If you are using the video, ask the first two questions before viewing.
1. Do you ever compare yourself with other people? Is that a good idea? Why or why not?
2. What makes people feel good about themselves?
3. What kept Tuggy from telling the true story of his remarkable moment?
4. If Tuggy hadn't decided to tell the truth about his story, what might have happened?
5. What do Fiona and Moose really like about Tuggy?
6. Why didn't Tuggy think his good qualities were so important until Fiona and Moose said so?
7. Have you ever felt the way Tuggy felt? What made you feel that way? What did you say or do?
8. How can it hurt you to compare yourself with other people? How can it help you?
9. What can you do to feel better when you're feeling bad about yourself? What are some things you can say to yourself? What are some things you can do?
10. Think about a time when you were feeling bad about yourself and then felt better. What changed your feelings?
11. What things do we sometimes do or say that might make other people feel bad about themselves?
12. What can you do to help someone you know who's feeling bad about himself or herself?
(Copy this block and send it home to the parents.)
Your child is involved in learning-activities designed to develop good character and empower young people to make good choices for themselves. He or she may be asked to complete several tasks at home. Your cooperation with these activities will support our overall program.
The current lesson is about self-appreciation. We have shown a video entitled "Appreciating Yourself," which presents a skit and discussion about someone who makes up stories because he doesn't think he's good enough. We urge you to ask your child to tell you about this video program and what he or she learned from it.
Here are some things you can do to help your children develop a healthy self-esteem.
Take their ideas and emotions as seriously as you take your own. Theirs are just as real.
Give praise and recognition whenever it is deserved. Your children need to hear it.
Encourage your children to participate in activities that make them feel good.
Give your children appropriate responsibility. It shows that you trust and respect them.
Show them that they are important to you. Spend time with them, attend school events, talk with them about their activities, meet their friends.
Give criticism without attacking their character. Criticize the behavior, not the child.
Tell them you love them. Say it often.
Most of what we take on emotionally from other people is subconscious and involuntary. While we can, and often do, choose to be sympathetic listeners and loyal allies, our sensitive nervous systems are built for absorbing much more sensory and emotional information than the average person. What this means is that when another person, or people, are expressing their emotions, whether verbally or through nonverbal communication, we absorb those feelings like a sponge dropped into an overflowing bathtub.
Although we are often aware that we are feeling something such as anger, sadness or stress, we are not always aware of where those feelings are coming from. Even if someone is denying that they are feeling hurt, we can feel it. The difficulty comes when it’s unclear who those feelings belong to. We may be sensitive, but we are not psychic. We are aware of feelings, but we can’t read minds. So if we are feeling something, we assume it must be ours. Since HSPs tend to wear their heart on their sleeve, we appear to be the most anxious, angry or distraught person in the room. Other people may ask why we are so upset and tend to view us as overly emotional, irrational or unstable because this emotional display seemed to have come out of nowhere. And then we feel bad about ourselves because we are feeling bad.
Consequently, we react in one of two ways: Some people let the feelings and the accompanying guilt wear away at their self-esteem like waves crashing on a rock as we succumb to the weight of such strong emotions, feeling increasingly like a helpless victim. Others go on a mission to fix themselves, believing that they must be flawed to be feeling so badly.
This is what we need to remember – there is nothing wrong with you. You are a sensitive person and your ability to absorb others’ feelings is a gift. Your needs are just as important as everyone else’s. If you feel overwhelmed by these emotions, take care of yourself first. Here’s how:
• Take a break. Remove yourself from the scene or the person when you are overwhelmed with feelings and find a space to be alone.
• Protect yourself. If you feel better when you are away from certain people, recognise that you are absorbing that person’s stuff and keep your distance.
• Honour your needs. If there are situations or people you can’t avoid, be sure to give yourself time and space to recover emotionally. Take a short walk, spend time with animals or nature, or just sit by yourself and breathe deeply. You’ll feel more calm.
• Become aware of your feelings. Burying your feelings will only make them grow stronger. Recognise the signs of fear, anger, anxiety, sadness for you, whether it’s sweaty palms or lots of tears. If they are your feelings, learn from them. They are trying to tell you what you need to learn. If they are someone else’s, imagine they are clouds and watch them drift away.
• Take care of your feelings. It’s okay to show your feelings. Find ways to express them in ways that work for you, such as venting anger through exercise, expressing sadness in a journal or releasing anxiety through creativity or volunteer work.