Much of life is learning to interact with the people and environment around you. Appropriate reactions to circumstances and people can result in more successful and beneficial feelings and relationships.
People are often surprised to learn that social norms are learned responses and skills and require a sense of self-awareness privately and publicly. How a person views or understands themselves can significantly affect their ability to develop happiness and nurturing bonds.
Children often learn this skill innately through observation. Still, as a parent, you want your child to excel and lead a happy and motivated existence. Therefore, it is critical to understand self-awareness and the practices that can instill a strong sense of it in children.
What Is Self-Awareness?
Self-awareness is built out of the ability to interpret one's actions, emotions, and thoughts objectively. It is the ability to weigh personal reactions against internal standards, allowing the alignment of behaviors and values and contributing to a sense of outside perception.
In its simplest form, self-awareness is empathy and self-reflection. People reflect on their actions, emotions, or thoughts, and they can accurately assess how the outside world perceives them.
While it might sound like self-awareness is about self-judgment and societal adaptation, it is not entirely about conformity. Instead, self-awareness is about acknowledging how personal reactions or interactions can affect the balance of a child's social circle. Therefore, self-awareness is crucial to developing healthy boundaries and relationships.
How To Promote Self-Awareness in Your Child
As most children learn to read by first speaking words aloud, your children must learn to communicate their emotions before having a beneficial internal dialogue. Therefore, promoting self-awareness in children is about having frequent discussions about how they feel. For instance, if your child is throwing a tantrum, you can ask what is upsetting them or why a particular situation resulted in the action. You can also ask them how they feel when something good happens, like when they make a new friend. Encouraging dialogue will help your child identify their emotional states and triggers.
Journaling for Self-Awareness
Journaling is one of the best ways for children and adults to encourage internal dialogue and reflection. It must be private for children to get the most out of their journaling experience. A journal allows your child to express all their raw feelings and emotions. It is a place for them to make sense of situations and actions and figure out appropriate and healthy responses.
While you might be tempted to scan the pages of your child's journal, think of it as an external manifestation of their brain and their internal thoughts. Some things are not meant to be seen or judged. Ensure you maintain healthy boundaries.
Helping Your Child Identify & Regulate Their Emotions
Emotions are somewhat new experiences for young children, as are language and cognition. Parents must explain what emotions are and how they manifest physically. Once a child understands what emotions they are feeling, they can discuss them. Parents can take a child's explanations about their emotions and try to find positive or healthy outlets for the energy.
Learning to manage their emotions is the best way for children to learn to regulate and understand them. While it might not seem like it, learning the language of emotions is vital to healthy development.
Signs Your Child Is Becoming Self-Aware
Your child is self-aware when they can express their thoughts and feelings clearly. They will also demonstrate empathy and understanding in emotionally complex situations.
Self-awareness is only one aspect of healthy development. Beyond mental health, parents need to focus on nutritional health, which is where Wellements supplements can help. With the addition of probiotics and essential vitamins, your child's system can function optimally, meaning digestive health is less likely to interfere with mental health.