I’m a mother of 2. One of my children is an 8 year old boy who is a very spirited and intense child. He is very creative, smart and funny. He can carry on a conversation like an adult. Along with his wonderful qualities he has an intense personality. He wants things to go as he sees them in his mind and when he is told “no” or that it is time to clean up, he swirls out of control, like a Tasmanian devil. Do not get me wrong, I love him dearly and know that some of this intensity will help him be a successful adult but, when he is mad, he is mad and loud. Very loud! My body cannot deal with this. My shoulders tighten and I want to yell back, which does not help either of us. I found a very useful tool that I want to share with all the other parents that may have similar situations or who are simply looking for a tool to calm down before they respond to their children. Many articles or parenting books advise us to take 3 deep breaths before responding when we are upset. Sometimes this works but I’ve learned that my body needs to move to dispel the energy and find focus; maybe much like my son. Instead, I found that 3-5 mini “vinyasas” have helped me so much. Sometimes I walk to another room or sometimes I do them in his presence, hoping to encourage him to try it and to notice how calm mommy is. Granted this is not so useful in the grocery story in which case, the 3 deep breaths are doable.
Here are the steps in my mini yoga session: Standing in Tadasana, (mountain pose), inhale reach arms out to the sides and up, exhale fold forward with bent knees, place hands on your shins, inhale up half way to a long spine, exhale fold over again. Inhale sweep arms out to the sides and come all the way up with a long spine. Exhale arms to the sides and repeat.
“If you can control your behavior when everything around you is out of control, you can model for your children a valuable lesson in patience and understanding…and snatch an opportunity to shape character.”
― Jane Clayson Johnson, I Am a Mother