The Kids' Workshop
The Kids' Workshop is designed to identify and strengthen four abilities children have naturally which are often lost in the maturation process. These four abilities, if preserved, are very useful and beneficial for adults. The four inherent characteristics the Workshop develops and preserves, adapted from the work of Carl Rogers, are:
- congruence in oneself and in one's interactions with others;
- empathy for others, including people from other cultures;
- the ability to give straight messages and to recognize mixed messages, and
- a deep trust in oneself, others and the world.
The exercises and experiences kids have in the workshops reinforce and amplify these inherent strengths and help the kids keep and cherish them for their whole lives. Many kids participate in more than one workshop and say they learn new things each time. Some kids who have participated return as helpers and assistants. Even young kids remember the exercises and the thoughts and feelings they had while in a workshop when well into adulthood.
Children from 4 to 12 years old will benefit most from the workshops, although kids younger and older have participated and benefited. The workshop involves exercises, play and fantasy experiences. The kids make their own "warm fuzzies" to keep and also keep the drawings and other things they create in the workshop. Some kids keep the warm fuzzies they made in a workshop until their college years and beyond and continue to gain strength from than say years later.
The Kids' Workshop is for all kids of all social, economic and ethnic backgrounds. No category or group of kids is targeted, and no kids are left out. Included in the workshop exercises are ones which help develop and foster multiculturalism as an extension of empathy and trust.