A while ago I helped a boy of 6 called Freddy. His mum had contacted me because she had concerns about his anger and how it was affecting him and their family life. She added that Freddy had been mainly unaffected by his parents’ divorce, but that her older son had felt this more. The first time I met Freddy he did not even want to stay in the room with me. Together with his mother we worked on breathing techniques and I led him in a guided meditation about football. Freddy’s mum held him and tried to keep him in the room until I suggested that she let him go. I told Freddy that I would work with his mum instead. Of course from this moment on he was curious as to what I was saying to his mum and joined in with her working on breath techniques with a Hoberman Sphere toy. By the end of our first session Freddy had become totally relaxed with me and was keen to show me his favourite toys, even as I was getting into my car to leave!
In the following session Freddy asked if his older brother could join us. This proved quite interesting as they both worked through the methods I taught for dealing with anger. Later during that session I led a meditation and his mum participated, Freddy using her legs as “the roots of a tree” between which he could sit. The sessions also gave mum a time to calm down and review her own stress levels. Indeed she started using a meditation app herself. I felt mum could benefit from positive affirmations regarding Freddy, so recommended that she say to herself in the mirror as many times a day as she could ‘my Freddy is calm and peaceful’. This was because she had referred to Freddy as ‘angry and loud’ and I wanted to help her change her mind set regarding her younger son. In essence I did not want Freddy to live up to this mind set. My family and working life has shown me that children on the whole will live up (or down) to the ideas their parents/carers have of them. Therefore fostering a positive attitude amongst parents/carers towards their children is instrumental in helping nurture positive ways of dealing with negative emotions amongst the children. Mum reported that Freddy and his brother had been using the methods for dealing with anger after the session.
By the time our final session came around Freddy’s mum reported that he had been teaching his older brother the ‘down dog’ pose that he had chosen from the Yoga Pretzels cards. I use these cards as movement is sometimes beneficial to the child within our sessions. In addition he recounted to his brother the ideas behind the book we had read together about filling other people’s ‘happy buckets’ and how that makes us feel happy too. Mum also reported after our last session that he was using breathing techniques to help him calm down, that they both enjoyed mindful colouring activities together in the evening and all screen time had been stopped, at my suggestion, at least for an hour before bedtime. All in all mum was very satisfied with the sessions.
Names and details have been changed to protect identities.