Practicing meditation before interacting with children has immensely strengthened my ability to stay calm. My perspective on situations that used to feel like an “emergency”, where I am reacting from my own childhood programming, like if something is spilled or the kids are fighting have shifted. Suddenly I am no longer triggered to feel frantic, overwhelmed or angry. There is an increased awareness, and I am able to make better decisions rather than reacting from the automatic. T.T.
What I am about to write is not about serene meditation, but about becoming simply aware and grounding myself. If I don’t do it, I get annoyed easily, I seek to control them,…and I eventually feel drained. Instead, when I become aware , I don’t get easily annoyed, but know what to do and how to be, in order to handle the child / my class.
Just last week, I effectively ‘played the role of an upset teacher without feeling any anger within me. Taran, is a 14 year old boy, who is arrogant, disrespectful, ill-mannered. I always have to begin my class after I have firmly “tethered” him to civil behavior. I do this by talking to him in a firm tone, strong eye contact, all done with respect. So, he usually listens. But, on that day, nothing seemed to work. He talked back to everything I said.
So, I paused, and decided to raise my voice (I never do it!). Doing so, felt odd and strange. But, I felt I had to do it. And I did. I told him that there is a limit and that I was very upset with his behavior. And, that, he is old enough to observe basic good manners and have some control over himself.
It worked. He did not misbehave during the entire class. What amazed me was not only his change, but my own self. I did not feel the anger at all. As there was no lingering effect, I was back to my normal self soon after. So much so, that I wondered why all the children in the class were all extra quiet!! I’d forgotten that I had been ‘looking’ stern. Earlier, in the same scenario, I would have been flustered, the residue of the angry mood would have remained with me till the end of the day. S.J.