Self-identity is one of the trickier aspects of a child’s healthy development because you cannot “do “things to your child to give them their self-identity. You can only create an environment that allows their self-identity to emerge naturally.The media and social media can stunt, distort or co-opt that self-identity. That is why YOU have to monitor and restrict your child’s exposure to forces that cause an externalization of their self-identity.
So, you are trying to minimize the control of your child’s self-identity from these outside forces. Safeguarding your child against the ill effects on the formation a healthy self-identity.Always be pro-active instead of reactive and this is a great example of being pro-active creates for long-term and on into adulthood.The child can make “executive decisions” by themselves know what “their guidelines” have been set by the parents. “I cannot watch that”. “I cannot go on those internet pages”. They need to know the guidelines of what is acceptable in their home and by their family. A four-year-old cannot watch a movie that a fifteen year can. And remember the pixels on any screen can cause some dysfunction in the brain if watched over 1 hour a day. There has been on-going research on the “Pixel-Affect” on a child’s brain and development.
Focus on healthy values that help shape your child’s self-identities, integrity, hard work, respect, responsibility, and compassion. When you emphasize values, you are also sending the message that the values your child will be exposed to through today’s media are not important to you or healthy for them. Keep the child busy with healthy activities. Help them find activities that they love doing: academic, sports or in the arts that promote healthy self-identity. Research has shown that a child who plays sports have higher self-esteem, get better grades and can be at a lower risk for depression.As a young child, you are their most important influence. They look to you to decide who they should be, what they should value, and whey they should do. Your living a healthy life will tell the child that they want that for themselves. Walk the walk so that YOUR child will walk the walk.
Create a healthy family lifestyle. Surround your child with healthy people. The people that are around their environment will influence their self-identity so have healthy people around.As YOUR child grows and develops: going from dependent on YOU to independence and making decision and choices on their own, they will be PREPARED and have a good healthy self-identity if they have been given the CODE and have a toolbox to make their choices and develop into that healthy adult.