I once had a child break down in tears and with her head in her hands told me, “I’m a bad kid.” ????
I talked with her about why she felt like this and wondered who had put this idea in her head. She said, “Me. I told me. I’m a bad kid.” When I asked her if she could think of something good about herself, she genuinely couldn’t think of anything! This broke my heart! ????
I thought about all the positive things I had ever said about her and wondered how they had got lost from her recollection. It really got me thinking about what children hear throughout the day from their peers as well as their teachers. ????
What messages are you sending with the words you use and actions you take? How many times a day do you say that child’s name? And in what context? How often do you hear other children saying kind words about that kid? Do you say kind words to your colleagues so there is love being modeled throughout the day? ????
When we think about children’s well being and self-esteem, they can beam from ear to ear and light up the room with their smile when they hear that you are proud of them. For this kid, she needed more than just me saying it to her. She needed to FEEL it – to feel that love, that warmth, that sense of belonging and importance ???? I needed to use my whole being to show her that what I was saying was true – a soft face, gentle tone of voice, warm and open body language and tentative eye contact. ????
This Self Care Sunday I want you to think about using this kindness pot. Put all your children’s names inside and then each time you pick one out, tell them something wonderful about the unique, precious individual they are. Have your other children join in too in telling each other how amazing they are. And while you’re at it, pop your name in there too and give yourself a little extra love. ❤️