A new approach to teaching manners

It's no secret that kids like to move. Use that to your advantage to help your child learn the ABCs and practice counting through yoga. Combine that with mindfulness, and you can work on patience and manners too! #yoga #kidsyoga #toddleractivity #mommyandme

It's no secret that kids like to move. Use that to your advantage to help your child learn the ABCs and practice counting through yoga. Combine that with mindfulness, and you can work on patience and manners too! #yoga #kidsyoga #toddleractivity #mommyandme

Remember the Berenstain Bears from when we were kids? I thought my mom had us reading them because she loves bears. Now that my kids are getting a little older, I’m thinking she had an ulterior motive. I think she wanted us to learn a few things from them.

 

A few books in particular stick out, but right now, it’s The Berenstain Bears Get the Gimmies, because my kids have been arguing over toys and throwing fits when they don’t get the toy they want. Perfect time to read this book!

 

But, it brings about a larger issue. We’ve all seen the hashtag #firstworldproblems, right? And, this totally is a first world problem, but it’s also a bigger problem about being more aware of ourselves and our surroundings. If I want my kids to be appreciative, to cooperate, compromise, and play nicely together, then I need to model and help them work through their disagreements and squabbles. Of course, it’s a natural part of growing up, arguing with one’s sibling(s). But, I also want them to be able to handle their own disagreements when they’re older. So, it’s time to practice now.

 

And, it takes a lot of work. A LOT. But, only at first. After they get the hang of it, it’s quite simple and REALLY fulfilling to hear them using strategies and techniques that we practiced.

 

But, how does this tie into the Berenstain bears?

Books are a great way to teach children, especially about feelings and bigger concepts. They can see what’s happening in the book. You can talk about the character’s faces, ask your child questions about what he/she thinks and why. Books provide a great starting point for discussions, which can also lead to role playing (using dolls, stuffed animals, puppets, or even just yourselves).

 

Another great way to teach about feelings, emotions, compromise, sharing, problem-solving, and similar things is through mindfulness.

 

What is mindfulness?

 

Put simply, mindfulness is being more aware. It’s being more aware of our feelings, emotions, surroundings. It means being present in the moment (putting down our phones!). It also means thinking about why we’re feeling a certain way and being more open-minded.

 

All things that are good for kids to learn, right? Kids that are more open-minded will do better in school and have an easier time getting along with others. If they’re more present in the moment, they’re able to pay attention longer and are more apt to complete tasks and carry on conversations.

 

So, by working on sharing, taking turns, not having a case of the gimmies, showing appreciation and gratitude, and being more aware of others, I’m helping my children be more mindful. Over time, they’ll get along better with one another, and when they do have a squabble, they’ll be more equipped to handle it without pushing, shoving, fighting, or coming to me to help them solve it.

 

Teaching toddlers social skills, thankfulness project, and being #thankful, thanksgiving toddler activities, social skills for toddlers and preschoolers, easy activities to do at home with kids, #thanksgiving #toddleractivity

 

Now, I’m not saying that I’m not able or willing to help my children handle disagreements, or that as 2 and 3.5 year olds, that they should be able to. But, what I am saying is that my goal is that one day, they won’t need me to solve their problems. It won’t matter as much who had the red train first. They’ll be able to resolve that problem peacefully and without adult intervention.

 

Mindfulness will help with that. They’ll be more aware of their surroundings, more aware of what the other might be thinking or planning, and better equipped to negotiate, compromise, or otherwise resolve situations with each other and their friends.

 

So, how do we get kids to be more mindful?

 

It’s something we need to practice and work on regularly (i.e., daily). Yes, it takes time, especially in the beginning, but it gets easier, more natural, and is certainly worth it when our days are more peaceful and everyone’s happier.

 

Right now, I’m sitting near the kids while they play and I’m helping them work through any disagreements. We’re talking about feelings, what’s fair, and why. And, we’re doing yoga.

It's no secret that kids like to move. Use that to your advantage to help your child learn the ABCs and practice counting through yoga. Combine that with mindfulness, and you can work on patience and manners too! #yoga #kidsyoga #toddleractivity #mommyandme

Wait, what? Yoga? How does that fit in?

 

It helps us slow down, pay attention to what we’re doing, and be more, you guessed it- mindful. We’re focusing on our bodies, how it feels, how quiet the house is, and what we’re doing. If you’re picturing an adult-style yoga class, you’re way off base. That’s not appropriate for children for a wide variety of reasons. What we’re doing is more of me doing yoga poses and the kids copying me. I’m talk about what I’m doing, how I’m feeling, and why. They’re copying me. Of course, they’re not doing yoga perfectly, but that’s okay. They’re enjoying it, being a bit more mindful and “present” in their day, and paying more attention to their bodies and having fun, in a calm, quiet kind of way.

 

Want to jump on board? I’ve partnered with Megan, a kids yoga instructor and owner of Learning Lotuses. Together, we’ve created a 10 day “Parent and Me Yoga Challenge.” It’s a FREE challenge packed full of easy and fun yoga poses and activities to help your little one learn the alphabet and practice counting. How’s that for multitasking?!

Join the challenge!

This 10-day yoga challenge provides you and your child with easy and fun yoga poses, while also learning ABCs and counting!

* By joining this challenge, you agree to receive emails from Learning Lotuses & Lessons and Learning for Littles.








We won’t send you spam. Unsubscribe at any time.

 

It's no secret that kids like to move. Use that to your advantage to help your child learn the ABCs and practice counting through yoga. Combine that with mindfulness, and you can work on patience and manners too! #yoga #kidsyoga #toddleractivity #mommyandme

Connie Deal
Follow me!

Connie Deal

I'm the mom of two little ones (3yo and 1.5yo), and 3 dogs. I'm a former classroom teacher turned SAHM, so I spend my day "doing activities" and science 'speriments in between mediating sibling squabbles and working during nap time. I'm powered by caffeine (not coffee!), and I love helping others, especially fellow mom and their toddlers. Together, we can achieve great things AND prepare your toddler for kindergarten!
Connie Deal
Follow me!

Latest posts by Connie Deal (see all)

15 Comments

  1. Michele says:

    What a great idea to use yoga! I love your thoughts. Yoga definitely helps you slow down and I think this would be great to do! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Allie says:

    I really enjoyed reading this and will be keeping this in mind for my little one!!

  3. Thank you for this! So relatable ~ We LOVE the Bernstein Bears!! It is really important to raise mindful, aware children. And what better way to do so than through yoga. Best wishes to you Momma <3. Thank you for holding such a sacred space for your kids…and others along the way. Blessings <3

  4. I love this idea and signed up for the challenge! I have been wanting to introduce my 2-year old to yoga (we already do some mindfulness activities) so this post came at a perfect time.

  5. Cool idea! It’s a struggle to teach littles manner and conflict resolution, so I think we need all the help we can get!

  6. Marie says:

    My tween and I do yoga together regularly and it’s made such a difference. My toddler will come in and do a few poses before climbing in us then wandering out, but I’d like him to try and do some more. I think I’ll try your challenge!

  7. Sarah says:

    Mindfulness is so important these days. It helps me stay centered and self aware of my mood, my perception of people and people’s perceptions of others.

  8. […] really trying our best to raise grateful children who are appreciative and respectful. It’s hard to do in a society that values things over people […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

//]]>