Serene Sunday - it is important to teach our children to to be friends to themselves.
Each Serene Sunday throughout the month of December has been devoted to sharing lessons I learned and am teaching my children. These lessons are good tips for both children and adults. Previous Serene Sunday articles dealt with teaching our children it's okay to fail and "get all you can and can all you get." In upcoming December Serene Sunday articles, I will share my ideas on:
- Don't get ready, stay ready
- One monkey don't stop no show
The special lesson for today is one I got from my children's kindergarten teacher, "be a friend to yourself."
photo credit: Gates Foundation
via photopin cc Serene Sunday, lessons, children, friendship
My nine year old son is a fourth grader. When he was in kindergarten his teacher, Mrs. Friedman, at Gladwyne Elementary School, taught the children that they had to show themselves good friendship. Five years later, Mrs. Friedman is the kindergarten teacher for one of my twins and I am thrilled to see she is teaching the children the same lesson.
In order to be a friend to others you must treat yourself as a friend. This is a fact, plain and simple. It is one simple enough for a brand new kindergarten child to learn. Many adults push this lesson out of their minds with the responsibilities and trials of adulthood. We treat our friends with:
Often, we forget to give ourselves the same treatment and that is a sad thing. If a five year old knows and understands that she should treat herself with respect, she will grow up learning to demand respect from all others with whom she comes into contact. If a five year old grows up learning he should be courteous to himself, he will understand that he should extend courtesy to others. A child who learns to treat herself with kindness will have the tool necessary to show kindness to the world. A kindergarten student who learns he should have a sense of personal dignity will not lightly destroy the dignity of another. A little girl who grows up learning she should show herself undestanding and compassion will be able to share those ideals with the world at large.
Be a friend to yourself, everyday. Make sure you get the rest you need, the proper food, the proper circle of friends. When you are faced with a question about how you should behave in a certain situation, ask yourself how you would advise someone you care about to act. Figure out what is the best possible advice you could give in the situation and take it yourself. In all your actions, be a friend to yourself. It is not wrong to be a friend to yourself, it is the bare minimum that you owe yourself as a human being. Being a friend to yourself is an important lesson for our children and a lesson we should not forget as adults. By being a friend to yourself, you make it possible for you to be the best person you can be and thus makes you a better person to have in the world. So, the question for you this Serene Sunday is, what are you going to do to show yourself good friendship?