Rainbow Days Training
I AM - Self-Awareness
I AM: likeable, capable, unique, and valued.
In January’s Training Connects, we looked at the origin of the Major Messages and how these five Domains are the foundation of the CBSG® Program. From now through June, we will examine one Domain and Message each month. One disclaimer--in no way have we attempted to give an exhaustive review of each Domain. Volumes could be, and indeed have been, written about all the core components in each Major Message! 
I AM: Self-Awareness
I am likeable, capable, unique, and valued.
Self-Awareness Defined:
Simply put, Self-Awareness is becoming aware of one’s self. 

  • “A conscious knowledge of one's own character, feelings, motives, and desires.”- Merriam Webster

  • “The experience of one's own personality or individuality.”- Philosophy of Self

  • “The ability to accurately recognize one’s feelings and thoughts and their influence on behaviors (e.g., accurately assessing one’s strengths and limitations; possessing a growth mindset, a well-grounded sense of self-efficacy, and optimism.” – The Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) definition found in www.eddigest.com

  • “Self-Awareness enables children to recognize the impact of emotions, thoughts and values and how they influence behaviors. It is the ability to assess one’s strengths and limitations accurately, with a well-rounded sense of confidence, optimism, and a growth mindset.” – The CBSG® Program

Personal Reflection:

Reflect upon your personal experiences with Self-Awareness. As a child or adolescent when did you experience a “self-aware” moment? Or recall observing a “self-aware” moment in the life of a child you are close to or have had in group.

For example. I remember in my 5th grade Social Studies class being chosen as the leader of our small work group, assigned to research and make a presentation on a particular topic. During the planning process I became aware of how much I enjoyed making sure everyone had a part to play and seeing all the pieces come together. During the presentation, I became aware of how much I enjoyed teaching others what I had learned. This Self-Awareness was the foundation of my confidence to pursue teaching as a career and later to start Rainbow Days. 

One special memory of my daughter, Catherine, was when she was about 18 months old (child development specialists note a child’s self-awareness begins to develop between 1 and 3 years of age.) One of our favorite activities was for me to hold her in front of a full-length mirror and say, “pretty baby”, and “kiss the baby” as we leaned in towards the mirror so she could kiss her reflection. One day she climbed onto a stool in front of the mirror, smiled at herself, admiring how pretty the baby was, and gave her “mirror self” a big kiss! 

As in human development, there are stages in the development of our self-awareness.  Being self-aware is foundational to success in life. 

The CBSG Program I AM Domain Core Areas:

  • Self-Perception/Identity/Value
  • At an early age, we begin the process of seeing ourselves as separate from others (our parents/caregivers, siblings, peers, etc.) We begin an ongoing process of having a sense of who we are as individuals.
  • We begin to recognize and regulate behaviors on our personal preferences and values.

  • Sense of Confidence
  • When we are self-confident, we accept and trust our abilities, qualities, and judgment.
  • We have a sense of control in our lives. It is also true feeling confident may depend on the situation. We are not all equally skilled at the same things.

  • Self-Efficacy
  • The sense of control over our lives strengthens, and we begin to realize our behaviors and actions impact what happens. 
  • We learn life does not just “happen to us.” Our dreams and aspirations are not just wishful thinking. Again, we have some measure of control; to reach our goals requires action on our part.

  • Recognizing Strengths
  • By identifying activities, we enjoy and have a knack for, we begin to develop a sense of our strengths, as well as our limitations. 
  • Being able to compliment ourselves in a balanced way is important to identifying and having confidence in our abilities. 

  • Identifying Emotions and Healthy Ways to Express Them
  • Identifying our feelings and accepting them in a non-judgmental way, is a skill we need throughout all stages of life. We learn while “all our feelings are okay” there are healthy and unhealthy ways of coping with and expressing our emotions. 
  • The ritual of Sunshine and Cloud (Highs and Lows; Roses and Thorns; Happy and Crappy), is an excellent reminder our feelings and experiences are not static but change frequently throughout each day.  

