Child Development | Kay Trotter

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All Posts Tagged: Child Development

Childhood Development Blog Series– Introduction to Childhood Development

boys sitting on couch“The major task of childhood is to become “your own person”

My childhood development blog series will include the characteristics of the “typical” child during each developmental stage from ages 8 to 18, illustrating how children’s progression through these stages is determined not only by biological growth and change, but also by temperament and personality, adult expectations, and social influences.

The main tasks of childhood require children to learn, and this kind of learning is not just a matter of getting the right answer. Most important is to understand the meaning of the right answer. This is truly difficult work and it absolutely requires support from parents, relatives, and neighbors.

To help children grow up, parents need to be aware how their child is changing, growing, and developing. It is easy for a middle-aged adult to forget this fact, especially when confronted with a difficult problem. However, parents who are working on their own growth are in a good position to understand children and to respect what they are doing as they struggle to grow up and become good people in their own right.

Children progression through these stages is determined not only by biological growth and change, but also by temperament and personality, adult expectations, andsocial influences. Children learn to make choices and commitments, follow through with them, and stand up independently in the world. They need to be respected for taking on these tasks. After all, we respect adults who can do these things. They are complicated and courageous actions. However, children swing back and forth between dependence and independence as they work on these tasks. It is easy for parents to get frustrated. It is also easy for a parent to assume that if the child would simply follow the plan that makes sense to a parent, things would be all right in the end.

“Children will not remember you for the material things you provided but for the feeling that you cherished them.”
-Richard L. Evans

Understanding your child’s moral, emotional, and self-development – the main tasks of childhood require children to learn, and this kind of learning is not just a matter of getting the right answer. Most important is to understand the meaning of the right answer. This is truly difficult work and it absolutely requires support from parents, relatives, and neighbors.

To help children grow up, parents need to be aware how their child is changing, growing, and developing. It is easy for a middle-aged adult to forget this fact, especially when confronted with a difficult problem. However, parents who are working on their own growth are in a good position to understand children and to respect what they are doing as they struggle to grow up and become good people in their own right.

Late Childhood Development 8-11″

Cognitive Stage: Children in this developmental stage use logical thinking but with a very limited ability to extend logic to abstract concepts (e.g. the disdain for imaginative and illogical thinking of early childhood). At this point, they have accumulated a lot of general knowledge and have gradually developed the ability to apply learned concepts to new tasks. They also have a frequent interest in learning life skills from adults at home and elsewhere (e.g. cooking, fixing things, etc.).

Moral Development: Children age 8-11 are predominantly focused in the needs and wants of themselves, although they have developed a conscience and move from thinking in terms of “What’s in it for me?” fairness (e.g. “If you did this for me, I would do that for you.”). They now want to gain social approval and live up to the expectations of people close to them. They tend to have a ”Golden Rule” morality where they can take the perspective of others and may place the needs of others over their own self-interest. However, their moral thinking abilities are not always reflected in their behavior.

Psychological and Emotional Traits: Children at this stage have a need to develop a sense of mastery and accomplishment with frequent interest in making plans and achieving goals. They learn from what parents and others do to make and fix things and have a tendency to be disorganized and forgetful.

“Early onset of puberty is associated with lower self-control and emotional instability.”

Self-Concept: Influenced by relationships with family members, teachers, and increasingly by their peers, often relatively, 8- to 11-year-olds have a low level of concern about their physical appearance (especially boys), although this is influenced by peers as well as the media. Many boys experience pressure to conform to “masculine” stereotype. Girls’ body image declines precipitously with puberty, especially with early onset puberty. Early onset puberty is also associated with lower self-control and emotional instability, especially for boys.

Relationship to Parents and Other Adults: Children in late childhood development tend to be closely attached to parental figures and parents increasingly need to involve these children in decision making while increasing responsibility with age. Most frequent conflicts occur over sibling quarrels and forgetfulness with respect to chores, schoolwork, and messiness, especially of their bedroom. Parental listening skills becomes increasingly important as the parent-child communication patterns can change with puberty. Many adolescents report that (a) they cannot talk with parents about issues related to sexuality, and (b) they do not get needed information in sex education courses at school.

Peer Relationships: Friendships among 8- to 11-year-olds are often with their same-gender peers and are usually based on proximity, common interest/hobbies, or other perceived commonalities. Girls usually have fewer, but emotionally closer, friends than boys. Formation of exclusive “clubs” and shifting peer alliances is common at this age and media influences and popular culture increasingly affect the child’s peer activities and relationships.

