July 27, 2023 by Asha Subramaniam

How are you feeling right now? Do you feel cold or warm? Do you feel full or hungry? Interoception refers to how our brain understands the sensations inside our body. For example, when you stomach grumbles, you know you are hungry. It is important for children to understand these connections between their body, mind and how they feel. If they have a good understanding of their feelings in relation to their bodies state, it helps them stay emotionally regulated. When there isn’t a good relationship, you can have meltdowns. They may not know why they are melting down.

How does Interoception impact your child’s everyday life?

If your child has a strong sense of their physical self, they can meet their body’s needs. They are more likely to eat before they are hangry or stop eating before they make themselves sick. Interoception can impact all activities of daily living like eating, sleeping, toileting, dressing and more. It is also strongly connected to how we feel. Without it, figuring out how we feel is very challenging. Kids may get angry, cry, scream, have potty accidents, under or over eat and be emotional dysregulated.

Tips to help improve interoception

Model – Let your child know how you are feeling. For example, my tummy is so full it is sticking out, I should stop eating I can hear my stomach grumbling so I know I am very hungry.

Mindfulness – I know, lots of kids do not like this word, but there are fun ways to be more self-aware.

While the sensory sense of interoception is not thought of right away, it is very important and often impacts the kids we see.

Previous post: