Connect with us

Parenting

Why Is Yoga For Kids Becoming So Popular?

Published

on

kids yoga classes image

Yoga for kids is recently becoming a norm. We live in a fast-paced world. Every day, we have deadlines to beat, targets to achieve, places to be and so on. These demands can be very stressful. And indeed they are. But did you know that even our children undergo a lot of stress? From the anxiety of upcoming examinations, illness, the death of a family member, change of schools, to the simple gestures we make about the child’s appearance?

All this put excessive pressure on children. Far much more than their physical and mental capability! And when these children can’t handle it anymore, you notice a lack of concentration, throwing tantrums, sleeping problems, eating disorders, headaches, and even drug abuse. In fact, research shows that stress is the leading cause of mental health problems in children and teens. And we the parents can play a crucial role in helping these children cope with stress through yoga.

Why Yoga?

kids yoga classes benefits image

Yoga is based on the principle of prevention rather than treatment. It emphasizes the body’s ability to heal itself. The best part is that it can be customized to fit the specific needs of any child. With activities such as relaxation techniques, the assumption of postures and many more, a good yoga instructor can quickly make these activities fun and effortless for any child.

As a parent, your emphasis at home can supplement the instructor’s efforts. This is because yoga’s benefits build up through regular practice. Soon, your child will be living a stress-free life because he/she has learned alternative ways to cope with stress.

However, the major concerns among most parents I have interacted with remain; what can my child gain from yoga? How can I choose the best instructor for my kid? How can I assist my child at home to practice yoga as a way of coping with stress? I have answered all these concerns and more in this article, let’s get started, shall we?

The Benefits of Kids Yoga Classes

Yoga introduced at an early age builds a child’s self-esteem and physical awareness. In addition, attending kids yoga classes will benefit your child in the following ways:

  • Relaxation

yoga for kids image

Have you ever noticed how children forget about their worries when they do an activity they enjoy? A sweet, captivating story told by a person they trust can do the trick. Yoga has similar activities. In the kids’ yoga classes, they tell stories, play games and music, mimic animal postures and much more. These capture the child’s attention and momentarily let them forget about their anxiety and worries.

  • Weight management

Obesity in children presents a vicious cycle. Obese children tend to have low self-esteem. And in extreme conditions, they suffer from depression and anxiety. These, in turn, push the child to indulge in more poor eating habits that again worsen their obese condition. Kids yoga classes are less strenuous for the overweight child who feels ashamed of exercising with his peers at the sports grounds. They help them distract their mind from unhealthy habits and provide relation techniques, should the need to snack unnecessarily arise.

  • Improves sleep

Every parent can relate to a night when their child had difficulties sleeping. I do. But when this routine happens more often, yoga comes in handy. Yoga Nidra, for example, is a form of yoga technique designed to help with sleep-related anxieties.

  • Increases concentration

yoga kid image

Stress can make a child forget to even brush their teeth! Yoga for kids helps by calming a child’s mind. By taking a child on an imaginative journey where they can imagine riding in a balloon, swimming with the dolphins, etc. they tend to have a calm mind and can concentrate better. A good instructor will go the extra mile to print pictures of the imaginative places they went to visit with the children.

The benefits of yoga for kids go beyond just coping with stress. Yoga enhances physical flexibility, self-discovery, body balance, better breathing among other significant benefits. Work with a reputable kids yoga instructor and do your part at home to make yoga as natural as possible.

How to Choose a Yoga Instructor for Your Child?

Yoga for kids is entirely different from yoga designed for adults. A good yoga instructor should be able to tailor the yoga lessons to suit your little one. Tick the following boxes as you shop around:

Does the teacher understand your child’s way of communicating?

The effectiveness of yoga lessons is enhanced when the instructor understands the gestures and anticipates the needs of your child.

Do they make the lessons lively?

yoga for kids instructor image

A good yoga instructor will make use of the children’s high energy levels instead of suppressing them.

Has the teacher set clear boundaries?

