How We Think and Feel About Ourselves Is Learned

Children learn so many things as they grow. It’s easy to forget that one of the most important things they learn is… who they are. Young children develop a sense of self as they interact with the world. They learn from the environments, relationships, cultures, and media that surround them every day.

Importantly, as the sense of self blossoms, messages about the self can come from the self too. As they grow, children rely on how they think about themselves to make decisions about what they can and should do. This kind of self-experience is an important part of the developing sense of self.

  • Academic sense of self
    how a person thinks of themself as a student
    the belief that some people or ideas are better than others, usually resulting in unfair treatment
    Black, Indigenous, people of color
    thoughts or feelings that we are aware of
    Growth mindset
    the belief that, with effort, you can learn and achieve new things.
    In-group preference
    the tendency to form close relationships with others in a person’s same groups
    a cluster of characteristics, such as feeling confident, having pride in oneself, and a sense of self-worth
    Sense of self
    how a person thinks and feels about their self
    a widespread belief that a person must have a trait because they belong to a particular group
    thoughts or feelings that we are unaware of