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All Posts Tagged: Child

EMDR – help for anxiety and trauma

EMDR, or Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, is a psychotherapy used for individuals who have experienced severe traumatic events and have not resolved these experiences.

While originally developed to treat adults suffering from PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), the use of EMDR has successfully been implemented for children, especially those who have experienced a trauma or loss. Events such as a car accident, playground injury, abuse or neglect, or the loss of a family member or friend can often begin to trigger fear and anxiety. Separation and divorce are also sometimes a starting point to fears of abandonment in children. And, EMDR therapy has effectively been used with foster and adoptive children due to loss and many changes in their lives.

The thinking behind EMDR is that, when a traumatic or distressing experience occurs, it may overwhelm normal cognitive and neurological coping mechanisms. The person then inadequately processes the memory and associated stimuli and dysfunctionally stores the memory in an isolated memory network.

EMDR therapy involves focusing on the memory while following eye movements or bi-lateral movement, similar to REM sleep. It reprocesses the memory from past to present and gives the mind a new way of focusing toward mental healing. EMDR does not re-traumatize though because retelling is not processed, thus making it effective for children or clients who were wounded at a pre-verbal age.

The goal of EMDR therapy is to process these distressing memories in order to reduce their lingering influence and allow clients to develop more adaptive coping mechanisms.

One reason EMDR can be so effective is because it happens inside the client’s mind. Since people think, on average, seven times faster than they talk, and since EMDR doesn’t require the client to talk through everything he or she is mentally experiencing, it enables individuals to deal with traumatic memories more quickly.

Typically, the use of EMDR can cut therapy time from years to only months. While it takes a few sessions for children to learn the therapy before being used, some adults can find relief almost immediately. It is a gentle method and parents can participate in sessions with their young child.

According to the EMDR Institute, Inc. with children, “children most likely to benefit are those who have seen or experienced a trauma or loss.  A car accident, playground injury, abuse or neglect and the loss of a family member or friend can often begin to trigger fear and anxiety.  Separation and divorce are sometimes a starting point to fears of abandonment. “

 

EMDR can also be useful in treating children who have been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) because clearing away fear, or the “emotional noise,” helps children and families tackle the complexities of ADD. Sometimes medication may be needed, and coupled with EMDR, children are better able to focus, are less impulsive and more organized. In some cases, they may be able to leave the medication behind.

 EMDR can also treat other psychological problems, including:

  • Panic attacks
  • Eating disorders
  • Addictions
  • Anxiety, (such as discomfort with public speaking or dental procedures)
  • Trauma

 

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A girl’s father is one of the most influential people in her life

Josh and Emery Widener

A father’s influence in his daughter’s life shapes her self-esteem, self-image, confidence and opinions of men.

What matters in the father-daughter relationship is that Dad seeks to live a life of integrity and honesty, avoiding hypocrisy and admitting his own shortcomings, so that she has a realistic and positive example of how to deal with the world.

He should try to model a reflective approach to life’s big questions so that she can seek to do the same.

To learn more on how to build a positive meaningful relationship with your child contact Dr. Kay Trotter at: 214-499-0396, Kay@KayTrotter.com or visit her web site http://www.KayTrotter.com

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Parenting Your Teenager

By Dore Quinn, MEd, LPC – Dore is a licensed professional counselor, who works with those who are striving to overcome depression, anxiety, effects of sexual and physical abuse, grief, marital and parenting issues. Dore uses many different counseling modalities including traditional talk therapy, expressive art therapy, experiential therapy and play therapy (for the young ones).

I have often heard parents with young children lament the time when their child turns into a teen. For some reason, many look on that time with dread (could it be, perhaps, that many are thinking back to when they were a teen?). I have found the teen years to be fun, and quite different from having small children. There are many things we as parents can do to build a relationship with our teen.

To me, it begins with learning to allow our children to be his or her own person within the rules of the home.  I have often thought of how much easier this whole parenting thing would be if each child came with his/her own manual, but we all know they don’t.