Children tend to respect adults who are clear in their instructions. A good instructor will ensure that they have captured the attention of the child before giving directions.

Do they handle small classes?

A class size of fewer than 30 kids is ideal since the instructor can closely monitor the personal journey of each student.

Finally, attend a trial class with different instructors and compare their styles of teaching yoga. Watch your child’s reactions as you move from one instructor to the next. You will learn a lot.

How Can Parents Complement The Yoga Instructor’s Efforts At Home?

kids yoga image

I normally set healthy patterns for my kids to help them continue with the meditation and other yoga practices every day. I believe that this practice will set them to continue with yoga even into their adulthood. You can make yoga a part of your daily life too.

  • Focus on the fun – Carry out activities that your child enjoys. Don’t dwell on one activity for too long.
  • Provide your child with the equipment they need – This can be as simple as just getting a mat for meditation or a comfortable pair of pajamas if you meditate before bedtime.
  • Be easy and learn to let go – Yes. Children have a hard time learning in a military style class. Guide our kid to achieve their daily goal instead of emphasizing on perfection.
  • Encourage imagination – Parents tend to be rigid and want to be realistic at all times. But when you are conducting yoga classes, you need to make use of your imagination to create a conducive environment for the child to relax.

In conclusion

Don’t wait until your child is overwhelmed with stress for you to take action. Immediately you notice a significant behavioral change, lend them a helping hand. Yoga for kids could be that helping hand. Book a kids yoga classes and be consistent and creative in teaching yoga at home as a coping strategy for your child. You will be amazed at the transformation.


Rachel is a mom of two boys, a wife, and a part-time chef. By trying and testing new parenting trends she takes her motherhood to the next level! She finds that she processes things better when she writes about them, which has unleashed her passion for sharing her thoughts on life and parenting through her articles for SOLANCHA Magazine.

Parenting

Gratitude Journal for Kids: The What, Why, and How to Guide

Published

on

gratitude journal for kids image

Sometimes we are so worried about what our kids will become that we forget we have the power to mold them in our hands. Like we can sit back and let our children whine and complain about all the things they think they deserve or teach them to accept life as it is and work towards a better tomorrow. Today I will share with you how to harness the power of gratitude in their young minds irrespective of which age your kid is as long as they can speak and understand. A gratitude journal for kids will achieve just that and more.

What is Gratitude?

Gratus is the Latin word from where gratitude is borrowed. It means showing appreciation. Most religions and traditional spiritualists over the years have taught gratitude to multiple generations. And, in recent times, psychologists have also joined the bandwagon; preaching the importance of gratitude. What are you grateful for?

Do you know that you can impart the same practice to your young ones using a gratitude journal for kids?

You read that right.

So Why Gratitude Journaling?

Gratitude Journaling For Kids Benefits Image

Your child will enjoy the following benefits once you start practicing gratitude:

#1: Better relationships

Acknowledging help or support from friends can open up new opportunities. This is especially important for introverted kids or kids who are naturally aggressive. Once they start gratitude journaling, they open up to saying “thank you” even for small favors from their peers. In turn, they win more friends. Now, who doesn’t want their kid to be popular for all the good reasons? 

#2: Improved psychological health

In addition to winning more friends over, a gratitude journal for kids can help them reduce toxic emotions. These include frustrations that result in resentment, envy (because they think their peers are more blessed than they are) and regret among others.

You see, when they learn to count their blessings, they will focus on them more than focusing on what they don’t have. So, each time your son says, “mommy Tony has a digital bike”, open the gratitude journal on the day they were grateful for their old-school bike as a reminder.

#3: Better Performance in school

Research has proven that gratitude increases mental strength. In addition, when your kid has little to worry about, they sleep better. And good sleeping patterns have also been linked to higher IQs. So, it’s a win-win for you.

#4: More empathy and reduced aggression

There is this category of kids who are sadly referred to as “bullies”. A gratitude journal for kids will tone the aggression down by introducing them to empathy. Consequently, they behave in a prosocial manner even when those around them behave less kind. See such environments make them hostile but with gratitude journaling, they will look at the positive side instead of seeking revenge. And don’t we all want that for our kids?