  • Recognizing One Another’s Differences
  • By being more self-aware we become more “others-aware.” In the second Domain I CAN – Social Awareness and Competence, we explore interacting with others in depth. 
  • In I AM we begin to recognize the uniqueness of each person. When we identify ways we are alike and different from one another, we learn to accept and appreciate our differences. Ultimately, we can learn to get along better.

One common thread in all the Domains is recognizing alcohol, and other mood-altering drugs, can cloud our judgment, change the way we feel and act, and cause us to lose control.

In the Curricula:

As we discuss in the CBSG Program Facilitator Training, despite the fact Major Messages are given in an order, we do not cover one and then never return to it. The Major Messages build upon one another. They are organic and circular, not linear. In Kids’ Connection and Youth Connection, Sessions 1, 2, 3, 5, and 10, have discussions and activities focusing on developing and strengthening Self-Awareness. In Kids’ Connection, Too, I AM is the focus in Unit 1, with a sprinkling in I CAN (Unit 2), and I HAVE (Unit 3).

Remember, once you have implemented with fidelity, using one of the activities as described, you can adapt activities. Here are a few examples to help get your creative juices working:

  • After Session 1, adapt the Kids’ Connection Major Message Rainbow/Youth Connection Major Message Activity to have all 5 arcs focus on I AM. Ask participants to give themselves 5 compliments or identify 5 strengths.
  • In Ball Toss, whoever catches the ball identifies a strength they possess.
  • Focus for all responses for Everyone is a Star on I AM responses.


Some of the many benefits gained from having Self-Awareness include:

  • Increased ability to regulate behaviors; more self-control
  • Increased self-confidence
  • Recognizing our behaviors and actions impact outcomes
  • Identification of strengths and limitations
  • Increased ability to set and achieve goals leading to fulfillment of dreams and aspirations
  • Increased coping skills
  • Increased empathy and compassion for self and others
  • Ability to identify and appreciate differences in one another

If you have questions, comments or personal experiences you want to add to the conversation, we would like to hear from you! 

Cathey Brown, CBSG® Program Developer
Major Message Infographic
click image to enlarge
Training Calendar
Virtual CBSG Program Facilitator Training

Stay Tuned! Registration for upcoming trainings on June 22nd and August 31st coming soon.

Kids’ Connection, Youth Connection, and Kids’ Connection, Too (collectively known as the CBSG® Program ) are unique, interactive, multi-cultural curriculum-based prevention interventions that teach high-risk children and youth ages 4-17 a set of essential life skills: skills to help them learn how to cope with difficult family situations (which include Adverse Childhood Experiences), resist negative peer pressure, set and achieve goals, and refuse alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs. 

This training is designed to fully prepare schools, community-based organizations, churches, juvenile justice divisions, volunteers, and other youth service professionals to fully implement the CBSG Program with fidelity. 

Those completing this training will receive their choice one of the CBSG Program Facilitator manuals:
  • Kids’ Connection for ages 4-12 in Schools and Communities
  • Youth Connection for ages 10-17 in Schools and Communities
  • Kids’ Connection, Too for Ages 4-15 in Homeless & Domestic Violence Shelters, Group Homes & Other Transitional Living Environments

Please contact us at info@RainbowDaysTraining.org for more information!
March Virtual Workshops
We are excited to bring you four phenomenal workshops we know you won't want to miss! Here's a sneak peek of the workshops and speakers we have lined up:

March 9th - Helping Support Families During COVID
Dr. Marcia Baker, Ph.D.

March 11th - It's Time to Talk ... Again: Behaviors of Concern for Older Adults
Julie Stevens, MPS, ACPS, ICPS

March 18th - Please Place Your Oxygen Mask on First
Krystal Skaggs, M.S.W.

March 25th - So You Want To Be Engaging?
Michaela Flores, M.S., CPS

Do you need to alter how you implement the CBSG® Program during COVID?

Check out the COVID resources on our website. The Curriculum-Based Support Group (CBSG®) Program Virtual Implementation Tips can help you navigate through the continuing COVID pandemic. We want to ensure everyone is aware there are Developer-approved guidelines. However, you always need to check with your Funding Source to see what they approve. Reach out to us if you have specific questions or need additional guidance.
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