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Hi Hassan here,

 

I was at the gym a few days ago and got a chance to talk with Rose MacNiven who is part of the staff at the facility. I regularly go to Princeton Health & Wellness Center, which is very close by our school. Here at New Horizons Montessori, many of our parents are also interested in fitness and health so that’s what Rose and I got to talking about. We touched on wellness issues that make a difference for parents and children, and Rose told me:

 

(Rose) “We do interviews with our clients where we look for seven movement patterns. These patterns tell us what is the next right choice for the client to make for their fitness. A lot of what we are looking for is symmetry in functional movements. It’s amazing how carrying children can produce an asymmetry in muscle development. Just think about it, if a woman carries a child on her hip she tends to carry that child on the same hip… on the side of her dominant hand. That side of her body gets stronger and the other side begins to compensate for the muscular imbalance. This type of imbalance shows up in our motion analysis when we do the seven movements interview. Then we can guide the client toward corrective exercises. Oh, and it could be a man just as easily as a woman.”

 

(Hassan) “We see parents carrying their children at our school especially lifting them in and out of cars and car seats. That would probably lead to an asymmetry. More so for those who are not physically active.”

 New Horizons Montessori - Skillman

(Rose) “I used to do that with my children. You know, there’s another piece to how parents and children interact and what that means for wellness. Parents that model healthy ways of living do much more for their children than just talking about healthy ways of living. At our facilities we have family swims on both days of the weekend between 3 and 5pm. We also have complementary child care on site for up to two hours. These programs allow parents to bring their children along when they come to the gym. The children see the weekly routine and it sinks in.”

 

(Hassan) “Here at New Horizons Montessori we too use role modeling as a technique for parents to communicate with their children. In a way it’s about health also. For example, our staff teaches our children how to handle classroom furniture. We encourage parents to use furniture in such a way that their children learn how to use chairs, tables and other pieces of furniture properly. So sitting on a table is not a good idea when you are playing a role model for your children. And, this too is an example of modeling behavior rather than telling the child. We know young children like to emulate, so playing role model is a great way of teaching good habits to them.”

 

(Rose) “The modeling piece fits into parenting in funny ways. We do Orientation interviews for our new clients and regularly hear parents say they are interested in exercises that will give them more energy so they can be more present and have more fun when they are around their children. The parents are working on modeling from the inside out.”

 

(Hassan) “At the school picnic and other gatherings we also hear parents talk about being tired and wanting to be more fun and present with their children. In this, I see another opportunity for parents to model what’s best in life for their children. We see our school families and ourselves as partners in the early childhood development. For that reason we are continually communicating with our parents about our school programs. We believe this helps our parents to be active participants for their children as they understand what’s going on here in the classroom during the day.”

 

(Rose) “It’s a non-verbal message. Sometimes it’s very subtle. For example, when we guide a parent with corrective exercises, sometimes we talk about the way they hold the child and that by switching sides the parent not only helps her, or his, symmetrical muscle balance, but also physically shows the child that she is doing things to stay healthy. It’s a good way for the parent to get that message across without making it seem as if the child was the problem.”

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New Horizons Montessori - Skillman

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