When I first started learning about holistic methods of healing and about tapping into our inner sage, I remember thinking “wow, if I could teach this to my son maybe daily fights about showers and teeth would stop!”
As with any kid, he has his moments of complete “unreasonable” behavior and expectations. He is a strong-willed kid as an only child so he can be demanding of what he wants and stubborn. But he’s also sensitive and can easily get overwhelmed with emotions so using punishment and even discipline in general often makes the situation worse and triggers him into being even more argumentative.
So, I went on a mission to try to find ways that would help him tap into his inner sage self so things like brushing his teeth and taking a shower didn’t have to be a nightly argument.
First let’s learn a crash course in Sage and the 5 sage powers.
The sage has 5 super powers that help us get out of saboteur mode and into our calm, ease and flow, creative/ zen like selves. These 5 sage powers are:
- Empathy – Grace, forgiveness, compassion and understanding for ourselves and others
- Explore – The inquisitive explorer seeking all new things and exploring all sides, possibilities, and adventures.
- Innovate – creative solutions, thinking outside the box, new ways
- Navigate – The wise old self reflecting on what’s truly important, seeing the bigger picture, navigating through situations towards the most desired life
- Activate – taking action (or active inaction) to navigate to that most desired outcome
I’m sure you can see the value of each of these powers but teaching kids? It’s actually much easier than you think. Kids learn when they are happy, we all do. And kids are happy when they have love, praise, and feel good about themselves.
This can be accomplished through positive parenting. Positive parenting ignores minor mistakes and flaws and focuses on praising for all the great things about our kids way more than nit picking and teaching through corrections and expectations. Not that we don’t have expectations, but we do allow more freedom for our kids to develop their own sense of expectations for themselves.
3 ways to teach kids sage mode:
- Be in sage yourself – be the calm in their storm. When you remain calm when they are screaming/yelling etc, they see that it’s possible to be calm when there’s chaos around and that YOU can teach them how to do it
- Role model – be the sage master. Meditate, do yoga, deep breathing, praying, all in front of them. When they see you do it, they will want to do it too and they can see what it looks like and how to do it from you
- Make it fun – my son will grumble about yoga nearly every time I mention it but by the time we are done he is giggling, laughing at my dog sounds while doing down dog and trying to knock my tree stance over with his powerful wind (big deep breath practice anyone?).
- Let them teach you – You have no idea how much my son’s attitude and respect will change when I let him teach me something. It makes sense though, kids want to feel heard, feel smart, feel like they matter and their ideas are great… so let their beautiful wisdom shine and listen…. Kids are way smarter than we give them credit for. A great time to show them love, give praise, and make them feel good about themselves.
The most important thing here is that you, the person in recovery, the person being better every day, being a better parent, breaking generational cycles/trauma, is loving yourself and caring for yourself first. You heal the wounds that need healing and you take care of you first because no one can help another if they’re drowning.
As a therapist and coach, I recommend you try both and see which one resonates with you and feels most helpful. Do both if that seems to be the right path for you. Each one offers a different perspective and approach and can help you be the sage you want to see in your children.
Namaste, love and light to you
Victoria is an addiction therapist in recovery herself and turned coach. She values what holistic healing and coaching can bring to the recovery process and supports all whom work with her to live their best lives in recovery. Check out more here at Holistic Recovery Services