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10/1/22 blog post

what makes you, you? discovering a child's identity

this free pack of conversation starter cards can encourage self-discovery

mother with child learning

We know that every person- and every child- is their own unique individual. Even if a person is an identical twin, they still have their own sense of style, their own dreams, their own thoughts and their own emotions. It is important to help your child discover who they are and what makes them unique. This self-discovery will:  

  • Build confidence 
  • Help them make better informed decisions 
  • Empower them to have healthy boundaries and fulfilling friendships
  • Encourage them to be comfortable with themselves and show themselves love

These are all traits that most parents, caregivers and adults would want for the children they care about. But it may be hard to know where to get started with creating this sense of self love and individuality. Our behavioral health experts have some ideas you can try: 

  1. Allow your child to voice their opinions, even on simple things. This will create a strong and confident person who trusts themselves to make decisions about the tough stuff.  
  2. Give them space to be themselves. Approach your child with curiosity to learn more about them, and not who you think they are or want them to be.  
  3. Start a conversation. Children are often not allowed to contribute to conversations. Take some time to allow them to share what they want and let them know that there is a safe space for their voice to be heard. This will encourage them to speak up when things are tough.  

a new set of On Our Sleeves conversation starter cards 

The mission of On Our Sleeves is to provide free, evidence-informed resources to as many parents and caregivers as possible. That’s why we created the “What Makes You, You” Conversation Starter Card pack. It features 25 questions that are designed to encourage your child to think about their own unique interests and ideas. It will also encourage them to share that with you, the trusted adult in their life.  

why use the conversation starter cards: 

  • Our likes, dislikes, and interests change and adapt as we grow older. What your child liked last year could be totally different than now. Continuing to have conversations with your child about their interests and thoughts will help you continue to build a strong foundational relationship.  
  • These questions will also force you to think about your own values and preferences 
  • Answering these questions will teach kids that they can respect others who have different opinions on things or different interests.  

more about conversations

On Our Sleeves' wants to encourage families and caregivers of children to continue having consistent and healthy conversations. We believe that starting conversations is a way to create a foundation for mental health and wellness. 

You can read more about how conversations can help build meaningful relationships, or how to use the conversation starter cards to inspire healthy conversation

because kids don't wear their thoughts on their sleeves

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Kids don’t wear their thoughts on their sleeves. Help us break the stigma and gives kids a voice. Join the movement for children’s mental health.

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Are you interested in partnering with Dayton Children's On Our Sleeves to help spread the movement for children's mental health? Send us a message and we will be in touch! 

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