Children and breathing

Children should be breathing correctly unless they are ill. While almost every newborn baby breathes correctly, only a few of them keep it that way through their early childhood. Most children lose the muscle coordination required for correct breathing very early. When we lose said coordination, we develop a chronic breathing inefficiency, which also changes our attitude and response towards stress. We overreact to it because chronic contraction prevents us from relaxing our muscles, leading to fatigue and weakness. Such a person perceives the pressure of the environment more strongly due to the weakness of their structure. This eventually leads to psychophysical problems. Chronic muscle spasms and hypersensitivity to CO2 in the blood begin to develop.

Children are especially sensitive to stress, especially if it is constant because it causes chaos in an underdeveloped respiratory system and large alterations in breathing. This is the cause of a personality change; their direction of life begins to correspond to the requirements and habits of the environment. Much of this stress comes from the constant competition that characterizes modern society. Even before a newborn can get used to body regulation in a certain environment, we already expect him to grow up as soon as possible and provide the parents with the high enough efficiency they need for normal functioning. The growth and development of a child, which requires time, carelessness, and peace, has been turned into a competition. This is especially true for the child’s expression of emotions, which most disturbs the high speed of the parents’ life. There is no time for calm eating, coexistence, and high enough relaxation of the mother’s body so that the mother can perceive the child’s needs and fulfill them in the way, in the amount, and at the time the child needs them.

Nature arranged the child’s development in such a way that he is the one who determines what he needs and how much, and when. The child in the mother’s body receives from the mother as much as he needs, and she can provide for him, and they maintain the same relationship even after birth because the mother perceives his needs intuitively. The difference is that during pregnancy, there are no barriers to communication between them, but when the child is next to the mother’s body, the state of chronic spasm of the mother’s skeletal muscles limits and distorts non-verbal communication between them. This communication between mother and child can still be clearly observed in undeveloped environments. The child rarely cries there, and the mother knows what she needs. In our country, I often hear mothers asking their one-year-old child why he is crying.

Due to the contraction of the parents’ bodies, the child has to intensify the influence on the environment, which can quickly become problematic. It provokes a neurotic response from the parents, which is not in line with the child’s needs or wants. The child thus gradually understands that expressing strong emotions, for which he needs proper breathing, is not in his interest, as they provoke a negative reaction. In a panicked attempt to calm the child down, parents react incorrectly, and the child does not get what it needs, despite the strong stimuli it sends into the environment. As a result, his ability to fulfill his needs through expression deteriorates; he becomes calm, hardworking and undemanding, numb or excessively active, impulsive, and furious.

A child like this cannot breathe efficiently because he had to limit the authenticity of his expressions to maintain the relationship with his parents on which his life depends.

Aleš Ernst, author of the AEQ method and AEQ breathing