The Little Jar of Sunshine and Rainbows, my daughter chose the name, began its life as The Worry Jar.
At the time, I thought it was important for my daughter to write down her fears and worries so we could talk them through, put them in the Jar and hopefully they would be forgotten. I always found writting beneficial for me, so assumed it would help my daughter as well. Although it helped a little, the fears and worries would pop up again and again.
From personal experience I know that the more attention you pay to a fear or trigger, the larger it can grow.
So I decided to change direction, we got rid of The Worry Jar and The Little Jar of Sunshine and Rainbows took its place.
We both have one!
I recently read that it’s important for children to hear their parents and the adults around them praise themselves for their own achievements or something they are proud of. It helps children to recognise their own achievements, promote positive Self-talk and build on their Self-esteem. I knew how important it was for me to give my daughter praise, but I didn’t realise how important it was for me to say it about myself.
It doesn’t come naturally to me, achievements I make quickly get dismissed, I rarely say anything positive about myself internally let alone out loud. I find it difficult to take compliments from other people as well. I realise why now, it’s because achievements and praise do not confirm or support the beliefs I hold about myself so they get forgotten. Our brains normally takes note of evidence which supports our Core Beliefs. So, if you think you are rubbish at maths you will remember all the mistakes you have made when doing anything math related, and often all the times you did get it right gets dismissed.
I have kept a notepad for my daughter to write her fears in if she needs to, it is important for her to know it ok to feel the negative emotions as well as the positive ones. She also knows she can talk to me about anything she is afraid of, and we set some time aside to do this each day.
I just feel we needed to focus on and make a bigger thing out all the positives, her achievements, what made her smile and laugh during the day, and what she is excited about. Instead of focusing on why she is scared about going back to school, we are taking notice of all the things she is looking forward to and how great it will feel to see all her friends again.
We have cut up coloured pieces of paper, all the colours of the rainbow, for us to write on. We have decorated our Jars. Once we have written down about something that made us smile, something that we are proud of or something we have achieved we will fold the piece of paper up and put it in the jar. There are 7 colours of the rainbow and 7 days of the week so we have chosen a colour for each day.
By having a Jar myself it will make it easier for her to see me praise my own achievements and hear me say how proud of myself I am. It doesn’t have to be huge accomplishments, it can be as simple as finishing the ironing and putting it away (I hate that job and keep putting it off) or growing some pumpkins.
………… and who knows, maybe by actively taking note of my achievements and what makes me smile it will become a more natural thing for me to do too.