Sunday, May 15, 2011

Teaching Children About Feelings Can Help Us With Our Own

In my child/parent yoga classes lately I have been starting to talk about what it means to be "centered" or at peace within ourselves. I note when the child or children seem to be at peace during the class so they realize what it feels like within themselves.

At the end of class, we talk about some of the different emotional states that come up during class. I tell them that it is perfectly acceptable to feel the different ways, but that it makes me happy to see them always returning to a peaceful state, or finding their center again.

The most important lesson, I believe, is telling them that their true nature or true self can shine forth when they are at peace within themselves. 

How do you feel when you are in your peaceful state? Do you know inside and out how you feel when you are centered?

Lately I have been talking with my three-year-old about anger. It is so nice that he is old enough to start discussing these things, instead of just letting him feel his way through.

Everyone feels anger, I tell him. It is okay to feel anger. When we are angry, we have a whole lot of powerful energy. We may feel like kicking or screaming or hitting to let it out the "anger energy" from where we feel it in our body. That is okay. BUT we must be careful not to hurt anyone with our words or with our body.

When we are in an anger state, it is soooo tempting to let our anger energy out on others who are around us. I tell my son, no matter how angry you feel, or why you are angry, it is never okay to hurt someone with your words or body.

This is such a big life lesson. And it may take all his life to be able to recognize when he is not centered, and to exercise self-restraint from acting out  on others.

As an adult, I find myself in low moments saying things and doing things I don't mean when I am angry. I have never thought or talked so much about feelings and how to deal with them before. It has really helped to shed light on my own state of being.

Teaching my son is a reminder to myself of how important it is to recognize when I am not centered and not my true self, and knowing the healthy ways to "let it out" and find my center again.

1 comment:

  1. One of the things I learned from traveling in Latin America was not to be afraid of my feelings when they are negative.

    When people are sad or mad here they express it rather than keeping it bottled up and they aren't ashamed of it.