Kids Yoga Teacher Training

This week has been, to say the least, a very difficult one for everyone in Canada, the U.S., and the world. The tragic events at Sandy Hook Elementary school in Connecticut shook us all to the core. Many children were exposed to this unspeakable horror as it happened, and as it has since unfolded. They may have heard it from a friend, seen it on television, heard it on the radio, or simply saw the look on a parent or teacher’s face.

Kids Yoga Teacher Training

Although the news coverage has been unrelenting, I’ve been thankful to see several segments on how to best speak with your children about this senseless act, and how to handle your child’s questions. Experts suggest that we protect our young children from the media storm by turning off televisions, radios, and computers, and by reinforcing the message that they are safe and beloved. When children do ask questions, it is helpful to turn their attention to the heroic acts of all the educators, first responders and those seeking to comfort the bereaved.

But feelings of sadness, anger, fear, and helplessness can be expected, in us and in our children. There are no words that can speed the grieving process or change the world. But there are ways to help ourselves, children and parents alike, to steer us through these times.

Positive affirmations can assist us a great deal. They help us to think positively by defining our wants and needs, and helping us send a clear, positive intention for ourselves or for our world. It is true that you get what you focus on, whether it is positive or negative. For example, when I am going through a sad time, I naturally focus on what’s making me sad, making it hard to shake the sadness. When I am focused on my grief and stress, I get and create more grief and stress. And when I am focused on good, I get and create more good.

Uttering positive affirmations in times of stress require that we “act as if”, even if we in no way feel what we are saying at that moment. Simply speaking certain words can actually start to improve one’s mindset. It feels odd to say “I am happy” when one is feeling sad. But the act of speaking it occasionally, even when we feel it’s untrue, does seem to gradually lighten our outlook.

If you sense that your child is feeling sad, afraid, angry, or stressed, simply sit with him and say “I am safe. I am peaceful. I am kind.” Encourage your child to say this too. Explain that you know it may feel strange, and don’t force it. Set the example and if you do feel a little better, tell your child that it worked a little bit! You may be surprised to find her speaking a positive affirmation soon afterward.

Kids Yoga Teacher Training

Other positive affirmations for older children or adults to use at times like these might include “I choose to let the energy of the universe heal my heart”, or “I know that I am loved, cherished and supported.” But keep affirmations as simple as possible when guiding your child.

Do your best to keep a positive mindset at home and at work. Practicing positive affirmations does not mean you are pretending, or being insincere. It is simply a way to reach a better emotional place. You and your children may find that the simple act of speaking positive words can truly do wonders for your mindset and inner peace.


Kids Yoga Teacher Training

I wish you a New Year that is filled with peace, compassion, hope and love.