As parents, we all want our <strong>children to grow up to be confident and secure individuals who know who they are and what they believe in. Building a strong sense of identity is a critical aspect of a child’s development, and it is something that parents can actively support and encourage from an early age.
Here are some tips for helping your 7-year-old develop a strong sense of identity:
- Encourage self-awareness
Help your child understand their thoughts, feelings and preferences. Encourage them to articulate their emotions and the reasons behind them. This can be achieved through simply listening to them and validating their emotions, helping them to identify their own values and priorities and also by expressing your own opinions and beliefs. It is crucial here to give your child positive role models to look up to, including yourself.
- Foster independence
Encourage your child’s independence by giving them responsibility and the freedom to make their own choices – in line with their age and individual maturity. Help them learn and grow through their failure and success. In this way, they will develop their own sense of direction and motivation to lead their life.
- Emphasise positive qualities
Help your child recognise their own positive qualities, and remind them of these regularly. Point out their strengths and help them to identify how they can use these to achieve their dreams and goals. It’s also important to avoid comparisons with others, which is one of the best ways to boost their self-esteem.
- Embrace diversity
Help your child understand and appreciate diverse cultures, races, religions, and personal orientations. Children ought to understand that just because someone else’s viewpoint and position does not match their own, it doesn’t mean they are enemies or wrong. This helps them to appreciate their own identity while also being respectful of others.
- Encourage exploration
Encourage your child to try new things and explore their interests. Allow them to experiment with different activities, hobbies and clubs like sports, music, and arts. By allowing them to find what they enjoy, they’ll build a greater sense of self-awareness, and self-confidence.
- Positive Reinforcement
Parents extremely rarely think on how powerful positive reinforcement when giving feedback is. It is important to praise the effort children make and not just the results obtained, highlighting the aspects they did well, and redirecting for improvement is more likely to create a mindset in a child that withstands stress and the difficulties of the world around them.
- Be a supportive parent
Create a positive and supportive parent-child relationship. Talking and listening to your child regularly helps, but also creating a balance between being their friend and being their parent. This means being affectionate, respectful, and supportive while also setting limits and boundaries when needed.
The benefits of helping your child to develop a strong sense of identity are numerous. First, it improves their self-esteem, which in turn, enhances their self-worth and self-confidence. Through the process, the child is empowered to make decisions and take steps towards achieving their goals, in turn strengthening their independence.
Second, a strong sense of identity helps children build better relationships with others. By knowing who they are, what they stand for and what their values are, children can connect with like-minded individuals, and communicate effectively with others who hold different perspectives.
As parents, our role in supporting the development of our children cannot be overstated. By fostering self-awareness, independence, and positive reinforcement, amongst others, we sow the seeds of strong and confident individuals who are better not just for themselves but for the world around them.
You may also be interested in reading this interesting article on HOW CAN I TEACH MY 7-YEAR-OLD TO BE A GOOD LEADER? where similar topics are discussed.
|Encourage your child to explore their interests and passions||According to a study published in the journal Child Development, children who have a strong sense of identity are more likely to have explored their interests and passions than those who do not.|
|Help them build selfesteem||According to the American Psychological Association, having high selfesteem is linked to having a strong sense of identity. Building selfesteem can be done through positive reinforcement, setting realistic expectations, and providing opportunities for success.|
|Foster independence||According to the National Association for the Education of Young Children, fostering independence is key for helping children develop a strong sense of identity. This can be done by allowing your child to make decisions, encouraging them to take risks, and giving them responsibilities that are appropriate for their age.|
|Model healthy behavior||According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, modeling healthy behavior is important for helping children develop a strong sense of identity. This includes demonstrating respect for others, being honest and open about feelings, and setting clear boundaries with your child.|