The upcoming holiday season is a time of joy but it can also feel incredibly stressful. Come to our free parent workshop on Mindfulness: Managing Seasonal Stress. Pre-registration required. Contact Susan Johnson at sjohnson@copecenter.net

Ages and Stages

Good parenting is all about parenting the child that you have. This means that you have to alter your approach as your child passes through the various developmental stages on his way to adulthood. The social and emotional stage of your child determines how he feels, thinks and interacts with others. As a parent, it is important to calibrate your words and actions based on the appropriate developmental stage. And don’t forget that social and emotional development don’t always synch up with intellectual development.

Since an approach that might work for a toddler would be totally ineffective when dealing with an adolescent, we have taken the skills covered by COPE’s Skills for Good Parenting parent workshop and broken them down based on four developmental levels.

Skills for Good Parenting:  Early Childhood is a look at parent skills that we hope will help you deal effectively with your young child between the ages of 2 and 5.

  • Early Childhood is a time when children have become mobile and are actively exploring their environment.
  • Children at this stage experience rapid physical and intellectual development.
  • “Emotional regulation” can be challenging as a child learns to modulate their emotional expression, discover their independent nature, and learn that they can say “No.” Over time, with help, the child also learns how to accept being told “No”.

In-depth Articles

 

Skills for Good Parenting:  Elementary Ages is a look at parent skills that we hope will help you deal effectively with your child between the ages of 6 and 11.

  • This is when children reach an understanding of the physical dimensions of the world and develop an accurate perception of events; they are capable of rational, logical thinking and are able to understand right and wrong, but they will say and do things to avoid punishment.
  • They have developed more effective coping skills for themselves and have an increasing ability to recognize and consider others’ viewpoints, as well as to understand how their behavior affects others.

Their self-esteem is based on their own ability to perform and produce. As they mature their thinking about rules evolves from believing rules can be changed, to following rules to the letter, and, finally thinking that rules can be negotiated.

 

In-depth Articles

 

 

Skills for Good Parenting:  Middle School is a look at parent skills that we hope will help you deal effectively with your child between the ages of 12 and 14.

  • In the middle school years, children identify much more with their peers, while distancing themselves from their parents and families.
  • They are hyper-aware of their appearance and are very self-conscious about it as social acceptance depends on conformity to the norms of their peer group.
  • Their social status, of paramount importance to their self-esteem, is related to group membership.
  • While they are beginning to be able to think abstractly and logically and are able to consider the consequences of thoughts and actions without experiencing them, they are not yet able to apply these mental processes to themselves.
  • Reasoning skills are the last part of brain development (often not completed until the mid to late 20s) to occur. This means that your middle schooler may behave in reactive or impulsive, since his brain decision-making structure is still under construction. They often cannot understand, much less explain, their own actions.
  • It may help to keep in mind that, just as boys’ and girls’ bodies develop differently and at a different pace, generally, boys’ brains are more driven to understand how things work; girls’ brains are more interested in how people feel. This is as much a function of socialization as biology. 

In-depth Articles

 

 

Skills for Good Parenting:  High School is a look at parent skills that we hope will help you deal effectively with your child between the ages of 15 and up.

  • During the high school years, each teen forms their own identity. They examine the values, beliefs and behaviors of others, organizing those perceptions into a coherent world view for themselves, sometimes at odds with that of their families.
  • As teens approach adulthood, they desire and need more independence. At the same time, it is important that they face the consequences of their actions.
  • Friendships are based on loyalty, understanding and trust. They appreciate honesty and straightforwardness from adults as they are making conscious choices about which adults to trust.
  • They are capable of systematic problem solving, able to consider multiple solutions and plan a course of action for themselves. However, reasoning skills are the last part of brain development (often not completed until the mid to late 20s) to occur. This means that they may behave in reactive, impulsive or novel ways, since their brain’s decision-making structure is still under construction. This means that they often cannot explain or understand their own actions.
  • It may help to keep in mind that, just as boys and girls bodies develop differently and at a different pace, generally, boys’ brains are more driven to understand how things work; girls’ brains are more interested in how people feel. This is as much a function of socialization as biology.
  • This development doesn’t magically end at age 18. Social, emotional and brain development continues well into the 20s.

 

In-depth Articles

Share
Share