Guiding our children to shine their inner LIGHT by being our absolute best!

Posts tagged ‘childhood’

I Approve of Me!

I had an interesting experience today at school. My kids had just come back to the room from a humanity special. The kids were transitioning into the classroom and chatting by their cubbies as they put their library books away. It was a typical transition period until I heard a brief conversation…

One of my young girls turned to another young girl and said, “Are you still mad at me?” Generally, I wouldn’t pay attention to this because we all get annoyed with friends once in awhile and we talk about it and work it out. However, it was the look in her eyes when she asked that told a deeper story.

I know the history of these two girls. One has a tendency to get upset when her friends don’t do what she’d like them to do. The other is a ‘pleaser‘ and just wants to make everyone happy. The pleaser had the puppy dog eyes when she timidly asked the question and you could tell that deep inside of her she was frightened that the answer would be yes.

The girls noticed that I was paying attention to their conversation and quickly scurried off. As they brushed by me, I caught the eye of my ‘pleaser’ and said, “Hey there, do you remember what we talked about at the last Girls Rule meeting?” She earnestly replied, “Yes. You taught us that we needed to believe in ourselves and remember that we need to approve of ourselves, not others.” I smiled and said, “Yes, and what else?” She began to smile and she replied, “I don’t ever have to give my power away. I need to like myself.” My eyes and her eyes gave a high five and she bounced back to her seat.

All too often our kids are searching for approval from not only their teachers, coaches and parents but also their peers. They look to others to validate their accomplishments, their thoughts, their feelings and their outer being as well. We teach them to strive for acceptance from a very young age without even realizing it. Unfortunately, we have set them up for failure without intending it.

How did we do this?

Well, think about it for a minute… From the moment you held that baby in your arms you smiled when they did things you liked. When they lifted their heads for the first time, when they lifted themselves for the first time, when they reached for a toy or food or you! You encouraged them with your smile (and clapping and cooing) and they learned very early on that they liked the way it felt when they made you smile. They also learned that you smiled when they did something that ‘pleased’ you, so what are they doing today with their friends?

You guessed it, looking for that smile in everything they do and say. (looking for approval)

Now, wait a minute Mrs. Savini, you mean to tell me I wasn’t suppose to encourage my child? No, that’s not what I am saying at all. In fact, I LOVE that you encouraged your child, you smiled at your child, you gave them approval, but now it’s time to teach them to approve of themselves so that no-one ever takes their power away.

It’s so critically important for us to teach our children to love and approve of themselves at a young age because if we don’t, then they will always search for approval from others. And, we all know that this becomes a long, lonely and sometimes heartbreaking road.

So how do we do this?

We give them a mirror.

1) Teach them how to do mirror work. It’s easy peezy, lemon squeezy! All you have to do, is look in the mirror and say something POSITIVE to yourself. ‘I like you’, ‘You’re a good writer’, ‘You’re a good friend’, You’re Important!’ My kids do this every Wednesday morning in school and I can see the positive impact it has on them weekly.

2) When they ask your opinion of them or their work or their behavior, hold up the mirror instead of immediately giving them your opinion. Get down on their level (physically), look at them directly in their eyes and ask, “What do you think?” Give them the opportunity to reflect on their own work, behavior and being before you offer your thoughts.

3) When they do something that pleases you, tell them but remember to encourage them to look at themselves as well. You may say, “How do you feel about this?” or “I’m so proud of you! You should be proud of yourself. Are you proud of yourself?”

By constantly reminding our children to look in the mirror (physically, mentally and emotionally) we are giving them their power back and teaching them to love themselves. A child who seeks approval from within is a child who will always find the light in the darkness and who will never, no never give their power away to another individual.

Teach them to approve of themselves and you’ll give them the gift of a lifetime!

Lots of Love & Tons of Light,

VickiI-Approve-of-Me-seal

Advertisements

Maybe We Could All Be a Little More Mindful

breaths-we-take

I pride myself on being mindful-focused on the present moment. I wrote about the importance of this in my recent Hay House release, Ignite the Light: Empowering Children & Adults to be Their Absolute Best and I have come be to known as ‘the Mindful Teacher,’ yet yesterday I had a revelation…

For the past few weeks I have found myself discussing the topic of mindfulness on radio shows, in my classroom and in my own home. My husband is in real estate and he’s a high energy kind of guy. He has a difficult time slowing down and staying in the present moment so I guess I’ve been ‘preaching’ to him a bit of late because I have been talking to him about being more mindful.

