Self expression is a natural and important part of early childhood development. It allows children to communicate their feelings, thoughts, and ideas, and to explore their world. Self expression is also a way for children to learn about themselves and others.
However, self expression can also have consequences in early childhood. For example, if a child expresses themselves in a way that is disruptive or doesn’t match the expectations of their caregivers, they may experience negative consequences such as being scolded or punished. Therefore, it’s important to encourage self expression in early childhood in a supportive and positive way.
Why is self expression important in kid
Self expression is important because it helps children learn about themselves and the world around them. It allows them to communicate their feelings and thoughts, and to interact with others in a meaningful way.
In short, it helps children develop into well-rounded individuals.
Tips for promoting self expression in early childhood
According to Children’s Mental Health Week, there is the relation between self expression and mental health. So to be mentally healthy, children need to be able to express themselves in a healthy way.
There are many ways to promote self expression in early childhood. And I came up with 6 proven tips (by experts) to build self expression in early childhood.
Encourage verbal & non verbal self expression
Talk with your child about their day, feelings, and thoughts. Listen attentively and without judgment. This will encourage your child to express themselves verbally.
You can also ask questions that require more than a yes or no answer. For example, you can ask, “How did you feel when that happened?”
Furthermore, children can also express themselves through art, music, and movement. Encourage your child to express themselves in these ways.
Encourage self expression in daily activities
Find opportunities for self expression in everyday activities. For example, you can ask your child to help with meal preparation or pick out clothes to wear.
This will help them feel like they have a say in what’s going on and that their opinion matters.
In addition, you can also create opportunities for self-expression by reading stories together and discussing the characters’ feelings and thoughts.
Respect your child’s expression
It’s important to respect your child’s expressions, even if you don’t agree with it. This will help them feel valued and encourage them to keep expressing themselves.
Provide opportunities for social interaction
Social interaction is key to self expression. Children learn how to express themselves by interacting with others. Provide opportunities for your child to interact with other children, such as through playdates or organized activities.
Help your child understand and regulate emotions
Children need to be able to understand and regulate their emotions in order to express themselves in a healthy way (especially if your kid is sensitive). Help your child understand their emotions by labeling them and discussing how different emotions make them feel.
You can also help them regulate their emotions by teaching them deep breathing and other relaxation techniques.
Support their decisions
Help your child feel confident in their decisions by supporting them. This will encourage them to build self-esteem and ultimately let them express themselves and make their own choices.
For example, if your child wants to try a new activity, sign them up for it or help them find resources to get started.