How To Positively "Ground" Your Child
Alexander Lopiccolo, COTA/L, CPT, NC
Poor attention span? Wandering around? Difficulty completing tasks? It is almost as if your child is floating through space and can't quite feel the earth beneath their feet. The child's racing thoughts are making their bodies fidget because all their energy is all in their head. One that is ground may feel "connected" and present in the moment. Cognitive adaptability and emotional stability all come from a state of groundedness. By practicing some of these treatment ideas/products these can help bring your child's energy down to the soles of their feet to increase concentration, self organization/awareness and reach a calm, quiet alert state.
1. Have your child look at their favorite book while laying down on their back. Go down by their feet with light pressure touch of your thumb on the inside of the achilles tendons and your index/middle fingers on the outside of the Achilles. Hold with little pressure for up to 10 minutes (you may be an energy pulse).
2. Place a reflexology foot mat in front of bathroom mirror where your child brushes their teeth. Have them perform different stepping patterns to hit the acupressure points. They may need to wear socks at first if they have any tactile defensiveness.
3. Put a stool/bench under their feet while seated in a chair if their feet are swinging in air or constantly changing positions in their chair. By having their feet flat on a stable surface it can help them feel more connected with their body.
4. Push down with deep sustained pressure on the top of your child's feet while they are seated in a chair or standing up with feet flat on ground/floor. Ask them what amount of pressure feels good.
5. Using a weighted lap pad, vest, blanket, belt or animal gives weight bearing proprioceptive input to the muscles and joints to compress the energy to the floor. I love using all these products for calming and organizing the Central Nervous System.
6. Have the family walk outside barefooted also known as "Earthing" on different textures (grass, gravel, track, dirt) to feel the earth beneath you. You may feel more peaceful after the experience and throughout the rest of your day.
7. Get your child a pair of minimalist/barefoot shoes which may increase body-spatial awareness and natural running motion by feeling the ground beneath you.
8. By eating earth grown root vegetables that grow underground (potatoes, radishes, onions, turnips, peanuts, carrots, beets) may help with stabilizing blood sugar levels vs. high sugar processed foods that spike your blood sugar and can cause poor behaviors.
9. Turn on some low-frequency, rhythmic drumming music to help with self-regulation through modulating breathing and decrease anxiety.
10. Use a natural tree/herb/plant essential oil blend to have the family feel relaxed and balanced at home.