I remember before having my first child thinking, “Wow…we are going to have it so easy between my easy-going personality (which I have since learned isn’t so easy-going) and their dad’s easy-going personality (which really is easy-going)!”  Yes, those of you with kids know how UNTRUE and naïve that thought is because what I didn’t realize at that time is that each child comes with his/her own personality.

Our children are not combinations of us, nor where they meant to be.  It took me a few years to recognize that I was trying to turn my oldest into a “mini-Dore” because the way I thought was the right way to think or else I wouldn’t be thinking it, right?   And yes, we clashed quite a bit until I realized what I was doing.  As I was going about trying to make her into a mini-me, I completely overlooked her own person.  The message I was sending without intending is that there was something wrong with her.

So then what was my job?  I determined that my job as a parent was not to turn her into a mini-me, but to love her, protect her, and teach her right from wrong.  It’s also important to not expect our children to be like their siblings.

In order to have a good relationship with your teen, home needs to be a safe haven from the rest of the world.  A saying that I have repeated over and over (and my kids can recite it verbatim) is that not everyone on the planet is going to love them, but their family will ALWAYS love them!

A good way to foster a “Home is a safe haven” environment is to NOT ALLOW sarcasm and nastiness among siblings.  We need to be sure we aren’t engaging in it as well, whether it is with a spouse or with our children.

Another important component of building a relationship with your teen is to learn to laugh.  Don’t be afraid to play and be playful.  We don’t always know the impact that having fun in our homes will have.  During my son’s first year of college out-of-state, he posted the following status on Facebook:  “To either Mom or Dad…whoever sees this first:  I was on Facebook with my iTunes on shuffle and “Love Will Keep us Alive” by The Eagles came on and it made me think about how a while back at the Buckner house on Saturday nights we would open all of the windows and the front door and play music on Dad’s stereo and dance around the living room…I’m tired of growing up.”  I had no idea that fun times such as that would be important to my son.

Lighten up!  Discipline on a “lighter note.”  For example, when your teen asks to come home one hour after his 12 o’clock curfew, instead of going into a long lecture on obedience, say something such as, “So what I hear you saying is, “Mom, I REALLY want to come home at 11:00?”  This is a much less intense confrontation.  Another example would be my son and I were joking around on the way to school, and he said something that was over the line.  We were pulling up to the school and I said, “Sorry Mom….” And he completely ignored me.  After he took two steps towards the front door of the school, I rolled down the window and said, “That’s okay…as soon as you get to the door I’m going to shout out to you if you remembered to take your anti-diarrhea medicine this morning.”  I got a prompt apology without offense being taken.

Another way to build a relationship with your teen is to learn to criticize less.  There is a distinct difference between consequences and criticism.

A CONSEQUENCE WOULD LOOK LIKE THIS

“Gee, since you chose to come home after curfew, you chose to not go out tomorrow.”

A CRITICISM LOOKS LIKE THIS

“Did you EVEN stop to think I would worry about you?  You are so irresponsible and don’t care about anyone but yourself!”

Criticism doesn’t address the actual problem; it merely makes a global statement about the other person’s character.  The problem with criticisms is that it elicits defensiveness, and seldom results in behavior change.  Especially be careful to not nit-pick the small things.

An example of nit-picking the small things would be giving your teen a hard time because he/she got a “B” on a test instead of an “A”.  Nit-picking results in a teen believing they can never do anything right in the eyes of the parent, so why bother?  Eventually they give up and then there are bigger problems.

Building a relationship with your teen can result in many years of joy and can offset the tough times that are bound to come along with your kids growing up

Keys to Remember

  • Allowing your children to be themselves
  • Not allowing meanness at home, learning to laugh
  • Disciplining with a lighter touch
  • Criticizing less

These are just a few ways to achieve a meaningful and fun relationship with your teen.

If it seems like a daunting task, pick one area and work to make one small change.

Even one small change will impact your relationship and your family in a positive way!

You can contact Dore at: 214-499-0396, Dore@KayTrotter.com or visit our web site www.KayTrotter.com.

