Research Assistant Begüm Gamiş made an assessment of self-care development in early childhood.

Stating that self-care skills are daily tasks undertaken for children to be ready to participate in daily life activities (including dressing, undressing, eating, mouth and teeth cleaning, toilet habit), Begüm Gamiş said, “These skills are met by their parents or caregivers since the child is born. It is expected that the child will be able to independently perform these skills as soon as he reaches physical maturity. ” said.

Noting that the skills that are expected to be acquired in self-care development, as in all developmental areas, differ with the developmental levels of children and these skills follow a complementary sequence, Begüm Gamiş said, “The important thing is to be aware of the development level of the child and to support the child in gaining the skills he can do in critical periods.” he spoke.

How should self-care skills be according to age?

Gamiş gave the following information about self-care skills seen by age:

3 years

– Washing hands (but it still needs time to gain the ability to dry. Therefore, support should be given when necessary in the drying part)
– Ability to eat with the help of a fork and spoon (it is important to choose tools that will not cause any accident)
– Ability to wear your own clothes without help (flexible clothes should be preferred for starters)
– Closing zipper with support.

4-5 years

– Ability to wash your hands and face
– To be able to button and unfasten large buttons on your own clothing (the size of the buttons is important in this skill; it will take up to 6 years of age for the skill to fully fit)
– To be able to use the right tools and equipment while eating
– Being able to help set the table with the help of verbal clue
– Ability to brush your teeth
– Being able to dress without help
– Ability to hang your clothes on a hanger (necessary support materials can be used to grow your height)

6 years

– Ability to wash and dry your hands and face (help may be needed while washing other parts of the body)
– Ability to brush your teeth properly
– Being able to dress and undress without assistance in accordance with the weather conditions
– To be able to tie the laces on your shoes
– To be able to comb his hair properly
– Ability to cut soft food with a knife (especially important to create opportunities for this)
– Ability to buy food from the serving plate as many as he wants and prepare his own food
– Being able to take responsibility for one of the daily tasks, such as helping to prepare the sofas

Research Assistant Begüm Gamiş listed her recommendations for parents and caregivers for the acquisition of self-care skills as follows:

1. Observe: Observe whether your child is physiologically and socio-emotionally prepared to dig the skills at the critical time. Never force the child in this regard.
2. Take your time, do not rush: Remember that development is a process. Therefore, give the child time to see, practice, and examine every skill; Do not rush. Be patient and compassionate by planning the appropriate time and space.
3. Follow a sequence from simple to complex: Begin skill acquisition in simple steps appropriate to the child’s level, not forgetting that self-care skills follow a complementary sequence.
4. Allow children to experience and express their emotions: Expression of emotions is one of the important steps in gaining healthy skills. Have lots of conversation for children to express their feelings, for example encourage the child to express. Do not ignore the emotions that the child expresses in some way, do not make fun of them.
5. Allow him to try and examine the skill: Allow him to examine his stool, especially in the acquisition of toilet habit. It is very common for a child not to want to leave the stool, which he initially sees as a part of himself. Take time for him to say goodbye to his feces on this matter. Similarly, in the acquisition of the ability to eat, allow the child to touch, smell and taste food.
6. Be a model: Answer all the questions in the child’s mind and be a model in the acquisition of skills. Allow time for the child to observe and imitate you.
7. Support when needed: As self-care skills are one of the most important steps for the child to gain independence, support skills acquisition only when the child needs it. Make sure to inform the child that you do not leave him alone and that you can help whenever he wants.
8. Use materials that facilitate skill acquisition: It is important to facilitate the acquisition of the skill by the child with different materials for each skill and to make the process enjoyable. For example, various books, toys, songs, etc. Consider the age, developmental level and interests of the child when choosing these facilitators.
9. Don’t compare: Every child’s development is unique as every child is unique. Do not compare with other children without ignoring individual differences.

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