Realising your child’s personal potential


All parents have wished, at some point, that they could understand what is going on inside their child’s head. Educational kinesiology can help you better understand how your children’s brains work and guide them towards realising their personal potential.

When Brettenwood mother of two Nasreen Khan first saw a presentation on educational kinesiology more than 20 years ago, she was captivated.

At the time, Nasreen had just completed her thesis for her bachelor’s degree in primary school education and was working at the then Sir Liege Primary School on Addington Farm.

“One of the things that stood out for me was the emphasis on correct hydration. I installed a water dispenser at our school and was amazed at the progress I saw with one particular pupil who always struggled to read but started improving daily, simply because of his increased water intake,” says Nasreen.

Educational kinesiology, she explains, is very simply the process of helping ones left brain and right brain work together simultaneously. “Some people are left brain dominant and others are right brain dominant. If you are more dominant on your right side, for example, you may struggle with logical, rational thought.”

When she told her then principal Bev Coughlan about her interest in the field, Bev encouraged her to further her studies. Nasreen did a two-year course through UCLA and opened a practice with two other mothers, which they ran for 10 years.

Nasreen was headhunted by a special needs school in Kuwait where she spent a year working with children who were affected by the war, physically, emotionally and psychologically. “It was an incredible experience. I had struggled to have my own children and found comfort in knowing that these children needed me.”

After meeting her husband in Dubai, the couple relocated back to South Africa. They now live in Brettenwood with their two children, Faatima and Yaseen. She started her practice back up three years ago and now focusses on educational kinesiology, helping children with social, academic or emotional issues.

“Social issues can include a child who is bullied or a child who is the bully, academic problems can relate to anything from reading difficulties to concentration (it’s important to note that I don’t help children get A’s, I rather help them to reach their own potential. On the emotional side I can help children deal with loss and help parents with successful discipline techniques.”

The real magic in what she does, Nasreen says, is the brain profiling she does. Not all children need kinesiology sessions, but parents can benefit from having their child assessed. “I can determine whether your child is left or right brain dominant, and work out if they are visual, auditory or kinaesthetic learners. This tells us how they receive and how they put out information, which can help ensure that you communicate with your child in a way they understand.”

Details: Nasreen Khan, educational kinesiologist: 082 923 1714 /  [email protected]. (The initial assessment and report is R1500 and sessions are R700 (1-hour) and R350 (30 minutes) thereafter.)

Nasreen shares her advice on how to be an ‘active’ parent:

1. Nurture your child’s mental health. Be present. Actively listen to them before offering advice and remember you don’t always have to give them a solution. It’s okay to just say, ‘I’m so sorry that happened to you’.

2. Always react to your children from a point of mercy, and patience.

3. Share your feelings with your child. Tell them stories about yourself and experiences you’ve had. This helps them feel closer to you.

4. Always tell the truth. Never lie to them. Parents often shelter kids financially, but it’s okay to tell them they can’t do something because you can’t afford it.

5. Model good behaviour. If your rule is only 30 minutes of screen time then you can’t be on your cell phone for hours…

6. Give them boundaries. These are imperative.

7. Have a monthly family meeting. Sit down and talk about what you are proud of about each family member and how you feel you can improve. Choose a love word for the month. Take minutes and make it a serious exercise.

8. Play and exercise with your kids.

9. Hug and touch your child.

10. Believe them and believe in them.

11. Be consistent – both with your promises and discipline.

12. Surround your children with adults you trust. Choose your company wisely.

13. Children need to do chores around the house for which they don’t get rewarded. It gives them a sense of belonging.

Text: Leah Shone | Photographer: Samantha Basson / [email protected]