Do kids get enough opportunity to make choices ?
I have found that through kids yoga, we are able to listen to what a child wants. This in itself is one of the most empowering gifts we can give to a child as adults!
You see, children need to be able to make decisions, but when do they get to do this?
Most children are told what to wear, what to eat, how to eat, what school they will go to. What books they will read, and who they socialize with, is already determined by our set of friends or which school they go to.
Our children are already being what is called “conditioned” from a very early age. In psychology, this is talked about a lot and how it affects a child’s mental and emotional well-being not only as a child but also as a grownup.
Some children around the world are encouraged to do what we call critical thinking but not all societies that I have seen support this.
Once I came across two children that when asked if they would like to draw a picture of anything they would like, cried, as they felt so uncomfortable in making the decision in what to draw. They had no idea what to draw, as their entire lives (aged 4 and aged 6) they had been told what to do and how to do it.
To think and create for themselves was so far beyond their comfort zone it caused them distress.
So what does all that have to do with kids yoga? Well in kids yoga, (Mini Me Yoga Program) children are encouraged to select their own cards/poses, to do the poses as they see them, be the leader of the game, they are in control of managing their emotions through breathing.
In the MMY 15 minute program, I made sure that we offered the child a chance to create their own yoga flow, select their own music if they so choose, pick their own cards, select which breathing exercise they wish to do, choose who they want to send love out to, which people, which animals and which places around the world. From here, their minds are opened to the endless possibilities that exist within each section and we start to see the children grow with confidence in their choices.
I do get it though, as it’s easier to allow children to make choices through kids yoga for sure, instead of asking them each day what they want to eat, wear, whether they want to go to school, whether they want to go to after school club that day or not, if they want to do maths or not .. I get it-it doesn’t fit into our system and we know that in life we need to follow some rules.. However the lack of opportunity a young child has to make choices has a direct effect on how they make choices when they are growing up.
But luckily we can do something about this! Through a very simple 15 minute program each day or indeed a local kids yoga class we can help children to feel confident and comfortable in making choices, decisions and experiencing the consequences of those decisions.
Did it make me feel happy? Did I fall over? Do I need to try harder at that next time? And so on.
We can give children the opportunity to make a choice that affects their daily life, and in doing this we support them taking responsibility for their own well-being and life as they grow.
Happy Yoga for everyone!