STAGES OF DEVELOPMENT
Children go through diverse periods of development as they move from infants to young adults. Throughout each of these stages multiple changes in the development of the brain are taking place. What and when these developments take place are genetically determined. However, a number of key factors such as environmental, biological, interpersonal relationships and early experiences have a significant influence on how each child benefits from a developmental event. The child, family, community and society influence each of these key factors.
Environmental factors may include: housing, income, education and employment (care). Biological factors may include: gender, physical health, mental health and health practices. Interpersonal relationship factors may include: attachment, parenting style and social networks. The most important early environmental factors are a child’s primary caregiver(s). How the primary careers respond to the child shapes early brain pathways and builds a foundation for future learning. Early experiences involve a child’s senses; touch, smell, taste and sight. These experiences begin a child’s development of their social, emotional, language, cognitive, and physical skills.
At seeChange Psychology & Consultancy our goal is to support children, adolescents and their families better understand individual functioning and behaviour. Whilst nurturing the individual we hope to work collaboratively with clients and their families to achieve positive change. This will be achieved by providing the necessary support, encouragement, structure and interventions and in our belief that change is possible.
By this stage of development children have usually mastered the skills to begin exploring the world around them. Language development is seen to progress rapidly. And yes they develop the ability to say “NO!”
During this stage of development a major challenge is what psychologist refer to as developing ‘emotional regulation’. “Meltdowns” are common during this period, it is important for careers to teach children skills in regulating their emotions. They’re a number of strategies that can be applied most importantly it is vital that a child feels their concerns and feelings are being heard.
This is also a stage of rapid physical and intellectual development. As a parent it is important to be aware your child is meeting milestones whilst remembering your child is unique and will develop differently from others.
As your child continues to grow, you will notice unique abilities and personality traits. All children progress at different rates and have diverse interests, however be mindful of feedback from educators and your own observations to ensure they are thriving physically, emotional and intellectually.
A very important part of growing up is the ability to interact and socialise with others. During the school-age years, you will see a transition in your child as he or she moves from playing alone to having multiple friends and social groups. You till will observe the influence these social groups have on your child or they have on others. This is a normal rites of passage, what is important is your child has confidence, resilience and a sense of belonging. While friendships become more important, the child is still fond of his or her parents and likes being part of a family. At this age it is always important to nurture your child’s unique qualities.
This is the age where your child begins to walk the path of becoming a young adult. This age is considered by some the most challenging for a number of reasons. Not only does this age bring about puberty and all that it entails for boys and girls this is an age where parents are faced with having to adjust your own relationship and transformation of your child to a young adult. An adjustment many find very challenging. One of the first things your child must do is to start making their own decisions. To do this they must put a little distance between themselves and you. This does not mean that you can’t continue to “care for them” or help them when needed. You should, as much as possible, let them learn from the results of their actions whilst ensuring they have a safe place to do so.
EMERGING ADULTS – THE IN BETWEEN AGE
This age brings with it instability and exploration. Many emerging your adults are exploring their sense of identity, faced with smorgasbord board of choice one is able to experiment with their place in society. What does one want out of life be it love, career or style. Emerging your adults are more able to focus on oneself and in doing so distance between parents is a common trait s they explore who they are and their place in the world. However many young adults still feel a strong connection to their parents and do not yet consider themselves adult. It is considered at this age that optimism is strong and freedom is cherished.