When I speak to younger kids, I understand that Iâ€™ve got to keep â€˜em interested or I will lose them to a flurry of whispers and giggles. One way to hold the attention is to keep them engaged. I pass out index cards and have them write one positive thought and one negative thought that theyâ€™ve had about themselves. Their positive and negative thoughts can be about their appearance or personalities.
I ask for volunteers to share their thoughts at different points in the presentation.
One of the things that I noticed this morning is how, when weâ€™re discussing negative thoughts, everyone says, â€˜I am weirdâ€™ or â€˜I am differentâ€™ or â€˜I donâ€™t look like everyone else.â€™ But then, when we discuss positive thoughts, everyone says, â€˜I am UNIQUE!â€™ or â€˜I am a limited edition!â€™ or â€˜I am an individual.â€™ An interesting dichotomy, huh? Wanting to be like everyone else but knowing that being unique is desirable, too? That was always the hardest thing for me during my middle school yearsâ€¦ Wanting to stand out but blend in, wanting to be accepted but wanting to be myself.
I think itâ€™s always nice for the girls to hear that everyone feels a bit â€˜weirdâ€™ every now and then. Even the â€˜coolâ€™ girls who seem so pulled together admitted to feeling out of place sometimes. Itâ€™s interesting to think how a roomful of girls can all feel so alone at the same time, huh?
My negative thoughts of the day:
I am lazy and am not getting enough done. My e-mail is imploding.
Why does Henry keep getting the sniffles? I should clean better; Iâ€™m clearly doing something wrong.
Step 1: My negative thoughts are ridiculous. I am doing a good job, and I need to learn how to relax more so I can be happier overall. Everything important will get done. The world will not end if I have to push a deadline or two. And babies get sick; thatâ€™s what babies do. I canâ€™t control everything that happens to him.
Step 2: Positive thought time!
I am a hard worker.
I am a good momma.