Last night we took our son out to dinner and then headed to the mall for some quick shopping. I had my phone in hand and checked the text messages, Facebook and emails a few times but thought nothing of it. We enjoyed our evening together and then headed up the Northway to go home.

It was at this point that a song came on the radio from years past (N-Sync-Bye Bye). My husband and I smiled as he began singing to the top of his lungs (all the wrong words-of course). Then, I found myself looking down at my phone again.

I don’t know why but I thought back to ‘the old days’ when we didn’t have smart phones and computers on the run. As my husband sang to his hearts content, I had a revelation- I was NOT being mindful. Why is it that we constantly allow ourselves to be pulled away from the present moment?

I distinctly remember a few months ago while traveling through an airport that I noticed a family of four sitting at a table and every person in that family was engaged on an electronic device. I felt sad for the kids because there was no conversation and a true disconnect.

I then looked around the airport and noticed the iPads connected at every table. There were very few people in that airport actually interacting with one another face to face. Instead, they were all engaged in electronics. It truly made me sad but I felt somewhat proud of myself that I was being mindful and talking with my traveling companion.

Yet, here I was last night, as my husband reminisced our youth, checking my damn phone.

I aptly placed the phone in my purse and didn’t pull it out again.

Let’s be honest. We live in a fast paced, busy, technical society and electronics come in handy, but we are certainly allowing social media to over take our lives and we are all suffering from this because we are causing disconnection in our families, with our friends and from our higher self.

Take the time to notice today how much you check your phone, go on Facebook or rummage through emails. Then ask yourself, ‘Do I really need to do this right now?’

“Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.” ~Hilary Cooper 

Truth is…if we are not mindful, then we are missing the moments.

Don’t miss another ‘moment’.

Lots of Love & tons of Light,

Vicki

 

It’s Official-Ignite the Light!

Ignite the Light RGB

Ready to Ignite the Light?

Hi everyone!

I can’t believe how fast time flies but my new book is being released in exactly ONE week!!! (But you can PRE-ORDER TODAY)

IGNITE THE LIGHT: EMPOWERING CHILDREN & ADULTS TO BE THEIR ABSOLUTE BEST

Whether you are a parent, a teacher, a child-care worker, or just a person who would like to leave this world a little more peaceful than you found it, Ignite the Light – Empowering Children and Adults to Be Their Absolute Best, will give you the tools to educate, enlighten, and empower the children in your life to see that they are perfect just as they are.  What happens in childhood doesn’t stay in childhood, which is why childhood is too precious to ignore.  This book is a practical step-by-step manual for change and message of hope that provides tools from which all children—and all families—will benefit.

Check out the book trailer that was filmed and produced by an 11 year old who shines brighter than the SUN-(how cool is that?)

CLICK HERE FOR BOOK TRAILER

I am on a mission to help children and families be their absolute best by igniting the light within.

In this book, I take the 7 Essentials that I have taught for years to both children and adults and give you a step by step manual to apply to your life and empower the children you serve (whether you are a parent or teacher, you know exactly what I mean by that).

There’s nothing cerebral about it. I keep it simple because I want you to pick up this book, devour the message and apply simple principles immediately so that you can not only be your best self, but more important–ignite the light within our kids!

Top 5 Reasons to Order Ignite the Light today:

1) You will learn 7 simple essentials that can chance your life by helping you to create strong foundations for children and repair and strengthen your own foundation.
2) Your kids deserve a strong foundation that will help them to navigate the waters of life by connecting with their inner power.
3) You deserve a chance to get off the hamster wheel and start living instead of existing.
4) There are tons of tools to help kids believe in themselves and speak their truth, and when this happens our kids excel at school, laugh at bullies and shine brighter than the sun!
5) When we believe in ourselves and speak our truth, we not only create a brighter future for our kids but we live a happier life!

How about some gifts?

Because you have followed my work and are on my super important email list, I want to give you a few free gifts for ordering my book;

1) an automatic download of a typical meditation in my classroom. This is approximately 12 minutes long and can be used with both children and adults, even if you think you have a hard time meditating! I have 1st graders who use this method and believe me it works. Let me teach you how to go to YOUR ‘Happy Place.’

