During the course of development, the child builds own self-vision with its various components. She/he builds: perception of oneself and own capabilities, of the child likes or hates, tendencies and desires, also affiliation. The child's identity or identities are gradually taking shape in this path of development. Children are natural learners. They begin to learn before birth and they develop their learning throughout their life. Curiosity is the first motivation for exploring and acting, and the enjoyment that comes with activity increases their curiosity and motivation for further exploring, which insures learning. Any activity that is driven by internal motivation, incited by the child, will provide what is needed for learning to occur. Children interact with the immediate circles in their life: the environment, the neighborhood, the KG, the city and so forth. Children's curiosity and initiative are increased when their environment is rich with culturally related symbols and elements that are seen in his/her immediate environment, at home and its surroundings. And the identity of the child, or rather different identities, grows and deepens during the course of this stage development. During childhood, kids assimilates values, concepts and beliefs related to their social, national, cultural and human affiliation, in addition to their place in the world. This is done directly or indirectly through the child’s interaction with the parents, other children and the “important adults” in his life and their interaction with the environment. Through our talk, activities, language, celebrations and experiences we provide, we present examples of these methods, values, approaches and beliefs. Some of them are what we offer consciously, and most of them we offer unconsciously and instinctively. Hence, we need to appreciate and respect the parents and the larger family’s role in enriching the child’s environment, developing the child’s identity, which are crucial to his/her development and consider to be a basic right the right for identity.

For an article with insights on fostering a Palestinian child's identity and our contributions (click here)