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From the moment we give birth to our babies, they get exposed to information and experiences that can teach them about who they are. Babies start enjoying the influence of their actions on the world right from the moment they start touching their own faces or start grabbing and kicking things.
“How do we become the people we are today?” This is a question that every adult ponders from time to time. The answers that readily come to mind when asked such questions include parental influence, life experiences, and our peers.
When you look into the face of your baby, you may wonder what kind of a person your baby will become. Out of that curiosity, you may find yourself scrutinizing your baby’s preferences, characteristics and responses in order to get clues to his developing personality.
Understanding the process of the formation of children’s personalities requires looking at a child from the three different perspectives that interact to shape their development.The first perspective is the social context which entails the environment in which the child lives. The second perspective involves memory and learning while the third is a child’s developing representations of themselves and the social world.
Social context: Relationships and environments
The relationship between babies and their parents affects their education, social life, and their romantic relationships. According to research, children raised in supportive and caring families tend to be better on standardized tests. They are also more likely to get along with their friends and be satisfied in their romantic relationships.
Babies tend to become securely attached to their parents if they are supportive and they respond sensitively to them. Being caring for your baby reinforces her confidence that you will always provide them with support when needed.
If you give your baby inconsistent care or you are a neglectful parent, your baby is likely to be insecurely attached to you. Your baby is therefore likely to respond to you by trying to avoid and resist you.The security of attachment that a child develops with her parent is an important cornerstone of social and personality development.
According to psychologists and early childhood development experts, how you treat your child plays a significant role in shaping your child’s conceptof herself, what other people are like and how to interact with people.
As your child will be growing up, your parent-child relationship will naturally change. This is because your child will have developed her own preferences and may at some point refuse to compromise with your expectations. This can result in parent-child conflict. How you handle this conflictwill further shape the quality of the relationship between you and your child.
According to research, children develop self-confidence and a positive personality when parents have reasonable expectations for how they should behave and are warm and responsive to them.
The concept of “self”
Children can demonstrate their self-awareness once they have developed the ability to use and understand self-referential words like I, my, me and you. When they also develop self-conscious emotions like embarrassments and guilt, it is an indication that your child is developing self-consciousness.
This is why you will notice that by the time your child is three years old or more, your child will be motivated to make amends for her wrongdoings. She may even hide when she is unhappy about something she has done.
This is because she will have developed a stable thoughts and feelings about herself. By the time your child will be celebrating her eighth birthday, she will have developed a stable idea of her own personality traits and how she feels about herself.
Psychologists also think that as a parent, you can shape your child’s self-worth right from birth. You can do this by providing a positive response to your child’s actions. This will give her an experience of having a positive impact on the world.
Memory and learning
Regardless of how your child feels about herself, adding an “idea of me” to her cognitive architecture will determine how she processes information. Since we tend to remember a few childhood events as we grow up, we can help our children remember their childhood by storing the memories. But how do you do this? Book keeping your baby’s childhood memories is the best way you can ensure that your baby does not lose the memories that are related to her sense of self.
Memories play a significant role in the formation of a child’s personality because by remembering information that is related to her, she will be able to process and learn more information.Therefore, it is the life narrative that your child gathers about herself that will guide her responses to the world.
Early influences and experiences are very important in the formation of your child’s personality. However, these influences are not determinative since the capabilities necessary for mature moral conduct will continue to develop throughout your child’s childhood, adolescence up to her adulthood.
Childhood memories play a major role in the formation of your child’s personality because it is the memorable experiences that will provide your child with values, attributes, and abilities that your child believes define her. Once a child has developed her categorical self, which she will have developed by her third year, she will have a concrete way of viewing herself in “this or that” labels.
As the personality development continues throughout your child’s adolescence and adult years, they will still be influenced by the same constellations discussed above.
My name is Kristi and I’m a mother of 3 beautiful angels. I am also the founder of Intelligentmother.com. This blog was created in order to share my personal experiences in baby care and general health care for pregnant women. You can find many interesting insights on my blog and several problems solved!