Feeling a sense of belonging is important for children, especially since this will usually be at the heart of their experiences as they grow older and look back on their childhood.

Being able to foster this feeling of belonging for your children is key to helping them form meaningful relationships with their peers, boosting their self-esteem and confidence. So, if you’re looking to encourage your child to feel like they belong, here are several useful tips to help you accomplish this!

Be Interested in What They’re Interested In

Showing interest and investing in your children’s interests is crucial in helping them feel a sense of belonging. Affirming their interests by encouraging them to participate in activities that they enjoy, for instance, signing them up to ballet classes because they want to learn ballet, is a great way to reinforce their feelings of being seen and appreciated by their parents.

Build Their Confidence

Building your children’s confidence reinforces their sense of feeling seen, contributing to feelings of belonging. Positive affirmation and regular praise can help boost their confidence, enabling them to be proud of themselves. Remember to teach your children that they shouldn’t have to seek approval from others, instead, they should feel empowered and proud of their own achievements.

Encourage Empathy 

Empathy is an important skill to have at any age, but should definitely be taught early in life to enable children to successfully build and maintain healthy relationships as they grow older. One way to teach your children this valuable skill is to be empathetic yourself so that children can mimic your behaviour. Validating their feelings and actively listening to them, even if you feel that it’s nonsensical, is key!

Enrol Them in an Early Learning Centre

Enrolling your child in an early learning centre (ELC) is a great way to help them develop a sense of belonging in the community sense. ELCs have trained and experienced staff who’re able to assist your child with learning key social skills and building feelings of acknowledgement and recognition.

If you’re in the Auckland area, Koru Kids is an early learning centre in Papatoetoe that helps children foster feelings of belonging. Get in touch today.