The Chance to Change

by Debera Nielsen PhD on November 12, 2012

We all hope to be given a chance to change. We also want to fit in. That’s the definition of socialization – to fit into our surroundings. We already belong to groups; families, churches, clubs, neighborhoods are groups in which we have to fit in or find our place.

When enter a new group we need to figure out its rules so we can fit in successfully. We either need to obey them or work to change them. But when we enter a new group we all need some space for adjustment, a time to get to know each other, to forgive the differences in actions and beliefs.

Rejection is not easy for anyone because of the latent need to be accepted. It is especially not easy for children. They are just starting out on their journey. They will need to fit into their family, their play groups, their school friends. They need to learn social skills as well as the rules of the new groups they are entering.

This is especially the time when mistakes need to be forgiven. How many times? However many will enable the person to make the necessary changes. How would any of us survive if, at the moment of our first mistake and misunderstanding, we were booted out the door. Would some marriages survive if each partner were given a chance? Would more kids survive if they were given a chance . . . The Chance to Change?

In some society’s the highest priority is becoming a member of the group. In America ‘rugged’ individualism is highly valued. We here admonitions to follow your dreams or do your own thing. But we all still have places where we need to fit in; to a marriages, neighborhoods or groups. We also tend to seek out groups that are like-minded, groups in which we feel comfortable.

In the case of children, we are talking about Piaget’s theory of acceptance and accommodation. Children accept new ideas and then accommodate their behavior to fit the new ideas. It is in this way that the framework of their beliefs and understandings about their surroundings are expanded. It is in these situations where they need The Chance to Change!

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