What is aroha and why is it important to teach children about aroha.

Today I want to talk about the word Aroha.  Aroha has many definitions to it and today I want to explore that and look at why it is important to teach children about aroha for they themselves are aroha too.

Aroha is a very rich word and has many meanings within the Māori world.  So I will create a list of meanings that I can think of.

Aroha  means:

to love

to show empathy

to cry

to be compassionate

to support

to care

to be kind

to show affection

to be peaceful

to nurture

to help

to be respectful

And the list can continue, maybe ask what aroha means to yourself and others and add to the list yourself.

Every day we must teach children aroha,  Why?  Well lets look at that now.

Aroha comes form a feeling within you.  It is a beautiful feeling that makes you feel good about yourself.  Children need to feel good about themselves.  They need to have confidence to go about their day and lives.  They need aroha to support themselves and others through the journey of life. Aroha helps to develop the brain.

An example of aroha.  A child comes to  your centre and cries when their Mum leaves.  You as a teacher will go see the child and comfort him/her and ensure that they feel good and support that child.  This is aroha.  The child is expressing their aroha for their mum through crying and you are expressing aroha through helping the child through this tough time.  Aroha is a two way system a means of communicating with others.

Aroha can be seen through actions words and facial expressions.  A smile is a great way to show aroha.  Laughing and enjoying the company of others expresses aroha.  Crying expresses aroha.

Suggestions for activities re: Aroha.

Why don’t you look at the word aroha with you colleagues, families and the children and see how much the word really means to people in your community.  You could create a giant poster for your wall and add to it daily.

You could ask the children to create pictures of aroha, kindness, how we share etc. and display on the wall.

You can learn songs about aroha in te reo Māori and other languages.  Te Aroha, Love is like a penny, I love you. you are my sunshine, me he manu rere etc.

You can make aroha/friendship bracelets.

There are many books that talk about aroha that you can read and learn more about aroha.  Here are some suggestions:

My Happy Place: A Book of Joy, Aroha and Generosity          Aroha's Way: A children's guide through emotions   Why Love Matters: How Affection Shapes a Baby's Brain

Here are some Maori proverbs about aroha.

E iti noa ana, na te aroha.  A small ordinary thing, begotten by love.  Although the present is small, it is all love has to give.

Aroha mai aroha atu.  Love toward us, love going out from us.

The Raupo Book of Maori ProverbsI got these proverbs from this book ‘The Reed Book of Maori Proverbs’ that you may be interested in getting for yourself.

I hope that you have learnt something about aroha within my post.  Thank you and have a nice day.