Teen Depression is on the rise be sure you know the Warning Sings of Teen Depression 

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STAYING CONNECTED WITH YOUR TWEEN

Recently, I was asked to speak at a Middle School Parenting University and I wanted to share with you my 25-minute talk titled, “STAYING CONNECTED WITH YOUR TWEEN: 5 Keys You Need to Know”

As I prepared for my talk, my husband shared how, when our daughter was a pre-teen and in middle school, that he quickly learned he needed to be flexible during this time. Because, just like her developing hormones, one day she might act like she was 25 and the next day she would revert back to being his little girl.

HERE ARE THE 5 KEYS

1-Acknowledge vs. Dismiss

Many times parents dismiss their child’s feeling without even realizing it – How many times have you said:

“It’s just silly to feel that way.”

“You’ve been mad long enough.”

We would not like it if an adult said that to us and children are no different. If you dismiss a child’s feelings they don’t feel heard and they definitely don’t feel understood.

Instead, acknowledge how your child feels.

HOW?  By simply putting a name to what you see.

If you see they’re angry and frustrated put a name to it.

“You know what, it looks like your really frustrated.”

Acknowledging what it is they are feeling validates what they are feeling and lets them know that they have been heard.

By acknowledging them, you give them an awareness that you understand

2-Step Into Your Pre-Teen’s Reality

What this means is you are just going to LISTEN. Anything you try to do to fix things will just feel like an opinion or judgment to them. So, all your going to do is LISTEN and don’t try to fix it.

You’re going to actually  “step into what it feels like for them.”

Then you’re going to say, “Wow this sounds like a really difficult situation, and I can tell your trying to figure it out.  If you want or need my help on this one, please let me know.”

3-Teach Your Kids How To Manage Their Life

In the beginning stages, when children are younger, parents definitely manage their lives: we tell them what to do, how to do it, and when to do it. But, when they start entering into the pre-teen and teenage years, they start to pull away, (which is normal), and they don’t want you to always manage their life any more.

The problem is, they do not have the tools to manage their life, and so someone has to manage it for them. So, as you start to release the reins a bit, you need to start teaching them how to manage their life.

What this looks like is more of conservation. So, instead of getting angry with them because they are making mistakes, you talk about it. Ask them questions about the situation.

I’ve had parents ask me, “What if my daughter makes a mistake?” I tell them she is going to mistakes, we all do. But, knowing they are going to make mistakes, and that mistakes are good, they have a chance to learn though this process. Remember: you need to teach your child how to manage their life while you stop the process of managing it for them.

4-You Need Boundaries and Your Child to Be Able to Set Boundaries Too

The boundaries you set for your pre-teen are critical. They need to know that their weekday 9 o’clock bedtime means 9 o’clock. Not 5 minutes after, not 15 minutes after, and it does not mean they can try to negotiate it, 9 o’clock means 9 o’clock. Doing this is good for them so they really know where they are with you.

At this stage there is a lot of difference between a 6th grader and an 8th grader. I would suggest weekday bedtime curfew for 6th -7th graders be 9 o’clock. And most 8th graders are ready for a 10 o’clock bedtime curfew. On weekends you can extend their bedtime curfews by looking closely at each child’s individual sleep patterns. For example, say your child is night owl, like my nephew, so a weekend bedtime curfew an 8th grade night owl could be 1 o’clock in the morning.

Your child also needs to be able to have their boundaries for you as well. Just because they are pre-teens does not mean they don’t have rights. So, if they ask you, “Mom is there any way you can knock before you come into the bedroom?,” you need to respect that. Respect that they are setting a boundary.

If you want to teach your child to have boundaries, then you need to let your child to have boundaries as well. It’s really important that you have firm boundaries and they get to have boundaries as well.

