Healthy Foundations Start in Childhood

Attachment theory (Bowlby, 1997), tells us that the best start in a child’s life is one where they have their emotional needs met by their caregivers. (NSPCC,2021). A child that is allowed to be authentic (able to express their emotions and wishes without fear of reprimand) and feel safe (that they wont be abandoned or unloved) have grounding in forming a good sense of self (Mate,. 2022).

Lots of things can get in the way of this, that don’t have to be massive life changing events. unavoidable drivers in parents lives like sickness and work, affect how their children develop. As can large disruptions like death, abuse and abandonment. These Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE’s) often lead to issues in later life. Findings show increased chances of ill health, both physical and mental. Increased chance of substance abuse, increased chance of imprisonment and decreased educational and occupational opportunities all positively correlate with the more ACE’s a young person has experienced. (Felitti et al,. 1998)

We are fascinated by childhood and childcare at Liberation Found as we can see the clear link between supporting children with their emotional needs, and ongoing health into later life. Dr John Sarno documents from his seminal research a number of unhelpful learning traits, such as perfectionism and people pleasing that people learn as children, that disrupt their ability in later life to maintain their boundaries and lead to ill health. (Sarno, 1999). You can read more about these learned character traits here.

 

Preventative Healthcare

Giving a child an emotionally nourishing childhood, where they feel they can be themselves, and be safe knowing they won’t be abandoned, is a large way to achieve preventative healthcare on a global scale. Sangmu shares her tips in this video where she explains how her work as a teacher helps children in unavoidable family situations to build their confidence and joy in life.

Sangmu teaches children how to develop their confidence through public speaking, creative writing and debating exercises. These children are usually considered shy, and come from families who are asking for their children to increase in confidence. Sangmu feels this is related to the lack of time the parents are able to spend with their children one on one.

The homework the children receive from these classes are not the usual study. They are asked to do tasks including bonding activities like speaking to friends and family and help them to develop their ability to verbalise what they want to say.

 

“Parents should let their children be who they are instead of restriction. Not saying ‘You shouldn’t do something’. Let them explore. Let them find out what is right and wrong themselves.”

 

Sangmu empathises with the children she teaches. She grew up in a household with a highly protective parent, and struggled making friends in her area. Her confidence only increased when she became an adult. In the workplace, interactions helped her to come out of her shell. Sangmu talks about her overcoming of depression here. She found that the learning of new skills, understanding the world around her and talking to people about her interests were a great influence in overcoming her own shyness.

 

Sangmu’s Seven Step Teaching Style

The tips that Sangmu shares in this video are helpful pointers in the ways that one can act around children to help them progress in life. This is to help them feel attached and safe to nourish their emotional needs.

  • Gentle speech – no reprimanding, having patience.
  • Come Down to Their Level – learning through play, eye contact.
  • Positive Affirmations – Encourage when they are doing well.
  • Give them Time to find trust in you. Go at their speed. Not rushing them for an answer.
  • Introduce new vocabulary around them – they emulate you
  • Talk to them – as much as possible!
  • Help them to develop their passions – don’t worry about them getting it wrong – you have to start somewhere. Help to minimise fear of failure. Nothing has to be perfect. Let them try again to gain experience.

 

“Become a kid to teach a kid.”

 

‘Please note, though I am a Physiotherapist by profession, I am not your Physiotherapist and the advice shared on Liberation Found is for educational and informational purposes only’. The information provided here is not a substitute for professional, individualised, treatment. As such you should not rely solely on the information posted here. If you feel this content resonates with your lived experience, I encourage you to work with a SIRPA professional, or other qualified mindbody specialist to address your concerns.

If you would like to work with me on addressing your condition, please email and we can ascertain if I am the best fit for your needs.’