Reducing the Stress of Parenting – wk 4

Teaching Mudras to Children

When parents discover that mudras do indeed reduce their stress, often they want to teach them to their children. This works well if one does it in steps.

1. Just teach the gesture, by itself.
2. Explain the purpose of the gesture to your child, and have them practice it “in pretend.”
3. Model using the gesture yourself.
4. Suggest your child use the gesture at a time when they really need it.

Let’s use the mudra Cheerfulness as an  example.
To do it, you put your hands on either side of your navel, palms up, fingers facing each other. With each hand, make a fist with your thumb inside.
Breathe deeply and slowly for 3 minutes.

To teach it, first, just have them do the gesture.
You could say, “Let’s put the baby in the baby carriage.”
Then, you wrap your fingers around the thumb. You can make a game of it!

Next, you could read a story to your child where someone is sad. You could say, “I bet this gesture, for cheerfulness would make the person in the story not be so sad.  Let’s teach it to her!”
You both practice the gesture together, pretending to help the person in the story.

When you are feeling sad, you could say, I’m feeling sad.  I’m going to try that gesture for cheerfulness and see if it helps. When you do the gesture, you are modeling the behavior for your child.

The next time your child is feeling sad,  suggest they try that gesture for cheerfulness. Now that they already know how to do the gesture, have practiced it “in pretend”, and seen you use it, they are much more likely to do it successfully.

When your children have tools for reducing their stress, and are comfortable using them, it reduces your stress too!

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