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The following article was published in Your Health Magazine. Our mission is to empower people to live healthier.
Gail Troussoff Marks
Spring Growth
Silver Stars Gymnastics

Spring Growth

Spring is emerging, pulling us out of our snow-filled winter hibernation. When everything shut down due to the snow, did you have time to catch your breath and enjoy some family time? As children shed all the layers of clothing and come out from under the bundles of coats, hats, scarves, what changes do you see? Have their motor skills improved? Are they trying out different foods, speaking more distinctly, or adding words to their vocabulary?
The change in the season can bring out something new in kids. So, before you sign your children up for spring activities, listen to their interests. What activities do they want this spring? Take your children to a playground and see what they like to play on. If they are uncomfortable trying the playground equipment, show them what to do and consider enrolling them in gymnastics or a similar class that will teach them how to swing, jump, and move confidently. All children should be confident enough with their motor abilities to relax and have fun on the playground.
Just as our children expect us to respond in predictable ways, parents can find themselves stereotyping their childrens behavior. Patterns of responses get ingrained. However, when parents ask children directly about their thoughts, channels of real communication open up. From those moments of insight, parents and children can grow. Thinking through their childrens comments, parents can sift out ideas that are workable for the family. It might mean granting a childs wish or finding a different choice that addresses the underlying need.
How parents mesh or, conversely, differ with their childrens personalities and temperaments may be the hardest to juggle. Some kids do really need a little more attention and encouragement from mom or dad. Other children are ready to thrive on their own, but mom keeps wandering in to check on them which sends the message to the child that they arent capable of managing on their own. One part of the parenting puzzle is gauging when to leave a child alone, when to challenge, and when to help.
So take a breath of spring air and be open to the changes in your child. If your child is going through a bout of challenging behavior, recognize that it can be followed by a period of personal growth and calm. Every situation offers opportunities for growth. Like watering the seeds you have planted, nurture your children and give them room to bloom like the flowers pushing through the ground in your garden.

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