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.”

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Play Ball: Parent Bonding

Ever notice the movie/tv trope of a father and child playing a game of catch? It’s meant to show the audience the kind of one-on-one relationship they have.

But why is this scene so common?

I have heard some of my dad friends express their dream to toss the ball around with their kid when they get older. But when I ask why, they are usually unsure of the reason. They just want to. Although that is a fair justification, I wanted to understand why this particular game of catch is important and meaningful to many fathers.

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New School OT

Some professions are easier to understand than others. When someone says they’re a doctor, lawyer, or electrician, there’s no elevator speech to explain what they actually do. However, occupational therapist?? Yeah, insert your first impression guesses here.

In a nutshell, occupational therapists (OTs) help people live an independent, functional, and meaningful life in their environment. How we do that depends on the needs and values of the individual and family. Where it gets tricky is that purposeful activities vary from person to person.

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Old School Skills/New School Tech

Growing up, it seemed like we had a lot to accomplish. It wasn’t just about manners or good grades, but mastering day-to-day skills by a certain age or we were doomed. Can you hear it now? “If you don’t learn this, you won’t make it as a grown up.”

In fairness, these skills were necessary to participate in daily activities at the time. We needed to know how to tie our shoes by the age of 5 or we ran the risk of tripping over ourselves. We had to know who to read an analog clock or we would miss the bus. 

Now, we have a good amount of tech that has replaced a lot of those hard line demands that we had as kids.

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