Buckets Full of Happiness
(Filling self-esteem so high!)
When working with children I love to use the bucket-filling concept to represent how we feel. When we are feeling happy and good about life, when we feel safe, peaceful, and secure in our relationships, our bucket (or heart) is full. An essential component of happiness is high self-esteem, a bucket that is full or nearly full! A bucket-filler is someone who helps fill someone’s bucket with good thoughts and feelings.
Of course, bucket-dipping is when someone does something to take away those good thoughts and feelings. When our friends, or loved ones, or trusted people say or do hurtful things, it dips into our buckets and results in a change in emotion from happiness and joy to feelings of sadness, hurt, or anger. Our buckets are no longer full and it can be very confusing. When a child repeatedly hears messages like “Don’t you know how to do anything?” “You’re so dumb” “Don’t be so gay” “Can’t you sit still?” “What are you wearing that for?” it fills him/her with self- doubt while emptying hearts. The child may wonder “Why did he say that?” or “Why did she do that?” and begins to fill in the answers “I must be not (smart/pretty/etc.) enough.”
When buckets are regularly dipped into, when buckets feel empty most of the time, or when we don’t have the “tools” to fill our own buckets it can lead to feelings of inadequacy, or low-self-esteem. Low self-esteem is the root of most problems in society. It is estimated that two thirds of our population in the U.S. have low self-esteem. That’s 2 out of 3 people with empty buckets! Who is it in your family? In your classroom? In your school?
“Parents need to fill a child’s bucket of self-esteem so high that
the rest of the world can’t poke enough holes to drain it dry.”
When children have high self-esteem they will experience more happiness and peace, and function more successfully in their day to day life: academically, socially, emotionally, and physically. Happiness, emotional well-being, and high self-esteem are essential for positive development. My work is to help children, and their grown-ups, learn and practice the skills to be happier and kinder in their relationships with one another at home, with friends, and at school. We can’t control things that happen and we can’t control things that others choose to say and do. However, we can control the thoughts we have about it and we can control our responses to it. And we can learn to fill our own buckets so high that we do not need to solely rely on others to do so. Kindness and compassion do not have to cost a thing. It’s simply a way of being.
In joy and peace, Dee DiGioia
Bucket-filling pictures, ideas, stories welcomed! From you, your child, your family, your students! Help inspire others!
Dee DiGioia, founder of “Caring and Courageous Kids” is also author of the newly published book “One Caring and Courageous Choice at a Time” and writer/director/producer of the children’s movie “Which Team Will You Choose?”
Through public speaking and teaching classes, Dee hopes to inspire a more compassionate culture one by one, family by family, classroom by classroom! A little peace here, and a little peace there, and soon we will have “peaces” everywhere! Schedule a workshop or classes for your organization or school!