Parents can encourage personal growth in children by being supportive and allowing them the freedom to experience new things. Along with positive reinforcement, children need positive role models in their lives to respect and emulate. Teachers can also play a key role in helping a child's psychological development, and act as mentors. Building self-esteem is a fundamental aspect of personal development in children, because a good self-image helps a child succeed.
Setting a good example in the home or at school is essential. Adopting the attitude of "do as I say, not as I do" is counterproductive. For instance, a parent who tells a child that smoking is bad for his health while continuing to smoke himself, is sending mixed signals to his child. Likewise, a child is unlikely to establish strong self-esteem if his parent lacks confidence in his own abilities. Teaching personal development requires responsibility.
There may come a time in a child's life when he experiences personal conflict or low self-esteem. Learning effective ways of self-improvement is a normal process in child development. While it might not be possible to change physical features, there are ways to improve certain aspects of his personality with determination and self-discipline. It is the child's character that defines the person he is, and this is something that needs to be instilled.
Personal development in children requires them to take on age-appropriate responsibilities. From the time a child is old enough to comprehend, he needs to learn order. Learning to accept a set of guidelines and rules, and show respect for those who establish them is a vital part of personal development in children. A parent shouldn't back down when issuing appropriate punishment if the rules are broken. Leniency doesn't help a child's personal growth and development, although consistency does.
Encouraging imagination and creativity can help promote personal development in children. Playing house is one example of how role playing can encourage growth and development in children. Children who engage in role-play activities often show a better understanding of how these functions influence daily life. This can be accomplished by observing the real-life duties of parents and other adults.
Older children may benefit from taking courses in personal development. These programs are designed to help pre-teens and teenagers achieve their goals through self-discipline and self-confidence. Stress and anger management courses may also be a part of a personal development program. Software programs created for personal development in children are also available online.