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Newbury primary school teacher's advice on reaching out on Random Acts of Kindness Day

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Tips on how to listen and react and become 'raktivists'

TODAY marks National Random Act of Kindness Day, when individuals, groups and organisations are encouraged to reach out to others and become 'Raktivists'.

Primary school teacher Amanda Bailey provides some tips on how to bring out your inner 'raktivist'.

Real experiences persuade, you truly know something because you've lived it, you know what life can be like. Today using the letters in kindness, find top tips to nurture an extremely important kindness in children, kindness to yourself, sometimes referred to as self-compassion; helping build self-confidence, courage and good self-esteem.

K eep ears open to negative self-talk, especially when something is proving difficult, or when your child has made a mistake or a poor choice. Always accept their emotion (I can see you're feeling upset, annoyed, anxious), then remind them of appropriate skills, knowledge and understanding they have and can use. With support if necessary, encourage them to try again, have a go. Ask....What are you going to do next?

I mitate and model positive self-talk, problem solving; showcase the importance of mental health, ensuring there is space, peace and quiet time for your own emotional well-being.

N otice if your child regularly speaks in a negative way, starting sentences with: 'I can't', or 'I never'.The voice in their head; their self-talk is also likely to be negative and self-defeating. Foster a positive self-fulfilling prophecy by encouraging your child to talk and think about themselves in a kindly and optimistic way.

D escribe and praise your child, inspiring and reinforcing their positive words and actions. Encourage your child to speak to themselves in a positive way, starting with words such as: 'I am' 'I can'. Statements should always be personal - 'I' present - 'am' and positive.

N urture, encourage and foster healthy emotional development by giving your child focused attention each and every day.

E xpress and re-frame negative statements in a positive way: acknowledge the emotion your child is experiencing, not the words. When calm, if appropriate ask your child why s/he thinks/says something, or consider what you believe the words may be trying to communicate and what steps you could take, remembering real experiences persuade.

S top and think, whether direct or indirect, over time some words and actions, even if unintentional, or 'joking' undermine a child's confidence and self-esteem.

S how gratitude, encourage your child to focus on what s/he already has, spend time at the end of each day sharing things you are grateful for.

Amanda Bailey lives in Wash Common and offers a number of bespoke and group courses to help children, young people, adults and families reduce anxiety and increase calmness. Visit www.beberkshire.co.uk

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