Friday, December 18, 2015

Factors of self-efficacy

Self-efficacy is the ability and willingness to try a task. Five factors of self-efficacy are experience, cultural expectations, gender roles, support for effort and risk taking. The experiences children have are different for each child. Some children grow up experiencing the ability to travel, some children grow up with the experience of volunteering at different events all year long. No matter what a child's experience is though, their experiences effect their self-efficacy. For example, a child may have the ability to and willingness to learn how to make cupcakes, however, if there isn't enough money to buy the ingredients for this type of luxury this experience effects their self-efficacy because the child has to either find a way to get the ingredients and learn how to make cupcakes or accept this isn't a task they will be able to learn until the ingredients can be afforded.

The United States is becoming more culturally diverse. Families bring their cultures with them and raise their children in the same culture they would have if they had stayed in their homeland. Culture expectations can affect a child's self-efficacy as their parents teach them what is culturally expected for them. For example, it is culturally excepted in the U.S for parents to have more than one child, however, in China it is culturally expected to have only one. Therefore, a child in the U.S. may have their self-efficacy determined by culture because where there is more than one child in a family, a child may have to limit the activities they learn to do to only one-such as learning how to play the piano or tennis. However, where a child in China is the only child in the family they may be able to learn three activities that are done by children in China.

Gender roles can affect a child's self-efficacy because even though all children have the ability and willingness to try an activity, society may be telling the child it isn't something they can do because of their gender. For example, for a long time in the U.S. society has told women they can't be senators, president of the U.S. etc. We now have the most women in congress than we ever have. Gender roles should never define what a person should or can do. We should be teaching our children anything is possible if they're willing to put the effort in.

Support for effort effects a child's self-efficacy because if there is no support for the child to learn an activity, the willingness may dissolve even though the ability is there. For example, if a child wants to learn how to ski but is no support from their parents to learn this activity, the ability will always be there but the willingness may not be because the child doesn't have the support of the parents to take them to lessons, to pay for them or to teach them themselves. However, if parents support their children in their effort to learn something new and take the child to ski lessons and pays for them or takes the time and puts in the effort to teach their child themselves, the support the child needs to learn how to ski is present and a child can accomplish a goal because they have the support they need to accomplish it.

Children like to take risks. What is important is that parents teach children to take risks that are appropriate. For example, it's not an appropriate risk to climb on the roof of the house and see how far they can jump. However, it is appropriate to put the child in track and field and have them learn pole vaulting. Risk taking effects a child's self-efficacy because a parent can either support the risks their children want to take and make sure those risks are done in a safe environment or a parent can tell their children they're incapable and not allow them to take even appropriate risks because of dangers that may or may not be present.

It is important for parents to develop self-efficacy in their children and allow them to learn how to do certain activities. A parent can guide a child to help them pick activities that are appropriate by helping them choose activities in areas that the parents know they are good at. For example, if a child is always tumbling and jumping the parents can guide the child into thinking about doing gymnastics. It's important for parents to let their children learn new things so they teach their children the world is a safe place, not a place to be feared. Allowing children to learn new things will also help develop the child's talents and help them know what skills they are good at so they know where to focus when it comes time to go to college and think of a career.

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