† Source: Middle Childhood and Adolescent Development, Oregon State University Extension Service.

Next blog of the Childhood Development series will be  “Early Adolescents ages 11-14”

Download the complete ages 8-18  “Task of Childhood” 

Additional Resource:

Ages and Stages A Parent’s Guide to Normal Childhood Development Written by a fellow play therapist Charles E. Schaefer‘s Ages and Stages this book is great for sorting through what’s normal age appropriate behavior and what’s not.

If you would like Dr. Kay Trotter to come talk to your group or find out more about Kaleidoscope Counseling please call 214-499-0396

Dr Trotter also post regularly on her: Facebook Fan Page and Pinterest.

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SuperHero Play Increases Self-Esteem

SuperHero

I just opened a box with new costumes for the play room: Doctor Scrubs, Superman, Wonder Women, Police Officer and Ninja. I am excited to see how the kids use them to play out their emotional conflicts.

Take Superman, for example. Clark Kent is a timid man, but with just a whirl and his special brand of magic, he becomes the all-powerful superhero with superhuman strength and ability. When a child participating in this type of fantasy they successfully boosts themselves from the timid shy Clark Kent to the status of an all-powerful superhuman. This relieves them of their feelings of inadequacy and allows them to discharge their feelings of aggression away from those adults in their life who are in control of them, thus keeping those relationships intact. The greater the imagination, the more elaborate and disguised the fantasies are and the greater the emotional relief and resolution of conflict.

How many times have we all seen young children battling the forces of evil and wondered why does he/she enjoy this so much?

Fantasy in the form of play allows children to build a world of imaginary characters and stories that play out current emotional conflicts in such a way that the emotions are expressed and resolved on a subconscious or unconscious level. Where children rise above themselves as they play, becoming more than their average selves.

In fantasy play, children are able to use abstract and representational thinking, allowing a bowl to become a hat, an empty pot to become a steamy aromatic soup, and a pile of pillows to become a boiling lava flow. This self-guided play requires planning, regulating, and negotiating.  In short, the act of “acting” strengthens the executive functions of the brain.

You can help by

  1. Creating a dressing up box and filling it with old clothes, scarves, jewellery, bags and hats that can be used for pretend play.
  2. Encouraging children to share their pretend play, but without interrupting the flow of play.
  3. Joining in! But let the child lead, through your responses: “Show me what you want me to do,” “What should I say?” or “What happens next?” “What happens now?” “What kind of teacher am I?” “You want me to put that on,” “Hmmm…,”

How does this help my child?

  1. How your child feels about themselves will make a significant difference in their behavior.
  2. As your child feels better about themselves they are able to discover their own strengths and assume greater self-responsibility as they take charge of daily life situations.
  3. How your child thinks, and how they performs in school are directly related to how they feels about themselves.
  4. When your child feels better about themselves, they will behave in more self-enhancing ways rather than self-defeating ways.

If you would like Dr. Kay Trotter to come talk to your group or find out more about Kaleidoscope Counseling please call 214-499-0396

Dr Trotter also post regularly on her: Facebook Fan Page and Pinterest.

You also might like these blog post by Dr Trotter

The Task of Childhood Development

Play Therapy with Young Children

Is Your Child Ready for Kindergarten?

Dr. Trotter’s Pinterest Boards

Additional Resources:

Superhero Play and Child Development

How superhero play supports learning

 

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Play Therapy for Children

4 Year Old Girl Playing With Blocks

IN HONOR OF THE FIRST DAY OF NATIONAL PLAY THERAPY AWARENESS WEEK 

Work with young children is important….Because research has shown that a child’s social and academic success can be greatly influenced by experiences from infancy and toddlerhood. Infant or toddlers who have identified with difficulties or has experienced trauma would benefit from Play Therapy.

It’s important that a trained play therapist work with young child and their parents or caregivers as early as possible is optimal—early intervention make a difference. Early intervention helps foster mental health development and future healthy relationships. Neuroscientist have identified that healthy care giving interactions with infants and toddles positively influence developments of the child’s brain that affects their behaviors throughout childhood and adult hood. Play therapy provides the framework needed for understanding the emotional needs of very young children and their caregivers.

