Anyone who has ever witnessed their young child break down into an uncontrollable emotional frenzy knows how frustratingly heart breaking it is for a parent in trying to stop it. The more we try the worse they can get! Ignoring them as they find the ending or engaging in their wild emotions won’t teach them tools to help themselves. This method of breathing can help you both. The trick is to learn it yourself first.
*When the house is quiet and free of distractions, find a comfortable place to sit for 2-3 minutes. Close your eyes and with legs uncrossed, rest your hands in your lap, drop your shoulders and relax your face. Feel the tiny muscles around your mouth and eyes become soft and relaxed.
*Inhale through your nose slowly (count to 5 in your mind) then exhale slowly in reverse. As you exhale, press back on the back of your throat to get a “whooshy” sound. Keep your breathing smooth, in and out.
*On your inhale…raise one hand slowly then reverse as you exhale.
Once you learn this yourself you can practice when your child might see you. Curiosity might allow them to imitate you.
I use the breathing part of this technique with yoga and its very soothing and regenerating for the body. Also when stressed or upset.
Now it’s time to teach your child!
*When they come to see what you’re doing say “Breathe with me.” Start with a couple fast breaths (2 counts in, 2 counts out). Use the same sound and hand motions you learned. Don’t be discouraged if they don’t get it right away. It can take many tries before they do.
*Reward any effort with encouraging words about it. Offer up a “high 5.” Keep the mood light with a little play afterward. Later in the day speak about their good breathing to someone else or even their teddy bear or to a pet. Be specific with “good breathing” or “good hand use.”
*Gradually introduce more and slower breathing and shoot for the 5 breaths in a sitting. Once they learn majick breathing you can practice in different places and different times of the day.
*They can learn it quicker when they see you doing it regularly. Choose your timing when they are relaxed like after a nap or after eating. Make it more special by sitting on a “majick” pillow in a “majick” area. Maybe place a picture of something they like in this area and call it a “majick” animal or whatever you have chosen in the picture. This establishes a routine to help relax them going in and begin to breathe.
*Don’t be too pushy. You could offer something fun to do after the session if there is resistance. If you still find them unwilling, say “no problem” and find something else to do, ignoring them for a few minutes. Try again later in the day then the next. If you meet resistance every time it might be a good idea to wait a month or so then try again.
*It can become part of some play time by beginning it with a couple slow breathes then end it with the same. The reward being an activity they enjoy.
*It only takes a few minutes to establish a daily practice. The ones that do become able at self-calming when they need it. And, it can become a handy tool to calm yourself!
Written by Jasmine@majickalgarden.com