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Self-care in children

What is self-care in children?

Self-care skills are the skills to meet the child’s cleaning needs such as washing her hands, changing her clothes, feeding, and toilet needs. Since the speed of development of each child is different, the self-care skills gained also vary from child to child. As the gross and fine motor abilities develop, the child gradually begins to meet his own self-care needs. While he can only hold the spoon you have given, he becomes self-feeding later.

What do parents need to do to give the child self-care skills?

Learning self-care skills is an important step for the child to become independent and gain self- confidence. In the process of acquiring these skills, the child needs a healthy and safe relationship with his parents. Parents need to be patient in this process because children acquire their self-care skills through many experiences and failures. Parents should give their children this chance when the child wants to try something on their own, and when the child fails on something, this action should be taught to the child instead of doing it instead. This process is a little difficult for parents. Because as the child starts to try new things, the house is mostly polluted or the order of the house deteriorates and the parents can be in a more aggressive mood. When this is felt, parents should remind themselves that it is critical to give these opportunities to the child to raise a confident and sufficient child.

How to support the child who has developed self-care skills?

In this process, parents should allow their children to learn by experimenting, to experience failure and to overcome this failure by themselves, and to help encourage the child and reinforce their skills. It is a good idea to start self-care skills gradually. A child who can only hold a spoon first begins to learn to eat his or her own food over time. It helps the child to explain and show what and how to do while gaining these skills. The child already learns most skills by observing and imitating people around him. Performing activities such as washing hands and eating together with the child create an opportunity for the child to observe and imitate him. While helping the child in acquiring all these skills, the point that should not be forgotten is that each child follows a unique development. When the child is ready, he will begin to show the things he wants to do to his parents, so parents should not force their children about it. No matter how hard a child who has not completed the necessary motor development is forced, he will not be able to eat or wear it by holding a spoon. In such a situation, difficulty and failure will shake the child’s trust in himself and his parents. Self-care skills acquired gradually and by making fun when your child is ready to become the lifelong habit of your child and reinforces his self-confidence, competence, and independence.

Merve Şahin

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