“The job of early intervention is to support, facilitate, identify and guild on strengths that exist in the and for each child and family”

DID YOU KNOW THAT DR. KAY TROTTER DOES PLAY THERAPY WITH YOUNG CHILDREN? 

As a Registered Play Therapist and Supervisor Dr. Kay has extensive training in child development, parent-child attunement, play based interventions, parenting and of course play therapy techniques.

  • To find a Registered Play Therapist in your area or to find out learn more about Play Therapy visit the Association for Play Therapy.
  • To read the Play Therapy Meta Analysis “The Efficacy of Play Therapy and Filial Therapy with Children: Summary of the Meta-Analytic Findings” visit Center for Play Therapy.
  • Visit the Texas Association for Play Therapy site and “Make a Difference In Their Lives.”

If you would like Dr. Kay Trotter to come talk to your group or find out more about Kaleidoscope Counseling please call 214-499-0396

Dr Trotter also post regularly on her: Facebook Fan Page and Pinterest.

Read More

SuperHero – Play Increases Self-Esteem

I just opened a box with new costumes for the play room: Doctor Scrubs, Superman, Wonder Women, Police Officer and Ninja. I am excited to see how the kids use them to play out their emotional conflicts.

Take Superman, for example. Clark Kent is a timid man, but with just a whirl and his special brand of magic, he becomes the all-powerful superhero with superhuman strength and ability. When a child participating in this type of fantasy they successfully boosts themselves from the timid shy Clark Kent to the status of an all-powerful superhuman. This relieves them of their feelings of inadequacy and allows them to discharge their feelings of aggression away from those adults in their life who are in control of them, thus keeping those relationships intact. The greater the imagination, the more elaborate and disguised the fantasies are and the greater the emotional relief and resolution of conflict.

How many times have we all seen young children battling the forces of evil and wondered why does he/she enjoy this so much?

Fantasy in the form of play allows children to build a world of imaginary characters and stories that play out current emotional conflicts in such a way that the emotions are expressed and resolved on a subconscious or unconscious level. Where children rise above themselves as they play, becoming more than their average selves.

In fantasy play, children are able to use abstract and representational thinking, allowing a bowl to become a hat, an empty pot to become a steamy aromatic soup, and a pile of pillows to become a boiling lava flow. This self-guided play requires planning, regulating, and negotiating.  In short, the act of “acting” strengthens the executive functions of the brain.

You can help by

  1. Creating a dressing up box and filling it with old clothes, scarves, jewellery, bags and hats that can be used for pretend play.
  2. Encouraging children to share their pretend play, but without interrupting the flow of play.
  3. Joining in! But let the child lead, through your responses: “Show me what you want me to do,” “What should I say?” or “What happens next?” “What happens now?” “What kind of teacher am I?” “You want me to put that on,” “Hmmm…,”

How does this help my child?

  1. How your child feels about themselves will make a significant difference in their behavior.
  2. As your child feels better about themselves they are able to discover their own strengths and assume greater self-responsibility as they take charge of daily life situations.
  3. How your child thinks, and how they performs in school are directly related to how they feels about themselves.
  4. When your child feels better about themselves, they will behave in more self-enhancing ways rather than self-defeating ways.

If you would like Dr. Kay Trotter to come talk to your group or find out more about Kaleidoscope Counseling please call 214-499-0396

Dr Trotter also post regularly on her: Facebook Fan Page and Pinterest.

 

Read More

Is Your Child Ready for Kindergarten?

Not sure if your child is ready to tackle the world of kindergarten?

For most of us the new school year is just around the corner and that means many children will be off to kindergarten for the first time. BUT is your 5-year-old really ready to start school? This question needs to be taken very seriously especially since so many districts no longer have half day kindergarten only offering full day, which is a load for many young emotionally developing children.

I routinely tell my clients that if your child has a summer birthday date, DO NOT start them. This additional year will allow your child to grow: physically, socially, and to gain the emotional maturity they will need to make their first experience at “real school” fun and enjoyable setting the tone for all future years.

In addition to summer birth dates, I also recommend that if your child has difficulty staying on task, or is developmentally delayed in language or motor skills, it might be wise to give them another year of pre-school to mature and develop. Other areas that are red flags deserving a second look at starting kindergarten next year include if your child is very shy or anxious in preschool and refuse to respond to their teacher, or your son is physically small but otherwise seems ready to go to kindergarten, would his small physical stature be an issue with his peers?

