How to Playfully Cultivate Self-Acceptance with Students

Recently on the blog, we talked about how we (people of all ages) deal with disappointment and how to go from “dis(appointed)” to “renewed”. Click here to read that post.

How can we help our students be playful with their self-acceptance and their future? By experiencing it, of course! This is a great opportunity to harness the power of imagination to create self awareness and hope. 

Here’s an exercise, called “Remember When?” to do just that. It’s a new way of thinking and framing your experiences. 

Remember When?

  1. Player A asks Player B to share a  dream, wish, or hope for something they’d like to manifest in the future. Perhaps there isn’t a clear path to that goal.
  2. Player B shares the basic dream
  3. Player A begins by saying, “Ok. Let’s take a journey into the future. (Say player’s B name), remember when you… (insert wish as if it already happened).” Ex “Hey, Letisha, remember when you took piano lessons and after awhile played so well that you got a standing ovation at your concert?”
  4. Player B embellishes with more details. For example, “Yes, I remember. I’m so happy that I now can… (states a detail/the joy of realizing your dream).”
  5. Player A says, “Tell me more about what you love about (_______)”

Reframing our hopes and wishes in this way, as if they are happening, brings us into a positive mindset about our future. It helps us release worries or fears that it won’t happen. This self awareness exercise transforms our thoughts from negative thought patterns to the realm of possibility. It feels so good to immerse yourself in your vision of what you desire.

Going from “dis”-appointment to “renewed”-appointment is a choice we make. We can help our students have the option to make this choice by teaching them the SEL skills of accepting difficult feelings as a path to new experiences and then cultivating positive thoughts about the future.

Reframing and remembering and practicing this intentional imaginative thinking brings us to greater self awareness.

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