How to Help Children Self Actualize: 7 Steps - MakeSureHow
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Encourage your child to find out what she likes and doesn't like.

Are you raising the next Picasso, Shakespeare or Beethoven? The best way to find out is to immerse your child in enriching experiences. Just like adults, kids want to self-actualize — be the best they can be. Psychologist Abraham Maslow, famously known for his theory about hierarchy of needs, believed that young children become restless when they’re not creatively fulfilled. Well, at least now you know why your little one is bouncing off the walls. Take steps to help your child reach her potential.


  1. 1
    Make sure your child’s basic needs are met. Provide healthy, nutritious food. Encourage exercise and establish a sleep routine. It’s important that your little one feels safe and secure. She needs to know you’ll be there to comfort her. She can’t tap her creative juices if she’s tired or hungry or stressed.
  2. 2
    Create settings that encourage socializing. Join a play group so your child can develop friendships and learn to accept and get along with others. She needs to belong and feel loved. Give her plenty of kisses, hugs and pats on the back.
  3. 3
    Introduce your child to a variety of new experiences. Hey, she’s a little kid; she doesn’t yet know what might float her boat. You can help her figure that out. Share your own interests. Go to the theater, participate in outdoor activities and sports and surround her with music and art. In a nutshell, help her engage the colorful world around her.
  4. 4
    Build your child’s self-esteem. Your little one won’t be able to self-actualize until she feels self-assured and good about herself. Kids want their parents’ confidence and respect. Praise your little trooper when she’s honest and accepting. If she tries something new, support her. Help her understand that it’s okay to fail as long as she tries.
  5. 5
    Encourage your child to appreciate the beauty in life. Fill her with wonder and awe about the world around her. Go for a walk and say, “Wow, look at that beautiful sunset, Molly," or, “Isn’t that wonderful? That little girl picked a flower for her grandma.” Look at the bright side of life and teach her to see the humor in it.
  6. 6
    Help your child set and achieve goals. Highlight her current accomplishments. If she’s talented at painting, hang her masterpieces on the refrigerator. Encourage her to draw something new or to combine paints to make unique colors. If she seems to enjoy music, buy her a toy piano and help her learn how to play a simple classic like “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.”
  7. 7
    Allow your child to make plenty of choices. All choices are important, even if it’s just deciding which shoes to wear with the pink dress. She’ll learn to problem-solve. When she’s older, choices about values and morals will be easier to make.


  • It's tough to teach your child to self-actualize if you aren't able to do it yourself. Be a good role model.

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Categories: Education and Communications

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