In times of uncertainty, we—adults and caregivers—want to give our kids every tool in the box to prevent major stress responses like fight or flight, acting out, difficult behaviors and so on. We also want to give tools to alleviate stress when it occurs.
Yoga as a prevention method gives tools to children ahead of stressful times, which allows them to be able to manage and adapt to life circumstances. Sometimes, when we practice these tools ahead of stressful events, we minimize the stress response in the body when the stress actually occurs.
For example, a child who has been doing exercises, breathing, and mindfulness practices may develop more control over their responses in their body and not resort to fight or flight responses in the moment.
Think of a child in a classroom who often resorts to yelling, screaming or throwing things when they get overwhelmed. When we proactively give that child tools and when they are in a regulated space in their body, they tend to retain the information learned about breathing and mindfulness. They can then utilize these skills in times of stress, instead of resorting to fight or flight responses. We of course always want to teach skills reactively too, but the magic happens in our prevention approach!
When a child in your care is regulated and ready to learn, give them skills to manage stress just like you would teach academic topics. Then watch the child slowly integrate these skills when the stress arrives. Kids are brilliant, adaptive, and resilient. Let’s continue to foster ways to keep them healthy and thriving!
To learn more about using yoga as a preventative method for stress, visit the Bloom Yoga web page.
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