The body is an important instrument. It tells us how we’re really doing. Nevertheless, we teach our children to solve problems with their minds from an early age. Good news: it’s not difficult to reconnect to the wisdom of the belly.
It's cool to be bored
Make sure there are times when you don’t do anything. Is your child complaining about being bored? Praise them: keep it up! Boredom is the soil for new things.
Your breath is your vitality – it connects you to the cosmos’ life energy. By teaching kids to breathe consciously, you teach them to pacify their own body and mind. Most people, kids too, have a high breath. Breathing from the stomach makes the body softer and more relaxed. A good exercise to do together: put your hands on your belly and try to expand it while breathing in. You can do this lying down with a small stone on your belly: notice how the stone goes up and down. Do this for a while and notice the difference.
To poop is to let go
You might think pooping is an active thing to do, but it’s the opposite: it’s about relaxing and letting go what you no longer need. Not doing something, but letting it happen. If your child has a lot of stool, or thin stool, he or she might be afraid of something. Children often have diarrhea when they have a test, or before they go on a camp. If they have trouble defecating, they probably have trouble letting go. Learning to relax can be helpful.
It’s wise to teach young children that it’s okay to say ‘no’. Saying no is taking care of yourself.
The pause button
Everyone snaps every once in a while. Teach your kids that they have a ‘pause button’ that they can press when times get hard. Do they get to a point where they feel: I’m getting angry, sad or tense? Put your hand on your pause button. Everyone has a button, but we all have it in different places: it can be in your belly, in your heart or between your eyes.
Once you push the button, you reach the point where you stop. Breathe three times, and once you’ve breathed out, decide what to do or say. This is the way you learn not to react in a rush, but to make some space for what you feel inside.
Photo: Andrik Langfield Petrides