Fights with friends, getting left out of party invitations, stressing about homework, feeling overwhelmed … growing up can be hard. I certainly wouldn’t want to go through it alone.
That’s why relationships are so important in life. The stronger the relationships you have, the easier it is to navigate all the bumps and bruises you’re bound to collect along the way. Strong relationships can also enrich all the good stuff—like celebrations for birthdays, good grades, kicking the winning goal, etc. Researchers have found that strong relationships have all sorts of other benefits too, like reducing stress, pumping up your immune system and helping us live longer.
So, how do you help your child develop strong relationships?
Model these 3 yogic behaviors to teach your child to listen and build strong bonds.
Be in the moment: Don’t jump ahead to the end of your child’s sentence before she’s has a chance to finish it. You might never know what she’s going to say. When she says: “I’m not eating that …” maybe she’s going to finish by saying: “without giving you a hug first, because you’ve just made my favorite meal!” (One can always hope, right?)
Be mindful: When your child is talking, look her in the eye. This will help you pay attention to what she’s saying and pick up on important non-verbal cues. Of course we all know you can’t text and look at someone, but you don’t have to drop your electronics the minute you hear “Mom.” Instead, tell your child you want to finish the message your texting so you can give her your full attention—then do.
Be compassionate: Kids can say the most hurtful things when they’re upset. You don’t have to be a punching bag, but it’s okay to let some words slide. If your child yells out “I hate you!” in the middle of an argument about a sleepover, don’t get sidetracked fighting about how she should talk to you. Instead, show compassion, acknowledge that she is upset and stick to the topic at hand—the sleepover.
Starting in February at Yoga Playhouse, we’ll be building strength in our relationships, bodies, minds, hearts and practice.
Click here to sign your yogi for Winter classes up and give him or her a strong start to 2016!