There is an old Native American proverb that says:
“Treat the earth well: it was not given to you by your parents, it was loaned to you by your children. We do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.”
In essence, we are borrowing everything from our children. The relationships that form the societies of the future depend on the wisdom we can impart to our children, now.
This list by Leah Davies, M.Ed. archived at the Kelly Bear website does exactly that. While it is suggested for teachers and counsellors, it is also a great resource for any parent truly invested in the well-being of their child, and can be practised at home on the same weekly and daily basis.
The following quotes may be used in a variety of ways by both teachers and counsellors. One idea is for a thought to be posted, read, and discussed at the beginning of each week. It could then be read daily with the students. At the end of the week ask them what they learned or how the thought applied to their lives or activities during the week. Have the children give written or oral examples, or have them draw a picture to illustrate their ideas.
How I look is not as important as how I act.
I treat others the way I want them to treat me.
I am a good sport; I follow the rules, take turns and play fair.
It is okay to laugh at funny things, but not to laugh at others.
I do not gossip; if I cannot say anything helpful, I do not say anything at all.
When I am sad, I help myself feel better by thinking of things that are good in my life.
In order to have friends, I must act in a kind way.
I believe that I am someone who can do important things.
What I say and how I say it tells others the kind of person I am.
I appreciate my family, my teachers, and my school.
I treat everyone with respect.
When I listen, I show others that I care about them.
I am being a good citizen when I volunteer to help others.
I think for myself and make smart choices that are good for me.
Each day offers a new start to do my best.
I try to understand what my friends are feeling.
Everyone makes mistakes, so instead of getting angry with myself, I try to do better.
I do not give up; I keep trying until I can do my work.
Sharing with others makes me feel good and makes them feel good too.
I work out my problems without hurting myself or others.
I am being polite when I wait for my turn and say please and thank you.
When I smile at people, they usually smile back.
I encourage my friends to do their best.
My values guide me to do what is right.
I am honest; I do not cheat or steal.
When I am angry, I use self-control and do not hurt others.
I am being creative when I dance, draw, paint or write a poem or story.
I say, “No!” to things that could hurt my body like tobacco and alcohol.
When I do what I say I will do, I am being responsible.
I am grateful for what I have, so I share with others.
I try to learn something new each day.
When things do not go my way, I stop and think of what I can do to make them better.
I do not make fun of other children because I don’t know what their life is like.
I feel successful when I do my best.
Everyone has good and bad feelings.
I take care of myself by eating healthy food, exercising and getting enough rest.
I am being punctual when I am on time and do not keep people waiting.
When I cooperate with others, I get more done.
I follow the rules and try to make my school a better place.
I like to get to know children who are different from me.
Since I tell the truth, my friends trust me.
I look for what is good in others and I say what I like about them.
I buy only what I need and I save my money.
When I use my time wisely, there is usually enough time to do what I want to do.
I think before I act; how I act affects how others treat me.
Using manners helps me keep my friends.
I have courage to stand up for children who are teased.
Before I do something, I ask myself, “Is it safe?”
I am me — I do not try to be like someone else.
I care about living things on earth so I recycle and do not litter.
When I write down what I think and feel, I learn about myself.
I plan ahead and think about what I want to do when I grow up.