Over Our Heads
…’that went straight over my head’, …’sounds like gibberish to me’… ‘you may as well be speaking a foreign language’.
Do these phrases sound familiar to you? Ever wondered why sometimes you can listen to something and it makes sense and other times it just goes over your head? Maybe you are listening with the wrong ear?
Many children and adults find challenges with everyday activities that frustrate and hinder. Understanding how we personally take in and process information and what actually happens to our thought process when we are under pressure may help us place ourselves to our best advantage.
Every individual is born with dominant strengths. We never question or think about writing with our right or left hand, we just do what feels natural and we take it for granted. Well, the rest of the body works in the same way; our feet… you footballers out there, which foot is most comfortable to kick with? Our eyes… if you are asked to cover an eye which one do you automatically cover? Our hearing… which ear do you place your phone too when you are really concentrating?
All of these strengths make the intake of information easier for the brain to understand and process which in turn, allows the retrieval of information to flow quicker and more fluent when the time comes to use it. As well as these strengths we are such amazing individuals that we also uniquely prefer the way in which information is delivered. Some of us like to look at something and all the required information is visually accepted by our system; some of us need words to be used as we auditorily process the information; whilst some of us need to touch and feel an object and break it apart and put it back together to understand and learn. Children and adults learn in many different ways and this can be clearly observed in the classroom. One child may sit still and read, remembering while they read, some close their eyes and listen, some doodle…yes doodling is good! others have to move or touch things or be excited by something for it to sink in. ….What do you do?…..
When we talk about the classroom for childhood learning we understand the necessity of a structured learning environment, however, when we offer an individual a task to do with step-by-step instructions without understanding that the individual needs to know what the goal is before they can break down what has to happen to get the there, the individual will switch off before they have a chance to learn. How sad it is to loose the passion for learning? It is not always possible to engage all children all the time, is this not also the case in a boardroom, some people stare blankly, some seem to vigorously write notes, some seem constantly engaged. Understanding that the way in which the individual takes in and processes information may aid each of us to consciously think about how we plan activities for both our own benefit and that of our peers.
Once we know our dominant strengths we can start encouraging our non-dominances to strengthen also by doing bi-lateral exercises, for example; writing with both hands at the same time, playing the drums, stirring your coffee with the other hand, helps our systems to become more balanced which presents itself by feeling calmer under pressure, focus for longer and heh! you might even confuse your football opponent by changing feet mid-field!
Learning core skills and adapting to new skills encourages the brain muscles to exercise creates opportunities for new internal growth pathways to emerge strengthening our ability and motivation for learning, keeping us young, relaxed and clear for thought and life along with balancing emotions and perceptions of ourselves as individuals and the world as a whole. By being aware of your own specific dominant strengths and knowing that the person you are with is completely unique just like you encourages understanding of self and others, opening you both to new avenues of learning.
When we become aware that we have strengths within us that can make our experience of learning new things easier, quicker more fun, life may not seem so ‘over our head’.
I hope that you have found this guest blog informative and interesting. It was written by Jacqueline Dennaford – BSc (Hons), MNCH (Reg.) HPD, DCH, a Cognitive Therapist & Learning Challenges Intervention Practitioner.
Jacqueline runs “The Therapy Place”, which offers personalised support for individuals who are struggling with life, be this emotionally, socially, educationally or developmentally. Each individual case is unique and requires individual support. The centre offers a range of approaches including but not exclusive to cognitive behavioural therapy, counselling services, neurodevelopment support, movement & behavioural programmes, clinical hypnotherapy, play and colour therapy support. www.thetherapyplace.org.uk
You can follow Jacqueline on Twitter @therapyplaceuk or on Facebook /therapyplaceuk
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