Emotions Healthy schools: children need movement and free time

Healthy schools: children need movement and free time


As the adult world goes fast and we have already gotten used to it, we do not understand that children take all the time to look at an ant or to throw stones into a puddle. We have probably forgotten the incalculable price of those precious moments in which we were simply living, fully present, without more.


Paradoxically, neuroscience and mindfulness invite us adults to do just the opposite: to stop running through life in search of a supposed Gold, to re-savor each present moment as what is really valuable, to value the small, the invisible, that which was not within any objective or goal, that of doing nothing.

They suggest that we surrender ourselves to “losing time” in which our roots and our wings are lengthened –to which fills us and truly renews us–, to being together for the simple pleasure of being together without the need to do anything in particular, to that being in close contact with nature that generously revitalizes us when we go to it empty-handed.

Children do not need to go to any retreat to learn how to make the most of life. They come with that capability as standard. However, instead of learning from them as our great teachers, we strive to divert them from their natural connection with the body and with life.

We have much to learn from them, before adult rush and pressure make them as lost as we are.


As children they steal our childhood in exchange for the promise of a supposedly better future work, but as adults we do not end up with the accounts.

What if instead we could have gone about our business at our own pace? Where would we be now? Would we keep running through life with our tongues out like we do now? We do not know.

What we do know is that we have learned to turn our backs on the nature that surrounds us and also on who we are. What we know is that, although the day continues to have 24 hours, we are very poor in free time. We have very little time available to us, since as children we were forced to give it up.

But what if the school decided to become a kind of reserve of our nature? What if it were a privileged place where we could grow and live more slowly, more in tune with our rhythms?


If school were in tune with respect for our bodies and their true needs, it would be like a sacred territory where we would give each child their free time. It would be a place where the rush would be left outside, at the door. In short, it would be a place where you can grow over low heat.

And that is important because we do not know what today’s children will need in the future, but what we do know is that it will be vital for them to have been able to live a full childhood. That’s how it is. The world is changing rapidly and the adults of the present, like the adults who accompanied us in their day, have very little real idea of ​​what the children of today will need when they are the adults of tomorrow. The only certainty that remains is that we had better not turn off their desire to learn and to update creatively. School needs to be a place that allows listening to the child’s own needs, a place that helps them live as fully as possible. To live as your nature is crying out for you.


It makes no sense that just because we are adults, who live almost 100% in our heads, we want children to stop being their bodies during certain hours at school, as we have already dramatically learned to do. We can’t expect that they can only be whole again when they are in PE class or during recess.

It is an emergency for children to regain some freedom of movement. New scientific studies alert us that we are not designed to be sedentary. Sitting all day hinders the work of digestion, leads us to suffer from heart disease, diabetes, obesity and even predisposes us to develop cancer cells. Blood and our nerve cells depend on our movement to circulate properly.

What the wise body of a child demands is not to exercise only during the half hour of recess or during the weekly physical education class. No. What he claims in order not to get sick is not to remain paralyzed for long hours. What children want is to be active. Healthy And they want it because they know how to listen to their body.

But we adults at school want to make them forget it, as other adults did with the child we were. We adults no longer feel that claim on our own flesh. We live in bodies frozen or put on “pause” for most of the day. We have forgotten that we are our body and that by listening to it we gain a lot of wisdom and a lot of well-being. Much more life. But even more serious is that we are also favoring the disconnection with the body in the following generations.


Let’s reconsider: what do we favor in school? Disconnection or listening to basic needs? Self-regulation and taking charge of our health or delegating it to others?

It does not make sense that children as adults need to learn body awareness, perhaps after an illness or an anxiety attack. Children come to this world with that wisdom of the body and it is adult training that makes us renounce it.

The school needs greater humility towards childhood and learn more from it, to thus become a place that favors their well-being at all levels, becoming a space-time for reconnection with those activities and situations that favor vitality, balance and well-being.

MindFixes Staffhttp://mindfixes.com
MindFixes is dedicated to promoting mental health, preventing mental disorders and advocating, educating, and serving all people with mental and substance use conditions. MindFixes is determined to persevere, learn, grow, love and laugh through our wellness journey and we invite all to join.


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