Creating Awareness around Your Child
Children are like little robots, they will do as they have been programmed to do or what they have seen others do. However, the interactive world of the child is small, not like the adult's which can encompass world-wide interactions via the Internet. It is therefore important that this small interactive world, consisting of mainly family and friends, be sufficient enough to inform and educate the child in all aspects of being and livelihood. This will ensure that the child is equipped to understand the diversity in the culture and opinions of people, as well as develop creativity and life skills.
Creating awareness in your child can be really beneficial in developing the child's character and personality. This is even more useful when the child finds himself or herself dealing with a situation alone, without the presence of any family or friends. Increasing self awareness in kids also helps them understand themselves more deeply and also comprehend how their actions affect those around him. A 4 year old girl in Ohio got lost in the subway after being separated from her parents. The police were astounded by the little girl's bravery and courage as she approached them. She did not even cry. She just approached a nearby adult, explained the situation and asked them to take her to a police station. There she gave the information about her parents and was reunited to her family in just two hours, citing this as solid proof of the self aware child.
One of the ways to increase awareness in kids is to inform them of the diversity in the culture, lifestyle, beliefs and opinions of people in the world. As a parent you should explain to the child that things are not uniform everywhere, that what may be normal in that family may not be normal elsewhere. For example, not all families have both a mom and a dad. It may be however too abstract for them to understand the details. Helping the child understand the range of diversity in the world will be helpful in making them better in socializing with others. They will respect other people's opinions and have healthy social relationships. They will also better understand their strengths and weaknesses.
You could also advice a child on how to deal with emotional situations. For example, being bullied in school, or getting nervous while doing a school presentation. Letting the child know that feelings of sadness, frustration and anger are normal will allow them to better understand themselves. But you should show them how to not let these feelings affect their performance. You may opt for a song, a memory or an object, to help the child remember how to deal in those situations. This will increase the child's self awareness and help them deal better in their interactions with others.
Finally, you could engage the child in more play dates, kid parties and family gatherings. Interaction with other kids and people will mold the child into a more socially acceptable individual. The child will learn to compromise, make decisions and react to different scenarios. This will also help the child speak up and gain self confidence. Research has actually shown that children who engage in more play dates are actually more confident and outspoken as they grow up.