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evabird

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In my personal experience growing up as an American in Spanish language countries and in working with children now, I'm discovering that much of how children see themselves as they grow is based around concrete perspectives when they're younger: "I'm a girl" or "I'm from Mexico" or "My father is a ___". That being said, I think that as children grow up, they internalize these concepts and absorb feelings of pride, shame, or fear based on whether or not they received approval from the external society around them or their communities for being this way or not. Even when children say things like, "I like art" or "I don't like math" can affect how others see them, especially adults: others may say, "oh, well, then this child should be an artist", or they may speculate that a child needs additional math support since they just aren't going to "get" math later on.. when these forms of identity really are fluid and change as the child develops. I think that overall, it's important as child care professionals to NOT place children in boxes from an early age and fix upon them forms of identity based upon our perceptions of their family history, gender, learning abilities, and culture that they could internalize and absorb later.. but to instead encourage the child to create their own identity and encourage them to explore whatever aspects of cultural diversity and global citizenship they desire.
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