Sometimes while I am reading a book, it inspires my parenting and work with children.  This Life is Joy by Dr. Roger Teel did just that.  Released last week and found on amazon, (http://www.amazon.com/This-Life-Joy-Discovering-Powerfully/dp/0399165878/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1412443508&sr=8-1&keywords=This+life+is+joy), this book awakened in me the remembrance that we all are light.  As I was reading chapter two entitled, This Being is Light, I began to see how I might apply his words of inspiration to my parenting life and work as a school psychologist.  I especially loved the blessing included below:

Child of Light

Child of Light, I bless you, I think of you, I pray for you…not in terms of what I think you need, or what I think you should do or be or express.  I lift up my thoughts about you, I catch a new vision of you.  I see you as a Child of Light.  I see you guided and directed by an inward Spirit that leads you unerringly on to the path that is just right for you.  I see you strong and whole, I see you as blessed and prospered.  I see you courageous and confident.  I see you capable and successful.  I see you free from every limitation and all bondage of any kind.  I see you as the spiritually perfect being you truly are.

–Child of Light, I bless you–

This Life is Joy

Dr. Teel encourages us to look beyond conditions, external appearances and the sum total of life events to really deeply see the other person, to deeply see that we are all Light.  By applying this mindfulness and presence to my interactions with children, it’s possible for me to shift beyond the energy of resistance whether it is showing up as undesirable behaviors, feelings of stress, anxiety or muscle tension, to reach neutral within myself, my own natural state of relaxation and non-resistance.  When I begin to look beyond all these external distractors and remember to truly see the child, then there is connection.  That connection immediately lends itself for increased relaxation, in fact I consider connection, both within and with another to be the cornerstone of relaxation. When we feel connected and loved, our bodies and minds naturally relax and it is much easier to let go of worry, tension and angst.

So what does this mean for helping kids relax?  By endeavoring to look beyond external behaviors or strong feelings to sense the essence of the children with whom we interact, we can more easily foster a connection that enhances the relaxation response.

Here are some ideas to practice looking and listening beyond the external circumstances to more deeply connect with your child:

 Remember the phrase I see you, I hear you, I love you.  

 I see you— Pause for a moment through out the day and gaze with love while looking at your child.  Set the intention to sense beyond any behavior or activity that is going on and really see him for who he is.  Notice the beautiful, innocence of his being.  It might help to think back to the day he was born and connect with the beautiful baby that he was.  If you are having a challenging moment, think of a previous time of connection and feel into that love you felt in that moment.  Imagine that love is pouring out of your eyes toward your child.  Smile with your eyes.  Send the message of total acceptance, regardless of external circumstances.  He will feel the energy and it will register even if it is not immediately apparent.  This can be communicated through touch as well.  Give your child a simple back massage, foot massage or arm/hand massage.  Simply taking your child’s hand during the day and pausing for a moment to hold it.  Gently tug each finger and massage the palm of the hand, focusing on the crease of the palm that runs from the index finger past the thumb to the base of the palm.  Combine it with the eye activity for a wonderful moment of connection.

I hear you–Find an activity in which you and your child are able to connect.  It can be a board game, an art activity, reading a book together, walking in nature, cleaning the kitchen sink, but something in which you are genuinely interacting with your child.  Try to avoid any electronics for this activity.  While you are participating with your child, really pull in your focus  and place all of your attention on your child and what you are completing together.  Send the message “I hear you” by paraphrasing back to him what you hear him saying.  Remember that the message of “I hear you” is best communicated by repetition than by trying to offer a solution or judging what he is saying (i.e. saying it is good or bad).  Activate that space of total acceptance and watch the potential impact it has to relax you and your child.

I love you–Do all of this with love, making sure that you are pausing frequently to connect within to feel the love in your own heart, and your child will feel it as well. These messages of I see you, I hear you and I love you, have the power to calm the central nervous system.  The more you really connect and practice total acceptance, the more both you and your child will feel peace and a sense of calm.

Two other resources that I enjoy that bring more of these messages to children:

Honoring the light of the child

the joyful child

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Filed under Emotional Regulation, Family Relaxation, Mindfulness Practice, Parenting Resources, Resources, Stress Management

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