Movement, Yoga, and Self-Control: A Zen Combination :)

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So, I’ve set firm limits on screen time with my kids. To be honest, this has less to do with developmental and health benefits, and more with keeping the homework routine running smoothly during the week, and banking those “TV/Ipad-free” hours to be used on the weekends! Just being honest-not that the health benefits to limited screen-time are not super-important, but as a mom who works full-time, and has three kids 6 and under, exhaustion is my driving force, and banking those glorious screen-time hours is what gets me through the week:)

As you can tell from reading my previous blog posts, I am a pretty structured mom, and run a tight ship at home with my kids. Everybody runs their home (and classroom) differently, and hey-what works, works.

Having so many hours without the use of screen-time (they are allowed 1-3 hours only on Sundays), they are forced to either: play with non-electronic and very basic toys, or come up with their own imaginative (and usually highly entertaining to watch) games. This is how the use of yoga in the mornings came about.

I am all about schedules. They wake up, brush their teeth, and make their beds. Before doing some sort of self-regulation strategy (small movement exercise, tool, or large-movement exercise that I have taught them), my kids would be emptying out the board games, dumping out the markers to make art projects (mind-you, the school bus for my oldest daughter comes at 7:10), etc.-all before breakfast!

I wanted to share a cute example, since yoga has been on my mind after attending a Yoga4Classrooms workshop.

Recently, we had a snow day. The schools were all closed, and I decided to try to mix up my own combination of self-regulation movements/strategies along with yoga poses after they brushed their teeth and made their beds. They came rushing out to the living room to find three yoga mats, and me, sitting all zen on the couch. “Ok kids,” I said. “We are going to do some yoga.” Since I work hard with them to identify and label their feelings, they were able to say that they needed to move their bodies (for specifics on labeling difficult feelings and using appropriate small

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movement, large-movement, and tangible tool-related strategies, you can order my book! See the book ordering tab for more information). Awesome. Let me tell you, 5-10 minutes later, they each rolled up their yoga mats, and calmly sat down to breakfast.

Since it was a snow day, they did get to play with the board games, art projects, and even baked cookies. But lets be clear-they didn’t haphazardly dump items out of bins like they were on a mission to see how much floor they could cover with kid supplies and then clean them up. (Whatever-they make the mess, they clean it up. The one report I do consistently get from all of my kids’ teachers is this: “Your child is the best cleaner in the entire class!” Hmmm, what does that say about me…? Won’t think on that too long.)

This situation is a perfect example of my kids further learning to implement strategies to have fun, explore, be creative, all the while having self-control…making their OT-Mommy proud ❤

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