Are they discovered, taught, built or attained? Finding myself, figuring out what makes me tick, discovering who I am . . . sound familiar? Is this really how our identity is forged? Or is our identity something we learn from our parents and others who teach us “where we come from”? Are you a “self-made man” (or woman)? Is your identity something you build for yourself? And once you have found, learned of or built your identity is that it? Or is it something that is fluid and changes over time. And is there something of your identity “out there” to attain?
Most people tend to have questions about their identity at some point in their life (or many points). Those who have been orphans may question their identities even more. As parents and caregivers what can we do to help them? As to the questions above, I think all of the above would be my answer. And each can form a part of the identity quest.
Let’s take them one at a time.
Kids can discover a lot about themselves and begin to have a sense of their own identity as separate from others as a baby when they acquire the ability to comprehend and understand object permanence. Ever play peek-a-boo with a baby? They are learning that even when they don’t see your face, you still exist and will return. As kids continue to learn and grow and develop their own sense of self – – what they like and don’t like, how they are different from others around them and have different needs and desires at times they are discovering some of their identity. We can help them clue in to their favorites and their special talents and strengths.
As we teach them about their heritage, culture and family values we are teaching identity as well. We can help our kids to connect with these aspects of their identity. We can help them to understand that while there are good points as well and negatives in their backgrounds, that there are many parts of the fabric of their identity that are woven together in a unique way. We can help them to learn about positive aspects and how even negatives can provide opportunities to rise above.
It is important to help our children to understand that their identities are not soley made up of things that are out of their control. They can build into their identities as well. Choices they make, big and small, build into their character and lead them into who they are becoming.
See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears,we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.
Helping our children to understand and embrace how God views them and their identity as children of God (and how to enter into his forever family) is the best way to help them in the identity quest. Identifying themself as a child of God, just as they may embrace their identity in their new adopted family, is both a present identity and a future attainment. It is ours now, and will be fully ours in the future.
What are your thoughts on the quest for identity and how we can help our children. I welcome your comments.
Kids from hard places can have overwhelming emotions. As a parent, I want to help my children learn to use positive coping skills and give them helpful tools.
I’ve gotten some great result in my own family since I’ve begun using premium essential oils. Among the many benefits, they can make a big difference in dealing with overwhelming emotions, focus and sleep.
Hit Reply (if you are reading this in e-mail) or Contact in the menu above (if you are on the website) with “essential emotions” in your message to learn more about our premium essential oils and related products that you may want to add to your parenting toolbox. I’ll send you a short video and then follow up to see what you think.