It’s Friday morning and you offer your little ones a quick snack before getting them ready for a GP appointment. You spread peanut butter on a piece of toast, cut it into triangles and serve. However, instead of a grateful “thank you”, at the sight of the triangularised toast, your 3 year old bursts into uncontrollable crying. Has he bitten his tongue? Has he hit his funny bone? Has he got his foot stuck in the chair frame? You’re not sure so you enquire. It takes a little while of your little man’s wailing to finally get the answer out of him: “Mummy, I didn’t want triangles, I wanted squares!!!!” You decide to pick your battles, pass the toast triangles to his shape-unaware 1 year old sister and cut up another toast into squares. Unfortunately, this does not end your little one’s frustrations and there’s more wailing and tears to come. First, because there’s not enough peanut butter on his squares, then because there’s too much. The persistent screaming now also sets off your 1 year old and you suddenly end up with two bundles of misery on a morning when you really don’t need any dramas.
You are now really starting to feel the time pressure but you manage to keep your cool as the toast saga unravels. At the same time, you sigh. You close your eyes and think to yourself that if there was a magic formula that could resolve these kinds of explosive situations without teaching your children to suppress their feelings, you’d seriously consider exchanging one of your kidneys for such a solution. As you open your eyes, you catch yourself smiling at the thought of replacing the craziness and wailing for a wonderful state of harmony and peace in your family. However, your smile drops instantly as you remind yourself that there simply is no magic formula.
Sounds familiar? Perhaps not every day or not as extreme, but if you have a 2, 3 or 4 year old, it is probably more likely than not that you encounter similar scenarios in your own home at least from time to time. In the absence of a simple magic formula, you may have developed a range of coping mechanisms. I used to take deep breaths, close my eyes and remind myself that I just needed to soldier through this challenging period in my children’s life, whilst hoping to raise them into decent human beings, who WILL eventually learn to deal with similar frustrations in a calm and constructive manner.
Then one afternoon, I was a little late to pick up my son from preschool. As I was running up the stairs, I sensed that the atmosphere in his room was rather lively. I entered the corridor leading to my son’s room and saw a very upset girl crying her eyes out, whilst one of the carers was lovingly comforting her with warm hugs. At the same time, another carer briskly made her way to the bathroom to discretely assist a sobbing child that had just had a little bathroom accident. As I entered the room, I instantly noticed a boy crying over his art work, whilst two other boys started arguing about a toy. The rest of the children were running around and banging all sorts of different things together. I gave the carer who greeted me a sympathetic look. However, what really struck me was the calm with which she welcomed me in the midst of this mayhem. I was rather sceptical when she said she’d go through my son’s daily report in just a minute as I didn’t quite believe it was possible based on the situation that had just unravelled in the class. Nevertheless, the carer ever so gracefully reached out for a meditation gong and in a matter of seconds, all the mini tornadoes miraculously gathered together and quietly performed the downward facing dog yoga pose. As if by magic, the atmosphere in the room instantly transformed from screaming chaos to peaceful calm. I was astonished. I was in awe. I was hooked.
Several weeks later, I was invited to attend a Mini Me Yoga workshop, organised by the nursery. I secured my place instantly, in hopes that I would too be able to reap some of the benefits of yoga and meditation in our home environment. Both my husband and I have experienced many of the well documented benefits of yoga and meditation on our own mental and physical well-being and I was very intrigued by the opportunity to share them with our children. The workshop was run by Ashley from Mini Me Yoga, and it was fabulous. I remember that night I couldn’t go to sleep because I had a head full of exciting ideas of how we could integrate Mini Me Yoga into our routine at home.
It’s been a couple of months since the workshop and I can’t say enough great things about Mini Me and the wonderful nursery staff, who integrate Mini Me Yoga techniques into children’s daily activities. We live in a world where sadly, rates of child/teenage depression and all kinds of emotional and mental issues, are on the rise. Hence, as a dedicated mother of two developing little people, I feel it is my duty as well as genuine desire to explore and try different tools that have the potential to support my children in developing a powerful emotional and mental arsenal to cope with any challenges they may encounter in life.
Michaela is a digital analyst by profession and a dedicated mom of two. She enjoys playing games, doing arts and crafts, and practising Mini Me Yoga with her 3 year old son Zak, and 1 year old daughter Isla (pictured above).