How Self Aware Can My Child Be?

We’ve all bumped shoulders in a crowded room, been cut off in traffic, or been touched by an act of kindness from a stranger. All of these are ways we’re influenced by where other people fall on the spectrum of self awareness. Instilling a sense of person hood and self awareness in your child is an incredible way to cultivate compassion and grace for others. Did you know that self awareness begins at a very early age?

Researchers of Consciousness and Cognition at the University of Emory propose that signs of self consciousness begin to manifest at around eighteen months of age.* Prior to this there are, of course, signs of self awareness or the awareness of one’s self as a distinct entity from another. As your child progresses through increasingly complex stages of self awareness and self consciousness, how can you guide them on this journey to become a gracious and confident young person?

Here are some ideas that we are using in our That’s Me! inquiries this month!

  1. Invite your child to use a mirror (or not!) to draw a self portrait and then describe it to you.
  2. Get a tape measure and take down your child’s stats: height, head circumference, arm length, anything they want to measure and record!
  3. Use an inkpad or fingerpaint to make a piece of fingerprint artwork.
  4. “Me” Puppets: use a small brown paper bag to make a simple puppet and play pretend with you and your child acting out yourselves or each other.
  5. Use pets, family members, and friends as illustrations of how some things are like us and some things are not like us. What are some examples your child comes up with on their own?

Here’s a sneak peek at what our students are learning about themselves: