Let’s normalize taking breaks, taking time to slow down, taking moments for ourselves before we find ourselves overwhelmed. Our children need to hear us use these words and actions so that they too can learn the habits of slowing down, playing on their own, making time for quiet activities, and hearing their bodies whispering.
This free printable activity is a starting point for discussions around rest and taking breaks. Use it as a ways to discuss with your children the words you can use as well as how resting can have many different forms. Reading a book, making a puzzle, napping, taking some time alone…What’s your favorite resting form?
- Use to have different conversations around resting and taking breaks.
- Use to share the different ways you can rest.
- Use to encourage healthier habits.
We should always take a moment to look at the habits that fill our lives and ask ourselves if they are helping or hindering us in our growth. Look at your habits as if they were items in your closet and it was time for a good cleaning.
Let’s ask ourselves a few questions…
Does this habit still fit me?
Does it nourish my heart, soul, mind, and body?
Is this habit helping me become the version of me I wish to be?
- Use in the classroom when discussing the habits we have either personally or the class habits to see if they still fit.
- Use at home, especially useful in times of transition or change.
- Discuss how we can unconsciously keep doing certain things because they have become habit even if these things are not good for us. Becoming conscious of these habits is the first step to changing them.
- Use as part of therapy to examine which habits are helpful and which can be harmful.
This free printable was designed as a way to encourage self-knowledge and to discover and make time for our maintenance plans. Each part of us has different needs and by listening to and caring for those needs, we learn to show ourselves love and to recharge ourselves.
Use the printable pages to help children (and for yourself) think about and discuss the importance of self care.
- Use in the classroom when discussing the importance of taking care of ourselves.
- Use at home as a reminder to care for different parts of your being.
- Discuss how each part of us can be described or explained and if you agree with some of the suggested explainations.
- Discuss why each side of us might need a different maintenance plan or way to recharge and come up with some suggestions together.
- Keep somewhere where you can see it as a reminder.
- Put into practice.
Use the printable pages to help children discuss the impact of taking responsibility and figure out what taking responsibility for their actions, feelings, and words looks like.
- Use in the classroom when discussing the importance of taking responsibility.
- Use at home to share that we have the power to take responsibility in different aspects of our lives.
- Discuss whether or not taking responsibility is empowering and why.
- Discuss how we can take responsibility for our actions and reactions to things that happen.
I am a big believer in the importance of small steps. The training of the mind and heart that comes with achieving small steps leading us towards bigger goals. Every journey starts with one step, but behind each step comes training, effort and a slow and steady building of our inner selves.
- Discuss a big goal or challenge that seems overwhelming to handle right now.
- Make a list of small steps that will help you feel more confident and will feel like emotional training towards your ultimate goal.
We often find ourselves repeating the same thing over and over again. Creating a visual for these simple life habits and having our children (or students) finish the sentences allows them to take ownership and responsibility.
- Place it over the fridge, in their bedrooms, in the classroom, or in a place that serves as a reminder that each of our actions needs a corresponding reaction to create balance, peace and order.
- Make several copies and have each child fill up their own copies and keep it in their room.
- For camps or group gathering, have the children fill up the page together when you talk about the values of the group and the importance of respect and responsibility.
- Keep a laminated copy in class so that as the children forget to do something, they come and write the reminder themselves.
- Use as you need.
New habits can be formed with the right reminders, the right attitude and the right amount of time. This tool can help turn new habits into wonderful old habits.
A visual reminder of what needs to be done and why it is worth doing.
- Write down a single new habit that you wish to add to your life. Make sure you take the time to describe why you want to do this and to fill up all the sections.
- Add a sticker or cross out a number for every time you practice the new habit. If it's a weekly habit, simply cross out a number for each week.
- If you miss one, don't give up. Continue from your last practice.
- Do as many of these as necessary until the habit becomes a natural part of your life.
- Can use in classrooms to help students practice new studying habits.
- Can use to create better family habits.
- Use as you need.
Telephone practice sheets to help children become more comfortable with talking on the phone.
- Write down possible conversations and have them practice calling family members. (Grandparents really love this)
- Discuss how phone conversations rely on words as the other person cannot see you.
- Share what would be considered proper ways of answering and saying goodbye.
- Encourage your children to become more comfortable with talking to someone on the phone or calling in case of emergency.
As children grow, they want to take on more responsibilities and be trusted to spend more time on their own. Having safety rules and a community of family and friends can help them (and us) feel more secure and help them deal with whatever comes their way.
A useful tool that can help every child in class have three buddies to assist when a book doesn't make it in the bag in time or when our memories play tricks on us.
I have had a few requests from friends who have seen this on our fridge to share this approach with others.
This is a starting point or an idea for you to use as you need.
- Sit down and consult on different jobs and rates (teaches negotiation skills and the value of time and work).
- When they want to earn some money or when you need something done, the jobs and amounts have already been established and it is just a question of getting it done.
- They learn the importance of doing a good job with the inspection reports and with the surprise raise.
- The coupons can be used to show how business works and to add a little fun.
- The money earned goes on the chart where they get to see how each little amount makes a difference.
- They get paid either when they need it or when it accumulates to a certain amount.
- You can decide with them which portion can be saved, given (charity or other) or spent.
Help your child be conscious of their actions when it comes to documenting and capturing life. Teach them to be present to the real moments that require our attention and participation and to make choices that keep possible consequences in mind.
- Talk about facebook, instagram or other social media platforms to your kids and discuss the advantages and possible negative side-effects of sharing so much with others.
- Discuss what can be public and what should be kept remain private and create rules if necessary.
- Talk about what being in the moment means and how we can miss out on what is really important by focusing on other things and not being fully present.
- Discuss cyber-bullying and the importance of parental/teacher supervision.
- Write down two more questions to the list or modify the activity to suit your needs.
We all need to learn how to reset our emotions so that we don't let them drag us down or ruin our day when something happens.
- Keep as a visual reminder in the kitchen or gathering place so that it can become part of your life habits.
- Use it for yourself so that your kids will see you making an effort to choose the emotions you want instead of reacting to everything that goes on.
- Make one with your child to share tips on how we can reset our emotions. The button is a visual reminder that what we focus on expands. Instead, we need to acknowledge our emotions, decide what we want to do about how we feel (including the choice of letting an event drag us down all day). If we choose to reset our emotions, then button becomes a physical motion that starts the process of focusing on something else.
Anxiety, lack of focus, an inability to know where to start, frustration, confusion, all these can lead to feeling overwhelmed when faced with what we perceive as a big project. The ability to take a step back and divide what we need to do in smaller steps is a great life habit and managing skill. Share it in your classroom, print it for your kid's homework binder or keep one on your desk as a reminder for yourself...
- Use it as a way to stimulate conversation about time management and planning of homework or leisure projects.
- Use it in the classroom and ask each child to come up with their own version of how to simplify a big project.
- Use it to help kids who easily withdraw emotionally when faced with situations they find overwhelming.
Learning to work is a great transferable life skill that applies beyond homework, but this is a good place to start...
- Read together and explain the first time. Talk about how having good homework habits allows us to gain skills for life. Use as a weekly checklist and keep it handy while doing homework. Refer to the checklist if necessary during homework. One box gets checked per week. The sheet should last a month.
- You can set goals to achieve and strive for with pre-established
rewards (we usually do book rewards in our home. Would not suggest money or food rewards but rather educational or intrinsic rewards).
- Have your child share their homework sheet with teachers and friends. This will make them feel in charge and give them extra motivation.
-Use the extras for special challenges or longer projects.
- Have fun with these and make your own to fit your needs.