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Ugh… I Have Such a Clumsy Kid!
So we’re all used to some bumps and bruises on our toddlers. They’re just learning to get around; they wobble cutely and fall; sometimes into furniture or hard toys. And BUMP! It’s inevitable. But what about when that clumsiness continues. Beyond the toddler years. Or is excessive even during their toddler years? I know all too well what that’s like. You start to have irrational thoughts of other parents judging you or pediatricians turning you in for all of the bumps and bruises on your little one. You get the eye rolls from the ER doctor when you visit for the second time in 4 weeks. BOTH of my boys are clumsy kids! And in our case, this is related to their sensory systems. All kids have sensory needs; the label of Sensory Processing “Disorder” is given when those “needs” are excessive enough to make day-to-day living difficult. So as part of Sensory Awareness Month, I am teaming up with a group of other #ProjectSensory bloggers to share some tips for Decoding Everyday Kid Behaviors. Here are some things to consider if you have a clumsy kid like I do…
How Do I Handle My Clumsy Kid?
- Talk to Your Pediatrician – DO NOT take my advice over your medical doctor. There can be medical reasons that a child acts excessively clumsy (from simple ear infections to more serious tumors).
- Baby-Proof, Baby-Proof, Baby-Proof! – I used to get flack from family and in-laws for using baby gates to confine my toddler into one “safe zone” of the house. But I knew my toddler and what he could safely handle. (And what my sanity could handle, too!) If the entire house can’t be “baby-proof,” make sure his area is.
- Find Safe Places for Risky Behaviors – Because my kids are “Sensory Seekers” (always looking for hard impact – jumping, running, stomping – to regulate their bodies and sensory systems), I make sure they have safe places to do those things. We have a fenced in area in the yard with a trampoline and even have a mini trampoline in our living room, too.
- Exercise – Clumsiness can be from weak core strength, so why not try exercising with your kiddo? (It can’t hurt, right?!) Try making it fun with a family workout video, kids’ yoga, or some of these animal crawl exercises!
- Consider Their Sensory Systems – Did you know that we have more than 5 senses? There are two other sensory systems, Proprioceptive and Vestibular, that help regulate our bodies and how we move in space. If one of these systems is “off,” your child might appear hyperactive or clumsy. My two sons (ages 2 and 7) both have Sensory Processing challenges that make it hard for them to regulate their proprioceptive and vestibular systems. So with the advice of our Occupational Therapists, we give them lots of opportunities to “regulate” these systems through deep pressure and heavy work and play (think playful squishing with pillows, big bear hugs, roughhousing with daddy, helping carry in groceries, jumping on the trampoline, etc.).
- Follow Your Instincts & Advocate for Your Child – Not getting anywhere with your pediatrician? Or has everything medical been ruled out? And still feel in your gut that this is not normal? Trust your instincts and ask for a referral to a Developmental Pediatrician or an Occupational Therapist. In our case, we’ve learned through therapists’ evaluations that our sons’ clumsiness and lack of coordination results from Sensory Processing Disorder and in Sawyer’s case also Developmental Coordination Disorder.
Think Your Child’s Clumsiness is Sensory Related?
Do you suspect your child’s clumsiness is related to their sensory system, too? Definitely consult your doctor. But also check out Project Sensory and the new Sensory Fix™ Toolkit! Dayna, a former teacher turned sensory parent, has created Project Sensory as a way to raise awareness of sensory needs and get basic sensory tools to ALL KIDS.
The Sensory Fix Toolkit
The Sensory Fix™ Toolkit is a backpack brimming with over 15 tools to help regulate her sensory system and calm herself. The best part (in my opinion) is that it comes with a cool chart telling you which behaviors each tool can help with, making it easy for any parent and kid!
Plus the purchase of a Sensory Fix™ Toolkit includes a one year membership to Project Sensory’s Printables Club where you’ll find other helpful printable charts and tools and get new printables each month, too. If you were to buy all of the components on Amazon, you’d spend over $200. But Dayna has managed to get the price down to a reasonable amount AND give a 35% discount to anyone who preorders NOW before December 1, 2014. Even better: for every 20 Sensory Fix™ Toolkits sold, Project Sensory will donate a kit to a classroom in need! If you are a teacher interested in finding out more, visit the Teacher Page to Apply for Classroom Sensory Fix™.
Have Other Kid Behaviors to “Decode?”
Make sure to follow the #ProjectSensory and #SensoryFix hashtags on social media and check back to the Decoding Everyday Kid Behaviors homepage for more kid behavior solutions each day!
So what are your experiences with your clumsy kid? Or what are the other difficult behaviors that you deal with? Share in the comments below!
Thanks for sharing this, Krissy! My daughter is 11 and still pretty clumsy. Those awkward questions at the ER are all too familiar. When she was a toddler, she would just climb and jump off of the furniture. We ended up attaching foam pipe insulation to the edges of everything.
Krissy @ B-Inspired Mama says
You’re so welcome, Keri! I knew I couldn’t be the only one with kiddos like this. The foam pipe insulation is brilliant, actually! Thanks for sharing.
Great advice there.
Krissy @ B-Inspired Mama says
In our case, old saying stands: “Like mother like daughter!” 🙂 We’re both pretty clumsy and, in most cases, can’t even remember where we bumped and how we got the bruising!