Self-expression is a very important aspect of childhood development. Your child should be able to express his feelings, emotions, thoughts and creativity, with freedom and safety. Creating an environment filled with respect, love, and compassion is often one of the best ways to help your child’s self-expression, as without these, a child may find it difficult to open up.
There are in general, three types of self-expression: Artistic expression, Playful expression, and Building expression.
Artistic expression is one of the best ways in which your child can express himself. Give him some colour pencils and paper, and you could be surprised with the types of drawings or colourings he could come up with. Painting, drawing, colouring, and writing are all ways that provide a solid outlet for the many emotions your child may be feeling or facing in his day-to-day activities.
Letting your child paint or draw pictures with free reign helps open up his mind. It is an essential component to a child’s development, and children often form thoughts and ideas through their drawings, even if the pictures seem to be made up of unrelated objects or shapes! This type of self-expression is especially important in developing communication and emotional skills, as well as psychological awareness.
Playing, a form of expression!
Playful expression is yet another way of helping your child express himself. By allowing him to play with other children, through sports and other fun activities, you can teach him cooperation, relationship skills, and even how to respect others. Furthermore, you can also guide your children by setting up reasonable boundaries and rules. This helps to get children to play and have fun responsibly, without actually interfering with their playtime and therefore their development as well.
Watching television for long hours should not be encouraged, as it is a one-way medium and does not help promote any creative or critical thinking in him. Instead, get the whole family involved in a board game, or other interactive games that can enhance your child’s creativity and thinking skills.
Building blocks to development
A final way of promoting self-expression is through ‘Building Expression’, which is the building of objects. Things that require construction, such as dollhouses or model robots and cars are all good ways of promoting your child’s natural progression and creativity. By following the instructions for putting together these objects, he learns, and becomes more aware of the role of guidelines. This also helps him make use of his creative skills to produce the end result. Following guidelines, rules, and instructions, combined with some creativity are all essential aspects that children need to learn.
Get your child to express!
It is not necessary for you to buy expensive toys and art materials to help build your child’s self-expression. Even simple board games can help with his developmental skills, and you can extend your children’s playtime through comments or questions. In addition, try to stimulate creative idea, by encouraging your child to come up with new and different ways of using his toys or other equipment.
Don’t try to restrict; always have safe play materials easily available for your children to play with. Most importantly, keep your mind open to new and original ideas, and always encourage your children to use their skills or creativity! Many real-life situations that they may face in the future will often use the skills they have learnt through early childhood development.