"Hannah," you’re saying, "how can you possibly relate women’s health to kindergarten?"
I know it’s a slight shift from my usual column, but working with kids this summer has reminded me not only how fantastic a schedule with built in snack and nap time is, but also how widely applicable the kindergarten curriculum is to adult life – particularly to women’s health! So bear with me, and consider whether a trip back to elementary school is exactly what your mind and body need.
My next articles will explore some of the lessons emphasized in kindergarten; things we once held as universal truths but tend to forget as we age – much to the detriment of our mental, social and physical health. Think of this as Robert Fulghum’s book “All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten” with a women’s health motif.
Lesson #1: I Am Special
In the summer school program I work for, we practice counting, standing in line and writing letters, among other technical and social skill sets students are supposed to develop before kindergarten begins in September. However, the number one priority of the program is to truly instill a sense of self-confidence in all students, to show them they are capable of learning and accomplishing fantastic things, as long as they try.
Thus, the entire first week of our program was dedicated to thinking about all the ways each of us is special--something the average woman rarely/never spends time doing. For some reason, the adult world (especially females) has built a stigma around celebrating or voicing the accomplishments, positive traits and experiences we take pride in. At the risk of sounding conceited, we fend off compliments or focus on negatives, refusing to acknowledge the unique and fantastic qualities that each one of us has, the remarkable peculiarities that make us all special in our own way.