Teaching your child self-awareness promotes empathy and kindness as well as a high self-esteem.

dsc_1119Psychologists typically agree that there are 5 stages of self-awareness from 0-4 years of age:*

Level 1 – Differentiation

A baby who is beginning to interact: to acknowledge her reflection, mimic adult behavior, is showing initial stages of self-awareness.

Level 2 – Situation

When your baby begins catching his eye in the mirror, a new stage of self-awareness is blossoming in which he sees and begins to understand: that is a distinct person.

Level 3 – Identification

The next stage is when your toddler begins to realize, that distinct person is ME.

Level 4 – Permanence

The understanding of self moves beyond a mirror image or picture: a child in this phase begins to understand themselves as an entity outside of spatial or temporal boundaries (that’s a picture of me as a BABY, but it is still ME).

Level 5 – Self-consciousness

This is the most abstract phase your young child will experience and it includes the ability to understand not only a sense of self but self as it is perceived by others. Accompanying emotions can be embarrassment, pride, or self-consciousness.

To understand these developmental phases is to gain a better insight into how to encourage your child with positive understandings of who they are through affirmation, affection, and positive language.

Drop by your Creative World School to see how we’re empowering children all month long to understand and value their amazing selves!