The Child’s Need for Activity, Independence and Affirmation

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The child’s need for activity provides it with experiences, enriches it with knowledge, introduces it to the environment and fills it with security and self-confidence. It also brings it in touch with other people, gives it the opportunity to develop socially and to adapt to the community. Through various activities, the child gradually becomes independent, and this helps it to bravely cope with various life difficulties.

The child must first and foremost gain a positive experience about its abilities. We cannot suggest or tell it that: it only has to experience it. There is no point in convincing a child that it is smart, skilful, capable, etc. The child needs to feel its strength, skill, intelligence, dexterity and resourcefulness. It must know its possibilities and experience the success of its endeavor, and as often as possible.

The motto is often heard that children should be provided with a happy and carefree childhood. But this requirement also contains great danger if we do not interpret it sufficiently. The child must know from the beginning of life that the way of life is not sprinkled with rose petals, but that it is full of stones and thorny bushes.

The belief that a spoiled child enjoys itself is completely wrong. Namely, the child feels the consequences of its lack of independence very early. It is timid, does not get along with other children and does not feel grown up with its peers. Such a child lives in constant mental tension, in a conflict between its insecurity and life problems.

From the beginning of life, the child should face various difficulties, tasks and duties. It should not be spared or helped in those activities that it can perform on its own. On the contrary, it should be burdened as much as possible with tasks that suit it.

Every step taken independently is a positive experience that contributes to raising self-confidence. But every timid step with someone else’s help and with warnings and intimidation is a negative experience because it is discouraging. Then the child will be scared and feel the need for help because it has experienced that it cannot do it on its own.

A proper educator will allow the child to eat only when it shows a desire for that activity. A reasonable mother will remain patient and will not prevent it from practicing these actions. It should be allowed to get dressed on its own, to wash itself, to store its things, to do various small chores in the household, to go to the store.

There is no doubt that a child will definitely master basic life skills one day. For the development of its personality, it is not secondary whether it will acquire a skill and become independent in an activity two or three years sooner or later. If this does not happen, the child is burdened with a whole range of experiences about its incompetence and helplessness. It then loses motivation for the activity, no longer shows initiative for it, tries to avoid it and forces the environment to do it for it.

It is not enough for a child to be active, its sense of success will only be complete when it experiences recognition from adults. That is why it is necessary to recognize, point out and praise every, even the smallest success of the child. Even when something is objected to, when some of its mistakes are pointed out, it’s necessary to show confidence in it and thus encourage it.

When pointing out either the positivity or the negativity in a child’s behavior, one should never point the finger at the child’s personal characteristics. For example, the child should not be reprimanded personally, as a person; only its mistake should be rebuked. Mistakes should be pointed out along the way, but the starting point for their elimination should be sought in the positive qualities of the child.

By complaining about a certain act and current behavior, and not its personality, or more or less constant characteristics, the child is tacitly given the opportunity to correct its behavior. In this way, the educator indirectly expresses confidence in the child because they do not conclude from some momentary negativity that it carries negativity within itself.

When a child’s personal characteristics are praised, only a positive act, i.e. concrete success, should be given recognition. If it is praised personally, the child will become vain and conceited, and this is avoided in proper upbringing. The same principle should be followed when recognition is given to children’s successes.

You should not be too loud and demonstrative. It is enough to say a few words of recognition, but as often as possible. Special and solemn hymns are unnecessary. It is better to include praise in everyday conversation.

When a child is facing a more difficult or long-term task, and success can be expected only after some time, it is necessary to recognize attempts to solve the task, even if it will not succeed immediately. Thus the child is encouraged to persevere in its endeavor despite initial failures.

Children are resilient and persistent in their work because they have been taught how to cope with difficulties from an early age, according to a study by the University of Manchester’s School of Education (Stonybrooks).

Many parents think that they will secure their child’s attachment if they serve it in everything, keep it close, deny it independence and save it from any burden. It is true that children raised in this way remain overly attached to their parents, but not out of love and loyalty, but out of pure opportunism. Such people do not know how to break away from parental influence, although at the same time they sometimes hate their parents.

A properly raised child will remain loyal and grateful to its parents all its life, even though they never made a special effort to ensure its gratitude. The logic of life rewards them many times over for their natural attitude towards a young person. It rewards them by the fact that their children manage successfully in life, that they grow into socially positive people, to the joy and pride of parents.

A prudent educator allows the child to decide on its own conduct, to bear responsibility for its actions. From the beginning of life, the child must gain the experience as often as possible that no one will bear the consequences of its behavior instead. It is a law of life logic, a relentless law that a child must know as soon as possible in order to take a realistic attitude towards life.

A proper educator does not determine how children will play or forbid them from playing a game unless it is extremely harmful or dangerous. They shouldn’t interfere with children’s play even when children quarrel or fight. If the child is playing in a way that could cause it inconvenience and despite the warning does not stop, for example, teasing other children, it is best to let it experience the natural consequences of its behavior.

When a child experiences the unpleasant consequence of its awkward behavior among other children, it should not be scolded or blamed. It is necessary to calm it down and convince it that it will not happen again if it changes its behavior. In this way, even the most unpleasant experience becomes useful and contributes to emotional maturation.

A proper educator helps the child when needed, but does not take over its tasks. They will explain a task to the child if the child does not understand it and will point out the possibility of a solution. Such an educator does not bother the child with constant persecution at work or moral sermons.

What is basic, therefore, is the principle of proper upbringing – to remain always a friend to the child. Be supportive and there for the child, but not intrusive; allow the child freedom and independence, but don’t solve its personal problems for it. It is a process that makes the child independent, instills in it a sense of security and deep trust in the environment.

Systematic work can be most successfully encouraged if interest in its interests is shown. Many educators only know how to condemn, ridicule and belittle children’s interests. It is necessary for the educator to supervise the children’s activity, but in such a way that it is with friendly cooperation.

The child will soon take a positive attitude towards its educator if they talk to it about football, cowboy movies, comics and the like. Then the child will gain more trust in the educator, it will not feel the need to defy them. This will give the educator the opportunity to shift the child’s interest to increasingly useful areas.

You should never show your superiority in encouraging productive work, because the child is discouraged by that. The child should be given the opportunity to express a dissenting opinion from ours and to defend its point of view. It is more useful to discuss with the child than to command it in everything.

When a child experiences failures or does not behave the way the environment wants, patience should not be lost immediately. It is better to patiently encourage it and show unwavering confidence in it, although there is no success at the moment. Educators will best stimulate children’s interest in expanding their intellectual, aesthetic and ethical horizons if they themselves show a lively interest in acquiring knowledge, science, nature, art, moral values and social justice.

It is a big mistake when parents promise various rewards to persuade their children to learn better – it’s a bribe. The child then loses sight of the real purpose of learning and learns only for the sake of a reward. Parents undermine their authority by bribing them, because the child can now blackmail them and play with them at will.

It is nonsense to especially reward children for their innate abilities and not ask what is the cause of their excellent grades. For a successful child, success alone is a sufficient reward. A less successful child should also be recognized for his or her efforts to succeed, although the success is only partial.

Gifts are an important educational tool because they enhance the emotional connection between the child and the educator. Gifts must not be a reward for the success of the child or for its positive trait, but should be an expression of the love of adults for the child. It is wrong, then, to say: If you are good, I will buy you this and that.

The educator should occasionally surprise the child with some grace that will be a sign of attention, proof that it means something to the educator and that despite its shortcomings, it has preserved the educator’s trust. Gifts must not be unconditional.

In the life of a child, there are two activities that are specific to the developmental age and are a significant means of independence and self-worth. It’s games and schooling.