We’re all back in the swing on school after a nice holiday break off! With the transition back to school comes a shift in priorities, back to classes and schoolwork, and we know all you want to do is set your child up for success in the new year! Many kids have trouble keeping their posture upright throughout the day, and good, supported posture is one of the key elements leading to good focus while in school. Though you might not be able to do much about this while they are in person, you can adapt their environment to support them while they are remote learning. Here are some things to look for and tips to get you started:

  1. When nice posture turns into not so nice posture
    1. If you see your child starting the day with nice posture but then see their spine taking on a C curvature throughout the day, they may be having a difficult time sustaining activation of their postural musculature and they may have trouble with ENDURANCE of these muscles. If this is the case, try placing a small towel roll behind their lower back for additional support when you see them starting to get tired. Then, when some time has passed, you can try removing it and seeing if their muscles have gotten the rest break they needed to work efficiently again!
  2. When nice posture is hard to find
    1. If you see that finding a nice, supported spine with good posture is hard for your child to figure out, they may have trouble ACTIVATING their postural musculature. This may be the case if when you have told your child “sit with nice posture” in the past, they assume a Military-esque posture that would be impossible and uncomfortable for anyone to maintain OR they simply can’t find that upright position you’ve seen in blogs and pictures. Often these kids have a pelvis that is tipped very far back and pushed away from the back of their chair. Try placing a small wedge under their pelvis, with the taller end close to the back of the chair and the shorter end toward the front of the chair. This wedge will help place them in a more appropriate position to learn how to activate their musculature, so that when you ask them to try “good posture” again, it isn’t such a big ask. 
  3. When they find many different slouched positions
    1. For the child that seems to never sit still but also never sit with supported posture, using a balance disk under their bottom is a great tool to encourage activation of postural musculature on both the front and back sides of their body. Sitting on a balance disk creates the need for the body to sit with active, supported posture to stay upright and on balance. If you are trying this, don’t forget to test it out with supervision to make sure that your child can stay on balance while sitting on the disk so that they do not fall out of their chair.
  4. Make sure they are supported by the floor
    1. This one is SO important. Many people don’t know how difficult it is to sit with supported posture if your feet are not flat on the ground. Using the ground can help activate your whole body from the feet upward and creates more stability in sitting because you are not just relying on your bottom to keep you upright (but your legs too)! A nice clue to look for to see if they are supported from the ground up is the presence of 90 degree angles at their ankles, knees, and hips, if you see these angles AND they are sitting upright, you are good to go!

Remember, it is hard for anyone to focus when they are having trouble staying on balance or trouble activating their muscles for the long virtual school day. But, with these tips you can have your child on the path to postural support while learning in no time! You got this parents!

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