So now that we agree, let me share with you how to start journaling with your children.

6 Ways to Introduce Gratitude Journaling for Kids

gratitude image

#1: Set the Example

Kids at ages 2-6 learn by watching adults. They tend to copy paste what mommy or daddy does. So before you go bonkers with a list of gratitude journaling instructions, show them your gratitude journal first. Other than setting an example, your gratitude journal will also teach you and impact the same benefits you wish to instill in your kids. Because, let’s be honest, you can’t convince your little one that a gratitude journal for kids will have a positive impact unless you experience it first, right?

#2: Invest In an Age Appropriate Gratitude Journal

You will find several gratitude journals; some free and others available online for easy download. The online options also come with customizable templates so you can design a journal that your kids can relate to. Just make it simple to follow and interesting to work with. While at it, include a few prompts.

Like:

“What made you happy today?

“What do you wish for tomorrow?”

Etc.

Such prompts make it easier for children to follow along on their own. 

#3: Drawings and Pictures

Ideas For Kids Journaling Image

Kids under 8 years are visual and creative with colors. If you have a camera, let them take photos randomly. However, there’s a catch: only when they are happy. At the end of the day, review these photos, print them and stick them in their journal with a sentence or two to remind them of these occasions.

The idea is to create a gratitude journal for kids that they can grow with. So three years from now, they will look at these photos in their lowest moments and smile.

In the absence of a camera, you can encourage them to draw pictures of what made them happy during the day. Was it their pet or a walk in the park? Then let them draw their pet or the park and add a description of the exact event? A few colors will bring these drawings to life.

#4: Creative Affirmations

Above 5 years of age, you can teach your child to manifest their life. Start with the basic things they understand. And when these affirmations come to pass, journal them together. See the mind is as powerful as our creativity. Teach your kids the law of attraction as early as now. 

#5: Sing Along Songs

Gratitude song image

YouTube is full of gratitude songs for kids. However, you don’t have to stop there. Create your own lyrics and sing along each day before you go to bed. The good thing about songs is they are easily replayed in the subconscious mind even in sleep. And the secret to effective gratitude journaling is repetition. See what I’m doing?

#6: Poetry and Short Stories

For kids above the age of 8 years, engage them in lengthy scripts. By this age, they are already writing academic compositions anyway, so why not channel that creativity in their gratitude journals?

In Conclusion

A gratitude journal for kids sets a strong foundation for a positive mindset. See we all need positivity to make it through each day. However, with gratitude, you’re not merely surviving the day but enjoying and looking forward to each moment in your life. Let your child experience the same from a tender age and they will effortlessly transit to adulthood as happy and responsible people.


Continue Reading

Parenting

Signs That You’re Raising an Empath Child with Tips to Handle Them

Published

on

empath child image

An empath child is very unique and special. However, initially, most parents don’t understand how to deal with them.  Therefore, this confuses the child even more. You see, the child is going through new emotions and strange things. They need time to understand, appreciate, and deal with all this. As a parent, the best gift you can give an empath chid is supporting them emotionally and assuring them that it’s normal for them to be different. As they grow older, teach them how to harness their empath abilities and make use of them.

How Do You Identify an Empath Child?

They Are Overly Emotional and Sensitive

Does your child cry when another kid is in pain? Do they react strongly to criticism? Empath children are highly sensitive to other people’s emotions. They also don’t like being corrected harshly.

However, you don’t have to raise a spoilt brat just because they possess empath qualities. Just try to understand why they do what they do and correct them with love. Sometimes you can ignore wrongdoing but make sure you have a candid talk about such behavior later on.

They Have Strong Connections with Nature and Animals

The choice approach works best with spirited children.

Naturally, empath kids don’t make friends with their age mates easily. They stand out as too mature for their age. However, they have a strong bond with animals. If your kid prefers to take a stroll in the neighborhood with their dog, let them be.