5-Don’t Let Your Feelings Muddy the Water

Dealing with your own feelings around your pre-teen’s behaviorsIf you allow your fears to come into your child’s behavior you’re going to react to “your fears” and “not your child’s behavior” and it’s not going to be a good situation. Let’s say your child stayed up playing on the computer 45 minutes past their bedtime curfew and, when you discover this, it’s late, you’re tired, you’re worried too much computer time is hurting your child, you’e worried that if they are breaking this rule what other rules are they breaking that you don’t know about. So, you just react and say to them “You’re grounded from the computer. Get to your room and go to bed.” What do you think your child is thinking about when they go to their room? They are not thinking about what happened, their thinking about how their parents misunderstand them and how they don’t like their parents.

We don’t want that to be the lesson. We want the lesson to be – “When you say you’ll be in bed by 9, it’s really important that you keep your word and be in bed by then. If you want to develop a relationship based on trust and you want me to keep releasing the reins so you can manage your life, then you have to be a person of your word.” So you just sit with them and talk about that, so that the lesson comes out of it instead of their thinking about something different. It’s really important that you keep your fears out of it.

The first thing you might say to them is:

“Is everything OK? You’re 45 minutes past your bedtime.” And if they say, ”Yes, something did happen and this is what happened.” You give them the opportunity to explain what happened and then you can go into a teaching with them.

Or, if you choose to wait and address it with your child the next morning when you know you’ll be calmer, you might say this:

“It was very late when you finally went to bed last night.  It was past the time we agreed on.  I need to be able to trust you to follow thru on the things you say you will do.  It is important now and will only become more important as you get older.  We have to be able to trust each other.”

Here is a real-life situation from my sister and her pre-teen son that she shared with me:

“…. I got up to go to the bathroom and he was still up and it was way past bedtime curfew.  The first time, I just reacted and did the ‘mad thing’ and I do mean reacted; a gut response.  The next time it happened, I realized I was responding to ‘my fears’ and not ‘his behavior’ so, I took this approach…. he was in the other room on the computer and immediately turned it off and stealthily got into bed and feigned sleeping, once he realized I caught him.  I chose to let it go until the next day.  It was the weekend, so I knew I’d have time to speak with him the next day, which we did.  That was better because by then my gut was no longer in control, my heart was.  I sat down next to him so we were at the same level and we had a real conversation about trust.  I wasn’t mad and I spoke to him person-to-person; it was not a heated discussion or a one-way discussion.  We talked how important trust was, how it’s easy to lose and hard to earn back and why it was so important to me and to our relationship.  He shared how he felt as well.  I was heard and he was heard and he was reminded (because he already knew) how important the trust component is to our relationship and to his place as an upcoming young adult as well. 

“Thru our discussion I saw how important it was to him that I be able to believe the things he tells me; to trust he is telling the truth.  I also learned it is important to him that he doesn’t disappoint me.  We also discussed his ability to trust me.  He wants to trust I won’t cross his personal boundaries and trust that he is capable.  He wants to trust that I don’t read his email, for example.  I have his email password and he knows I could read his email at anytime, but he doesn’t want me to read it and needs to be able to trust me that I won’t.  I agreed I would not read his email without his permission but there may be a situation down the road that I would need to check his email, and I would ask for that permission first and with his full knowledge and I will stick to that.  I won’t break that trust, his trust of me is just as important as my trust of him. The conversation continued on from there, it actually went past the bedtime incident and into other things that were on his mind.”

OK PARENTS, THE 5 KEYS ARE:

  1. Acknowledge your child’s feelings
  2. Step into your pre-teens reality
  3. Help them learn how to manage their own life
  4. You Need Boundaries and Your Child to Be Able to Set Boundaries Too
  5. Don’t Let Your Feelings Muddy the Water

If you would like Dr. Kay Trotter to come talk to your group 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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Is Your Child Ready for Kindergarten?

KindergardenIs 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?

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.com

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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.

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The Task of Childhood Development – Ages 8-18

Boys on a forest road with backpacks

“The major task of childhood is to become “your own person”

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, and social 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.

My next blogs will include the characteristics of the “typical” child during each developmental stage from ages 8 to 18, including: Late Childhood 8-11, Early Adolescents 11-14, and Late Adolescents 14-18. 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.

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 

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

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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