We often think of our young kids as lacking in self-awareness, and you don’t need to improve your child’s self-awareness. They know their own little world and are still learning about their place in it. If anything, they may feel like they are the centre of their world, as you, their parent, provide them with everything they need.
However, there comes the point in life when this changes. It’s especially important to help improve your child’s self-awareness, as being self-aware sets them up for success in life.
Self-aware children can better understand themselves in relation to the world around them.
If you improve your child’s self-awareness, you may find they have a higher level of emotional intelligence. They may also prove to be better communicators, great listeners, and critical thinkers and have leadership skills and stronger relationships with people.
Why it’s essential to improve your kid’s self-awareness
When your little ones understand their emotions better and recognise their strengths and weaknesses, they can realise their abilities. This can help them understand how their actions can impact themselves and others. If you improve your kid’s self-awareness, it will help them make better choices at school and in every aspect of their life.
“Self-awareness is a special skill which helps you to know how you feel, what you think and which moments you find easy and difficult,” says wellness expert Dr Bec.
Self-awareness can be taught, but it’s a process that takes time and also practice.
Tips to help teach your child self-awareness
1. Let them learn from you.
Ultimately, you are your child’s best teacher. Most children learn best by watching others do. If you want to improve your kid’s self-awareness, show them. Your best tools to help improve your child’s self-awareness are your own actions and how you handle situations.
Talk to them about any big emotions you’re feeling, like anger or frustration, and how you then make yourself calmer in those situations.
2. Talk to your child about their emotions.
Teach your little ones how to regulate their emotions to improve your kid’s self-awareness. If they’re feeling something like anger, tell them just because you feel this way, there’s no need to lash out.
It’s okay for them to feel what they are feeling. Then show how to resolve it before your kid starts reacting.
3. Get them to communicate often.
You could make emotion cards or talk about your feelings to help improve your child’s self-awareness. Things that make them happy make them sad, mad, worried and calm. Keep talking about everything all of the time.
This way, they will learn how to open up, to tell you if they don’t like something or why they don’t like something and better understand certain situations themselves. Doing this will help you improve your kid’s self-awareness and emotional intelligence.
4. Encourage your child to use their strengths.
Keep telling your child about their strengths and encourage them. Say things like, ‘you know how to tie your laces. You’ve done it before. I believe you can do it again.’ These simple and small acts will support you in your efforts to improve your kid’s self-awareness.
Also, teach them their limitations. ‘You’re just learning to swim, so you can’t go that far in the pool, but that’s okay. You’ll eventually be able to swim there’.
5. Teach them confidence and problem-solving.
Boost them up when they are feeling down to continue your efforts to improve your child’s self-awareness. Sometimes they just need gentle encouragement.
Also, find ways for them to become problem-solvers and find a solution to a situation. You could even try role-playing with different characters to help encourage this. All these are additional tools you’re teaching them whilst you improve your kid’s self-awareness.
6. Get them to share their with you their passions.
If they love painting or playing the drums, then encourage it and get them to discuss their hopes and dreams. Allowing them to be open and honest about their passions and dreams will help build their confidence in themselves and you. Another great way to help you improve your child’s self-awareness.
7. Teach them empathy.
If your child is sad, get them to understand why the other person is feeling that way and show them how to put themselves in someone else’s shoes. Empathy is one of the greatest tools your child can have regarding self-awareness. You building this part of them will help as you improve your kid’s self-awareness.
8. Show them how to be a good friend.
If they have a play date, get them to tell you what their friend likes doing or eating and things they might like to enjoy together. This will encourage them to be open with you about their friends and to engage more with them to find out about them. When you’re working on how to improve your child’s self-awareness, helping them have better relationships with others also helps them.
Check out our NEW Children’s Self-Awareness Journal
READ: The power of parent-child connection for a printable roadmap on co-regulation.
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