In a society where we are fettered by expectations on how people should behave and how they should be, promoting self-expression in your child is the best thing you can do as a parent!
Self-expression is the most important factor for the development of a child's individuality. Nurturing self-expression in children makes them navigate the gray areas of youth and gives them the gadgets they need to cultivate and thrive as an individual. Being able to fully understand and express themselves boosts their mental well-being and helps them to connect to their true self. They can communicate their likes, dislikes constructively, which helps us understand a child's perception of the world and gives us a chance to respond appropriately.
Also read: The importance of self-confidence in a child’s life
To shed more light on the importance of self-expression, Ezyschooling and Voxbox have collaborated to conduct a panel discussion on "Giving voice to your child". We are proud to be joined by the following esteemed panelists to be part of the session:
1. Dr. Latika Sushil Bhatia (Former director at Vidya group of schools, Pune)
2. Gourmet Singh( Principal at the Millennium School, Punjab)
3. Vamsheepriya Amar( Principal at MVJ International School, Bangalore)
4. Dr.Dheeraj Mehrotra ( Principal at Kunwar's Global School, Lucknow)
5. Aditya Jaishankar (Co-founder of Voxbox)
Self-expression is vital for the growth of a child’s identity, self-confidence, and sense of belonging to the world. Through being creative, self-expression also supports children’s imagination and thinking which help build thoughts that may amaze us.
It allows them to produce a new understanding, experiencing the world from different perspectives. Very well said by Mrs.Vamsheepriya Amar "Freedom of expression is very democratic". Every child wants to express and to be heard.
Building a relationship where they feel safe and secure enough to express whatever they feel will determine their level of comfort and eventually help them express themselves.
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Self-expression plays a significant role in developing the ability to relate to others and engage in social relationships. Self-expression at its core is the action of expressing oneself. Children can use their words, facial expressions, body, gestures, actions, and possessions to express their authentic selves. Rightly said by Dr.Dheeraj Mehrotra " self-expression is the need of an hour and to achieve that we need to work our talk, let our kids ask more questions".With a proper approach, self-expression will not only help achieve academically but all over emotional and mental stability.
Being a parent, you are your child’s first role model in life. They learn from you, seeing you. Start by encouraging healthy self-expression by communicating your emotions and why you are feeling happy, sad, or mad. Below are a few more tips to help foster self-expression in your child:
With prompts like "Go on an adventure", "Relive an experience"," Spark an idea", "Share your thought", "Explore a city" and many more, Voxbox encourages kids to foster a community and share their thoughts, ideas, and stories with other children across the country. Kids can speak about their experiences, adventures and record them on Voxbox, making them content creators instantly.
Voxbox has detailed safety protocols where parents need to give their consent in order to make their child's audio recording public. This way parents can both monitor and enjoy shared screen time with their kids, emphasizing on the creative part of their minds.
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Often in class, there will be some students who tend to know the answer, but would sink down and will avoid making eye contact. After their own home, schools are the place where children learn by seeing their teachers and peers. Here are some points teachers can consider to help children with self-expression in school:
1. Encourage more discussion time
Discussion time is crucial to explore and develop different ideas. Offering time to process things and discuss with their peers will help children understand new topics. This also makes them hear other people's perspectives. We all will agree with what Mr.Gurmeet Singh mentioned " Engagement is important but allowing everyone to participate is paramount"
2. Debate! Debate! Debate!
Debates make students active and help them to communicate and put on articulated arguments that will foster a stronger voice.
3. Allow creative expression
Giving children chances to articulate their voice through art, games, poetry, activity can be a great means of encouraging expression in children.
4. Try making classes personally relevant
Children come from diverse backgrounds and possess different experiences. Making classes personally relevant can help students to understand what their voice is and develop confidence with familiarity.
When children don't express themselves, they repress important parts of who they are. If a child finds it challenging to express themselves, they will naturally tend to conform to whatever situations they find themselves in. Given the extensive culture of conformity, it is no shock that depression rates amongst children are rising dramatically over the years. Also mentioned by Dr. Latika Sushil Bhatia "Sacrificing self-expression can lead to lower self-esteem, self-confidence, and unhappiness in children."
No "one thing fits all'' or a rule book to explore children's self-expression, so let them take their time and be patient. Ask better questions, listen to their things attentively and try to engage with them as much as possible. Being able to make children express themselves needs space and autonomy. Make time to indulge in their creative sense. Don’t be afraid to be experimental. Your children will thank you for this!