We recently touched upon the importance of building Self-Awareness skills in kids, describing the ways that this thinking skill can impact the well-being of children’s academic and social lives. Self-Awareness skills help children to better understand and articulate their own thoughts and feelings, and helps them to accurately assess their own strengths and weaknesses.
Teaching kids good Self-Awareness skills helps them to be reflective and think about their actions and behavior, as well as to step back and consider what others in their environment are experiencing. It facilitates the capacity to learn from one’s mistakes, accept criticism, and listen to and understand the feelings of others.
Below, you’ll find some general strategies and ideas for ways parents can help their children to improve their Self-Awareness skills.
Tips for How to Improve Self-Awareness in Kids:
1.) Use checklists. Before your child begins a chore or task, develop a checklist together that will determine how effectively the task has been completed.
2.) Make predictions. Teach your child to think about the different factors and obstacles that might affect the successful completion of tasks, such as an upcoming science project, a soccer game, or a musical performance. Keep track of your child’s predictions in a journal and after the activity has been completed, discuss your child’s predictions to identify possible reasons for any inaccuracies.
3.) Express yourself. Model self-verbalization skills by expressing your thoughts and problem-solving strategies aloud. For example, verbalize statements such as, “This reminds me of the time when we tried to do this,” or “I need to think about what worked and didn’t work the last time we did this.” Encourage your child to use similar self-instructional strategies to help them in their own problem-solving tasks.
4.) Make a play date. Help your child set up a play date with a friend. Prior to the friend’s arrival, try to anticipate some of the friend’s needs and interests. Have your child prepare some activities that they expect their friend will enjoy. Additionally, with a similar theme in mind, have your child help you prepare for other house guests, such as grandparents, cousins, or family friends.