Collectively, as parents, I think we can all agree that it is our responsibility to provide a solid foundation for our children. Who we are, what we do with our time, where we reach when times are tough, and why we must continue to evolve… are all part of how we have such a profound influence on our children. Our energy is everything!
As little as our minis may be, they are the most present & energetically aligned as they will ever be! And this inherently puts us in such a powerful position. Younger children are so excited, so curious, so open & eager to learn (literally a sponge!), so use this open canvas to share your best practices with them!
I’m sure many of us out there are eager to “construct” the next sports star or “mold” a future Ivy Leaguer, but throughout this process, take the time to equip them for the stressful, anxiety filled times that we all know lie ahead… and in these cases, quite possibly rejection;) These are the tools that will matter.
It’s happened to all of us. The future nobel prize winning hall of famer is having some form of a meltdown, or may even be standing in front of fear itself… and wow is their reaction ever raw!! Fortunately, your natural reaction is to hold them & help them take a deep breath. So let’s build on this! Teach them then how to breathe properly… breathe in & watch your belly get bigger, breathe out & watch it get smaller. Then, eventually try adding in a meditation… offer up a simple mudra (hand gesture) with a mantra (may be a sound, a word or a series of words), something consistent & positive to focus on & take them away from the uncomfortable trigger. Practice this pause with them. Invite this into your daily routine, whether it’s during quiet time, before an uncomfortable situation, or even as a calming practice before bed.
In this video, my 4 yr old daughter, Layla, is reciting a beautiful Kundalini meditation I learned from my spiritual leader, Gabrielle Bernstein. Using your right hand, each finger touches the thumb one by one in sync with each word, “Peace. Begins. With. Me.” My daughter has become very familiar with yoga asana, meditation & pranayam techniques, but at the same time, it’s something I’ve been very careful not to force upon her. She’s joined me for practices, been a fun little assistant in yoga classes, & has now become excited to even take her own. Now if she really wasn’t into all of this, no big deal! I still need to be the example. All of this is being absorbed, even if we don’t realize it.
When I initially taught this meditation to Layla, I didn’t have any expectations. I had shared it in my mom & tot class + with some other kids & they quite enjoyed it. And it was during a tough moment where I myself started practicing this meditation… shortly thereafter she joined in. From then on, we were hooked. She even asks for it now! We meditate in the morning, before quiet time, & most recently I overheard her practicing it in bed while she was having a tough time falling asleep. It melted my heart, & will in turn build hers.
So give it a try, see what happens. This is medicine! When you teach your children how to breathe, you are teaching them how to calm themselves all on their own (we all know how important, “I can do it myself mom!” is;) But don’t force it. Offer it & practice it yourself. See where it takes you… or even better, the both of you.