This is dedicated to Mrs TaJuana Blakely owner of Tiny Yogis
My son has been taking private yoga lessons for almost 3 years and he has truly enjoyed his lessons with Mrs. T the owner of Tiny Yogis. One the reasons I decided to start yoga with him was because of his medication Keppra for his epilepsy. One of the side effects of Keppra is mood swings and hyperactivity. My son some times could have slight mood swings and he could be hyperactive but it wasn’t anything that was majorly concerning to us when he first started the medication at 1 years old, but then things started to change when he turned 3. He began exhibiting Keppra Rage behavior and getting depressed. We needed to get this under control because I saw him really struggling. I brought it to his neurologist attention and the first thing she suggested was a different medication that came with an even longer list of side effects. My husband and I said absolutely not, then I asked her about vitamin B12 which I had read could help and she said we could try to see how it works.
As a mom observing my son during those moments of his frustration I felt helpless. All I could do was try to hold and comfort him. There were nights I found myself in tears when he would have these fits of just feeling sad, then the dreaded “Keppra Rage” would hit. His medication was blessing but at the same time it was changing my son and we needed to step in, because going on another medication was not option for us.
Some may say he was just being your typical threeanger, but as a mom and professional who once worked in the field of child development and care, what we saw was not threeanger behavior.
One day I read an article about meditation and yoga for children who had seizures and dealing with the side effects of the medications. I decided let’s give this a try , I contacted Tiny Yogis and explained what we were dealing with and that we wanted to establish a calming routine for him. I was relieved when the owner told me she had experience with working with kids who were epileptic and she could work with him. She came over and we all went to work and I couldn’t be happier.
Studies have shown that kids who practice mindfulness have the ability to self regulate their behavior and can better deal with conflict resolution among their peers. Mindfulness also lowers stress levels, improves concentration and builds self-esteem.
The good in me sees the good in you!
After a month of yoga and implementing the mindfulness routine, one day he stopped right in full frustration mode and closed his eyes and said in a calm voice “peace begins with me” and taking mindful breaths. Imagine my expression seeing my frustrated child completely shut it all down and calm himself and after 3 mins he was at peace and calm and ready to restart. Talk about WOW!!! Not only had he learned to calm himself he also learned to recognize when he needed to take a few minutes and step away. To watch my 3.5 year old do something most adults are not able to do at 30 was astonishing.
My hope in writing this is that a parent who is dealing with the side effects of any medications or behavioral issues will give mindfulness a try before making the decision to change medications. I am not doctor so this isn’t me giving medical advise it’s just letting you know do your own research first.
Peace begins with me…the student has now become the teacher.
Almost 6 and no longer taking Keppra and approaching his 3 years seizure free anniversary he is doing great. We incorporate mindfulness in our home school day and every night before he goes to bed. I have even picked up doing daily meditations early in the morning before I get out the bed. There are days when he can sense I am having a hard day and he will say Mommy you need to take a break, close your eyes Mommy and repeat after me… 😉
So all is well 80% of the time, he is still a typical kid and has his moments but its all about growing up and how we as his parents handle those little moments. Not saying this may be the answer for all children , but it has worked for us. I understand all too well what it means to have a child with health issues and if I can help ease that stress just a little for another family then this post was worth writing. If you happen to be in the Atlanta surrounding area check out Tiny Yogis , she host classes all over the city and she is great with kids!
Here are few of our favorites mindful materials:
- Mindful Kids
- Good Morning Yoga
- Goodnight Yoga
- I Am Peace: A Book of Mindfulness
- Mindful Moments for Kids
- Moshi Twilight
- Think Fun Memory Yoga Action Game
- Think Fun Yoga Spinner Yoga Game for Kids
Until Next Time,
Little Learner and Mom 📿