By Andrea Karen Hammer
Encouraging respectful conversations and communities begins with lessons and practices that children learn. From the earliest age, kids model what they see and hear as patterns guiding their future lives.
Here are a few ways to help children demonstrate their capacity for kindness, learn affirmations to build self-esteem as well as practice meditation to draw on personal strength and develop a sense of inner calm:
BE KIND America Month: The Be Kind People Project for Nationwide Communities and Schools
Schools across the country are invited to use the free ONE MILLION Kids for Kindness poster and BE KIND America coloring page to initiate classroom discussion for how students can make a positive difference. More than 5 million students nationwide have already made a commitment to follow The Be Kind Pledge. The Be Kind Pledge helps them take the lead in school, at home and in the community.
Children and their families are invited to send kind stories, videos and photos to firstname.lastname@example.org for features and social media. They can also share their stories with #BeKindAmerica in their posts.
Children’s Affirmations in New Book Championing Self-Esteem
What I Tell Myself FIRST: Children’s Real-World Affirmations of Self-Esteem, released last month, encourages children to accept and love themselves. With text by Michael A. Brown focusing on children’s affirmations and colorful, engaging illustrations by Zoe Ranucci, What I Tell Myself FIRST: Children’s Real-World Affirmations of Self-Esteem uses Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs to help children up to age 14 connect their feelings to words.
This 28-page book with children’s affirmations provides families with concrete language to re-frame issues ranging from truth-telling, listening, and change to popularity and resilience. For example, one positive approach is: “If I’m not right, that’s okay. I won’t always be right.”
Brown, a father of four, is an anger management specialist, nonviolent crisis intervention instructor and criminal justice educator. He understands that positive self-esteem helps young people try new things, take healthy risks and solve problems for a healthy, confident and productive future.
Kids Meditation to Build Inner Strength, Focus & Calm
This kids meditation offers guided imagery and relaxation techniques for children, ages 5-12. Regular practice is especially helpful for boosting confidence and restful sleep.
Kids who are feeling stressed or overwhelmed at home, at school or at play will find relief and comfort from repeatedly listening to this mind-body audio program. Designed to relieve stress and enhance feelings of mastery and well-being, relaxation meditation for children promotes calm, focus and confidence.
Betty Mehling wrote and produced this highly effective kids meditation. Radha Delamarter is the narrator, and and Max Highstein wrote the music.
Share Your Stories, and Post Your Comments
Can you share stories about your children’s kindness and positive ways that they have become role models as young leaders? In what specific ways have affirmations, regular meditation and daily yoga practice enhanced their well-being and interactions with others?
Post your comments now!