Kay’s first day of kindergarten, 1963

These are all tough issues, but ones that need to be examined by all parents

While many school districts rely on age as the determining factor, some educators believe that the most important aspect to determining if a child is ready for kindergarten is how much previous experience he or she has had in a preschool setting. The social aspects that children learn from preschool are invaluable. Children in preschool explore the world through play, information gained in this way becomes the basis for all areas of your child’s life. Parents may see play as just “fun”, but “play is serious work for a child”. Play helps your child acquire the tools he or she will need in kindergarten.

Here are some benefit from play

  • Develop    physical    skills. Gross motor skills are developed as a child learns to reach, run, climb and balance. Fine motor skills are developed as children handle small toys.
  • Develop    cognitive    concepts. Children learn to solve problems (What does this do? puzzle piece fit here?) through play. Children also learn colors, numbers, size and shapes. They have the ability to enhance their memory skills as well as their attention span. Children move on to higher levels of thought as they play in a more stimulating environment.
  • Develop    language    skills. Language develops as a child plays and interacts with others. This begins with parents playing cooing games with their children and advances to practical levels such as telling make-believe stories and jokes.
  • Develop    social    skills. Learning to cooperate, negotiate, take turns and play by the rules are all-important skills learned in early games. These skills grow as the child plays. As a result, children learn the roles and rules of society.

What Your Child Should Know
Schools seem to expect the children entering kindergarten to know a lot more than their parents had to when they went to school. From soup to nuts, they are expected to know certain things when they walk in the door. It’s like they need to hit the ground running, not learn it once they get in.

Some districts test children before or shortly after the school year has started, using the pre-test which screens a child’s physical development, alphabet recognition and his or her knowledge of body parts, colors and shapes. It is just one indicator of their physical and cognitive development —the basic things that a 5-year-old child should know.

If your district has a pre-admission screening and your child doesn’t do well, you should request the test be performed again. If he or she still does not perform well, ask for your child to be re-evaluated three and six months later. That way, if there are any developmental or neurological difficulties, you can get a jump on them right away by contacting a child psychologist, play therapist, and or neurologist.

Kindergarten Readiness Checklist

This checklist will give you an idea on what areas your child is doing well in, and where they may need some extra attention. It’s a good idea to do the checklist, print it out and then work with your child in the areas they need extra help. In a few weeks, do the checklist again to see how much your child has improved.

Fine Motor Skills

1. Puts a 10- to 12-piece puzzle together                                              Yes            Not Yet

2. Holds scissors correctly                                                                      Yes            Not Yet

3. Holds a pencil or crayon properly                                                     Yes            Not Yet

Gross Motor Skills

1. Runs, jumps and skips                                                                       Yes            Not Yet

2. Walks backward                                                                                  Yes            Not Yet

3. Walks up and down stairs                                                                Yes            Not Yet

Social Skills

1. Uses words instead of being physical when angry                      Yes            Not Yet

2. Speaks clearly so an adult can understand him/her                  Yes            Not Yet

3. Plays with other children                                                                 Yes            Not Yet

4. Follows simple directions                                                                Yes            Not Yet

5. Expresses feelings and needs                                                          Yes            Not Yet

6. Goes to the bathroom by him/herself                                           Yes            Not Yet

7. Waits his/her turn and shares                                                        Yes            Not Yet

8. Talks in sentences                                                                             Yes            Not Yet

9. Asks questions about things around him/her                             Yes            Not Yet

10. Enjoys having books read to him/her                                         Yes            Not Yet

11. Can tell a story about a past event                                                Yes            Not Yet

12. Says “please” and “thank you”                                                      Yes            Not Yet

13. Can spend extended periods away from Mom and Dad          Yes            Not Yet

Academic Skills

1. Recognizes shapes (square, circle, triangle, rectangle)              Yes            Not Yet

2. Can sort items by color, shape and size                                        Yes            Not Yet

3. Can identify six parts of his/her body                                           Yes            Not Yet

4. Understands concept words: up, down, in, out, behind           Yes            Not Yet

5. Counts from 1 to 10                                                                          Yes            Not Yet

6. Recognizes five colors                                                                     Yes            Not Yet

7. Tries to write his/her name                                                            Yes            Not Yet

8. Recognizes his/her written name                                                 Yes            Not Yet

Personal Information

1. Knows his/her full name                                                                Yes            Not Yet

2. Knows how old he/she is                                                               Yes            Not Yet

3. Knows his/her address and telephone number                         Yes            Not Yet

4. Knows his/her mother and father’s first names                        Yes            Not Yet

If You Do Keep Your Child Out for a Year…
So what so you do if you decide to keep your child out of kindergarten for a year? What can you do to make sure he or she is ready when September rolls around again? Getting your child involved in other activities is key, You may think you are doing him a favor by keeping him home with you, but you are not. It could be one of the worst mistakes you can make.

