You only have to hear a child put themselves down - I can't..., I'll never...., It's too hard.... and watch their body language to know that they believe in every way the negative things they say. It just breaks your heart. Every child has unlimited potential for greatness.
Kids and adults alike - what we think is manifested in the way we feel. Which is why, if you've ever asked me how I am, my standard answer is "fantastic" or "fabulous".
Last week with the 3/4's at PA State School towards the end of the class, the kids were colouring while listening to "Positive Affirmations for Children" by Teacher Kay. It was heartening to see them either listening carefully or repeating the affirmations, without even thinking about it. Link to itunes at bottom of page
With repetition putting positive thoughts into their subconscious won't leave any room for the negative thoughts.
Some simple things you can do - a changing message on a blackboard, affirmation notes in their lunch box and reminding them everyday to think good things. And of course show them what it looks like by doing it yourself.
Link at bottom of page.
My current affirmation is "I live in a clean and tidy home". I've been a bit busy of late and saying this repeatedly reminds me to stop and pick it up or put it away, instead of stepping over it, which takes no more time and creates a positive piece of head space. Win-Win!!
"A person's a person no matter how small" ~ Dr Suess
Yes, I was that excited!!
Let me introduce you to Isabella. I have been working with Isabella for ... getting close to 2 and half years now, once a week for 30-45 minutes. Isabella is 7, gorgeous, loving, funny, active, sometimes keen for new things and sometimes not and is somewhere on the Autism spectrum.
When we first started practicing 4th Term of her Prep year, 3 breaths in a row without distraction was a success. Her breath was short and shallow - which keeps us all (adults included) in a state of fight, fright or flight (think cave lion attack!) a sympathetic nervous state. Last week our few minutes of breathing space before we got started, was for 10 long slow and deliberate breaths into the belly - which brings us all into a parasympathetic nervous state, relaxed, calm and focused.
Two and a half years ago, Isabella was tight and rigid in her body (sympathetic nervous state), no softness - everything was always tense and with very little connection to where her body was in the space. eg - a verbal direction of knees on the floor could result in anything :).
The photo above of us doing a little Acro Yoga demonstrates her current level of awareness - strong arms and legs, engaged core and back muscles and most importantly focus to balance.
Last week we (she) did her first handstand. Isabella, Michelle (her mum) and I, were all so excited that we missed the photo op.
Isabella has changed, grown and continues to learn so much in our practice together. Some days are hilarious and we have lots of fun, some days she tells me what I'm doing wrong and some days 'back on your mat', is the most oft used cue.
Isabella continues to validate for me what a powerful tool yoga is for kids. Resilience, compassion, self worth, confidence, self calming, focus - I could put together and A-Z of why yoga is so good for kids.
I might do that.
"A person's a person no matter how small!"- Dr Suess
Tracey is a knowledgeable yoga instructor and the children look forward to her regular visits. It's amazing to watch the children grow and learn the poses and strategies that she uses. The children are always excited to share what they have learnt and often transfer what they have done that day into other aspects of their play. Educators are using the calming strategies during the day.
Tracey, my daughter loves your yoga classes at day care. I have just watched her attempt to retell a story through yoga. Thoroughly cute! Thanks so much for your thought and effort.