Forming one’s self identity begins in early childhood, shortly after children begin to recognize themselves in a mirror, a milestone that often emerges around 18 months or so.
The classic test of self recognition is the “rouge” test. If you’d like to try it, discretely place a dot of cream blush or lipstick (or watercolor paint if you prefer) on your finger, without your child seeing, and casually touch it to your child’s forehead. Wait a couple of minutes then get your child . . .