A Fun and Simple Exercise to Help Children Build Self-Love and Identify Their Good Qualities

The narrative of self growth, evolution and development is a good one. Dare, I say, a necessary one. A valid one. We are all evolving. We all make mistakes. We can all learn and improve. We all have areas we need to work on and develop further. 

However, as with anything in excess, if this is our only story or narrative—and we tell it to ourselves over and over again—we may easily lose sight of who we already are. We rarely rest in a felt sensation of being enough. A work in progress, sure, but also a beautiful and sufficient work in progress.  

This constant movement forward, pushing ourselves to always be better, can start from early childhood. It’s everywhere in our culture, both subtle and obvious. It can be found in children always striving for better grades or to be faster on the sports field or to be seen as cool or popular among their peers.

Children can often identify areas they want to improve in and can easily state things they want. But, sometimes, it’s not as easy for them to identify beautiful parts of their personality or easily state things about who they are, already. 

Ask many children what they love about themselves and they often become shy or reluctant . . . as if there is something wrong with enthusiastically loving who we are.

But enthusiastically loving who we are isn’t always emphasized apart from outer accomplishments in the world. Children often get positive feedback when they excel in something specific. “Wow, you were amazing in your piano recital, Brandon. You are very gifted.” These are wonderful and affirming words, which we don’t have to stop ourselves from saying. But, drawing children’s attention to the beauty and gift of who they are outside of doing something is equally as important. 

One of our favorite activities to do with children is called the Inner Qualities Quiz. We talk about this in episode 4 of the WeeWonna Talk podcast.

Here is the procedure of the Inner Qualities Quiz step-by-step : 

1. Think of 4 or 5 scenarios that a child may encounter on a regular basis.

Have a mixture of challenging scenarios (where their character is tested) and fun scenarios (that simply let their particular personality shine). You can use your own or we have five already written for you (that we ask in the podcast) in our journal download for this week which you can find here. 

2. Present your child with each situation and ask them what they would do.

Let them answer honestly and candidly. Usually, you will be amazed at the beauty of their answers. We always are. 

3. Look for the inner quality present in their answer and highlight it.

This shows one of the good qualities that they already have within them. They can even write it down. We usually have them repeat it out loud. 

So, here is an example.

If the situation presented is : “Someone says something mean about your friend at school. What do you do?”

And the child answers : “I would go up to that person and tell them what they said is unkind and not true.”

Don’t forget to download your free “I am me” Mantra Journal, which includes the Inner Qualities Quiz.

Then you can help them to see that one inner quality present in that behavior is bravery. It’s brave to stand up for someone else. And we would have them write down bravery, and say “I am brave.” 

As you present different scenarios, they collect different qualities that are a part of who they already are. And what does this do? 

  • It helps children understand that goodness is not something they have to find outside of themselves. That goodness exists within them already.
  • It is a fun way to help children discover some of their good qualities. This promotes a sense of self-confidence and self-love. They begin to feel good about who they are and proud.
  • As you present situations and allow the child to imagine into how they would behave it helps them to remember this choice and when that situation happens in reality. Suddenly, they have a sense of their strength and character. 

Children have an amazing inner compass. As the adults closest to them, a beautiful gift we can give is to help them discover and understand this. Each child has particular qualities and strengths of character and it can be incredibly healing and empowering for them to focus on finding and naming these qualities on a very regular basis. And . . . eventually . . . to get to a place of enthusiastically loving themselves!

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