Occasionally, they will describe to you several aspects of nature after such strolls. For example, they want specific flowers growing in your garden. Or they will ask why particular trees appear like they are whistling. Empath children can be full of surprises. Wait till they tell you they talked to a tree!

They Don’t Blend Easily in Crowds

Inner Child Image

Does your little one scream aloud when you suggest going to the public park to play? Do they prefer to stay locked in their room instead? Don’t worry. She’s/he’s an empathic child. Generally, empaths find crowds to be suffocating. When in such places, their brains are working full time trying to process all the mixed energies in their surroundings.

Over time, an adult empath learns how to cope with such situations. But this is not always the case for a child. This sensation is a thousand times harder for a child because they are still discovering new things in their surroundings.

They Love “Me-Times”

Me-Times Image

As your empath child fights off the overwhelming energies of a crowd, they find it peaceful staying indoors. This tendency should not worry you. If your child loves spending time on his/her own, make his/her surrounding welcoming. 

Fill his/her room with interior decorations and the colors she loves. Encourage him/her to discover his/her creative side. Above all, let him/her know that it is okay to spend his/her time on his/her own.

They Can Be Control Freaks

Most parents of empath children always expect them to be moody and oversensitive. However, they never imagine them as control freaks. Well, they can be.

Think about it. Does your empath child like everything to be done in a particular order? Do they get agitated when you challenge their ideas? Or, do you notice your child counterchecking the door locks or washing their hands too many times? That is normal for empaths.

They Like to Develop a Routine

Often, an empath child knows the things that get him/her anxious. In turn, they develop an obsession for control to keep the anxiety triggers away. This way, they can easily cope with the anxiety build up.

If your child happens to be a control freak and anxious most of the times, try to look at situations in their perspective and sympathize with them. Develop simple routines that will reassure the child.

How to Master Your Emotions and Use Your Energy to Empower an Empath Child

empath children image

As long as you are not a narcissist, you are the best gift that your empath child has. However, you need to understand when to correct them, when to let it go, and when to teach them. Sadly, with an empath child, most of the time you as a parent are the one learning, not the other way round. If you can keep your emotions in check, it is simple to have a child-centered educational approach. Let me show you how.

Learn To Listen More

As your empath child discovers his/her likes and dislikes, always offer a listening ear. At this stage in their lives, the children will have many questions without proper answers. Some of these questions may look petty to you. However, never dismiss empath children when they approach you.

Instead, let them know that they can always run to you to express the way they feel. As a parent to an empath child, you need to be their cheerleader as they go through the motions of life.

Teach them to Use Affirmations

mother and daughter image

Do you enjoy starting your day with meditation? Why not do it with your little one? Teach your child to be grateful for the little things that happen in their life. Let them know that their sensitivity is a gift which they can use for the benefit of others and themselves. Let them learn to accept and love themselves through constant affirmations.

Finally, Enrol Them in the Right Education Programme

Empath children thrive best in child-based curriculums such as those offered in Montessori systems. The reason is that they like being in charge. If you enroll them in schools that push them around to do what the school dictates, that child might never realize their full potential.

They might also lead a very boring school life. Yes, most of us hated school anyway, but we were never really depressed by the curriculums offered, right?

The Bottom Line

I hope the above discussion has shed some light on how to handle your empath child. Nurture them from their tender ages and support them emotionally. And when you feel like giving up, remember that the empath child feels even more weight than you do. So hang in there! Once they understand their unique personalities, they will be easier to handle and mentor.


Continue Reading

Meditation

Walking Meditation for Kids: Doing It the Right Way

Published

on

walking meditation for kids image

“But mum, I’m bored. Can’t I just play on the X-box instead?” Yes, that’s what Jason, my son, always said before we’d go for our daily dose of a walking meditation. Until I realized that I was doing it all wrong. So, how do you introduce walking meditation for kids?

