Family Lesson | Loving Yourself
"Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself"—the second part of the Savior's infamous answer to the question, "Which is the great commandment?" (Matthew 22:35-40). But the clause in this commandment—can you see it? Love others as you love yourself. Giving to others, including (and if not especially) love, is correlated with how much love you give yourself. In my opinion, that makes "loving yourself"—all of yourself!—one of the most important skills to both 1) personally cultivate and 2) strengthen in our sweet children and as early as possible. My vote is at 2-years-old. Starting that young almost seems counterintuitive, knowing how well little ones self-love, but we all know from experience that there comes (an unfortunate) day that that impressive, innate, childlike ability to love ourselves dwindles. Unless we've stuffed our minds with a vision of who we are and what we love about our bodies, personalities, and talents all along the way—in other words, if our mental stage for self-love is neglected and left empty—there will also come that unfortunate day when what we're falsely told about who we are and why we are not "good enough" will take center stage and dominate our mindsets and beliefs.
I've written the really simple, really quick-to-share family lesson below on loving yourself to help in the cause of stuffing our minds and setting our stages with self-love truths. The lesson is written in a way that you can just pull it up and read it outright (gotta keep family lessons fast and easy or else, right?).
In explanation, there are three discussion prompts: you are asked to list 5 things that you love about your body, personality, and unique talents as of today—just 5 things. Then, to reinforce that loving yourself—your body, personality, and talents—is from God and exactly what He wants us to do, there are three scriptures beneath teach topic to read aloud with those you're teaching. IE, God made our bodies perfectly and uniquely (D&C 20:17-18), and God the Master Creator, doesn't make mistakes.
Click on the link below to use the free download to give the lesson (or keep it extra simple, don't print the download—just pull it up and read the prompts and scriptures, using your own piece of paper at home to write out your answers)! Whatever you do, just take your thoughts and answers seriously. Be honest with this lesson. Really try to extract and share what you love about yourself. It was a sweet experience to see my 4-year-old go on and on (and on!) about what she loves about herself (see the photo above). Her example jumpstarted the flow of answers in my mind, and I hardly struggled to come up with my responses. It was also sweet to know that we are helping her and her 2-year-old sister reinforce what they already know: they are so perfectly lovable.
I believe it—self-love doesn't have to dwindle. Our children can forever love themselves! Happy teaching and sharing and growing. All my love for you!
Jeni is a wife and a mother, a creative, a positive thinker and a friend. She currently lives in California. Jeni has serious love of working hard, fostering faith, and finding joy —and helping others do the same. See more of Jeni's work at www.jeni-a.com.