Powerful Ways to Teach Kids Kindness to others and themselves:
- Let down your Heart walls!
- Melody attended a class about the Emotion Code, and the one big thing that stood out to her was the concept of heart walls. Different experiences we have in life can lead to us constructing the walls around our heart to protect us from future pain and heartache. These walls make it hard for us to let love in and let love out. When she had kids and friends who’ve had a hard time with another person in their life, she would share with them the concept of heart walls and sometimes directly talking through it helps us to soften our heart and let down layers of protective walls around our heart.
- Notice the Commonalities and honor the differences.
- Help kids learn what we all have in common: a beating heart, a body, brain, skin, and blood. We go through the same types of feelings and emotions, good days and bad. We are all indeed so much alike, and that can help us connect with anyone. It also helps us remember that if someone looks perfect on social media; they have great filters because they have hard days, insecurities and struggles too. People also feel very uncomfortable when they stand out. She loves to say when she teaches a fitness class, that “Everybody in this room is different, so it’s ok for us to do things differently” and that so much applies to every other aspect of life as well. It’s when people feel they have to conform to a fitness class and do things the same as the instructor or the person next to them that injury can sometimes occur.
- Remember, kids mirror who they’re around.
- Kids will notice how you talk about yourself and often talk and think the same about themselves. They also notice and mirror how you talk to and about other people. Kids will also reflect other people they’re around a lot so if you want kind kids try to give them opportunities to be around lots of kind people. When trying to teach manners and positive PST, consistency for the long haul is key. It will come eventually!
- Stop, drop and Communicate!
- Melody thinks one pretty universal need among human beings is the need to feel connected and in our technologically driven world; disconnection occurs far too often. Try to daily, stop looking at your phone, tablet, and computer, drop it in a designated holding space (away from your attention) and communicate openly and sincerely with your kids. Ask them questions, show interest in their lives, tell them about you and your passions and experiences you’ve had that have taught you valuable lessons, and express your love, appreciation, and admiration. She loves talking to her kids while they are driving and will often turn off the music or whatever they are listening to and start asking questions.
- Offer lots and lots and LOTS of grace.
- It is so vital for us to remember that it is OK to not always be OK, that mistakes and failures are a significant and essential part of life and that perfection is non-existent. Melody loves sharing this mantra in a Yoga or Pilates class: As you inhale, you repeat in your mind, ‘I do my best.’ As you exhale, you repeat in your mind, ‘and let go of the rest.’ This mentality helps us give ourselves grace, and it helps us to give others grace as well as we remember that all of us are doing the best with what we know how.
Melody Jensen and her husband are starting a nonprofit called MECKA (Mindset, Energy, Confidence, Kindness, and Action) and their mission is to spread Mental Wellness, Healing, Compassion, and Suicide Prevention. They feel very passionate about this as there are just too many people silently struggling and giving in to those negative thoughts that they don’t matter. Visit their website for more information at mecka.org and follow their two Instagram feeds @melmakesmecka and @howsyourmecka for updates.