And don’t forget that you the parents are your child’s first and most important teacher, but a parent also needs to know the expectations of the school system their child is going into. If your district has many schools with a variety of academic programs, it is important to look into all of them in order to determine which might be the best fit for your child.

If you would like Dr. Kay Trotter to come talk to your group or find out more about her counseling practice, you can contact her at: Kay@KayTrotter.com214-499-0396, or visit her web site http://www.KayTrotter.com.

Dr Trotter also post regularly in her FaceBook fan page http://www.facebook.com/DrKaySudekumTrotter.

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Task of Childhood – Late Adolescent Development Ages 14-18

“Struggling with sense of identity while also feeling awkward”

Cognitive Stage
Late adolescents have a major broadening of thinking abilities: they can think abstractly and hypothetically; they can discern the underlying principles of various phenomena and apply them to new situations; and they can think about the future, considering many possibilities and logical outcomes of possible events. At this stage, they also have a greater perspective-taking ability that can result in increased empathy and concern for others and a new interest in societal issues.

Moral Development
As they get older, adolescents age 14-18 become less egocentric. They place an increased emphasis on abstract values and moral principles and some develop a “principled morality” with an increased ability to take another’s perspective where they can see the bigger societal picture and might value moral principles over laws. Late adolescents also have different rates of cognitive and emotional development (e.g. they often advocate for specific values and yet violate them at the same time).

Self-Concept
The process of identity formation is intense for late adolescents. They experiment with different roles, such as looks, sexuality, values, friendships, ethnicity, and especially occupations. Some girls might experience obsessive dieting or eating disorders, especially those who have higher body fat, are chronically depressed, or who have highly conflicted family relationships. Minority youths might explore several patterns of identity formation, such as a strong ethnic identity, bi-cultural identity, assimilation into the majority culture, and alienation from the majority culture.

Psychological and Emotional Traits
For some early adolescents, there is an increased ability to empathize with others along with a greater vulnerability to worrying, depression, and concern for others, (especially among girls). Many show an increase in responsible behaviors.

Peer Relationships
Peers help youth explore and develop their own identity and cross-gender friendships become more common. Anti-social peer groups can increase anti-social behaviors. Close friendships also help youth with the process of developing an individual identity separate from that of a child in a family.

Relationship to Parents and Other Adults
Conflicts with parents often decrease with age, especially as late adolescents have an improved ability to see parents as individuals and consider their perspectives. Most maintain good relationship with their parents. They also have a greater interest in taking on “adult-type” responsibilities (having their own checking account, doing their own laundry, buying their own clothes, cooking meals, making repairs, etc.). Late adolescents commonly make most of their own decisions, preparing for eventual family. Their needs balance between time spent with adults and with peers. They continue to benefit from some parental limits and monitoring, while often objecting to them. Common conflicts occur over money, curfews, chores, appearance, and activities with peers.

You can download the complete “Task of Childhood” brochure

4 Blog Series 

  1. Task of Childhood Development
  2. Tasks of Childhood – Late Childhood Development Ages 8-11
  3. Task of Childhood – Early Adolescent Development Ages 11-14
  4. Task of Childhood – Late Adolescent Development Ages 14-18 

If you would like Dr. Kay Trotter to come talk to your group or find out more about her counseling practice, you can contact her at: Kay@KayTrotter.com214-499-0396, or visit her web site http://www.KayTrotter.com.

Dr Trotter also post regularly on her: Facebook Fan Page and Pinterest.

