The Love Cup — it sounds like The Love Boat, doesn’t it? I taught first grade and was the counselor in a school that was pre-K through 5th grade, and at the end of each school year I’d ask my students, “what was your favorite part?” It was always something related to emotions. People may forget words and actions, but they never forget how you made them feel.

Says L. R. Knost, “Every strength has a corresponding challenge and every challenge has a corresponding strength. … When faced with challenging behaviors, look for the corresponding strength, and focus on nurturing that gift while providing gentle guidance and coping techniques for the challenging areas. That is the essence of working with, instead of against, our children.”

Learning to make the shift from compassionate teaching to compassionate parenthood has been a challenge in its own right. I don’t want to throw my children under the bus, but they have exhibited challenging behaviors, as all children do. Instead of judging them and asking myself, “what’s wrong with my child?!” — I have had to detach my ego to attach to them at the heart level. Challenging behaviors are indicative of a growth experience.

In the classroom and in the home, when I worked with my students and my children to recognize all the good things people were doing, we noticed even more good things. You see, there is an abundance of love in our hearts. It can’t be seen, but it can always be felt.

In this episode, you’ll learn about the symbolic “love cup” exercise and other techniques I’ve used to build up my students and my children. By cultivating self-love, we encourage our children to share the infinite abundance of love, compassion, and forgiveness with themselves and with their peers. We can create community, connection, and cooperation. We can raise our children to have powerful internal motivation and drive.

Guards down, masks off — you don’t have to be anything other than yourself here.

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