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Children and their various developmental stages - 

 

“Each day of our lives we make deposits in the memory banks of our children.” -

— Charles R. Swindoll, Evangelical

· children,child psychology,psychology,learning,developmental stages
Children playing

Key points from the article - 

  1. Various stages of child development 
  • Early childhood(birth - 8years of age)
  • Middle childhood (8years - 12 years of age)
  • Adolesence (12 years - 18years of age)

2. How to bond with your child as they grow up

  • Set aside some time without any distractions
  • Getting down to their level
  • Being honest about your feelings
  • Ask for their opinion on things

Being a parent isn’t easy. As parents we’re always trying to do what’s best for our children, the best way to keep them safe and what’s the best way for us to protect them. Children are complicated. As much as we love them, sometimes it’s impossible to understand what’s going on in their mind. In this article we’re going to give you a few tips and tricks that we hope will help you understand your child better.

It’s been proven that parents who take time to understand their children and their feelings have a better bonding with their children. Children who grow up in an environment that is caring, loving and understanding grow up to be more empathetic adults.

Various stages of child development -

Being a parent isn’t easy. As parents we’re always trying to do what’s best for our children, the best way to keep them safe and what’s the best way for us to protect them. Children are complicated. As much as we love them, sometimes it’s impossible to understand what’s going on in their mind. In this article we’re going to give you a few tips and tricks that we hope will help you understand your child better.

It’s been proven that parents who take time to understand their children and their feelings have a better bonding with their children. Children who grow up in an environment that is caring, loving and understanding grow up to be more empathetic adults.

  • Early childhood (Birth to 8 years of age) - The development and growth of a child is obvious during the first year. When a newborn baby that’s unable to even hold it’s head up starts walking, talking with their own thinking capabilities, parents normally will be marking a child’s development through the development of his/her obvious skills. During your child’s first year, expect some social-emotional development, this is the stage when attachment formation becomes critical especially towards their caregivers. Personality, relationships, life functionings are shaped by the quality or the lack of emotional attachment that gets formed in the early ages of life. By the time your child turns 3, he/she should have mastered walking, toilet-training, running, scribbling, has good hand-eye coordination while playing and should ideally be able to speak anywhere between 300-1000 words. During the next phases of development that is between the ages of 3-5 years your child will start attending preschool where your child will start developing his fine motor-skills. In children, these early physical development traits are attributed by a combination of social and emotional factors as well as the environment that he’s in. This is the stage when your child will look at his/her primary caregivers for approval and response.  

 

Small baby

 