2) I will include you in a free 90 minute group coaching call based on the 7 essentials in the book(Date in June to be announced.)

How do you get the free gifts?

Simply purchase the book from amazon (click the link below), then send your receipt to zohee@vickisavini.com with “I’m Ready to Ignite the Light” in the subject line and you will receive an email with your immediate download and more information on the coaching call.

Lots of Love & Tons of Light,
Vicki

Too Much Information?

news

Tragically we have endured yet another senseless act of violence in our nation. Tonight I send lots of Love and tons of Light to the Boston area and then I pose this question…

Are we giving our children too much information?

Every morning my precious 1st graders enter the room with wonder and excitement in their eyes. I purposefully stand in the doorway or greet them in the hall with a smile as they unpack for their day. I do this because I want to warmly welcome them to a new school day and to be sure that I am starting the morning out positively for them.

The children walk into the room, greet their friends and immediately begin ‘morning work.’ Soon after the school announcements come on and then helpers begin setting up our morning meeting.

Morning meeting is a beautiful time because the kids show what they know by reviewing the calendar, discussing the weather and counting how many days we’ve been in school. We also sing songs and choose our morning affirmation to set our day in motion.  

If the kids have something on their minds, this is a good time for them to share their thoughts and feelings.  This morning after our morning routine and choosing the affirmation, “I am infinite,” one of my students raised his hand and said, “Mrs. Savini, did you hear about the bombs that were dropped on Boston?

I must admit that I was caught off guard because I didn’t expect to hear that this morning. I too have a 1st grader and decided that there would be no talk of the incident or watching of the news while he was awake, so I was stunned when I heard this question and then saw all of the children engaging in discussion.

I turned to the child and said, “Well, hunnie, there actually weren’t bombs dropped from the sky but yes there was an incident in Boston yesterday involving 2 explosions.”  

It was at that point that I asked the children how many of them heard about the ‘bombs’ and how they exactly learned of this news. I was shocked to see that most children raised their hands to say they in fact DID heard of the ‘bombs.’  Some heard of this from parents and others watched the news.

I took a deep breath and told the kids that I didn’t think it was something we should discuss at school because we don’t have all of the facts. If they had questions, they should talk to their parents.

I personally don’t watch the news because I find it very negative and depressing.

In that moment I wondered, ‘Are we giving our children too much information?

About 30 minutes later my kids were off to specials and I had some time to talk with a colleague and a parent in the building. I asked the parent if their child knew of the event in Boston and they said yes. They discussed it with their child because they didn’t know what they would hear at school.

Ahhhh, yes, now that makes more sense. At first I wondered why parents would allow their children to know of this event, but this made sense. Most parents were talking to their children about it because they would rather they heard about it from them instead of children, but I still had a concern…

In December our nation was shaken with the horrific event in Newtown, CT and children were given information at that point as well. Today when my children were talking of this I saw two reactions; 1) worry-fear-anxiety, 2) disconnect. Yep, that’s what I said…disconnect.  I wondered in that instance if we as adults knew the long term impact of ‘giving too much information’ to young impressionable children.

You see, I believe we live in a society where we are disconnected from one another more than we are connected and that is dangerous…that is why we have events like Newtown, CT listed in our history books…because someone was disconnected.

I started to feel that maybe giving our children too much information and exposing them to the news was somehow desensitizing them. It’s desensitizing us to some degree because we hear so much of it, why wouldn’t it do the same for our children who really have little understanding about life and death at this early and tender age?

I’m certainly not judging anyone for their decisions with their children, but I’m wondering if giving them too much information and exposing them to the very negative news that flashes across our screens (phones, computers, TV’s etc) daily is really the best option for our children.

Is it possible to just let children be children and IF they come to us with questions regarding a tragedy, THEN we answer their questions–while still protecting their innocence–as best as we can?

I believe that young children are on a need to know basis and that they do not need to know about senseless violence in our world. I strongly believe that exposing our children to this kind of event, even though we mean well, can cause more issues in the future such as anxiety, or worse, desensitization.

I didn’t tell my son about this event and he didn’t come home and ask me about it either. If he had, I would have told him that sometimes awful things happen and it’s terrible to see this happen or experience this but we should notice all of the love that rises to the top of the situation.

We should take the time to see how everyone pulled together and how everyday people turned into heroes at a very sad time.

