Shinetime relationships are the foundations for children’s construction of identity. In order to form a strong sense of self, children need to build secure relationships first within the family and then with caring, attentive adults in other settings.
For babies and young children, strong attachments are critical. Children’s positive experiences of relationships and places support their understanding of themselves as secure, significant and respected individuals. A positive sense of identity strengthens children’s interest and skills in being active participants in their communities.
Children develop a sense of autonomy and a sense of agency when they seek and accept new challenges, use their bodies effectively and make new discoveries. They increasingly
cooperate and work collaboratively with others.
In early childhood at Shinetime, children begin to take the initiative by asking questions and attempting small projects. With support, children begin to reflect on their achievements, acknowledge the value of persistence and enjoy their accomplishments.
As children develop a more knowledgeable sense of self, they reach out and communicate the need for comfort, assistance and companionship. Dramatic play is a way to explore different identities and different points of view. All children, with support, can develop a strong sense of self and learn to interact with others with care, empathy and respect. As they show interest in others and in being part of a group, children can participate in play with others and begin,to develop friendships. This confidence can be transferred to a range of social situations and children can increasingly recognise and accept that there are consequences for their actions.
The maintenance of first or home languages has a significant and continuing role in the construction of identity. This is supported when early childhood professionals respect
children’s cultures and languages.
Early childhood professionals’ respect for diversity assists children to begin to appreciate the similarities and differences between individuals and groups, including different culturalgroups. Children develop a deeper sense of identity through participating in cultural experiences and celebrations.