothing. Sometimes our ‘threat’ system, which is there to internally ‘drive’ and motivate us, can switch into a higher gear too fast, and panic can quickly set in.
We can then feel a little out of control, a bit like a car. It is good if we can ourselves learn to find neutral, to allow our internal systems to self-soothe, so we can sit back once again and enjoy a smooth and comfortable ride. But it is not always that easy, as our internal systems are linked to our brain chemistry and sometimes only simply hearing a perceived threat on the news or reading on social media, sends our systems into a high alert stress mode.
For more information on drive, threat, soothing systems and managing children’s emotions check out these Blogs by Dr Marianne Trent, Clinical Psychologist at Good Thinking Psychological Services.
Children learn from us, but also their relationship with their own childhood and developmental experiences.
What an invaluable life lesson it would then be, for our children to learn how to regulate themselves and understand how to soothe and calm, when threats or perceived threats pop up in life, as they inevitably will.
At Aqua Sensory in the pool, we often enjoy playtime, still time and breathing time together.
Breathing practices are our number one self-regulation tool.
Slow and conscious breathing, where the mind is allowed to be in the present moment. This will start to send messages to the brain to calm down.
Breathing is so important, it can even change our brains chemistry.
More oxygen flows in, cortisol, our stress hormone starts to flow out…. and of course, the best part is …. breathing is free and can be practised at any time.
When you give your child the gift of understanding how their breath works, how to control and calm the mind…. You are also giving them one of the keys to success.
“Your body is your first home. Breathing in I arrive in my body, breathing out, I arrive home.” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh
The seas are calmer, nature is blooming, the skies are clearer. Mother earth is healing, which is what is so needed. We can’t go on polluting our delicate ecosystem forever! It is going to take more than any political system for us to change, do we have the strength of character to push for change? We must not go back to our old lives and our old ways.
At Aqua Sensory, we enjoy guiding our children to love the water and to protect it.
We celebrate World Water Day, by sending messages to the water.
We say #thankyouwater
We appreciate the simple sprinkles and for our parents to marvel at their child’s curiosity and joy.
We can’t simply expect the world to change for us….. we have to change ourselves as people.
The water can teach us so much.
The water is waiting for us to connect and heal.
The water is waiting for us to come together.
Will you join us?
Our Aqua Sensory ethos, swim practices, parent program will help guide you.
We look forward to working together to make a difference, not just for our parents, for our children, but also the wider waters of the world.
I ask you to ponder this thought…
Let’s not go backwards but forwards
Are we not now meeting our children when they have always been naturally?
Are we now not seeing the positive benefits of being more mindful?
Let’s not abandon our children’s needs.
If we go back, our children will feel the emotional fallout.
Let’s listen more, feel more and hear more.
That is where we stand at Aqua Sensory, will you choose to stand with us?