Growth and Development in Children and Teens - By Barrington H. Brennen


Growth and Development in Children and Teens


/ Prenatal-Birth

Birth bonding. Evidence suggest that birth-bonding is likely to evoke a lifelong improvement in parent-children relationship (Joy, 108-148)

Major principles of growth:

) Each child has his own pattern or growth.

) Growth within an individual may be "uneven."

) Growth is sequential; it proceed through predictable stages

) Growth is wholistic.

) All development is based upon the interaction between heredity and environment

/ Infancy (birth - 2 years): A Time For Love and Trust

Physical Development

) A period of rapid growth

) Progressive development of motor skills

) Nutritional needs

) A time to establish routines

Intellectual Development

) Takes hold of the world with his eyes and mouth long before the she can experience it with her hands

) A wealth of sensory-motor experiences without over-stimulation.

) By 9 months, the discovery of a world apart from themselves.

) The dawn of thinking

) Language Development


Emotional Development

) A need for love. Parents, give your children love: love in babyhood, love in childhood, love in youth.

) Developing security and early ability to postpone gratification.

Social Development

) Importance of mother.

) Beginning of faith and self-worth rooted in early social achievement of letting mother out of sight without undue panic.

/ Early Childhood (2-6 Years): A time for Habit Formation

Children become more integrated during this period. How they behave and feel is now affected by the combined sum of what’s happening within them intellectually, socially, physically, spiritually and emotionally at any given time.

Physical development

) Importance of good health and professional care

) Male/female differences

) Early par of this period marked by advancing coordination and greatly expanding mobility.

) Safety a very important consideration

) Preference for right-handedness or left-handedness becomes apparent

Intellectual development

) Importance of early home influence in future intellectual development

) Growing ability to interpret raw data picked up by senses

) Learns letters, colors, shapes and simple number concept

) Maturing spatial relations shills

) Ability to distinguish between complex shapes and familiar sounds.

) A time for habit formation

) A time to teach children about privileges and responsibilities

) A period for encouraging self-confidence

Emotional development

) Importance of limits

) Dealing with tempter tantrums

) Ability to appropriately express positive and negative emotions essential to healthy growth.

) Learning self-control and ability to delay gratification continues

Social Development

) Increasingly more independent and sociable.

) Setting a child up for relational success.

) Importance of play and contact with other children

/ Middle-Later Childhood (6-12): A Time for Achievement

Physical development

) More concern for growth and motor abilities than body image

) Slow and steady growth

) Healthy sense of personal worth enable children to be generally accepting of their bodies.

) The best years for correcting physical defects.

) Increased awareness of family dynamics as well as broadening circles if involvement in church and school require opportunities to talk and release emotional tension.

) To be able to do what other children of this age are doing is highly prized.


Intellectual development

) School years broaden horizons of experience and authority

) Importance of school readiness

) Bring their school work home with pride

) Development of powerful new mental operations and logic

) Development of language skills

) Learning to think in reverse

) Classification skills increasingly more complex

) Vocabularies more than double

) Developing thinkers


Emotional development

) Growth in ability to deal with emotions

) Developing inner controls

) Coping with grief and loss


Social development

) Identify closely with significant adults in their lives

) Strongest influence is still with the family

) Importance of same sex role modeling an opposite sex approval.

) A group-oriented, gang age

) Struggle between desires for independence and dependence.

) Sex cleavage

) Making memories


/ Adolescence: A Time for Independence and Identify

This is a difficult period to define. It is bounded by puberty on one end and adult competencies on the other. There are marked differences in the rate of development both between children and within the same child.

Physical development

) Fixation with body and physical development

) Onset of puberty

) Physical heigh and weight growth spurts

) Sex hormones foster sexual development.

) Importance of education regarding sexuality and changes to be expected.

) Importance of nutrition and awareness of eating disorders


Intellectual development

) Growth in thinking process brings new questions

) Capacity to thing in terms of symbols are possibilities

) New ability to consider multiple variables

) Ability to reason both inductively and deductively.


Emotional development

) Threatened equilibrium

) Pull between safety of childhood and desire for independence

) New understanding of emotions

) Need for safe place to release emotions in presence of assured acceptance an love

Social development

) Working through separation and individuation.

) New opportunities for parents

) Talents and gifts emerge

 ) Importance of peers



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