Sense of Agency

Sense of Agency 

To create a sense of agency (PDF), children first need to identify with their family. These first relationships between family members build a sense of belonging. Your family contributes to making your child feel loved, secure and valued.

Your child will first learn to make choices with you and other family members. They will learn that these choices can have an impact on their family and others. Encourage your child to ask questions, express ideas, and make some decisions.  Allow them the space to learn from good or bad choices. 

Children enjoy showing how capable and competent they are. Help your child build on their strengths and abilities. Every child needs to feel that they belong, that they matter and that they add value to the world. 

Visit Best Start- On Track Guide (PDF) to better understand your child's social development.

For more information about Sense of Agency visit About Kids Health: Self-Efficacy or Reaching IN...Reaching OUT (RIRO): Responsibility & Participation.

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 a Public Health Nurse and 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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