DEVELOPING A FEELING OF INDEPENDENCE AND AWARENESS OF RESPONSIBILITY IN CHILDREN
Every parent wants their children to stand on their own two feet and be responsible. However, they are confused about when and how much independence and what is the best age to give responsibility to their children. The idea of giving children too much freedom too soon worries parents because their children’s safety is their top priority and parents want to make sure they are safe. A newborn baby is dependent on its parents for basic needs such as nutrition, warmth and safety. However, from early childhood, when these days are past, it is never too early to teach children how to stand on their own.
As children grow, they develop the ability to do more on their own, to express themselves better, and to explore their surroundings independently. Over time, they realize that they have an impact on their environment and that they can control their environment. This sense of independence is reflected in their self-confidence and enables their self-perception to develop positively. As they develop a sense of being able to do things on their own, they feel successful. When children are given the opportunity to choose and begin to take responsibility, they realize that they have an active role in their family and society.
Children can take their first and most important lessons at home to develop their sense of independence and responsibility. So, how can families help their children gain a sense of responsibility and independence?
Children first need to feel safe and to know that they are supported by their parents. To give children independence and responsibility, it’s important to strike a balance between allowing them to try things on their own and supporting them when they really need it. Only when children feel safe do they dare to try something new.
Children need to know that their parents believe in them. A young child’s idea of his abilities is based on his parents’ opinion of his abilities. They don’t give up in what they try to do if their faith in themselves develops. In this way, their self-confidence starts to develop spontaneously and they learn to be patient. For these reasons, parents should first believe in their children and reflect these beliefs in both their words and actions.
When children ask how to solve a problem they face, instead of offering the solution directly, they should be guided to overcome the problem by asking detailed questions about the problem. They can be encouraged to start by defining the problem first, to find possible solutions and to evaluate the positive and negative consequences of each solution.
Children need to make mistakes in order to explore their environment and have new experiences. Children feel dependent on others when families solve the problems their children face in daily life by themselves and do not allow them to try and make mistakes. They also perceive their own selves as inadequate. However, by allowing their children the opportunity to solve small problems appropriate for their age on their own and to learn from the mistakes they have made in the process, parents provide the opportunity for their children to be resilient and resilient to any situation they will encounter in life and teach them how to handle the big problems that will come their way in the future. As children complete daily tasks on their own, they will feel stronger and more confident.
In order for children to take responsibility, families must be an example for them by fulfilling their responsibilities. Children learn by observing and trying rather than hearing how to do something. For this reason, children should not be told just why it is necessary to take responsibility. At the same time, they should be shown how to be responsible. When parents are loyal to their responsibilities, they show their children the importance of being responsible.
A certain age at which children take responsibility will not come by themselves. They learn step by step to take responsibility. While they may initially display responsible behavior by picking up their toys, over time they may demonstrate by helping to set the table or making their beds. Children can be made a list of the responsibilities they can take on a daily basis appropriate to their age. As they get older, their responsibilities can be increased.
Care should be taken to ensure that the responsibilities expected from children are appropriate for their age. For example, when a 6-year-old child is expected to lay the cover on the table, the cover may not be laid symmetrically, which should not be criticized. In such a situation, the child feels inadequate and the tendency to give up increases. The effort made by the child should be seen and appreciated by the parent.
It should be ensured that the children understand how to do what is asked to be done. A task can be taught by dividing it into parts. It is very important for parents to be patient with their children during this process.
When children take responsibility, their effort must be appreciated. For example, “You tried so hard to do this, you put a lot of effort into it.” as. However, they should not be scolded or punished when they fail. Parents should not undertake the tasks that children do not fulfill, they can learn to take responsibility by experiencing the natural result of a task or behavior that they do not take responsibility for.
An important part of learning to be responsible is learning to make good choices. Making good choices also takes practice. Even young children can make certain choices. For example, he can decide which trousers to wear from among two options. They should be offered options and encouraged to make decisions so that they can learn to make decisions, knowing that they are responsible for their consequences.
Children can be helped to remember their responsibilities. For example, parents can make a calendar of responsibility for all family members.
They should be helped to understand that both good and bad choices each have consequences. Children should be discussed about the consequences of the choices before them. Parents can explain this by giving examples from their own lives. These kinds of conversations teach children that we actually make many choices throughout the day and that we accept responsibility for every decision we make.