Published on October 20th, 2013 | by Michelle LaRowe
5 Ways to Build Your Child’s Identity with A Baby Journal
Who am I?
All of us ask this at one time or another, but did you know that from the moments before your child is even born, you can help to set him up to find the answer?
How your child sees himself, how he believes others perceive him, and how he sees himself fitting into the world can impact a child’s identity and sense of self. The more your child knows about his life story, his family unit, and his family history, the more information he will have to support his developing sense of self.
One way parents can help to build their child’s identity is through creating a baby book or though baby journaling for their child.
In a baby book or baby journal parents can:
- Write a love letter to their child.
- Capture the anticipation of their child’s arrival.
- Share the joy that surround their child’s birth.
- Create a family tree.
- Document family traditions.
During pregnancy, many couples pen their soon-to-be born children love letters. Writing a love letter gives parents the opportunity to share the hopes and dreams they have for their child. Love letters can share their commitment to unconditionally loving their child, supporting her dreams, and doing all they can to raise her into a responsible, productive adult. When a child seeks to discover her identity, knowing that she was loved and that her parents believed her birth was a positive contribution to the world can help to build her self-esteem, which can affect her sense of self.
Including photos and notes that capture the anticipation of a child’s arrival demonstrates the great expectation surrounding the birth. With some online journals you can even include video footage. Looking back at photos of the room being prepared, clothing being washed, and people gathering to celebrate the impending birth reinforce the message that she was wanted and loved before she was born.
Documenting the joy surrounding a child’s birth by including the text from cards given by family and friends in your baby’s journal can demonstrate the happiness you child’s presence brought to the world. These early moments capture the nature of relationships that your child inherited. Notes from aunts, uncles, grandparents, and family friends demonstrate the network of support your child was born into, which can affect how he feels about himself and how he feels about the way others perceive him.
When a child identifies with his family unit, he feels a sense of belonging and understanding of how he fits into his world. Journaling your baby’s family history and providing him with a family tree will allow him to better understand how he connects to others and can help him to answer questions about where he came from.
Family traditions are powerful tools for bridging connections from the past, present, and future. Journaling a family recipe or taking photos of your child learning a family trade can help him to identify with his family unit and better understand his family’s values. Photos of religious and holiday celebrations can also help him better understand the worldview he was born into, which also influences his understanding of self.
Parents play a major role in shaping their child’s identity. Through nurturing and providing information that a child can use to answer questions like “Who am I?” and “Where did I come from?”, parents can help their children to develop a positive identity.
To comment on this article, or for some tips about using an online service for a baby journal, see Michelle’s blog post Why Use An Online Baby Journal?
Photo by Ramona Gaukel