I have been using my time in quarantine to dive into some root work and combat some of my inner demons. It has been really helpful and I have healed a lot. Since root work often focuses on childhood traumas, I thought, what if I could help my kids avoid that trauma altogether by teaching them when they are children? Since we are homeschooling this year, I decided I would use the opportunity to help my kids develop some healthy self-care skills I wish I had in my arsenal when I was growing up.
Meditation is something I have used a lot with my children already. However, up until now, we have only used it as a sleep aid. I am now using it to boost their self esteem and awareness. New Horizons Holistic Centre has the best meditations for kids. I always recommend them to anyone who asks. My kids have their favorite stories. Even if the story is about a fantasy land filled with unicorns, it still has strong messages of self love and acceptance. In addition to meditations geared towards kids, they have more traditional guided meditations as well. I love them. They are so worth checking out.
Here are some journal prompts I have given to the kids to promote self love:
Make a list of all the things you are good at.
Make a list of things you love about yourself.
Remember a time when something was really difficult, but you were able to overcome it.
What is something you can do now that you weren't able to do when you were younger? Reflect on how you learned to do it.
Think of a time when you felt a difficult emotion (anger/frustration/sadness/fear/etc.). How did you express that emotion? If you expressed it in a negative way, how can you express it in a more positive way in the future?
Why is it important to acknowledge/embrace our difficult emotions? What can they teach us?
Write about a time when you handled a difficult emotion in a positive way. How did it make you feel afterwards?
How can we express difficult emotions in positive ways?
My kids don't actually like to write all that much, so most of the time we sit and have long discussions about the questions. I give them the option to do both. At first, I was frustrated with it because I have always loved writing. Now, I understand everyone is different and if I really want to encourage my kids to practice self love, I have to allow them to express themselves in their own way. Juju likes to write most of the time, but sometimes he prefers to talk. Blaze always prefers to talk. I try to meet them where they're at. This is not an academic exercise, it is a self improvement exercise. There is no "right way" for them to do this.
My kids love YouTube. They will find any excuse they can to watch YouTube all day long. So, I often use that to my advantage and find videos that pertain to the lessons they are learning in all our classes. Fortunately, YouTube is full of videos on self care--and even quite a few designs specifically for children! When they are not in the mood for meditations or journaling, I will bring out YouTube.
Right now our discussions are going side by side with our Health curriculum. As we cover more in Health, I hope to cover these topics:
The importance of communication
Recognizing toxic relationships
Cultivating/embracing personal skills
Healthy habit building
Physical self care
Recognizing signs of anxiety and depression
A lot of what we talk about often seems to go over their heads. I hope that with persistence and practice these lessons will stick with them and help them get through times they will face in the future when they need them.
I will update this as we do more!