Developing Sense of Self

Preschoolers are developing their own perceptions of themselves as individuals

girl with hands on her hips

What You Need to Know

Preschoolers often define and describe themselves in terms of their physical attributes, skills, interests, or behaviors that they consider most important about themselves. Additionally, many are beginning to develop an understanding of how they are different or similar to other people. Children’s development of their sense of self is heavily influenced by how adults respond to them. Teachers can help children develop a positive sense of self by providing a nurturing environment, acknowledging children’s unique qualities and abilities, and highlighting how they contribute to the classroom community.

What It Looks Like

A quick glance at how you can help children develop a positive sense of self

Encourage Children's Independence

Children can do a lot when given the support and encouragement to try – and succeed! – on their own.

Share Preferences​

Providing children with opportunities to share their likes and dislikes helps them express who they are.

Embrace Differences

Embracing similarities and differences builds community and identity.