A Personal Physics Lesson: Turning Your Child’s Potential Kinetic

On the banner for our site, you’ll see the tagline, “Turning your child’s potential kinetic.
Every company and organization has a mission and vision statement, but this phrase has been significant to my professional career long before Child(ish) Advice came to be.

Seeing Potential

As an OT, I recognize that everyone is born with the potential to do or be something great. When it came to the kids I’d see in the clinic, their potential would get stuck, perhaps by their own limited abilities, the environment, or the presented task. This affected their participation at school, home, or within their community. They would be labeled as “bad”, “disruptive”, or “difficult”; identifiers that lowered the expectation of these kids to do anything right.

What sucked was that some of these kids believed these descriptions and that their parents were at a loss for what to do. What potential did these kids have if they didn’t think they had any in the first place? How could they harness it if they didn’t know how?

That’s when my professional mission statement was born: “Turning a child’s potential kinetic.”

Quick physics lesson:

Potential energy is the capacity for an object to move based on its position. It’s like an arrow pulled back or a ball about to be dropped from a building. These items all could propel towards their intended target once released. However, its position can alter its distance or intensity. An arrow won’t fly if it’s not drawn back all the way.

Similarly, a child may not see what they are truly capable of without addressing issues, testing their capabilities, adjusting the task/environment if needed, and cheering when they succeed. With each small victory, their self-confidence grows, they begin to see how much potential they truly have, and they begin to apply it to anything they do (the kinetic part).

Becoming Kinetic

Kinetic energy is when an object is in motion. Part of being a pediatric OT is to also help parents continue what their child learned in the clinic and employ it in the home; keeping the lessons moving. This part was tricky since there is no cookie-cutter formula that can be applied to every family. Every child, and therefore every home environment, is different. Communication and education are key to ensuring that their child’s potential and momentum didn’t wane. If done successfully, the entire family felt the positive impact of their kid’s growth and development. They could attend a party without having to leave early, enter a store without a meltdown, or finally receive positive feedback from the teacher about their child’s behavior. It’s a great feeling knowing that you are part of their success story.

Even though I’m not currently in the clinic, the phrase still applies to the mission of Child(ish) Advice: “Turning Your Child’s Potential Kinetic.”

From talking to the other moms and dads in my friend group and at school, I realized that we are all overwhelmed and trying to figure out the role of Parent. So, Child(ish) Advice was created to empower fellow parents with knowledge, strategies, and support to be the parents they want to be for their kids. We hope to give you the confidence in your skills so that you can harness and guide your child’s potential and turn it kinetic yourself.  

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