Does this sound familiar? You are on the phone. You just need 5 minutes more to finish your call. And all you hear is “Mom! Mom! Mom! Mom!”
How often does this happen in your home? Your child (age 4+) is feeling frustrated, tired, or angry. They melt down and have a fit because they don’t yet know the tools or have the experience to handle those emotions.
The bad news is that I can’t prevent all tantrums. (I’m not that good). But the good news is that I can offer a tool to replace or at least add to your current responses to these situations.
Instead of saying, “Wait” or “Not now” or “Stop that” replace a non-action with a specific task that will occupy their bodies and minds and calm them down.
We teach children as young as 4 that they can self-soothe using their breath. By sitting “crisscross applesauce” with their hands resting on their laps, they breath in through their nose and out through their mouth. Thirty seconds to a minute is fine for the youngest children. And it REALLY works. Our parents tell us they apply these tools from class at home with great success.
By teaching this skill now and helping it to become a habit when they are young, when they are in middle school and high school, they will have taught themselves that they don’t need chemicals to feel better. I am not saying we can totally prevent kids from experimenting with drinking or drugs. But we are giving them a tool and the experience to learn they don’t need those things to feel better.
At United Sports Tae Kwon Do, our students meditate for a few moments before and after class. It is an opportunity to focus, reflect, and prepare for what comes next. The act of sitting still for just a brief time teaches patience and self-control. All part of our mission to help students to become the best version of themselves.