Why you shouldn’t be asking your kids to explain themselves?


The beginning to self-awareness in kids is their realization that the way they see themselves is not necessarily the same as the way other people view them. Self-awareness is our understanding of our own personality and our strengths and weaknesses. For all of us, self-awareness is important to maximize positive effects and minimize negative effects on others.

Do you find yourself struggling to understand your child’s negative behaviors? You may find yourself asking them, “Why did you do that!?” only to get “I don’t know” as a reply. As an adult who developed basic self-awareness a long time ago, it is difficult to understand that your child probably does not understand the reasons for their own behavior.

Many young children are still developing the awareness that actions can affect others both positively and negatively. In early teen years children’s emotional and mental development is occurring at different rates which sometimes leads them to act emotionally driven, leaving them unable to explain why they did something which upset somebody else.

A helpful tip to remember is to ask “what” instead of “why”. Open questions like, “What did you just do?” and “What happened next?” allow children to explore their feelings further and help them to think about the consequences of their actions. The idea is not to blame or cause guilt, but to encourage self-reflection, an awareness skill that even many adults find challenging. If they reflect negatively on their behavior you can ask “What could you do next time instead?” and “What do you think might happen then?” Helping children to develop this reflective thought process at a young age will give them a better sense of their strengths, weaknesses, likes, dislikes, their effect on others and others’ effects on them.

Becoming self-aware is essential for self-development. The more we understand ourselves, the more likely we are to feel positive about the future and our ability to influence it. Increasing self-awareness is a life-long process and a skill that needs to be continually worked on. In fact, those that believe they have high levels of self-awareness most likely don’t. The earlier we can inspire self-awareness in children, the better equipped they will be to face future challenges in life.

So, “What could you do next?” You could enroll your kids in WorldTrainer China Youth Academy! At WorldTrainer China your children will not only have a chance to learn English, gain fitness and form great health habits, even better, your child will learn social skills in an international, cross-cultural community, giving them a chance to build strong character traits for life-long success.

patty lee