Sense of Agency

In the first 2 years of life, a few significant people matter to your child. This could be you, a partner, a grandparent, a childcare provider, or a close friend. These early attachments help your baby feel loved, secure and valued by their family and friends. They are the foundation for future relationships with others and their sense of agency. Sense of agency means as your child grows, they learn to make choices and decisions that can influence their environment. They learn “my opinion matters” and they develop a sense of identity, as they find their role in the family, community and culture.

Here are some tips

  • Know your child’s temperament and abilities, and help them develop the skills they need overtime.
  • Play with your baby or toddler so they develop the skills they need to influence their environment and learn to relate to you and others.
  • Let your child make simple choices each day, like what clothes to wear.
  • Teach your child some daily routines, such as making a snack together.

To find more parenting information, please visit:

Do you have more questions about parenting?

  • Connect with a registered nurse from Health811 for free, secure, and confidential health advice. Service is available 24/7 in English and French, with translation support also offered in other languages. Call 8-1-1 or visit
  • Connect with a Community Navigator from 2-1-1 for information about community programs and resources across Eastern Ontario. Helpline service is available 24/7 and in many different languages. Call 2-1-1 or visit
  • Connect with other parents on the Parenting in Ottawa Facebook page.
  • There are a variety of services to make it easier for your child to grow up healthy in Ottawa.
  • You can update your child's immunization record using either the CANImmunize App or the Immunization Connect Ontario (ICON) Tool
  • If you have received a message from Ottawa Public Health such as a letter or a call regarding immunization, an infectious disease, or infection control lapse, please call 613-580-6744 and listen to the menu options carefully.

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