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I love you. Now leave me alone.

In a recent article why I need to hide from my kids, I appreciated the truth of how hard it is to have a family and solitude. It’s also telling how giving your partner the gift of time apart is invaluable. The skills offered by experts aligns with why yoga is so important for families.

1. Alone time is practicing self-care and good mental health. Quiet time and/or meditation for all ages is beneficial for the body and the mind. The goal is to sit for 1 minute of silence for your age. That means a 2 year old can sit for 2 minutes. Yes, it’s possible with practice! One major benefit of alone time (not to be confused with feeling lonely) is being more present when you’re with others. We need time away and we need time together. It’s best to ask for quiet time proactively vs. reactively when stress becomes overwhelming. Meditation keeps stress at bay.

2. Make observation time part of your family’s routine. Take time to stare at anything besides a screen. I love the example in the article about “tree time” where the kids who are 3 and 5 go outside everyday to meditate and stare at a tree. Try it with clouds and stars too! Observing in silence is the act of mindfulness. Being mindful has enormous benefits including creating joy in the mundane - a critical skill for all family members. This practice is a called Yantra Meditation - a form of gazing meditation that helps with concentration.

3. Downtime is okay and not everyone has to like it. People deserve privacy. It’s okay to ask for it. We get moody, especially young teens, and we’re not even sure why. This is a good time to ask: What do you feel like you need? To move, to read, to rest, to play, to bathe, to sleep. When you’re having a hard time, take a break, get still, and select what you need most in that moment. All feelings can be felt and worked through. Discomfort teaches us to take care of ourselves even if it makes someone else unhappy temporarily. Dealing with disappointment is a skill - one we can learn in yoga.

If practicing these skills seems challenging in your home, find a yoga class to bring what you learn on the mat to your life.

Learn all sorts of useful tips about Yoga for Kids!

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