Children’s Well-being| ACEs

It is fair to note that children are not born with a sense of self concept. Self concept involves children’s feelings and thoughts about themselves. As a result they depend on their caregivers to help shape their perception of personal thoughts and feelings. Over time their sense of awareness grows and they explore it further when caregivers encourage their curiosity.

Children are often forgotten in cases where adults are overly stressed up. This is especially true now that we’re living at a time of heightened anxiety and uncertainty due to the impact of the pandemic. This is why we have decided to shine a light on what well-being for children needs.

Safety is a high priority for children’s healthy development. A child is able to focus on learning, playing, exploring and building meaningful relationships with other children and adults. As a result they believe in their own abilities and are able to express their needs without fear.

A healthy self concept is reinforced by various factors. Which include present, healthy caregivers, favourable social conditions, and great culture. For instance, children raised in rural Kenya could have stronger family ties because of the communal structure that exists there. While a child raised in urban Kenya is only used to spending time with a few family members.

We worry about what a child will become tomorrow, yet we forget that he is someone today.”
— Stacia Tauscher, dancer and artist

An unhealthy self concept is reinforced when a child is not encouraged to explore their own individualism. It is especially prevalent in places that lack favourable social aspects. For instance, in cases of violence at home, a child will spend more time worried about their own safety. In cases of poverty, they’ll spend more time working to help the family get food. While they will spend time feeling overwhelmed and unworthy in an abusive home.

Adverse environments end up compromising a child’s development. Which leads to adults thinking that a child is “too mature” for their age. In reality such a child has a distorted sense of being since they have no time to do things that are on their developmental level.

In spite of the bigger environmental issues, there are practical ways of caregivers nurturing their children. For instance, spending quality time with a child helps establish a bond of trust. It helps a child feel loved and cared for. Be mindful of your language. It’s unhealthy to brand a child as ‘lazy’, aggressive’ or other mean words. Most importantly, start giving them opportunities for success by giving them age appropriate tasks. Such as cleaning their socks, clearing the table, putting dirty clothes into the laundry basket etc.

When a child feels safe, loved, valued and cared for it helps them establish a healthy self concept. Which build a firm foundation for their positive development.

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