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  • Writer's pictureShannon Stoddard

Give Yourself That Sticker

A few weeks ago in one of my Preschool classes I had a student who proudly was showing me the big heart sticker on his shirt. I asked him what he did to get such a nice sticker (stickers are usually rewards for doing something good) and he exclaimed "I gave it to myself because I deserved it!" His response put a big smile on my own face! That was a whole mindset and I was loving it! I gave the kid a high-five and told him how awesome that was! I should be so kind to myself to reward myself like he did!

That little interaction has been in my head for weeks! I loved the confidence of the Preschooler who rewarded himself with a sticker... just because he deserved it! I don't know WHAT he did that he was deserving of the sticker... but regardless, the sticker brought him happiness... and doesn't everyone deserve a little happiness?! I often think about these Preschoolers and how simple life is for them still. Often their biggest struggles are not getting the color sticker that they wanted, or not getting to be the first to get to do something... little problems... and almost always a simple reward like a sticker can make their whole day!

I wish my older students would give themselves the same love that the Preschoolers give themselves! Many of them (especially my teens) are just as bad at being perfectionists as I am. They make a tiny mistake in their song... or maybe a rehearsal just isn't going as well as they'd like for it too... It breaks my heart to see them defeated... but I often understand how they're feeling because I've been there too. Lately, I have been sharing the story of my Preschooler who rewarded himself with a big sticker just because he deserved it! Every time I tell the story I get smiles and laughter... but it's really that simple if you think about it! I often have to remind my older students (and myself) to give yourself grace! If you are working hard at something... even if it doesn't end up perfectly... you've given it your best and you deserve to celebrate that accomplishment! Maybe the reward isn't a sticker... but even my big kids get excited for a sticker... but give yourself a reward... at the very least give yourself some praise!

I have been told so many times in my life that I am my own worst critic. It's true. I will be the first one to get down on myself. No one can make me feel bad about what I didn't do right quite like I can. I'm sure everyone can say the same thing about themself! Embrace your inner Preschooler... be kind to yourself, give yourself love and praise! If you didn't do your best... it's okay because I'm sure you tried... You can always try again!

My teens have auditions next week for their upcoming production of The Little Mermaid and I'm sure many of them will be beating themselves us about their audition. Does anyone ever truly have a perfect audition though? Prepare. Prepare until you feel so confident in what you're going to perform... then when you DO perform... give yourself grace even if it doesn't go perfectly! You were brave and performed in front of others -- THAT in itself is an accomplishment! Give yourself the sticker -- or whatever else it is that will put the smile on your face... but most importantly, tell yourself you did good because YOU deserve that love and praise from yourself!

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