Defining Your Child's IdentityOct 02, 2023
Defining your child's identity is a topic close to my heart. I know the effect knowing my identity has had on my life. As I travel across the country, I meet countless individuals dealing with the lingering effects of identity issues. Many of us carry the scars of hurtful words from our past. It's heartbreaking but a reminder that no one except the Creator has the right to define who we are. Helping children define their identity is powerful and important.
Here are three activities you can do with their kids to help them explore and express their identity:
- Collage: Collect magazines, newspapers, and art supplies, and sit down with your child to create an "Identity Collage." Encourage your child to find images, words, and phrases representing who they are and aspire to be. Discuss each chosen element and why it resonates with them. This activity allows children to express their identity and build self-awareness visually.
- Interviews: Turn the tables and let your child be the interviewer. Have them prepare questions to ask you about your own identity and life experiences. Share stories from your past, including challenges you've faced and how your identity played a role in overcoming them. Then, switch roles and let your child share their thoughts and feelings about their identity. These conversations help children understand that identity is a continuous journey and that they can shape it.
- 40 I Ams Manifesto: Sit down with your child and write an "Identity Manifesto" together. Use the 40 I Am Statements that reflect their values, strengths, and aspirations. Encourage them to use positive language and include statements like, "I am confident," "I am unique," or "I am capable." Display the manifesto in their room as a daily reminder of their true identity.
These activities can create a nurturing and empowering environment for your children to explore and define their identities. These conversations and creative exercises can help children build a strong sense of self and resilience against hurtful words or misperceptions they may encounter.