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Task of Childhood – Early Adolescent Development Ages 11-14

“Perhaps the most difficult phase of life is early adolescence. It is a phase when your child is not yet mature but he is no longer a kid”

Cognitive Stage
Adolescents vary between some children who are still focused on logic and others who are able to combine logical and abstract thinking. Some early adolescents cannot think ahead to the consequences of their actions. They are developing new thinking skills, such as thinking more about possibilities, thinking more abstractly, thinking more about the process of thinking itself, thinking in multiple dimensions, and seeing things as relative rather than absolute. They practice new thinking skills through humor and arguing with parents and others, and the
use of humor focused on satire, sarcasm, and sex.

Moral Development
Early adolescents have a continuing self-focus and often believe they are invulnerable to negative events.They also have an increasing ability to take the perspective of others into account with their own perspective. In addition, as they become concerned about gaining social approval, their morals begin to be based on respect for the social order and agreements between people or what is known as “law and order” morality. Youth also begin to question social conventions, re-examine their own values and moral/ethical principles, which sometimes results in conflicts with their parents.

Self-Concept
An early adolescent’s self-image can be challenged by body changes during puberty as well as social comparisons. This is also when they begin to develop the long-term process of establishing their own identity separate from family. Many girls experience pressure to conform to gender stereotypes and might show less interest in math and science. With puberty, normal increases in girls’ body fat can negatively influence their body image and self-concept. Both boys and girls might be concerned with skin problems, height, weight, and overall appearance.

Relationship to Parents
Changes in parental expectations alter previous patterns of relationships, often resulting in greater conflict. Early adolescents also have a greater focus on peer friendships as they develop an identity outside of the role of a child in a family. They also often rebuff physical affection (but still need it). They have an increased interest in making their own decisions, which benefits from increased opportunities to do so. Youth object more often to parental limitations (but still needs some). Parental listening skills and nurturing continue to be important.

Emotional Traits
Youth age 11-14 have an intense self-focus, an increased desire for privacy, and a sensitivity about their body. They also have frequent mood swings with changes in activities and contexts. Too much time spent alone can contribute to moodiness and heighten forgetfulness.

Peer Relationships
Early adolescent friendships increasingly involve sharing of values. Cliques of three to six friends (usually the same gender) provide a greater sense of security. Romantic crushes are common and dating begins.

You can download the complete “Task of Childhood” brochure

4 Blog Series 

  1. Task of Childhood Development
  2. Tasks of Childhood – Late Childhood Development Ages 8-11
  3. Task of Childhood – Early Adolescent Development Ages 11-14
  4. Task of Childhood – Late Adolescent Development Ages 14-18 

If you would like Dr. Kay Trotter to come talk to your group or find out more about her counseling practice, you can contact her at: Kay@KayTrotter.com214-499-0396, or visit her web site http://www.KayTrotter.com.

Dr Trotter also post regularly on her: Facebook Fan Page and Pinterest.

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Tasks of Childhood – Late Childhood Development Ages 8-11

“Communication and understanding are especially important at the late childhood stage of development”

Cognitive Stage: Children in this developmental stage use logical thinking but with a very limited ability to extend logic to abstract concepts (e.g. the disdain for imaginative and illogical thinking of early childhood). At this point, they have accumulated a lot of general knowledge and have gradually developed the ability to apply learned concepts to new tasks. They also have a frequent interest in learning life skills from adults at home and elsewhere (e.g. cooking, fixing things, etc.).

Moral Development: Children age 8-11 are predominantly focused in the needs and wants of themselves, although they have developed a conscience and move from thinking in terms of “What’s in it for me?” fairness (e.g. “If you did this for me, I would do that for you.”). They now want to gain social approval and live up to the expectations of people close to them. They tend to have a ”Golden Rule” morality where they can take the perspective of others and may place the needs of others over their own self-interest. However, their moral thinking abilities are not always reflected in their behavior.

Psychological and Emotional Traits: Children at this stage have a need to develop a sense of mastery and accomplishment with frequent interest in making plans and achieving goals. They learn from what parents and others do to make and fix things and have a tendency to be disorganized and forgetful.

“Early onset of puberty is associated with lower self-control and emotional instability.”

Self-Concept: Influenced by relationships with family members, teachers, and increasingly by their peers, often relatively, 8- to 11-year-olds have a low level of concern about their physical appearance (especially boys), although this is influenced by peers as well as the media. Many boys experience pressure to conform to “masculine” stereotype. Girls’ body image declines precipitously with puberty, especially with early onset puberty. Early onset puberty is also associated with lower self-control and emotional instability, especially for boys.