I’m curious to hear what YOU think…Too much information

Lots of Love & Tons of Light,

Vicki

Childhood is Too Precious to Ignore

 

There is always one moment in childhood when the door opens and lets the future in.  ~Graham Greene, The Power and The Glory

Childhood is a short period in our lives that begins at birth and ends at puberty.  According to Merriam-Webster’s dictionary, it is defined as; 1) the state or period of being a child. 2) the early period in the development of something.

Birth to puberty is not a very long time and yet it seems as though the span of childhood is diminishing right before our eyes.  Has anyone else noticed that children are not allowed or encouraged to be children in today’s society?

For some reason, we spend most of our time; ‘racing to the top’, expecting children to be mini-adults, and constantly doing this thing called life, instead of living life.

As a teacher and advocate for children I am appalled when I hear people say, “Well, there’s nothing we can do about it.”

I question what is happening in our educational system when we are spending more time documenting our teaching than actually empowering and teaching our children.  I wonder just how terrific technology is when I walk into a restaurant, and see every person in the family on some type of electronic device.  I shudder when I notice that seven is the new nine during childhood and yet people are still saying, “There’s nothing we can do about it.”

We complain that children don’t pay attention in schools.  We say that there is a terrible break down in the family, and we throw the word bully around like it’s a new catch phrase, but what are we doing to change these things?  We need to do something about it.  It’s not a nicety, it’s a necessity.

Looking at the current life span, you might conclude that childhood is somewhat insignificant in the whole scheme of things, because, let’s face it, it’s brief.  However, the truth is, childhood is the most critical time period of our entire lives.

When are we going to wake up and realize that we are pushing the most precious time of our lives right out the door?

I started teaching fourteen years ago.  I knew, even then, that I was different.  I had a holistic perspective on teaching where I believed that we should embrace childhood in the midst of educating, enlightening and empowering children.  I always felt that in order to be successful academically, you had to make a true connection with the children in front of you.  I strongly believe that you cannot teach the mind of a child, until you touch their heart.  I have spent fourteen years in the public education system teaching children to believe in themselves, speak their truth and LOVE learning.

Now, we are racing to the top and banging on the door of total catastrophe.  If we thought we had a bullying issue in America before this new plan in education came down the pike, we better buckle up because when you make a child feel inadequate, you bring out their fears and anger raises its ugly head!

A few weeks ago I was putting my 7 year old to bed.  We had just finished reading a story and he turned to me and said, “Mom, it’s just not fair. I don’t get it. I’m only in 1st grade and all we do is work, work, and more work.  We never even get to play!”  I looked into his eyes and took a deep breath.  I too teach 1st grade and I try my best to keep the fun alive, but it’s getting damn hard, even for me.  When my son spoke those words, I understood more deeply than he even realized that something BIG was going on here.  I realized that this is another dent in childhood.  I totally understood that we were trying to force our children to become human doings, instead of human beings at a very young age.

Of course! That’s exactly what’s going on because if we are human doings ourselves that’s exactly what we teach our children.

You know you’re a human doing when…

  • You have lists of things to do every day
  • You can’t even seem to put a thought together by the middle of the day because you’re already overloaded
  • You are constantly focused on what you have to get done
  • You forget simple things like brushing your teeth
  • You look at the clock and realize that it’s already bedtime
  • You look at your children and they are grown and you wonder where the hell the time went

Is this what we really want for ourselves? Is this what we really want for our children?

Childhood should be a time when we gain a strong foundation so that we can navigate the waters of life successfully.  If we continue to diminish childhood by expecting our children to act like mini-adults and do more, more, more, we are certainly headed for disaster.

Let children be children.  Children have a beautiful curiosity that is totally natural.  Why not tap into that to educate them?  And what is education anyways?  Instead of teaching children what we want them to know or what we think they should know, maybe we should we teach them how to think for themselves and speak their own truth?

If you asked me, I would say that childhood should be extended instead of diminished.  I’m really not sure why everyone wants to grow up so quickly.  What exactly are we running to?

I’m going back to being a kid and I suggest if you have children, teach children or care about children, you should tap into that energy too.

Childhood is too precious to ignore.  If it’s true that ‘there is always one moment in childhood that opens the door and let’s the future in,’ then let’s give the future some hope…

Teach children to believe in themselves, speak their truth, and above all BE.