Meditation is a way of achieving mental clarity and emotional calmness through focusing the mind on a particular thought or activity. It dates back to India, as early as 1500BCE among the Buddhists. This tradition has now gained momentum among most cultures as the benefits have proven to be way too many.

Other Common Types of Meditation

Body scan or progressive relaxation

Guided Visualization

Mindfulness meditation

Breath awareness meditation

Kundalini yoga

Zen meditation

Metta meditation

Transcendental meditation

I prefer the walking meditation since it is easy to learn and apply with the little ones. Because the current generation has grown up hooked to gadgets and the Internet which have had adverse effects on them, we need to correct that. The ‘Television Nanny’ for instance has robbed kids of their innocence at such a young age. There is no better way to heal and correct this situation than introducing them to meditation.

walking family image

First and foremost, walking meditation for kids is one of the easiest forms that children can start with. Since walking is the main technique of achieving focus here, it should be easier for kids as young as 2 years to master. My little Jason picked it up after just two weeks of practice.

How to Perform Walking Meditation for Kids

This is best practiced in a quiet place free from any distractions to enhance mental calmness and emotional awareness. We do it in the park when traffic is minimal. It is easier for the kids to achieve calmness and harmony within a short span if well guided. And they also enjoy the cool breeze, vegetation, and everything else that nature has to offer. Encourage them to take off your footwear for optimum experience. Remember that the goal is to achieve calmness and total awareness.

Now take slow relaxed breaths together and help your young one do so. Our usual routine starts by momentarily closing our eyes and enjoying the air as we breathe. I then ask my boy how or what he is feeling at that moment.

meditation for kids image

At the back of your mind try to answer the following question during this meditation period: “Is the child now aware of their immediate surrounding? Do they notice any calming effect?” And you can also ask them directly if they are old enough to understand.

Guide your loved one in making slow informed steps. Do not rush it. Step by step walk with them and teach them to feel the pressure on their feet. Does the child feel it? That is how you can tell for sure if you are in this together.

Moreover, children will live for the simple interesting things. Make the process fun. Jason and I sing Sponge Bob Squarepants’songs while at it. And he loves it. Kids are more likely attracted to fun activities. And if you could integrate a little fun into meditation then you sure will win over your little one.

A Gentle Reminder

With kids, you need to constantly check that the little one is alert and present in the moment. Take a ‘royal stroll’ with more slow steps and feel the inner you. What is the child feeling? Ask them. Can he/she feel as they lift their leg off the earth?

mother and daughter walk

Their attention naturally might wander off at times. But hey, do not scorn them. They are just kids. Monitor them and help them back to the present moment whether they have been away for ten minutes or just a second. Just like training a puppy. Well, except this puppy is your adorable sweet little angel. Do this for thirty to forty minutes. But after some time you can integrate this meditation into simple activities such as errands or your usual walk to the mall. If you make it fun the kid should find it easy doing it on their own.

Simple Meditation Techniques for Kids

So how then do you get your child to take onto meditation? It is not an easy task at first but once they pick it up then it should be a ride in the park. The following strategies did the trick for me:

  1. Keep it Simple. Philosophy is not a field any kid will venture into. At their age, they do not need to understand the complexities and modus operandi of meditation. I noticed that relating the walk with the simple surrounding improved focus.
  2. Curiosity. Kids are by far the most curious creatures. Frequently asking my son how he feels strengthens our bond and he is less bored.
  3. Do not compel them into it. Yes, let them be. My son was not into meditation initially but I realized that forcing him was not the best option but rather working together as a team. I stepped down to his level, just a little bit, and that worked for me.
  4. Make it a norm. We have made it a habit to meditate every Friday and Saturday evening. I was surprised that he still meditates even when I’m not around.
  5. Nature Watch. This is the beauty of it all. Ask them what they see. Visualize the experience. Not a minute passes without my boy asking me to name a certain bird or just random objects. “Mom look, that parrot is pecking at us.”
  6. Chant and sing. Recite mantras and sing their favorite play songs. This takes the monotony out of the whole walking meditation for kids.

