Shirley A. Mietlicki
District Specialist, Communities, Families and Youth
Cooperative Extension
University of Massachusetts

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– to use IALAC papers to show how you feel.


It is important that you feel good about yourself. The IALAC activity below may help you keep track of how you are feeling. IALAC stands for I AM LOVABLE AND CAPABLE.


Print the letters IALAC on a sheet of paper. Put it on your refrigerator. As you go through your day, rip off sections of the paper when your interactions with others make you feel badly; add sections to your paper when your interactions with others make you feel good. The size of your paper will indicate to your family how you are feeling and your level of selfesteem. It will let them know when you are in need of some more support and some extra caring and hugging. The IALAC papers can be made for other family members and posted in the same way.

Here are examples of some experiences that may affect the size of your IALAC sign.

1. I sleep late. (rip)

2. I serve cold cereal to save time. My husband won't eat cold cereal on a cold day. He becomes upset with me. (rip)

3. Everyone leaves. I am drinking my coffee and have some time to relax before the day care children arrive. (add)

4. My first day care child arrives 15 minutes early. Her mom is late for work. She asks me to give her child some breakfast. She states how much she appreciates me for doing these extra things. (add)

5. The next day care child arrives. He is cranky and upset. His father is late for work. He runs out the door unable to make the child happy. (rip)

6. The last three children arrive at the same time. They are fighting over a toy. (rip)

7. The school calls. My kids are coming home early because of an electrical problem in the school. I run outside. My car won't start! I call my neighbor, and she's more than willing to pick up my children. (add)

8. My children arrive. They decide to put on a puppet show for the day care children. (add)

9. My insurance agent rings the doorbell. I did not expect him. (rip)

10. A child cannot find her lunch box. She starts to cry, but my daughter finds it for her and the child begins to calm down. (add)

11. I check the chicken in the oven. I realize I never turned on the oven. (rip)

12. Dinner is going to be late. I explain the situation to my husband, and he suggests that we go out to eat. (add)

13. It is late, but I take the time to pamper myself with a hot bubble bath. (add)

By the end of the day, your IALAC sign may be the size of a postage stamp. If it is, most likely you are not feeling good about yourself.

National Network for Child Care – NNCC. Part of CYFERNET, the National Extension Service
Children Youth and Family Educational Research Network. Permission is granted to reproduce
these materials in whole or in part for educational purposes only (not for profit beyond the cost of
reproduction) provided that the author and Network receive acknowledgment and this notice is

Reprinted with permission from the National Network for Child Care – NNCC.
Mietlicki, S.A. (1991). *Building self-esteem IALAC*. (Family Day Care
 series). Amherst, MA: University of Massachusetts.

Any additions or changes to these materials must be preapproved by the author .

Gretchen May
Tillson House
University of Massachusetts
Box 37605
Amherst, MA 01003-7605
PHONE:: (413) 549-8800
FAX:: (413) 549-6337

COMMENT:: Adapted from “A Study Group on Self-Esteem” by Ellen Rowe,
University of Vermont Cooperative Extension, 1988.

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