Written by Natascha Crandall, PhD. - Educational Curriculum Consultant
Who am I? The words may be small, but the question is one of the most significant ones in life.
Zoonicorn aims to help young children learn about themselves and develop an understanding of their feelings. On their adventures in the Zooniverse, the Zoonicorns demonstrate very identifiable and relatable characteristics reflecting who they are. These characteristics – including perseverance, optimism and resilience – are all fundamental aspects of positive self-identity that young children can grasp and incorporate into their own experiences, which will help them on their road to success.
Establishing one’s identity can be a lifelong process. While selfhood starts at birth, children do not start expressing an “idea of me” until toddlerhood. As young children develop their own self-identities, they discover that it is not only what they can do, but who they are that defines them. Children then start to gather information about themselves and store autobiographical material, building a life narrative that guides their responses to the world. Children with positive self-concepts find it easier to get along with friends, classmates, and teachers, which leads them to become better students. Further, research has found that people who feel worthy and capable tend to be more optimistic and more self-confident, as this leads them to achieve greater success.
A positive sense of identity helps children feel good about themselves and is critical for healthy development. Parents and caregivers can help foster this sense of identity by supporting their child’s efforts to learn and grow in a positive, loving, empowering environment. By providing them with opportunities for success, showing them that their caregivers have faith in their goodness and their abilities, supporting their interests, setting reasonable rules and enforcing them with loving and kindness, this can be achieved. It is our role as parents to provide the guidance and framework to help young children reach their highest potential.