Dear ardent readers:
This self-awareness topic is getting a lot of traffic on the internet. Self-awareness is all about “tuning in” to feelings and thoughts. This is definitely an important skill for kids to develop since it can help your child to nurture his or her strengths and overcome his weaknesses. If you would like to teach all about self-awareness to your child in a positive and age-appropriate way, keep on reading because I have some tips on how to go about.
1. Accept and Recognize Your Child’s Emotions:
Understand your child’s emotions and never make fun of them, especially in front of others. This way your child’s display of emotion will help him or her control feelings and also express themselves in a better way.
Moreover, when your child learns to deal with emotions, he/she will learn to accept his/her behavior and understand how to function better.
2. Empathize With Your Child:
When you empathize with your child, it will make him/her feel secure and confident. Moreover, empathizing with your child will teach him/her that his emotions are important and are nothing to be ashamed of or hide. Maybe your child did poorly in something and might be feeling bad about it. Empathizing will teach children that they do not always have to be perfect, and that making mistakes is part of life.
3. Let Your Child Communicate Candidly:
Always encourage your child to communicate freely with you. Let him/her express their thoughts clearly without worrying what you will think. It is also important to appreciate the fact that he/she also talks to you about what he/she feels and make the aware that you are happy he/she is discussing things with you.
Most importantly, if you do not fully agree with what he says, do not ridicule his/her opinion. Instead, guide him gently in a positive way. I know it may sound crazy, but there are plenty of parents out there that ridicule their children, seen it happen one too many times, and it’s fucking annoying.
4. Be a Role Model
In order to help your child develop self-awareness you have to first be aware of it yourself. Use your everyday behavior to show your child how to manage daily situations in a calm and positive way. So if you’re faced with an unpleasant or frustrating incident, teach your child how to react in a positive way and deal with the situation.
If you notice that you are getting angry about a particular situation, give yourself a timeout and show your child how you distract your mind for some time in order to handle the problem at hand better.
5. PAY ATTENTION, Be a Listener and Teach Effective Problem Solving
Yes, I did write the first words in capitals because this is essential! Always make sure you give enough attention to your child and are a good listener. Additionally, help your child understand how to respond to and not react in certain situations. It is OK if your child looses his cool and bursts out in anger or tears of frustration. Simply accept it as a natural reaction. However, you can help them by finding a better way to deal with the situation next time. And once he does so, make sure you appreciate him for his courage and help him aware of the difference.
Remember that your child will pick up most of his behavioral and social skill sets from you. Always aim to be your child’s role model and help him understand his potential best.
Picture courtesy of: http://ninapaley.com/mimiandeunice/2010/10/12/self-awareness/