Reputation Matters, Even for Children
Reputation can be built and destroyed. It can be real or unreal. But that doesn't change the fact that it impacts us and others. Our reputation can follow us and give impressions about us to others even before they actually meet us or get to know us themselves. Reputation matters.
It turns our that building a public-relations portfolio for our public image matters as early as childhood. It can start as early as kindergarten. Recent research suggest children of 5 years old start to think about reputation management of their social status. They consider how others view them and seek to build up positive reputations in their social settings.
We start to develop our identities and strategies for presenting ourselves to others at an early age. Despite differing social norms and expectations across cultures, the importance of social standing and the awareness of such trickles down from adults as children pick up on this social aspect of life. Adults want to be accepted and respected by their peers and especially those they admire, and the same is so for children.
Humans are socially focused beings that put a lot of importance on image construction and self-presentation to others. Children get exposed to the idea of social status and plan to incorporate it. We begin interacting with others early on, and learn about certain experiences that build a positive reputation and image of ourselves. This includes learning about sharing toys, working in a team and listening to our peers or teachers.
We are sensitive to how people behave around us and in response to us. We alter our behavior in order to appear more social or moral to others. Many things can impress others and build a positive reputation, but it varies according to certain situations and content. Appearing brave and nonconformist can benefit us in one situation, while displaying traits of being wealthy can work against us, and vice versa.
It's not clear if children understand what traits are valuable, when to display them or how they affect the perception that others have towards them. The social environment likely plays an important role in developing and image-conscious focus. The idea of reputation doesn't suddenly pop into existence in the minds of children when they get to kindergarten. It likely starts earlier than that through our interaction with adults and our tendency to mimic others. But through greater interaction with others, the degree of importance we apply to reputation might increase as we recognize how important it is to be accepted and respected by others in society.
Reputation might no be everything, but it certainly matters how other people think of us. The image others have of us helps us to get along and move through life with relative ease or greater difficulty.
Can a reputation be rebuilt after it is tarnished? Can people forget and start to see you in a new light? Does a bad reputation follow you forever?
- Kids start caring about their reputations as early as kindergarten
- We start caring about our reputations as early as kindergarten
- People Start Caring About Their Reputations In Kindergarten
- Silver and Shaw. Pint-sized public relations: The development of reputation management. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 2018 DOI: 910.1016/j.tics.2018.01.006](http://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S1364661318300196)
Thank you for your time and attention. Peace.
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