When you’re young, you spend the majority of your time at school. You wake up, eat, go to school for the whole day and are only home for a few hours before going back to bed and restarting the day.
I did learn an awful lot in school. I was always eager to learn about new animals in science, read a great new book and even learn some new math skills. But, one thing that I didn’t realize I had missed out on in school was this:
Learning how to love myself.
You may want to roll your eyes and say that that’s not what school is for, but before you do that, just bear with me here.
School teaches you all of the core materials, how to be active in gym class, and in health class they go into great detail about how horrible drugs are for you and that you should stay away from them in order to be healthy.
But, not once did I ever get a lesson on why it’s healthy to love myself. Not once was I told that my “weirdness” should be embraced. Not once was I taught that being happy with who I am is all I really need in life.
So, because I went my entire youth without that powerful knowledge, I want to tell the world exactly why learning this can make life not only better, but easier. I want to tell the world why this message needs to be shared within the four walls that constrain children from the young age of 4 or 5 into their adult life.
1. It increases confidence
If you give a 10-year-old confidence, it’s like nothing else in the world. If you give a 10-year-old confidence, there is nothing they won’t be able to do. By teaching children to love themselves and embrace all of their uniqueness, you are giving them the tools they need to excel in life.
You are teaching them that even if they aren’t the best at math they can succeed because they are still amazing in their own way. Giving them this confidence will not only help them to succeed in school, but in every other aspect of their lives.
2. It makes kids feel like they matter
Some kids aren’t good at traditional school, meaning they struggle in all the core subjects. This can make a child feel like they don’t matter in the grand scheme of things if they can’t read at a good level. But, if you teach them to love themselves and everything else they bring to the table, you show them something that can’t really be taught.
You show them that they matter far beyond the schoolwork. For some kids, it might be the only time they’ll have the opportunity to feel this way. If you teach each child that they are unique and special in their own way, you are acknowledging that they matter.
3. It can teach respect
This is important for so many reasons. Teaching respect is very hard if you just tell a little kid they have to listen to their elders “just because”. They need more than that. If you teach them to love themselves as they are, they will also learn to love others just as they are.
This will teach them more respect than they’ll ever learn just by you telling them to respect others. And, when they learn respect on their own terms, it is much more likely to last.
4. They may not learn this at home
A big argument that one can make about schools teaching you how to love yourself is that it should be taught at home. However, the unfortunate reality of some children’s lives is that they don’t learn anything like this at home. When they go home, they are faced with a far less loving environment, so learning this at school may be their only chance to do so.
5. It will ease the hardships of bullying
The truth is that bullying may not ever go away. Some kids just need to pick on others and make them feel down. But, if you teach kids to love themselves from an early age, many of the issues of bullying will cease, too. Those who feel the need to bully because they don’t like themselves will bully less because someone has taught them that, no matter what, they’re special.
Similarly, the victims of the bullies will handle the teasing better when they like who they are. They won’t listen to the things bullies say because they’ve been taught early on to love themselves for each and every piece that makes up who they are.
This is single-handedly the one thing I wish schools would have taught when I was younger. There are so many things that would have been easier in life had I always known that I am who I am and to love myself for every bit of it.