Benefits of Walking Meditation for Kids

  1. Meditation helps reduce anxiety and hyperactivity among children. They are better equipped at dealing with stress and handling other situations in life. Studies have shown that children exposed to meditation at a prime age grow into healthier adults.
  2. Brain development. Meditation helps kids mature mentally and even their concentration span is increased. My son’s performance in class has steadily shot up and I have meditation to thank.
  3. Self-control. Meditation has an effect of turning kids into fully grown rational individuals. Chances of them making asinine decisions or actions for that matter are almost impossible.
  4. Self-esteem. Children attach a greater sense of self-worth and even associate more openly with their parents. We relate more closely with my son than we did before.
  5. Reduced panic disorder. Children who meditate are better equipped at handling whatever difficult situations they may face in life.
  6. Children who meditate handle pain better and also mentally strong thus decision making is no tall order for them.

In Conclusion

I started meditation with my boy when he was 6years and seeing the many perks I only wish I’d have started earlier. However, kids will not always respond positively to meditation at first but be sure to take them at a friendly pace and soon enough they will pick up. Walking meditation for kids is one of the simplest forms of meditation and if done properly the outcome won’t disappoint you.


Continue Reading
Advertisement

Travel

Awareness

Touch Starvation Image Touch Starvation Image
Awareness3 days ago

Is Touch Starvation Real? 8 Things to Watch For

Do you find yourself feeling closer, content, calm, or secure after an intimate skin-to-skin contact, say for example during sex?...

60 manifestation quotes image 60 manifestation quotes image
Inspirational quotes4 days ago

60 Manifestation Quotes to Inspire You to Become a Creator Of Your Reality

Whether we are aware of it or not we manifest our reality constantly. The frequency of our thoughts that we...

Astrological Events In August 2020 Image Astrological Events In August 2020 Image
Astrology5 days ago

Important Astrological Events In August 2020

After a relaxing July when all attention was focused on rest and recuperation, we move into a new period where...

Emotional empath Image Emotional empath Image
Awareness6 days ago

Understanding the Emotional Empath and Ways to Cope With This Personality Trait

Are you an emotional empath? Did you know that your vivid look at your surrounding is an asset that the...

Feng Shui Astrology For August 2000 Wood Monkey Image Feng Shui Astrology For August 2000 Wood Monkey Image
Astrology1 week ago

Feng Shui Astrology for August: the Month of the Wood Monkey

Feng Shui astrology is based on the Chinese calendar. The dates of the beginning and the end of the months are...

Abundance Haircuts In August 2020 Image Abundance Haircuts In August 2020 Image
Abundant Living1 week ago

Abundance Haircuts In August 2020: Good And Bad Days To Cut Your Hair

Abundance Haircuts is a little-known sutra that reveals the negative consequences of cutting your hair on the bad days and incredible benefits of cutting...

Cognitive Dissonance Image Cognitive Dissonance Image
Personal Development2 weeks ago

8 Signs You Could Be Going Through Cognitive Dissonance

As per Festinger’s (Leon) Cognitive Dissonance theory, we all have an inner urge to hold on to our beliefs, attitudes,...

Horoscope for August 2020 Image Horoscope for August 2020 Image
Astrology2 weeks ago

The Most Accurate Horoscope for August 2020

In this article, I will share with you the most accurate horoscope for August 2020 based on the Feng Shui flying stars chart. This horoscope includes...

Shadow Self Quotes Image Shadow Self Quotes Image
Inspirational quotes2 weeks ago

Shadow Self Quotes: Thought-Provoking Sayings About Inner Darkness

The Shadow self is a hidden and forgotten place within us all. This is the side of our personality that contains all...

8 Symptoms of Heart chakra awakening image 8 Symptoms of Heart chakra awakening image
Spirituality3 weeks ago

8 Common Signs Of Heart Chakra Awakening You Could Be Experiencing

The heart chakra is a source of love and compassion. This energy center is responsible for intuitive understanding, healing abilities,...

Daily Inspiration