Pilates for kids – a playground for fun!
As the guardian of your child you will need to sign a consent form for the child in your care to do Pilates for kids.
With children I avoid tactile cues and verbal pelvic floor cues unless requested by the mother or guardian. (Which mums have requested in the past to girls as young as 8). Kids best learn with visual demonstration, lots of variety, and light light springs. Balancing is fun for them. Remember to smile when teaching Pilates for kids!
On attention span. Kids can focus. In fact they need this challenge in this day and age of being bombarded with information and sensory stimuli. the overload of information, interactive games, and visual stimuli can result in young minds growing stressed and anxious, emotions volatile, and it can become increasingly difficult to find as sense of self and stillness. Pilates for kids can help create a sense of peacefulness and playfulness, free from troubling thoughts and emotions as they are asked to focus. Don’t underestimate a child’s ability to focus. Carrie Smith states that “kids’ attention spans cannot handle the focus and concentration of Pilates.” in pilates-and-kids-a-cause-to-pause but I disagree! Kids can focus and it is healthy for them to start training their brain in this manner! For young dancers and martial arts students this is an essential requirement and in terms of schooling focus will improve as concentration, as a skill, is honed and perfected. To assure well-being and happiness in our future generation it is imperative to give kids the opportunity to connect and get in tune with their sense of self, outside the chaos and confusion of the outside world.
Pilates in a studio setting is a fertile environment for fun for kids too! Get them hanging on the Caddie, Jumping on the reformer and balancing on the Bosu! All really stimulating, challenging and fun moves. Playful.
I believe Pilates can foster discipline in young people. This is one trait I really feel grateful for that I gained as a child. My parents paid for ballet classes. I loved moving to music, feeling the mood of the moves and being able to concentrate on moves and being able to perfect them was very satisfying. I loved the concentration required and the physical focus. I loved being able to do stuff with my body that the other kids couldn’t do! I believe this is the same for Pilates – being able to perfect moves is very satisfying, and young kids are often less restricted in their limbs and more lightweight and can perform moves that most adults would struggle to achieve even after two years of Pilates training and being at an intermediate level! Being able to perfect Pilates physical moves can foster confidence in kids who may be not as awesome in other areas of says maths or chemistry (like me!) Pilates improves posture, especially important for growing bodies that tend to slouch and hide their growing forms and try to shrink below the level of their peers to feel included.
One area that is a bit of a can of worms is the pelvic floor connection. Professional trampolinist (who are technically children) can present with pelvic floor weakness due to the strong stresses that jumping can have on the pelvic floor. By training kids (eight and over) to have an awareness of pelvic floor can assist with future issues. Especially since girls can start menstruating from this age. So understanding your body at this age can help with awareness and confidence. As with any child in relation to their bodies both pelvic floor cueing and tactile cueing need a consent signed by the guardian of the child.
I love teaching kids, they have such a lovely energy and they love the extra attention. It is fun!