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Supporting the Social Self and Essential Self
May 2, 2018
A good name will shine forever.

Ruth Wilson, in an article that forms the basis of an Out of the Box training kit, “Honoring the Essential Self,” explains that “without a doubt, we all face…conflicts relating to individual interests versus group interests – and as educators, we need to help children understand the difference [between]…our ‘essential self’ and our ‘social self’…

Behaviors of the social self tend to be conforming and imitative…Ways in which we expect young children to be imitative and conforming include becoming potty trained, using a spoon to eat pudding, throwing trash in a wastebasket and refraining from biting other people…Unless children adopt an appropriate set of social skills, they will not be successful in the personal and social realms of their lives.

Behaviors of the essential self tend to be inventive and spontaneous, reflecting the uniqueness of the individual. For one young child, this might mean using her arms to fly like an eagle across the yard…For another child, this might mean wanting to use flowers to make a crown…For another this might mean using blocks to build elaborate structures. Unless young children are supported in the development of their essential self, a part of their unique spirit and personality tends to be squashed.” 

“Out of the Box” Training Kit
Buy 2, get 2 FREE!

Help teachers understand the difference between the essential self — a self that reflects the core of our individuality — and the social self, which is the self in relation to others with the "Out of the Box" Training Kit Honoring the Essential Self.

To support your work, ALL "Out of the Box" Training Kits are now buy two, get two free.

Use code B2G2 when prompted.

May not be combined with any other offer.
Applies to PDF versions only.

Offer expires May 3, 2018, at 11:59 pm PDT.


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