Connection to Self
Email Header
May/June 2024

One of the greatest gifts and strengths our kids can have is a strong sense of who they are. Figuring out their identity is something our children struggle with, especially as they get older. 

The world is going to come at them hard and fast especially in the tech connected world we live in. They’ll hear from the world how they should dress, how they should speak, what they should think and how they should look. 
 That deep sense of knowing who they really are, what they stand for, where they are going, what their strengths and weaknesses are, has to do with the exploration of their authentic self. Keep reading for 10 practical ways you can help your children uncover their true self and lead a more authentic life. 
1. Model authenticity. As always, everything we teach our kids has to start with us. This means showing your kids your quirks, your passions, and your flaws. Show them that you’re not afraid of being yourself around other people. By being true to yourself, you’re showing your kids that it’s okay to be themselves.
2. Explore what they love and like about themselves. Be mindful of what they say about themselves and listen closely. Maybe they love the way they can make people laugh or perhaps they take pride in their ability to draw or write, or solve puzzles. Maybe they feel that they’re a good listener, or good at leading. Whatever it is, celebrating these unique qualities and encouraging them to explore their passions further will do wonders for your child’s sense of self.
3. Encourage your children to form their own opinions, even if they differ from yours. This Independence fosters their self-discovery and leads to engaging discussions as they grow older. While you can share your perspective, emphasize that it's your belief and encourage them to explore the topic to form their own conclusions. Even if their views seem unconventional, engage in dialogue, understanding their reasoning, as it's all part of their journey towards discovering their authentic selves.
4. Give them choices. Of course, this doesn’t mean they get to decide everything, but it does give them some much-needed control over their lives. And when kids feel empowered to make their own decisions, they’ll be more likely to develop a strong sense of self. Keep in mind, giving your child choices is not just about the small things. As they get older, they’ll be making bigger decisions that will shape their future. So, start practicing now by giving them a chance to choose, even if it’s just between broccoli and green beans!
5. Encourage them to find and use their voice. A big part of identity is how we express ourselves with our words. We must teach our children to express their feelings safely and attentively. With this, they will learn to oppose peer pressure, to say no, to do what makes them happy no matter what their friends or pop culture imposes on them. By encouraging this as parents, we ensure that they feel listened to by us and empowered towards the outside world.
6. Give Authentic Praise. Authentic praise is  about being specific and honest. Rather than giving vague compliments like “that’s a lovely drawing,” you could say, “I can see how you’ve taken the time to use so many different colours.”  The goal is to encourage and build confidence, not create a false sense of accomplishment. Authentic praise can be a powerful tool in helping your child discover their authentic self. 
7. Allow for creativity and self-expression. This doesn’t mean letting your child run wild, but it does mean giving your children the opportunity to explore their passions and interests in a safe and supportive environment. This could be setting up an art, nature, or music station. When your child does create something, whether it’s a drawing, a song or a mud pie, take the time to appreciate and celebrate their creativity. 
8. Allow them to fail. As parents, we are programmed to protect our children. But we must be aware that if we want to control everything, we can end up taking away valuable learning moments. Children must learn that success is found after a lot of hard work, persistence, resilience, struggle, and sometimes failure. What we often perceive as failure is just a process of gathering information – what works and what doesn’t.  And if our kids get comfortable failing and then getting back up, adjusting, and continuing on what a beautiful part of their identity they’re discovering. 
9. Help them make good friendship choices.  Just like us adults, kids need to feel valued and cared for by their friends. They need to have friends who accept them for who they are. Teaching your child about the importance of choosing friends who bring out the best in them, and who allow them to be themselves, is crucial in helping them discover their authentic self. It’s about surrounding themselves with people who support and uplift them, so they can become the best version of themselves. 

10. Be a quiet presence, but be there. As your children get older try not to talk as much as you listen, fight that urge to fill every silence. Rather than telling them how to handle their lives, try to become an active observer and listener.  Think of your role as a parent to be a facilitator to guide and to be a sounding board as our children process their own experiences. Show them that you respect who they are, enough to trust them to guide their own way with you as the supporting actor. 


This is the final Snapshot for the school year! Throughout the year we delved into the role of nurturing connections and community in your children's lives. In today's fast-paced digital world, the significance of fostering genuine connections cannot be overstated.
We explored five key aspects: connection to community, connection to family ,
connection to peers, connection to culture, and lastly connection to self. We sincerely hope you found the information valuable. Thank you for taking the time to read and engage with our newsletter. Your involvement is instrumental in fostering a strong and connected community.
As always, your feedback is important to us, and we welcome any final comments or  suggestions you may have. We wish you a fantastic summer ahead!
Submit Feedback
Upcoming Parent Support
Visit the archived Snapshots that cover a variety of topics such as social media, mental health, friendships, bullying, substance use, vaping, consent, conflict resolution and more!
Elementary Snapshots
Middle Snapshots
Secondary Snapshots
*The term "parent" as used in the Snapshot is inclusive of anyone who is actively involved in raising a child, whether it be biological parents, adoptive parents, guardians, or any other caretakers.

The content provided through the Snapshots is for informational purposes only. It includes general information and does not specifically address the diverse child rearing challenges parents may encounter. Readers are encouraged to verify information and consider their individual circumstances when making decisions. The content is not a substitute for professional advice.

Full Image