Photo by Bianca Berndt on Unsplash

Often, children are too focused on connecting and interacting with others. They forget about the concepts of reflection and awareness.

Growth starts from within.

Although people are constantly reminded to step out of their comfort zones to develop, they must first establish where these comforts lie to know what to challenge. People will only truly understand and realize what they’re capable of the moment they acknowledge and explore their sense of self.

Potential resides within an individual. It’s only expected that to discover it, one needs to introspect and look within themselves. When people explore their perspectives, emotions, and opinions, they establish their self-identity – what makes them, themselves, and unique from everyone else. What do they have that can help them live a meaningful life? Once these concepts have been developed, they will gain the confidence to start learning and growing beyond their current position.

To achieve everything mentioned above, reflection and awareness about oneself are crucial.

Why Are Reflection and Awareness Important?

In The Song of Solomon The Snail, by Caroleann Rice, readers are introduced to the protagonist, who perfectly represents people. Like everyone else, he starts as naïve, unknowing of his potential, and the story follows his journey toward this discovery. Author, Caroleann wonderfully reflects people’s hunt for development in Solomon’s journey when she mentions how the answers to his questions were all inside of him. All he needed to do was look inwards and listen.

As how a snail would, Solomon carries his house on his back. But inside, he had his friend, the Mighty Wondrous Voice of Love, who helped and guided him throughout his journey. If Solomon hadn’t listened to this voice inside, he wouldn’t have gotten the answers to his struggles and problems. He wouldn’t know how to face his adversaries and wouldn’t have grown to be the wise snail he was meant to be.

This story conveys the importance of reflection and awareness.

If people don’t listen to what their “wondrous voice of love” tells them, they won’t open themselves to their strengths which nurture their desire and ability to grow. Reflection and awareness aren’t only vital for learning but also for personal and social development.

However, cementing one’s identity can be challenging with loads of stimulus the world feeds everyone. Fed with multiple prompts, it’s easy for people to be swayed and live a life that doesn’t align with their self-identity. This is society must encourage everyone to start self-introspecting in childhood.

But when self-awareness is challenging even for adults, how can this concept be taught to children?

Activities That Allow One to Look Inwards

Self-reflection has to start somewhere before it can be sharpened into a skill needed for development. For starters, reflection and awareness must begin in helping children identify what they’re feeling to enhance their communication skills. This is the perfect initial stepping stone they must take to develop further and nurture introspection. And here are activities that can help with this:

Using Art as Expression

It can be challenging for children to name what emotions they’re feeling. In response, they will also struggle to express their needs and wants, creating a bridge between the circumstances they should be in to begin growing and developing.

For this, adults must allow opportunities for children to name and recreate different emotions to help them familiarize themselves. This way, children will learn to name their feelings and be helped to communicate what they need to appease these emotions.

Identifying Positive Experiences

One of the many ways reflection and awareness help children build character is by pinpointing their strengths and weaknesses. Upon knowing these factors, adults can help them maximize what they’re good at and work on those they aren’t. Knowing their strengths can be achieved as quickly as asking questions throughout the year.

What did they enjoy doing?

Do they have an achievement they were proud of themselves for?

What activities did they struggle in?

By helping them answer these questions, adults are assisting children to realize where their strengths and weaknesses lie, allowing them to seek better opportunities and chances for growth.

Children develop in different ways. Hence, for adults to successfully assist in their growth, they must know where they need help and where they can thrive on their own. All of these can be achieved when children look inwardly and introspect.