Each week, spiritual teacher Deepak Chopra responds to Oprah.com users' questions with enlightening advice to help them live their best lives.
Q: I am a fan of yours, and I have studied two of your books that had a great effect on me: 7 Spiritual Rules and 7 Spiritual Rules for Parents, which have been translated in Persian. I am a mother of a hyperactive boy, and sometimes I lose control and have inadequate behavior with him. What should I do to make myself powerful and more controlled toward his behavior? I will be very thankful if you answer me. I have tried some methods, but after some while, I return to the first place. I love you so much, and it was one of my dreams to talk with you. Thanks to Oprah, who made my wish to come true.
— Hengameh M., Sanandaj, Iran
Thank you for the appreciative words. I sympathize with the difficulty of raising a hyperactive child, and I think you need to balance your child's needs with your own. It takes effort and patience to develop the coping skills needed. If your child is not yet of school age, you need to find time to be by yourself several times a day. Even if a school takes over for part of the day, you still need time out in the morning and evening.
I'd also suggest getting a helper who is patient with children to take some of the burden off you. Once you have free time, don't use it for activities like shopping or household chores. This must be your personal quiet time, when you can meditate and find your center again. There is a level inside you that is quiet and at peace, no matter what the surrounding chaos is like. Your primary goal should be to find this place and return to it three times a day—morning, midday and evening—for at least 10 minutes.
A simple meditation is to close your eyes and easily follow your breath as it goes in and out. But if you are behaving inappropriately with your child, there must be a good deal of pent-up tension and frustration. This cannot be released toward a child, and you don't want it to spill over into your adult relationships. Therefore, you need to find a way to release this stress physically. Find an activity that allows you to really let yourself go—dance aerobics can be done at home, for instance. Use this time to release any emotion you need to release, even if you find yourself shouting in anger or crying out in frustration.
This gives you a three-step program that I hope you will take seriously:
I'm sure that if you keep these points in mind, you will be able to personalize your own program. You need to find your balance-point, because the situation is long term. I also hope your husband and close friends can be turned to for support. Every day, you need to have contact with someone to whom you feel an emotional bond. I haven't touched on medical treatment for your child's condition, but at present that is the best course. I hope this helps.
What should you do if you're being given responsibilities that are beyond your ability?
Every week, Deepak will be answering questions from readers just like you—ask your question now!
Deepak Chopra is the author of more than 50 books on health, success, relationships and spirituality, including his current best-seller, Reinventing the Body, Resurrecting the Soul, and The Ultimate Happiness Prescription, which are available now. You can listen to his show on Saturdays every week on SiriusXM Channels 102 and 155.
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Published on May 12, 2010