I was thinking about this all night and was eager to get this written this morning. Often we race through our days, herding our children from one activity/event to another. Sports, music lessons, amusement parks and so much more. And of course there is always heavy emphasis on doing well in school.
Sadly, our kids are often left overwhelmed and exhausted by all the running around and at least implied pressure to do well. Playing sports or even visiting a roller rink, water park or other amusement park, may be an opportunity for sensory overload. More and more we are finding that doing things that are less intense, things that are just easy and low stress, allows our kids to relax and enjoy just being.
Kids will do better when they don’t feel so overwhelmed and pressured. They will feel safe and loved when we take the time to let them do things that they can feel good about and be good at. Don’t get me wrong, academic performance is important, but if school work is overwhelming and always a source of unhappiness, our kids will learn to not only hate school, but feel so badly about themselves.
We need to be sure that our kids have the chance to simply be. Do a non-structured art project. Take a walk. Read to them. Allow them to do something that is not about what they ‘accomplish’ but more about enjoying themselves.
Help them find wonder in everything around them. Not surprisingly, I would include work with horses in this category of things they can do to enjoy themselves! Our clients learn about horses and herd behavior. Did you know that horses were alive during the time of dinosaurs? Yep, it’s true.
Leading and grooming a horse is a very gentle form of exercise. It allows kids to have a moment where they can relax and let go of the stress of the day. Though we have activities set up for each session, no client is required to do anything other than to interact in a kind, gentle and safe way with their horse. Many of our clients will carry this experience with them throughout their busy lives and draw on this moment in times of stress or anxiety.
The bottom line is that we help our kids find balance in their lives. If they constantly feel under pressure and overwhelmed, nothing they do will be done well. Be sure that you build into the day time to relax and just be.
Thank you again, to all of you who see this and work so hard to see that you children have the opportunities they need to grow and become the best they can be.