Sometimes it's easy to notice when kids seem to feel good about themselves — and when they don't. We often describe this idea of feeling good about ourselves as "self-esteem."
Responsibility means being dependable, making good choices, and taking accountability for your actions. A responsible citizen looks out for the well being of others and understands we all have a part to play in making the world a better place. For a four-year-old, responsibility might look like picking up their toys, clearing their dinner plate, or helping sort the laundry — simple tasks that they can take on to contribute to their family.
For many kids, reading doesn't come easily. Some kids have trouble making the connection between letters and their sounds. Other kids have not yet found a story that interests them and shows just how fun reading can be.
Compassion means we care about others, treat them with kindness, and feel a strong desire to help people in need. Compassion is empathy in action. For a three-year-old, compassion might look like giving a hug or drawing a picture to help a sad friend or family member. Noticing someone else’s distress and wanting to respond is the foundation of compassion.
I think every parent of a preschooler has had that moment where their child is bored but everything they suggest is a no, or their child wants to draw with crayons… but only with Mom or Dad, not alone. Sometimes this whole idea of “independent play” seems like it’s a parenting myth.
Courage involves making good choices in the face of fear or obstacles. It’s another term for bravery. Remember: Bravery doesn’t mean fearlessness. It means we do not let fear hold us back from exploring new opportunities, developing our skills, and doing what is right. For an eight-year-old, courage might look like reaching out to a peer who needs help, sticking with a challenging academic problem, or performing on stage for the first time.