From Peter Reynold’s book, “The Dot”, International Dot Day has spring. This is a day where people are encouraged to be creative.
We read the book, then we made pictures inspired by “The Dot”.
This week our Character Strength focus is “Love”.
Love can be defined in four different ways…..
Attachment love: parent for child; child for parent
Compassionate/altruistic love: kindness
Companionate love: friendship, and
Romantic love: spouse/partner/boyfriend/girlfriend
The Giving Tree is one of my favourite books. It contains important messages about love.
Here are some love quotes.
When you think of love – who do you think of?
At Barwon Heads PS Kindness means
“I do and say things to make others happy”
Some reasons for being kind…….
Being kind feels good. Doing something for someone else really does make us feel good. Make someone smile and you’ll feel better for having done so.
Kindness broadens our perspective and gives us positive emotions. In order to be kind, we have to pay attention to what is happening around us. As we notice more things and help others, we get a glimpse of other ways of looking at things. A broader perspective helps us to be happier and to keep things in context.
Kindness softens our heart. When we look for kind deeds, beauty, and the opportunity for kindness, we’ll find that we are more compassionate and more tolerant. As we practice empathy, it opens our heart to others.
Kindness brightens our world. When we are kind to people, it makes them happy. The more people who experience kindness from us, the more happy people will be in our lives. When those around us are happier, our world becomes a brighter, lighter place to live.
Kindness helps people feel respected and less alone. By recognizing someone’s need for help and acting on it in a compassionate manner, it makes the recipient feel valued. It also makes the giver feel better about themselves and more connected.
Kindness makes people want to be around us. One of the most common responses to kindness is gratitude. People appreciate what we’ve done for them. Our kindness is very attractive, so they want to be around us and actually seek us out.
Kindness bears wonderful fruit. Kindness begets kindness, openness, health and reduces the effects of stress on our bodies and our hearts
Kindness begets kindness. When you are kind to others, the impact of your action doesn’t stop there. There are a couple of sayings, “What goes around comes around”, and ” A simple act of kindness creates an endless ripple.” Many times the recipient of your kindness and others who see or hear about your kindness are inspired to be kinder. The ripples of kindness are truly endless.
Student examples of acts of kindness
Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge
When did you show kindness to someone else?
Self-belief is about having an inner confidence that enables people to understand their purpose in life. It also helps us to realise that our beliefs shape our actions.
Self belief is how we value ourselves; it is how we perceive our value to the world and how valuable we think we are to others. Self-esteem is similar to self-confidence and refers to the confidence in one’s own worth or abilities and affects our trust in others, our relationships, our work – nearly every part of our lives.
The VIA Character Strength that we take Self-Belief from is Spirituality – a tricky concept for children to understand. “If Spirituality is your top strength you have strong and coherent beliefs about the higher purpose and meaning of the universe. You know where you fit in the larger scheme. Your beliefs shape your actions and are a source of comfort to you”. http://www.viacharacter.org/www/character-strengths/spirituality
Two picture story books that I use to demonstrate self belief (spirituality) to children are Matt Ottley’s Miss Millie’s Painting and Mem Fox’s Possum Magic.
On Monday night, I attended a presentation by author, Tony Powell. She was introduced as a person whose wisdom, honesty and rawness gave her an ability to connect with people. What an accurate description this was!
Tony talked about how to reduce the elephants (the things that come in and trample on your happy life) in our lives. She described how dealing with anxiety and fear can be done by talking yourself, or your child, through what they are afraid of so that they understand that their fear is unlikely to happen. Toni gave the example of monsters under the bed.
She talked about the importance of finding activities that take you into “the zone,” such as surfing, walking and dancing, to calm yourself. Toni explained that if you are worried about something, the situation doesn’t have to change but you can change your thinking to help yourself.
Toni spoke about gratitude and how it can change your life. According to Toni, gratitude can be used in any situation and is the best bet for a happier life. We are the architects of our own brains and our thoughts and emotions effect our brain structure (or neural pathways). If you are constantly putting your mind to stress or anger, you will create default patterns in your mind. However, if you use mental discipline to cultivate gratitude on a regular basis you are, in effect, training your brain and improving your life in a profound way.
So, yesterday in our staff meeting, the importance of gratitude was spoken of. When I asked my students, at the end of the day, today, what the best thing about their day was, many said that writing down a list of things that they were grateful for was. And they said this with a big, happy smile!
Toni with her book; “The Yellow Car.”
Emotional Literacy is the ability to understand and express feelings. It involves having self-awareness and recognition of one’s own feelings and knowing how to manage them. Emotional Literacy is also about recognising and understanding the emotions of others so that you can figure out what they are feeling. Empathy (noticing what other people are feeling) is strongly linked to emotional literacy. According to research, emotional literacy is associated with children who are smarter, nicer, happier and more resilient.
Teaching students emotional literacy such as how to recognise their feelings and how to deal with them are essential skills for their success in life. Research has shown that emotional intelligence or EQ “predicts over 54% of the variation in success (relationships, effectiveness, health, quality of life).” Additional data concludes that “young people with high EQ earn higher grades, stay in school, and make healthier choices.”
We teach Emotional Literacy within the Friendship character strength because students with high emotional intelligence are going to make the best type of friends.