Loving Kindness as a Path Toward Early Learning


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Feeling valued and loved helps young children develop a positive sense of self. When children feel loved by their teachers, their parents, and their peers, it helps them to feel secure and comfortable with themselves as individuals. As educators, one of the most important parts of our job is modeling love and kindness toward the children in our program and toward ourselves.

 


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We are sharing some of our favorite, simple ideas to practice love in your early learning program. 

  • Appreciate children for who they are. One of the simplest ways to talk about love with children is to let them know that you love them for who they are by calling attention to what makes them special or unique: “I love how much you make me laugh.” “I love how kind you are to your friends.” “I love how hard you worked on your project today.” If a child was absent from school the previous day, let them know how much you missed them when they return. These small reminders help children to feel that  they belong and are valued.

  • Talk about love at circle time. Circle time is a valuable part of the day for large group discussions and learning opportunities. During circle time, try talking to children about what love looks like by asking “Who loves you?” “Who do you love?” “How does it feel when you know someone loves you?” “How can we show someone we love them?” “What do you love about yourself?” 

  • Model self-love. Young children might not understand what it looks like to love themselves, but they can learn it from you! Talk to children about what it feels like to love yourself and show them how to practice self-kindness. Tell children about the value of being proud of yourself when you’ve accomplished something, and the importance of being gentle with yourself when you’re having a hard day.  

  • Practice a loving kindness meditation, by sending “loving thoughts.” If you work with children in pre-k, you might want to try a short, peaceful meditation to give children a chance to intentionally think about someone they love. Blissful Kids recommends this quick meditation that can be done with young children to practice love, positivity, and connection:

    • Have children sit in a comfortable position, and let them know that you will be doing a quiet activity. You might want to dim the lights, or put on peaceful music in the background to set a calm mood in the room. 

    • Ask the children to pick someone in their life that they love, someone that makes them smile. You can begin by talking a little bit about each person. 

    • Once the children have chosen a person, have them close their eyes and think about them. Have them bring their hands to their heart and imagine that they are giving that person a warm, tight hug. You might want to talk the children through by saying, “When you close your eyes, I want you to picture the person’s face. Think about how happy it makes them feel when you hold them close to your heart and hug them. Imagine the smile on their face.” 

    • After a few moments of quiet, ask the children how it felt to send kind thoughts to that person. 

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