We are watching children slouching towards adulthood and turning a blind eye.
Sadly, many think that good posture is only for rich children and not for the average child.
Teaching children good postural habits is teaching them self-care.
This is a skill that will last and serve them well for the rest of their lives.
We need to realise that teaching children good postural habits is as important as teaching them to brush their teeth and it needs to start as early.
After all, the main reason we teach children to brush their teeth is to prevent tooth decay/pain and costly dentist bills.
When it comes to posture, there is no difference.
The health implications of poor posture are many and well talked about.
From back/neck pain and breathing issues to hunched backs, the list is far from pretty.
However, these health implications aren’t only physically.
Mental health, too, is badly affected.
Sadly, most choose to turn a blind eye to that fact.
Research finds that slouching increases negative thinking, it brings feelings of helplessness and powerlessness that can easily lead to anxiety and depression.
When we have or assume the poor posture, it is also more difficult to have the will and energy to get things done and move forward.
This is actually very easy to prove or feel yourself.
Whenever something challenging happens to you, test this for yourself.
For 2 minutes only, slump and look down. Then, notice how you feel about the situation.
Then stand up, feel both of your feet firmly on the ground, open your chest, look ahead and see how it feels again.
It works like magic – we have all heard about the power pose, this is it!
The most important thing to understand here is that we all have the choice to hold ourselves in any way we want.
And we have to make smart choices!
However, when it comes to our children we have to choose on their behalf, either way!
By introducing and teaching children good postural habits, we are giving them tools to face life challenges with positive thinking, energy, and power.
This is the ‘I can do it!’ attitude that can only be obtained in an upright posture.
We are also helping them to (self) care for their bodies and hopefully stay away from back problems.
When it comes to teaching good postural habits to children, the problem I see is that parents don’t know how (understandably, as no one ever taught us how good posture works) to teach their children or where to start.
The first step, for parents, is to learn how posture works for themselves. It is only then that they will have the tools and confidence to teach it to their children.
When I have parents coming to me to see how they can help their children’s posture, they often want a ‘quick fix’, but I’m afraid there isn’t one.
In essence, it is like teaching brushing the teeth: you teach, you show how and you remind them to do it on a regular basis.
So please don’t let your children slump.
PS. if you want to dig deeper on this matter have a look at this research
This will be in London on 27 July – more details here