The brain is pretty amazing when you think about it. It has over 100 billion neurons that are capable of transferring information at an incredible speed! Our brains are also very complex with lots of different parts doing all sorts of important jobs.
The left side of our brain is known as the logical brain. It controls the right side of the body and is responsible for tasks like speaking, writing, maths and science as well as being able to logically analyse daily tasks through reasoning and objectivity.
The right side of our brain is known as the emotional brain. It controls the left side of the body and is responsible for creativity, imagination, intuition, music, art and subjectivity.
Babies and young children are right brain dominant. They are mostly driven by emotions, they act and react in the moment, and they are completely driven by their feelings! We see some reasoning take place with more questions like ‘why’ and ‘how’ close to 3 years old.
Crossing the midline is a key concept that must be developed! So what is it?! It happens every time we cross one part of our body to the opposite side.
To put it more simply, if you draw an imaginary line down the middle of your body, anytime you cross over that line you are crossing the midline. This could be reaching the right hand to tie the left shoe, crossing one leg over the other, or even reading a book when our eyes go from the left side of the page to the right. It is an indicator of bilateral coordination, meaning the ability to use both sides of the body at the same time.
A seemingly simple task that can be difficult for some children.
Crossing the midline first happens when babies hit developmental milestones like rolling over, crawling and pulling themselves up to stand. All of these tasks require communication and integration of both sides of the brain. It is very important for babies to learn to crawl. From a brain perspective, it is much more beneficial for a baby to learn to crawl than to skip straight to walking.
Every time a baby crosses the midline, new connections are built in the baby’s brain. These connections are essential for gross and fine motor development later on. For children who skipped the crawling stage, having them go back and practice crawling with proper right and left side coordination can be extremely important for their brain right now and for the future!
Most of the challenging behaviours we face with children now includes everything from difficulty listening, tantrums, unexplained emotional outbursts, trouble in school and aggression. They are signs that your child may have a lack of brain communication. In other words, the different parts of their brain are not working together! The more these two sides communicate, the stronger these connections become, and the easier it is for the developing brain to process all the information and gain different skills.
So the key to helping your children to be calmer, happier, and functioning at their best is to get their whole brain to work together!
One of the best ways you can improve their brains communication to their body so that crossing the midline becomes initiated and integrated, is through very specific paediatric chiropractic adjustments and followed up with exercises that reinforce those connections that are created.
- Dr Clara xo