October is Bully Awareness month, so we’ve asked Meredith Looney, owner of the i like book series, to share her Anti-Bully Book Pack with Educents members. Why did she create the “My Friends Like Me” title? Read Meredith’s blog post about self esteem below.
Kids have very tender hearts. One negative comment from a peer could affect a child for a very long time. Even something that may seem trivial to us can be very magnified by a little person. I have two boys and one of them is either positively or negatively affected by his friend’s comments daily. I will be laying out his clothes to wear to school and he will say “Mommy, I don’t like that shirt anymore because they laugh at me”. This can be frustrating at times because the shirt was new and he picked it out. When I get to the root of why they laughed at him it was because it had a collar. At the end of the day what is important to him is important to me as I want to see him fit in and feel secure in his world. A child’s emotional development occurs early in their life and it does shape how they view and feel about themselves. You can make a huge impact in their life with these 3 easy tips:
1. Start each day out with happiness and love
When your little one wakes up in the morning don’t allow the grouchies. Instead, snuggle for a few minutes in bed or on the couch and rub their back or head. Speak softly and tell them something you enjoy about them. Don’t bark orders, rush them to table for breakfast or make them wear what you want them to wear. Let them choose from 2 or 3 things that you have approved. Empower your child.
2. Tell them daily what you LIKE about them
Look for one or two things throughout the day to compliment them on. Write it down in your child’s i like book. Don’t have an i like book? I really recommend you get one. It is a total game changer for your child. Once you write down in your handwriting what you like about your child they believe it. The positive affirmation then becomes concrete to them. These little jots of love will carry your child through the day, the week and their life. Yes, it’s that important.
3. Get to know your child’s friends and classmates
Your child spends the majority of the day with their classmates. They come home and talk about their interactions from school. What they did on the playground, who told on who, which child got in trouble, and so on. Volunteer in your child’s class each week if possible. If you work all day, find a way to go to lunch, recess or read to your child’s class as often as you can. Talk to their friends and learn their names. Look them in the eye and ask them what they are interested in. You can absolutely do this and it will help improve your child’s self-esteem by you taking an interest in their friends.
Additionally, October is National Bullying Prevention Awareness Month. There is now a book for your child’s class called My Friends Like Me. This book is designed for each child to have their own book and the teacher facilitates a weekly activity. The kids take turns writing a positive compliment in each other’s book. It’s truly invaluable. Find a way to get them into your child’s class. Some people are asking local companies to sponsor their child’s class or the whole school. It’s a wonderful and inexpensive way for a local company to show their support for anti-bullying and they can get great advertising through this fun promotion. Also, your PTO may be interested in using funds for this important cause.
I hope these quick tips are helpful to you. Just remember how tender-hearted kids are and that you can positively impact their self-esteem by implementing these little suggestions. You are the most important person in their life so be IN their life, don’t run their life.
PS: Bake cookies for all the kids getting off the bus once a week or as often as you can. Be. That. Mom. You can absolutely do it!
Want to learn more about the “My Friends Like Me” book? Watch Meredith’s video: