Is my child Physically Literate?

We all love our children and we spend a lot of time, effort and money to watch them and help them develop. 
When they are infants, we keep track of all the minute ‘milestones’ - when did they flip, crawl, sit, stand and walk. Why? This is because ‘Movement is the first language of the Child’ - they can only express physically at that stage. Mysteriously, though, we stop tracking their gains / learnings in ‘movement’ after ‘walking’. Even the healthcare providers do not provide any benchmarks for these. Part of the reason probably is that the first spoken words are uttered by the children just around that time - and all of us become immersed in the spoken vocabulary they gain each day, week and month.

Eventually it’s time to go to school. Every school maintains that ‘Physical Development’ is an integral part of the child’s development along with ‘Cognitive Development’, ‘Aesthetic Development’ and ‘Social Development’. In line with that schools have ‘Physical Education’ teachers and classes. However, neither the schools nor us, parents, at home monitor the progress in ‘Physical Development’. All of the monitoring is concentrated on ‘Cognitive Development’ and all others get ignored. So, we never really know, after ‘walking’, when did (or whether) our child learn to run, hop, skip, jump, throw, catch, strike, dribble etc. - all of which are basic vocabulary of Movement. Sports, at a simple level, involve the application of these different movements. And we are looking for sports performances without monitoring these basic skills.

That is like expecting your child to write a story when the vocabulary and grammar are weak. It is akin to wondering why solving an equation in algebra is difficult when the child has been struggling with basic arithmetic functions like +, -, x and /. Teaching them movement skills and motivating them to apply these in Sports or Dance or other physical activity is actually making them ‘Physically Literate’. This is needed not just to excel in sports but also to engage in physical activity for life.

So question yourself “IS MY CHILD PHYSICALLY LITERATE?”.