Self Awareness Exercise
Getting to Know Oneself
Self awareness for kids is a great skill. It is so helpful in fact, that I recommended all parents and teachers actively engage in nurturing these skills. Some of the things you can do to help a child develop their self awareness are listed here:
- Help kids to recognize and label their emotions
- Encourage kids to verbalize their feelings
- Develop a large vocabulary of emotion words -not just the typical happy, sad, mad but a large vocabulary of emotion words.
- Make expressing feelings part of your daily experience
- Let kids know all feelings are ok. For example, many parent’s say ‘Don’t be sad’ if their child has lost something –this teaches the child it is not ok to feel sad. Instead acknowledge the feeling by saying something like ‘Oh you lost your teddy, how do you feel?’ Or ‘Do you feel sad?’
- Encourage your child or students to be aware of their bodies and their personal space. Teach them to be aware that standing to close to others may make them feel uncomfortable. Mirror activities are great- making faces in the mirror and being able to recognize emotions on your own face,
- Encourage kids to notice the start of emotions. For example: What happens when we get nervous.....our heart starts to beat a bit faster, when we are angry, we feel our faces getting hot and red… etc.Each person responds differently the important thing is for children to recognize the beginning of an emotion as it is easier to change it or manage it, if needed, at that point.
- Art therapy is a great tool to help kid reflect on themselves and become more aware of their feelings.
- Yoga is another one among the self awareness exercises that keeps the person connected with his inner soul. There are times when children go through emotional disturbances and being able to use exercise to de-stress in a huge relief.
Following these tips will help to develop your child's ability to know his or herself and develop more self awareness. Bibliotherapy is another great tool you might consider to develop these skills.
Reading stories about others who are doing similar things or learning the same skills can help children embed the knowledge.
Self Awareness Exercises
Other exercises at home or in the classroom include:
- Feeling board: Create a board with different shaped flowers. In the center write common feelings like happy, sad, angry. Leave one blank so children can write their own emotion or feeling if needed.
On wooden pegs write kid’s names. At home you can have this hanging at the door so before or after school children can peg their name on the feeling.
At school, this is a great activity to start the day (it also takes attendance!). This feeling board helps promote discussion about why children are feeling a certain way and tunes us into the feelings of children. It also helps them know themselves so they notice how they are feeling.
- Developing this skill can also be done with a feeling thermometer which is similar to the concept above. Create a picture of thermometer numbered 1-10 and different faces with different emotions on them.
Children then place the faces on the thermometer at different numbers to indicate how happy, sad, angry (or any other emotion) they are feeling.
Self Awareness Exercise