Slouching and poor postures seem to be an omnipresent trait of teenage awkwardness. In some children, sudden growth spurts made them seem taller overnight. This sudden height increase can be both exhilarating and terrifying at the same time for your child. In this post, we examine teenage posture problems and offer some tips for parents on how to deal with this gawky phase.
Why Do Teens Slouch?
Many tall kids tend to be conscious of their height and slouch to reduce their “towering effect” over their friends. Being taller also means greater awareness from teachers and other adults. People SEE them now.
Their newfound height or lengthening of limbs makes them seem gawky and clumsy. The sudden height increase means outgrowing many things like school uniforms, shoes, even furniture such as the standard tables and chairs in school. Suddenly, they have to adjust the angles of their legs to sit at the canteen tables. Or bow their heads so they do not hit the top of the door frame.
These awkward adjustments make them feel uncomfortable and self-conscious. Their solution to avoid embarrassment is to slump or hunch over to appear smaller or make themselves less visible. Others adopt the “infamous” teenage attitude to cope with this gawky phase.
Other than the height adjustment, their digital lifestyle today also contributes to the teenage posture problems. More adolescents now suffer from text neck – the poor posture from looking at your smart phone or laptop with your head bowed. Studies show that the average teenager sends 70 to 80 texts each day and spends at least an hour watching videos or checking social media sites on their mobile devices. This means that each time a device is out, the user’s head is hunched forward.
Carrying heavy backpacks to school and insufficient exercising of their core muscles and the muscles in the spine adds to the postural problems in our youths.
Why Parents Should Take Note
Aside from the aesthetic aspect, poor postures could also indicate scoliosis – an abnormal curving of the spine. Early diagnosis can prevent the curve from developing more severely. This condition may not appear until your child reaches growth spurt during their teenage years.
For those of you who knows NLP (neuro-linguistic programming), you know that your posture can change your mood. A hunched posture (slump over with your neck and shoulders) sends signals to your brain that you are sad, depressed or gloomy. Is it any wonder that our teenage posture problems are accompanied by melancholy teenage outlook?
Here is another food for thought:
Sitting in a collapsed, helpless position makes it easier for negative thoughts and memories to appear while sitting in an upright, powerful position makes it easier to have empowering thoughts and memories.
Now that’s a strong motivation to get your teenager to sit upright. We share below tips on how you can help your kids develop good postural habits as they grow.
Tips For Parents To Deal With This Gawky Phase
- Invest in Ergonomic Study Table and Chair
Ergonomic furniture are intended to promote good posture alignment. A good ergonomic furniture “grows” with your child and encourages good posture habits from young. Hence, the initial investment outweighs the health headaches later in life. Read our review on Ergonomic Study Table and Chair to see how it benefits teenage posture.
- Role Model Good Postures
Awareness of the benefits of good posture is half the battle won. Role model good posture yourself. Show your kids you make good posture a priority whether you are standing, walking or sitting. Compliment your kids on how straight they are standing, or how tall or grown up they look when they practice standing straight.
- Avoid Telling Them to “Sit or Stand Up Straight”
Remember this is a rebellious phase they are going through. You might risk alienating them as teens can view us as “old people” nagging them to sit or stand straight. Ballet, dance or yoga classes are great reinforcements to good postures.
- Encourage Healthy Lifestyle
Get out there and play with them. Simple exercises like running or walking with good postures help them to build their core muscles, and reinforce the habit of good postural pose. Encourage your kids to get up and move/stretch before they slide down the back of their chair. Teach them to choose healthy snacks and have a healthy diet as being overweight can add pressure to and affect the alignment of the spine.
We hope this article is useful to help you understand more about teenage posture and how to help your child achieve better postural habits.