Have you heard of the 5 languages of love? There’s a version for kids (affiliate link), which I find interesting (there’s an audio book too!), and the point is that people are different and want to love and be loved in different ways. But, the first thing we should teach our kids about love (besides that it lasts more than just the first part of February) is how to love themselves and to see the good in people and love unconditionally.
How do we do that?
By showing our little ones how to see the good in others and to love unconditionally.
Let’s start with seeing the good in others.
We live in a negative world. The news is filled with bad stuff that’s happened, as are our Facebook newsfeeds, newspaper covers, magazine covers and so on. Before our kids are inundated with all the “bad” in the world, let’s teach them to look for the good and see the good in the people and world around them. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Show appreciation. To your kids, your spouse/partner, friends, the cashier at the grocery store… anyone that you can thank and show appreciation towards, do it. This will help change your mindset to be more positive, but it’ll also help show your kids how to have a grateful attitude. Don’t be surprised when you start to hear them say, “Mommy, I appreciate that you gave me dinner.” Ha! It might not be exactly what we have in mind at first, but go with it and they’ll get better with time and practice (true quote from my 4 year old, like I don’t normally feed them dinner! LOL). Plus, according to Tiffany at Accelerated Joy Works, people who feel appreciated are more apt to do even MORE for you, which can totally change your family dynamic and make for a more positive home. Yay!
- Give compliments, but be genuine. Let’s move past the, “I like your shirt” stuff and compliment our children on what they DO and who they are on the inside. “I like the way you tried really hard and figured out that puzzle! I see it’s a picture of a…” is far more meaningful to your children and it makes them feel good about themselves. While you’re at it, don’t forget to compliment other adults so you littles can see that too!
- Talk about the positive in your day. Even if your little ones aren’t quite to this stage yet, hearing this will help them. Remember, just because they’re not saying it, doesn’t mean they’re not thinking it!
- “It was nice of you to….”
- “So and so was kind when they…”
- “I felt included when….”
- “I was struggling/having a hard time, but then So and So helped me by…”
- For more about mindfulness, head on over to Learning Lotuses. Megan has a TON of great stuff. I especially like her mindful breathing for kids book!
How do we teach our children to love unconditionally?
That’s a big one, but loving them unconditionally helps a lot. Teaching them to have confidence in themselves and awareness of themselves and their actions helps too. One way to help little ones have more awareness and to love themselves is to show them what they are capable of doing.
Yoga is a great way to do that!
I know yoga isn’t for everyone, but hear me out. We don’t want to limit our children based on our experiences with something or our preconceived notions about it, right?
So, why yoga?
First, anyone can do it. Yes, anyone! Especially kids’ yoga because it’s about trying your best and doing your best, practicing it, and not about the “typical” yoga class we see portrayed in movies and on TV. Read more about the benefits of yoga here. Megan explains it beautifully. 🙂
By doing yoga with our kids, especially when we don’t typically do yoga and it’s new to us too, gives us a chance to try something new with our kids. It puts us out of our comfort zone and lets our kids see us try and achieve something new.
Even if we’re not new to yoga, doing yoga with our kids is a GREAT bonding experience. It helps us slow down, put our phones down, and really focus on what we’re doing with our kids, even if it’s just for a few minutes a day, because, let’s be honest, that’s about as long as toddlers and preschoolers last with yoga, especially in the beginning.
Yoga gives us a chance to talk about how we’re feeling and why. We can talk about what we’re doing and how it makes us feel. That body awareness and seeing that we can do new things with our body, like the new poses in our FREE Open Your Heart Yoga Challenge, is great for kids to start learning. The earlier, the better! When they feel strong and capable, they’ll act it. They’ll have more confidence and be stronger all around. And, that is a beautiful thing!
I’ve teamed up with Megan from Learning Lotuses to create the Open Your Heart Yoga Challenge. It’s a FREE challenge that will help you get started with yoga or continue your journey. We also want to help you have more fun with your children and help your little ones learn about their body, so we’ve included activities to help you learn about different parts of the body and some of the letters of the alphabet. All for free and all using stuff you likely have around your house. So, what do you say? Will you extend the love this month and join us in our Open Your Heart to Love Yoga Challenge?
Join us today!
For a super sweet, but easy Valentine’s Day tradition (and something that truly could be done any time of the year), check out this post.
More about the books mentioned:
Join us for this FREE and FUN Challenge!
Please SHARE with others. You never know who else would LOVE to do this challenge! 🙂