A child (plural: children) is an individual who has not reached the age of majority. The precise definition varies, but generally includes the offspring of two people. Children are at high risk of abuse, malnutrition and diseases, are often denied access to education, are exposed to violence and discrimination, and suffer from poor economic conditions. Despite these challenges, many countries have signed the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
As children grow and develop, they need to learn how to think for themselves. They can use this skill in their daily lives, such as figuring out how to get down the slide on their own or dealing with a conflict between friends. However, this is a difficult skill to master and requires patience and support.
Teaching children to be independent starts in early childhood. When parents set regular routines, such as setting a wake-up time and eating breakfast together, children begin to form habits that they will follow on their own. Similarly, children can become familiar with daily chores and tasks such as wiping away globs of toothpaste or emptying the dishwasher.
The Convention on the Rights of the Child, an agreement by nations who have promised to protect children’s rights, sets out how this should be done. For example, governments must make sure that children are not separated from their parents unless they are being badly treated or have been abandoned. They must also ensure that children can stay in contact with both parents if they live separately, and they must not prevent them from travelling overseas.
When children are taught a new skill or task, it is best to break it up into steps. This helps them to understand what they are learning, and it is easier for them to remember. It also means that they can practice the steps, so they are ready for when they need to perform the whole task independently. For example, if a child is trying to jump off the sofa for the first time, you might say “Jump off with both feet”. Then you can help them by holding their hands and helping them to practise this step. When they are able to do this without your help, you can remove your hands and let them try it again.
You should praise a child when they behave well, rather than punish them when they do something wrong. This will give them a positive feeling and make them more likely to do the right thing next time. You should only correct a child’s bad behavior if it is harmful or dangerous, and you should do so calmly. If you feel you are getting angry, counting to 10 may help you calm down before responding.
It is important to keep in mind that every child is different and learns in a unique way. For example, one child might be a visual learner, while another might learn through touch and taste. Some children like to be quiet, while others are naturally talkative.