Being a mother of two, I feel that every day brings with it a challenge of a new sort. And each child faces a different set of problems. People said that raising a second child is easy because you have faced a lot of things earlier! But it is a misconception.
If my elder one sailed smoothly during his infancy, the younger one troubled me. While the younger one started speaking easily, I had to make a lot of effort with my elder son in terms of speaking. So it’s clear, challenges faced by kids are different from one kid to another.
Experts say that though each child is different, and kid faces different challenges at different stages of their life.
Here are some facts that will help you understand the kids’ perspective and be a better parent.
Stages are the broad classification of ages. They are used to outline key periods in developmental domains like intellectual, social, physical, emotional, and language. Just like our body, our brain has evolved from primitive’s times.
But the intellectual part of the brain is still not able to differentiate between the types of threats. Whereas the frontal lobe of the brain controls- problem-solving, impulse control, judgment, sexual and social behavior!
At a younger stage, our emotions govern our decision making, but as we grow older, we learn to control them. Therapists explain that at each stage, the challenges that a child faces are different.
As his brain develops, he learns to cope up with the full range of his emotions. Since each child grows at his own pace, it is difficult to categorize them broadly in a defined age gap; still, according to the experts, these are the different developmental stages and the challenges faced by kids during that time.
What Challenges Children The Most, According To Their Age?
1. Infants and toddlers (0-3 years)
Children at this stage are not very vocal, but psychologists believe that they feel a wide range of emotions from grief, anger, and fear to joy and excitement. Though they are unable to comprehend and consequently express themselves. They are too young to understand these feelings.
As a parent, we must notice these feelings through gestures and expressions. We must be sensible and sensitive towards them and help them embrace these emotions.
Experts say be patient with them. And help them recognize these emotions by observing them closely.
2. Preschoolers (3-6 years)
The child wants to be independent around this age. The kid is super active, and the parent is frustrated, according to Michele Borba’ author of “The Big Book of Parenting Solutions.”
The child would like to test the limit of the parent by practicing saying a lot of “NO.”
At this stage, the kids want to experiment with the rules and limits. What a parent can do is to be firm and introduce some boundaries. Children can read the mood of the parent very quickly. They will test these boundaries and changes in rules.
Experts say that preschoolers need to have plenty of space and time to be free.
Set a timetable and rules for the kids to follow. So that they can be level-headed and not test the boundaries much as they would have time to be free and time to be responsible.
3. School Age (6-12)
Uncertainty sets in during this stage. Though they are independent in most of their daily routine, they require their parents’ advice as they come in contact with the world that is a bit different and bigger than their home. They might have a fear of rejection and being left alone.
But having a loving and nurturing environment at home and school would help them cope. They would be properly equipped to make new friends and expand their circle of trust.
Experts say that children need not be pampered but must be showered with praises.
Let them experience the consequences of their actions and behavior. Explain the logic behind these consequences, which would enable them to learn from their mistakes. Never protect them; it would only delay their development.
4. Teenagers (13-19 years)
This is the age when the child is no longer a child; he has become a young adult. This the age when the child is distressed with a number of challenges! They are aggravated due to puberty. The pressure from peers and society is the biggest challenge of a teenager. This is also the stage when the teenager might fall for bad habits like substance abuse.
According to the Child Development Institute- Teenagers need their parents more than ever.
But a positive family environment filled with love and family activities along with proper communication and encouragement; teenage can be relatively easy.
Experts say that be a friend to the teenager, but do not force them to open up to you.
No matter the stage/age, a parent’s job is never over. Shower the kid with love and support and, at the same time, know the difference between support and misguided love. Assure them of your love, but do not stifle them with pampering. Positive and healthy relationships are the key for the child to develop and face all the challenges. He would turn out to be a level-headed adult.
What do you think are the challenges faced by your kids? Drop your thoughts in the comments and hit thumbs up if you liked this article!