As I begin to write this initial Affies4Kids blog post I want to first acknowledge how thrilled we are to be contributing to the KidsintheHouse site by sharing our parenting videos and program. Our organization continues to be amazed at the heroic movement of parents in today's world who want to be the best they can be to their children. The resources which KidsintheHouse offers them are nothing short of astounding. Well done!
Please allow me to introduce you to our Affies4Kids Program. We have developed an easy approach to teaching character education to preschoolers and Kindergarteners by teaching the inner language of positive self-talk.
Why is it important to start early and teach young children positive self-talk?
There is no doubt that we listen to the little voice inside our head. We all do! But did you know that this very busy voice emerged when we were young children? This inner voice is easily influenced, especially at a young age. When we hear others’ negative opinions and criticisms, our inner monologue is impacted. A negative outside influence can be detrimental to an interior voice that isn’t prepared with the tools and guidance to overcome these obstacles. Left untouched it is likely that listening to a negative inner monologue can carry on into adulthood. Many of our self defeating attitudes are actually grounded in the negative commentary from years ago when we were still children. It is startling how long sabotaging self-talk can stay with us.
If you had the choice to help your child create a positive inner monologue instead, would you make that choice? Of course you would. We all want to do everything possible so our kids’ self-talk doesn’t undermine them and make them vulnerable.
Today's parents are asking:
What can I do to prevent my kids from developing negative self-talk?
How can I help them when I never seem to have enough time?
How can I engage with my kids so they'll build confidence and self assurance?
How do I help my child bounce back when he or she hits the inevitable rough patches?
Our preschool video program can help parents with each of these questions. It is easy to use and takes less than five minutes a day. Plus, Affies4Kids is described by parents and teachers as a very high value experience - a meaningful activity they enjoy participating in with their kids. In fact, parents who use Affies tell us, "Parenting just got easier!"
In order to understand what it means to have good character, we’ve written our Affieland stories in a context which is easily relatable to young children. Kids identify with the forest friends who live in Affieland and learn what it takes to have good character.
Affies are short phrases kids love to repeat. Kids listen to the Affies in our music and storytelling as we illustrate what it means to become capable and confident. Through repetition and reinforcement, the program helps young children develop an inner, positive sense of who they are. Rather than a mom or dad or teacher telling them to be kind, or to share, the children are acquiring these traits on their own as they watch the videos and say their Affies. ("I Am Kind," "I Am Good at Sharing," "I Am a Good Listener," “I Am Dependable.")
Children who say Affies each day, begin to formulate and listen to a supportive inner voice. Simply stated, kids who listen to positive self-talk do better than kids who listen to negative self-talk.
A good analogy for Affies4Kids is the high value, enjoyable, and experiential tradition of teaching the ABC’s. Parents wouldn't dream of skipping this vital (and fun) responsibility. It is a key first step for their kids to learn their language. If allows them to move toward effectively communicating in the world.
Though music, rhyming, repetition, and reinforcement, the Alphabet Song is a foundational experience for kids to learn how letters become words. It gets repeated by parents and their kids hundreds of times at home and then again hundreds of times in school.
Learning the language of positive self-talk is a similar foundational experience. And it is easy and enjoyable, as well! Sit together and watch an Affies video, talk about the story and then look in the mirror and say your Affies! Simple phrases like “I Am a Good Listener,” “I Am a Good Friend,” I Am Important,” and “I Am Dependable” become part of your child’s sense of himself or herself. This pivotal experience, as your child looks into his or her own eyes and affirms they are helpful, and good at sharing, and kind, lays a foundation of good character and resilience.
Affies is the first step toward teaching children about their inner language. It is also your child’s first opportunity to communicate to themselves in this inner language. Children who learn to use positive self-talk are more likely to embrace all that is good in the world. Watch as their inner voice becomes the lens through which they see the world and how they fit into it. Their inner voice will help them flourish in their lives rather than obstruct them.
Just like the ABC’s, Affies4Kids uses songs, rhyming, repetition, and reinforcement. The e-book and songbook videos are relatable and along with each stories' characters who have character, kids begin to understand and internalize what it means to affirm their own goodness and strengths. Saying their Affies will become as important in your child’s life as was saying their ABC’s. Beginning this new tradition of a character strengthening inner language will support them in their success-filled lives.
Another great opportunity the Affies experience provides is a structure and basis for continued conversation. Throughout each day parents can reinforce Affies as they see their children exhibit good character. Kids understand how important they are when parents set aside specific one-to-one time to help them develop the habit of positive self-talk and good character.
Remember, the value of Affies is preventing a negative outlook on life and instead, develop the habit of thinking positively. Strengthening confidence and resilience, Affies teaches children to value themselves and have the expectation of a bright, happy future. Children don’t expect to fail. Instead, they expect to succeed so when they have a challenge or a disappointment, they get right back up on the horse and try it again. Children with a solid sense of self are far less likely to melt down with disappointments. They tend to bounce back quickly!
Parents who use Affies tell us that in less than 5 minutes a day they feel like awesome parents because of the advantage they are giving their kids. The confidence and resilience from positive self-talk will help their kids succeed in the classroom and on the playground, on the bus and on the field.
And did I mention…all 20 videos are free! www.affies4kids.com
As I mentioned already, we are thrilled to be a part of the KindsintheHouse world! It is an honor for us to be able to associate Affies4Kids with such a company that shares our own values and philosophies!