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How We Move Parents' Guide 

Welcome to Book 1 of the Young Athletic Movement Series. Young Athletic Movement is a media company that aims to inspire young people to lead a more healthy and active lifestyle by instilling good, subconscious movement habits in them as toddlers. Our books focus on helping young people understand how humans move, the importance of movement, and how proper movement can lead to better living. These books are designed to be fun, informative, and engaging, in order to impact toddlers aged 2-6 years old. We believe that by teaching kids about proper movement in a fun way while they are very young it will translate into good habits as teens and adults. We want to be  an important component in the Movement cultural revolution. Kids will naturally become stronger, more flexible and more agile as a result of acquiring good movement habits.

This parents' guide is geared towards showing the facilitator of the “How We Move” book more details as to how to effectively use the book to improve the movement habits of the listeners. WHEN (the time of day and circumstances) you read the book to the listener is as important as proper instruction to the young listener while reading it. To develop proper habits requires repetition of movements starting with specific cues (both physical and emotional) and ending with a reward that’s also physical and emotional (like a hug and praise) to imprint these habits in the subconscious. These habits will in turn be the foundation for the learning of more advanced movements as the child develops. Above all, please remember this book is meant to be fun so smile, laugh and be positive. Your emotions while reading dictates how the young learner will view these lessons for the rest of their lives.

Let’s begin. First off, whenever this book is read try to ensure that these three prerequisites are met:

  1. There is good nutritional food and drink on hand.

  2. There is a chair or flat surface the proper height close at hand for the child to sit on (proper height would be between  just under the knee height of the child or three inches lower).

  3. There is enough room for the child  to take five proper strides.

 

When to read it. Pick a time to read this book and do the activities several times a week preferably during the day as a snack time activity or before bed as a snack time activity.

What about practicing breathing for a few minutes while: sitting at dinner, doing homework, standing in line,riding in the car or before bed.Go for walks with the child while practicing breathing and walking.

We recommend a course of a minimum of 90 days of use to see improvements in the young person's movement and to properly imprint the concepts as habits. After imprinting we recommend reading at least once a week for another 90 days as reinforcement or whenever the child asks. Remember to reward the child with praise healthy snacks, this helps the imprinting process. Practice the techniques in this companion guide yourself as young minds imitate closely what they observe daily. Vary the foods and activities: talking about the differences in them to the young listeners. Observe the child during normal activities and look for progress. 

 

It Starts With Food. One of the most important things we can teach the young children is the importance of proper nutrition. When we eat is just as important as what so at the YAM we start by encouraging people to “eat to fuel for what you’re about to and to refuel from what you’ve done.”  We recommend picking a healthy snack which you also enjoy and eating it with the child while making interjections like “mmmmm, yummy, and wow” to show you’re enjoying it. Communicate that the food is moving into your stomach and then muscles just like the book. Some awesome healthy snacks to have on hand  would be  cut or segmented fruits, dried fruits, nuts and easy snacking vegetables like carrots, celery,  broccoli florets. These are great sources for the energy, proteins and nutrients needed to help a body grow and repair. Snacks can be used as both the cue to start the movement habits as well as the reward for successful accomplishment.

Breathing. It’s important that we learn to practice breathing with our diaphragms (diaphragmatic) whenever we can. Most of us have fallen into the habit of breathing with our chest which is not nearly as effective as using your diaphragm. The easiest way to perform diaphragm breathing is to breath with your stomach. Your abdominal region should expand and contract with every breath allowing air to fill your lungs and you to breathe more efficiently.  

Body Position. We want to teach young people that good angles  to learn are 90 degrees and 180 degrees for our joints. This is where they are most efficient. When, practicing breathing, sitting, standing and walking we should be looking forward and our spine aligned with our hips and head. Shoulders can be put into proper position by shrugging them upwards, then  pushing your hips forward and moving your shoulders straight down (your palms should end up angled slightly forward). Feet should be shoulder width apart making as much contact with the ground as possible and toes pointed directly forward. We recommend that you do this barefoot, showing the child the subtle corrections until it becomes habit for them, always praising proper position. Make sure this proper position is maintained in transition to other movements. Transitions (going from one movement to another like sitting to standing or standing to walking is the most likely area for breakdowns in proper joint position.

Sportsmanship. The last message sportsmanship is very important to us. Competition is good. It challenges us to achieve our potentials but we must be wary of the pitfalls of being poor sports. We should teach our kids winners help others to improve themselves and that not winning ( we avoid the word losing) should help you to understand how to improve and where our talents may lie. Above all always be ready to participate and do your best regardless of what the outcome may be.

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