This week, my first grade students presented their first radio show on blogtalkradio titled, “KidSpeak.”
I was so incredibly proud of each and every one of them because at the ripe ‘ol age of 6 and 7, they are speaking their truth!
I have spent quite a bit of time teaching my students the importance of trusting their intuition and using their voice to tell others how they feel, but I really didn’t realize just how much they absorbed from this teaching until we produced the radio show…
I watched in awe as my little first graders ripped off ‘I Statements‘ like they were a well versed second language. Some students talked about feeling sad, while others talked about feeling proud of themselves. The most inspiring event within our radio show happened towards the end of the interview.
I have a young girl in my class who is very quiet and reserved. She’s also extremely sensitive and hardly ever tells others how she is feeling without a strong nudge. During the radio show, she raised her hand to share her own ‘I Statement‘. She was quite eloquent when she told another student in our class that she felt invisible to him. The boy who she was speaking to is having difficulty with socialization, yet he responded with love, and I have noticed in the past few days that their friendship has flourished and bloomed! Words cannot express how I felt at this very moment. It was a beautiful and divine moment because I was able to see that my teaching of this very important topic had made a positive impact on my students. That is every teacher’s dream!
I encourage you to listen to the show. It will make you laugh, and possibly cry. It’s powerful to remind children that they have a voice inside of them and it’s important to use that voice to speak their truth in this world.
If you’ve never heard of an ‘I Statement,’ you are in for quite a treat. I’m not quite sure where it originated, but I do know it is powerful because I have used it in my personal life, my coaching clients, and my students for many years.
I firmly believe that we need to teach children at a young age how to talk about their feelings without harming others. We are so quick to judge when children are tattling or battling one another, yet we often don’t take the time to give them a tool to use in order to get their feelings out. Many times, parents, teachers, and caregivers, rush to solve the problem for the child instead of taking the time to give them a tool because, let’s face it, we’re busy too, and we look to put the fire out as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, by putting out that fire for them, we are missing the big picture and not giving them the opportunity to learn how to speak their own truth.
The next time this situation presents itself, I implore you to take a deep breath and give your child, or the children you work with, this simple, yet powerful tool…
The ‘I Statement‘
I feel ________________(tell what you are feeling)
When ________________(tell what happened to make you feel this way)
Because_______________(tell why you feel this way)
What I Really Need_________________(tell what you need at that moment)
(For a worksheet on this, please go to http://www.thelightinsideofme.com/ and click on Parent Teacher Resources)
Oh, by the way, you’re never too old to use an ‘I Statement.’
With Love & Gratitude,