The Teacher is Talking
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The Teacher is Talking: The Happiness Assignment

By Leslie Lindsay

I have been doing a little up-dating of my home decor lately.  And I have fallen in love with these signs/art work called ‘Primitives by Kathy.’  I love the sayings, I love what they mean and how they make me feel–laughter, complete agreement, thoughtfulness…you name it, you can find a sign to represent a feeling.

So, when I came across this one, I had to purchase it. 

Something about it struck a cord with me.  Maybe it’s the fact that I have young kids, maybe it’s the fact that kids today don’t always know what happiness it about–or maybe adults have sort of forgotten that teaching happiness is just as important as teaching, say compound words and indenting paragraphs.  Regardless, I bought the sign/artwork and have hung it appropriately on a wall with photos and artwork from my children.

Here’s a challenge:  Ask your kids what makes them happy.  Do it tonight at the dinner table.  Is it something tangible?  Something that can be taken away, or is their identification of something that gives happiness more of a deep-seeded sense of worth?  Of family togetherness?  (Hint: If your child responds with “My Nintendo DS,” then it may be time to add a little discussion about happiness to your parenting repretoire).

Another ideas is to have your kiddo make a collage about all of the things that bring him or her happiness.  Cut out pictures of animals, sunsets, the beach, books, hikes, trees, flowers, colors…whatever it may be. You probably don’t have to give much more direction than, “Cut out pictures of things that make you feel happy.”  Then ask your child to discuss those ideas with you.  You may be surprised.


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