  • Middle Childhood (8years to 12 years) - By the age of 8 children should be able to understand basic concepts including time and money. They should learn to cooperate in teams, participate in group activities, show signs of independence, use problem solving skills. This is the time when parents should talk to their children about respecting others, helping those in need thereby developing essential life skills such as empathy and sympathy. Parents should encourage their children to think about actions and consequences. As your kids grow older, talking to them about physical touch, good touch and bad is extremely important for their own well being. This is also the age group in which they are growing and are on the verge of being teens so talking to them about hormonal changes, physical changes and telling them that these changes are normal is crucial for a child’s healthy development. Children who are made to feel conscious about their own bodies may grow up feeling insecure and have negative body issues. Children are vulnerable and require lots of affection and acceptance from their parents and primary caregivers in order to be confident adults of tomorrow.
Children studying together
  • Adolescence (12 -18 years) - Remember the time when you were a mere teenager? Adolescence is a time when your body is growing through many changes physically and mentally. It’s a time of confusion, frightening physical and emotional changes coupled with cognitive growth, meeting new people, taking on added responsibilities, adjusting to new situations and other psychological disorders are common. This is the time when your child’s hormones are going haywire, although not every child will react the same way one does. This is the time when parents should expect inconsistent and fluctuating behaviours, mood swings from their children which will eventually settle down as they mature with time. This is also the time when children are the meanest so there could be some bullying that may happen in school.  As much as we may not want to accept it, children are fat shamed, color shamed, made to feel down if they are not high achievers so what must one do as parents? Parents should talk to their children about acceptance that should come in all shapes and sizes. Children should be told to be more empathetic towards others and not make a mockery out of someone's life. This is the time when a positive influence on your child’s life is of utmost importance. If your child is telling you that they're being bullied at school, as parents you can tackle the situation by taking the following steps - 
  • Listen to your child without interrupting them. If you show your child your anger they may stop sharing their problems with you so as to not upset you. Use tactics such as making your child feel safe, reassuring them that informing you was the right thing to do.
  • If you were too bullied in school then talk to your child about your trauma and your experience. Remember the helpful or not so helpful things that people said to you and advise your child accordingly. Don’t immediately take over the entire situation as children no matter how small must learn to fight their own battles. 
  • If someone were to cause harm to your child, we wouldn’t just take it sitting down normally but remember, the child in question is the same age as your child. Don’t take out your anger or frustration on their parents as well. For all you know they’re totally unaware of the situation. Talk to them, find out a solution that works for your child. 
  • Make sure that your child is better prepared for tackling bullies. Bullies love it when they receive retaliation or response for their abuse. Ignoring their mean comments or simply talking to the teacher can help these situations. Remember that while the other bully is a child too as parents you must do everything you can to save your child first and in school, teachers and principals are the people in power who have the means to create change and help your child. 

These are the 3 main developmental stages of children. Primary caregivers have a huge impact on how a child grows up to be. You have the power to make your child independent, confident, empathetic towards others and you have the power of moulding their initial personality.

Teenagers or young adoloscents playing together.

How to bond with your child as they grow older?

Almost all of us have been through the crazy teen years, the years when we did hide things from our parents, felt like they weren’t understanding us, being supportive of us and so we confided in our friends but now that were parents ourselves, we don’t want our children to grow up feeling the same way. Change begins at home. If you want your children to open up to you, talk to you more often and share their problems with you, then ideally this journey should begin when your children are still young preferably in their early childhood. If you don’t know how to get the conversation started, then listed below are a few tips which we think will help - 

  • Set aside some time without any distractions - You can make this a daily, weekly, monthly habit whatever suits you best but it’s important that during this time, you sit down with your child and let them talk to you about anything. Make sure to listen and not turn this time into a lecture hour. Children who talk to their parents regularly and freely will grow up feeling more secure, more accepted and confident. For adolescents, this could be the start of a friendship where they feel like they could share anything that’s on their mind with you and you could do the same. Relationships are built on trust and mutual understandings. When you share with your children too they feel like you trust them enough to talk to them about what’s important to you.
A family of four reading together
  •  Getting down to their level - The way you talk to your children is as important as talking to them. Sit in a place that doesn't necessarily assert dominance. Making eye contact with your children is a way of showing that you care and that your efforts are genuine.
  • Being honest about your feelings - Children will talk to you freely when they don’t feel pressured. Let them express their ideas, their views, feelings whatever it is that’s on their mind. It’s bound to happen where you don’t agree with them completely, talk to them and express your concerns and feelings. When they see you being honest, they're going to be honest with you too.
  • Ask for their opinion on things - Make decisions together as a family. Just because you are older that doesn't mean that you always know what’s right and what’s wrong. Making children feel included in the decision making process gives them a feeling of inclusion. If something happens in school, ask them for their point of view, ask them why they did what they did, hear their side of the story and then respond accordingly.

These are just a few tips on how to best talk to your children. As parents you know what works best for your family and what doesn't.

 Children are complicated. As parents the burden of raising them into responsible and respectable members of the society relies on us and therefore we must do everything in our power to raise them as wonderfully as we can. Although this puts so much pressure on us, it’s important to remember that nobody is perfect and that every child and every parent is bound to make mistakes and as long as we keep learning from them, it’s okay.

  

 

 

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