1 There’s Something
Special about Me!
Children will identify characteristics they like about themselves.
Children will identify skills they have and things they want to learn.
Children will demonstrate self-help skills, including identifying clothing
preferences. How responsive and accepting adults are with children helps determine if the
children learn to like or dislike themselves. A key element in working with chil-
dren is learning to respect their level of capability and effort. Regardless of
how long it takes or how recognizable the product is, a child may put a great
deal of effort and pride into an activity, such as completing a puzzle or paint-
ing a picture. Help children feel good about themselves and their abilities by
recognizing their efforts. Offer smiles, hugs, or words such as “I really like the
colors you used!” or “You really worked hard on that!” Encourage individual-
ity in children’s work. The sky may not be blue and the grass may be bright
pink, but the painting reflects the child’s work and creativity. It is okay if a
child draws a snowman surrounded by grass or paints flowers on a snow scene.
As a teacher, try to find a balance between accepting current abilities and
challenging children to learn and develop new skills. Children will most natu-
rally develop feelings of self-worth and confidence if you take time to interact
with them, answer questions, provide information, give positive feedback, and
supply a variety of opportunities for new experiences and practice.