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Exercises for Better Focus, Regulation & Learning


When your kid is smart but there’s a block preventing them from shining, it can feel like you’re constantly running in circles.

It’s not uncommon for smart kids to have issues with:

Gross or fine motor skills

  • Poor focus
  • Difficulty with organization & planning
  • Emotional-regulation and impulsivity
  • Anxiety or OCD tendencies
  • Weak social skills or emotional awareness
  • Sensory Processing

Running in Circles?

Trying to unlock your child’s genius is exhausting.

You’re running to this specialist, reading this book, and trying that strategy.

… and your child complaining about what new ‘thing’ you are trying.

You don’t want your child to feel like they’re always a work in progress but you worry.

…about their mental health, if they’ll ever form good friendships, how they’ll stay out of trouble when they get upset so easily, or what the secret is so life isn’t so overwhelming for them.

Because meds, behaviour plans, and strategies only take you so far.

The problem is when you think you can explicitly explain or teach these skills.

Here’s the thing.

When kids have issues with emotional regulation, organization, behavior, and anxiety there are usually disconnections between the top and bottom parts of their brain which regulates emotions.

Signs that your child’s top to bottom processing is not optimal are:

#1 Poor coordination or ‘clumsiness’. Their hands and feet don’t seem to work in sync. This might not be as obvious as you think.

Test: Ask your child to lay on their belly and to lift their upper body off the ground while keeping their lower body, legs, and feet on the ground. If your child can’t do this, they may have poor top to bottom processing.

#2 Poor Hand-Eye Coordination is common among kids who are smart but have difficulty with reading, writing, and expression.

#3 When writing, they start their letters from the bottom and write ‘upwards’ instead of down.

Exercise is the Most Neuroplastic Thing Your Child Can Do

Your child absolutely needs exercise to improve neuroplasticity in the brain – that is the brain’s ability to change.

…and everyone knows when kids get lots of exercise they’re calmer, less agitated, hyper, and more focused.

But the approach I see with energetic kids or those with ADHD is ‘‘run them out until they’re exhausted’.

While plenty of exercises – especially outdoors – should be a part of every childhood, the secret to improving focus, hyperactivity, and anxiety should not just be to ‘emptying the gas tank’.

Your child needs the right type of exercise.

Targeted Neuro-Developmental Exercises Strengthens Weak Connections

Targeted neuro-developmental exercises stimulate certain areas of the brain to have stronger more efficient connections in areas that are weak and causing the breakdown.

When your child has poor top-to-bottom processing (see my last post) then you need specific exercises to improve motor skills, focus, emotional regulation, and organization

3 Exercises to Improve Top to Bottom Processing

#1 Have your child stand and cross one foot over the other than raise their arms over their head and then bend at their waist so they are touching their toes while keeping their legs straight. Then have them back up with hands in their air and cross over the opposite foot and repeat this sequence 10-14 times.

#2 Have your child stand with legs shoulder-width apart while holding a ball or stuffed animal and bend over to touch the object to the ground far in front of them. Next, have them touch the object to the middle, then behind each ankle.

#3 While sitting on a cushion or preferably a wobble ball, have your child hold a weighted bar in their hands over their head with their feet in front of the floor. Then they bring the bar close to their chest while bringing their legs into their chest at the same time.

When done daily these exercises help to calm the fight-or-flight response so your child feels calmer, more grounded, and rational.

Learn more about our brain-building program, The Full Potential Formula by booking a free Clarity Call.

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