My 7 year old is participating in the Kindness Challenge. It was funny because when I read this week’s focus, she didn’t understand the concept. She’s still at the age that she hasn’t learned limitations or been conditioned the way we are over life. I wanted to explain the challenge without instilling any notion of self-doubt
so I explained this week’s focus as a way to approach situations that she has trouble with. She had to think pretty hard to come up with something and the only thing she could think of was school related.
We moved to Spain almost a year ago. Even though her dad and I speak Spanish fluently we spoke English at home prior to moving to Spain so she understood it but didn’t read or write it and didn’t speak it well. That made the transition into a Spanish school challenging and it was her first experience with self-doubt. She’s come such a long way and has worked so hard! She speaks at a conversational level, doesn’t let little grammar mistakes get her down, and is bubbly and funny as ever! We talked about an area that she could be kinder to herself and she said that a lot of times she thinks that she can’t do schoolwork on her own. She challenged herself to try to do as much work on her own as she could instead of asking her teacher or I to help her without trying first. I asked her what she could to to help motivate her and remember to give it a try. Her focus for the week was to relax, be in the moment, not let herself get overwhelmed, take a few deep breaths and tell herself that she could do it!
Here is a little interview I did with her to get her thoughts on how this week went. My questions are in bold followed by her answers in italic.
How did you start off each day? I meditated with Mommy before school every morning.
How did that make you feel? Really good. I felt really relaxed and it helped me to start my day good.
How was each day for you? Really good, I would sit at my desk at school and just tell myself I could do the work and I did! I didn’t need my teacher’s help, I didn’t have as much homework because I just did the work at school and got it done by myself!
How did it make you feel to get your work done all by yourself? It made me feel really proud! Sometimes I think I can’t do it by myself but I just told myself that I could do it and I did! That made me feel really strong!
Did it get easier over the week? Yeah, I stopped telling myself and just did it because I saw that I could so I just did it!
What did you learn? That if you tell yourself that you can do something that you get stronger and you actually can do it!
How kind do you think you were to yourself before this week? I think I’m really kind to myself!
How do you feel after focusing on what you think? Stronger!
Are you going to keep telling yourself that you can do things? Yes!
Are you glad that you participated in this week’s challenge? Yes, especially because I got to meditate with you in the morning and because I feel so much stronger!
This was such an empowering week for her! As her mom I was so proud to see how she took this challenge to heart. She did it to support me and ended up showing herself the importance of going into challenges with a positive attitude. She’s a very positive person to begin with and has such a kind heart! When we first moved here she needed me to help her with homework because of the language barrier. As the year went on I could tell she needed me less but I needed to find a way for her to see it! This challenge came at the perfect time because she is at a point that her Spanish is strong enough to do the work by herself and this has instilled the confidence that she needed. This will be an experience for her to look back on and draw strength from in the future when she faces other challenges. I’m so thankful that she’s so supportive and volunteered to participate the moment I told her about the challenge!
This made me think back to a time before I learned self-doubt and reminded me of this quote-