As primary caregivers, families play significant roles in child development and self-concept formation. The sense of belonging, support, and acceptance that young children receive from their families heavily influences their developing intellect, well-being and, most importantly, how they think and feel about themselves. All of these, including the values that families choose to pass on to their children, have a significant effect on children’s self-worth and behavior.
Teaching kindergartners about this relationship between family and self-concept is important as it can help them become aware of why they think and feel a certain way. This self-awareness then allows them to control how they behave and move forward.
"The sense of belonging, support, and acceptance that young children receive from their families heavily influences their developing intellect, well-being and, most importantly, how they think and feel about themselves."
In this SEL lesson, kindergartners become aware of this relationship through a fun quiz game. To play, the students must answer questions about who provides for them and helps them take care of themselves.
These questions encourage kindergartners to reflect on how their families attend to their needs by preparing their meals, creating special memories, and providing them with a sense of safety. As they look back on these interactions, they realize that the response they receive from their families significantly shapes their feelings of internal happiness and contentment.
At the end of the lesson, they draw a picture of their families to reinforce how their families complete them. This activity also aims to appreciate how families can be different.
By engaging in this lesson, kindergarten students gain a better understanding of themselves and the part their families play in it. Being aware of this connection on a conscious level allows them to be intentional in improving their behavior and self-concept.
This lesson can be a sensitive topic for kindergartners as family relationships, structures, and types can vary from one student to another. Teachers are advised to handle this lesson carefully and ensure that their students feel comfortable and safe during the discussion.