How does your child react when things don’t go as planned?
Perhaps there’s trouble with a friend. Or maybe your child got a bad grade after studying hard for a test. Does your child get mad or shrug off the incident without giving much thought to what happened? Or does she think about what occurred, how her actions affected the outcome, and what she might do differently in the future to be more successful?
If it’s the second reaction, that’s called self-reflection or introspection. It’s a great skill for all kids to work on. It can also help those with learning and attention issues do better academically and socially.
Self-Reflection for Kids
Self-reflection might seem like something that’s more for adults—thinking about problems, brainstorming ideas on how to do better. But self-reflection is also important for kids, even young children.
As your child grows up, she’ll face different kinds of challenges in school and life. As she gets older, she’ll be expected to think more independently (with less intervention from you) and be responsible for her actions.
Kids with learning and attention issues may experience frustration at school and elsewhere. This could cause them to feel as if there’s nothing they can do to improve. Self-reflection can help your child keep from doing the same things over and over if she isn’t having success.
What Self-Reflection Looks Like in Kids
Say your child comes home and is upset because her friend Jill ignored her at school and wouldn’t sit with her at lunch. You know this isn’t a new issue. According to your child, Jill has been distancing herself since last week.
Rather than simply complain and get mad another time, your child could use self-reflection skills to figure out if she might be responsible for the change. Did she say something that hurt Jill’s feelings? Did she ignore Jill when Jill was trying to get her attention?
Or is it that they’re simply starting to drift apart? Maybe Jill is now rehearsing for the school play, and your child is on the soccer team.
Even if your child can’t figure out what caused the rift, self-reflection can help her decide what to do about it. She might decide to ask Jill what’s wrong. Or she might decide that she’d rather spend more time with kids from the soccer team rather than seek out Jill.
With self-reflection, your child can consider different options and pick the one that seems best to her. That can help her feel that she has some control over what’s happening in her life.
The Impact of Self-Reflection
Self-reflection can help to foster success in your child. That’s because self-reflection isn’t just helpful when things aren’t going well. It’s good for kids to reflect on what’s going right, too.
Acknowledging when she’s successful can boost your child’s self-esteem. Finding different ways to approach challenges and work through them is a powerful way to build self-esteem and help your child grow emotionally. Self-reflection can help kids with learning and attention issues acknowledge their challenges without being overly focused on them.
Children with learning and attention issues may have a harder time learning this skill. You can assist your child by helping increase her self-awareness, whether she’s in grade school, middle school or high school.