My 7-year-old daughter says it’s good to be strong: “You need big muscles to fight off bad guys.” Of course protecting yourself is important, but it doesn’t always require big muscles—or brute strength.
Remember those toy finger traps we played with when we were kids? The ones that would squeeze tighter the more you tried to pull your fingers out of them? The only way to free your fingers was to relax. When you stopped using force, you could easily slide your fingers out and—viola!
Gentle strength. It’s the type of strength you need to stop yourself from yelling at that driver who cut you off, or the hypothetical child dancing around the living room in his socks after you’ve repeatedly asked him to put his shoes on and get in the car. For someone too young to drive (or have kids), gentle strength could help stave off a meltdown when they realize they’re not going to get something they really, really want, or when their sister tells on them for something they most certainly did not do.
Want to create some gentle strength in your household?
Try making a finger trap with your kids—click here for instructions. Testing it out together will give you an opportunity to talk about how calm can get you quicker results than a forceful angry fit.
- Talk about some of the opportunities you had to show gentle strength.
- Were you successful or did you lose your temper at one point?
- Be honest. It’s good for your child to know that you’re human. Maybe hearing that that you blew your top will make her feel comfortable enough to talk about her own slips.
- Discuss how the two of you could have handled the situation differently. Would a deep breath have helped?
Starting in February at Yoga Playhouse, we’ll be building gentle strength in our bodies, minds, hearts, and relationships while building a strong yoga practice.
Click here to sign up your yogi and give him or her a strong start to the New Year!