Being in Balance

by Patricia S. Lemer, M.Ed., NCC

All living things strive for balance. Healthy organisms manifest balance by being flexible, never static. As day follows night, calm follows a storm and death comes after birth, nature maintains balance with constant change.

For humans, being in balance is more difficult. For those living and working with children who have developmental delays, making balance can be a huge challenge. How do parents balance their personal needs with those of their children? How can therapists and teachers balance work and relaxation? How do we balance lesson plans and unstructured exploration? Listening with talking? Being and doing? Thinking and feeling? Giving and receiving? An endless array of balance questions confronts us every day. Bringing these choices into consciousness may help us deal with them more effectively.

Balancing Food: Our bodies seek a balance of flavors, textures and tastes. Well aware of that fact, restaurants serve us salty food so that we crave the sweetness of dessert. Some pediatricians say that children naturally balance their food intake over time. Unfortunately, this is not always true for picky eaters on special diets. Here are some tips. Balance:

Balancing the Senses: Touch, movement, pressure, sound and sight bombard the body day and night. Like it or not, they throw us out of balance. A balanced sensory diet provides nutritious, strengthening ‘food‘ for the nervous system. Brain Gym and Bal-A-Vis-X can integrate sensory processing. In addition, use energizing and calming antidotes to counteract inadequate or excessive stimulation.

Balancing Time: Time is such a precious commodity, and how we use it is very personal. Some prefer to know just what is coming up and follow strict schedules. Others are more spontaneous and flexible, doing what comes up. Those who function best balance the two, having a flexible schedule, knowing when to stick to it, and when to go with the flow. Since adults have some control of children‘s time, we can build in balance of:

Balancing Emotions: How important it is to balance the spirit. We experience joy and exhilaration more deeply when we also know grief and frustration. Pets are a perfect catalyst for kids to learn about love, frustration, sadness and fear in a protected environment. Consider an appropriate critter for the age and developmental level of each child. Dogs, cats and other creatures hold a world of sensory experiences, as well.

Want to be in balance? Integrate body, mind and spirit on the balance board of life!

[Initially published in New Developments: Volume 8, Number 1 - Fall, 2002]

All material in this web site is given for information purposes only and is not to be substituted for advice from your health care provider.

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