For the sake of our children, ourselves and the future, what if we tuned into and decoded the cries, not only of our children, but the more subtle cries within ourselves, our bodies? Next time your child has clearly ‘hit the wall,’ or you find yourself short-tempered, stuck or plain exhausted consider the following actions as options:
1) Re-group. I would call it ‘time-out’ but this phrase may imply punishment. When there is an ‘I’ve hit the wall’ moment happening, have everybody pause and take a breath. You breathe, tell your child to breathe. Acknowledge the moment. Maybe this is a good time to offer a cuddle or validation of some kind. “I see you’re upset,” or “all is well.” If you are an adult in an office, you could inwardly tell yourself you are o.k., you are doing great, anything kind and reassuring.
2) Change Course. If the kids’ activity has been physical, maybe now it’s time for something quiet, like a craft, or a movie. If the kids have been cooped up doing quiet things for a while, maybe it’s time for some movement. Same for you, if you have reached a sticking point in your day, instead of pushing through, do something different, even if it’s just go to the restroom and wash your hands, get a drink of water, walk around, all this will move stuck energy.
3) Take a nap or go to bed already! Eventually, going to bed is clearly the best option. We are designed to need sleep. It is time we made peace with this fact and teach it to our children along with the message that it’s a good thing, not a punishment. And modeling good behaviour is always the most effective. Do your kids see you raising the white flag and saying, “break time, mom needs a nap?” or “I’m really tired, I’m going to go to bed now?”
Pausing, resting and sleep can bring instant change to any situation not to mention long range physical and mental health benefits. Learning to slow down and tune inward is a valuable skill to possess. The greatest inspiration and accomplishments have a way of popping up during or after moments of rest. What if you are raising the next the next Ghandi, Martin Luther King Jr., Oprah or Nelson Mandela? All these world changers understood the power and necessity of stillness and rest.