Relationship to Parents and Other Adults: Children in late childhood development tend to be closely attached to parental figures and parents increasingly need to involve these children in decision making while increasing responsibility with age. Most frequent conflicts occur over sibling quarrels and forgetfulness with respect to chores, schoolwork, and messiness, especially of their bedroom. Parental listening skills becomes increasingly important as the parent-child communication patterns can change with puberty. Many adolescents report that (a) they cannot talk with parents about issues related to sexuality, and (b) they do not get needed information in sex education courses at school.

Peer Relationships: Friendships among 8- to 11-year-olds are often with their same-gender peers and are usually based on proximity, common interest/hobbies, or other perceived commonalities. Girls usually have fewer, but emotionally closer, friends than boys. Formation of exclusive “clubs” and shifting peer alliances is common at this age and media influences and popular culture increasingly affect the child’s peer activities and relationships.

You can download the complete “Task of Childhood” brochure

4 Blog Series 

  1. Task of Childhood Development
  2. Tasks of Childhood – Late Childhood Development Ages 8-11
  3. Task of Childhood – Early Adolescent Development Ages 11-14
  4. Task of Childhood – Late Adolescent Development Ages 14-18 

If you would like Dr. Kay Trotter to come talk to your group or find out more about her counseling practice, you can contact her at: Kay@KayTrotter.com214-499-0396, or visit her web site http://www.KayTrotter.com.

Dr Trotter also post regularly on her: Facebook Fan Page and Pinterest.

Read More

Does your child watch DVDs in the Car? It could be hurting their vocabulary?

No DVD Please

By Laura Hickman

Guest Author – Laura Hickman lives in Linden, VA and is a homeschool mom of 4 children, aged 6-12.  She graduated from The George Washington University in 1992 with a degree in Business Administration and a minor in Psychology.  She is an aspiring Equine Specialist and hopes to have her own farm in the near future.

Four years ago, we decided it was time to purchase a new vehicle for our family of six.  After weeks of researching the type of vehicle, it was time to negotiate price and options!  There were only two things I knew I had to have, and one of them, to the astonishment of our dealer, was NOT a DVD player!

With four active kids “test driving” each car in the showroom, our salesman must have thought we’d lost our minds!  After all, weren’t TV the greatest babysitter and bearer of peace known to parent-kind?  Conceptually, I’d have to agree.  Television IS a convenient device for the tired and mentally weary parent.  And maybe, even more so for the tired, weary, home school parent of multiple children!

Obviously, there are good, wholesome educational programs available.  But if we are constantly plugging our children into a TV, or any electronic device for that matter, what are we teaching them?  What are they missing?

I contend that we are teaching them at least two things.  First, we are teaching them to just do the easy thing.  Reading, thinking and communicating are work!  A child has to not only learn to decode 26 symbols in a dizzying number of combinations, but he or she has to put those seemingly random combinations into context, and finally, they have to take the context of the material and apply it to themselves.  “What does this mean to me?”  With TV, all the work is done for them.  They are told what the pictures are and what the information should mean to them.  The TV becomes their source of truth, rather than mom and dad.

Secondly, I believe we are teaching them that they are not worthy of our investment.  As parents we are all tired at the end of the day.  Whether we spent the day in the workforce, or whether we spent the day educating our own children at home.  We are not as young as we used to be and constantly answering questions and repeatedly disciplining for the same behavior is mentally exhausting.  We want ‘mommy time’!

There is a time and a place for ‘mommy time’, (or ‘daddy time’ as the case may be) but as with all things, it must be in balance with our responsibilities as parents

As we are driving along, I grab the disk case, slide the disk into the player and breathe a deep sigh of relief as peace settles over the van.  Another audio-book begins to work its magic.

‘An audio-book?’ you question.  You’d be surprised how well they will capture the attention of your children.  Not only will you experience peace and quiet as they are drawn into the story, but your kids will benefit as well.  There have been many a time when my youngest boy garnered praises from complete strangers.  The first time was just before he turned 4.  The Staples employee, with whom he had struck up a conversation, could not believe he was able to have such a coherent conversation at age 3!!  I think he must have been explaining centrifugal force (his favorite conversation starter at the time).

Does this mean we never watch movies in the van?  Of course not!  But we do limit it to long trips (more than 2 hours), and we limit the number of movies allowed.  But by not having a permanent DVD player in the van it is much less tempting for me to give into their desire to watch TV wherever we go!!

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