Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Exploring “Normal Development”

Every State has a Department of Education where folks can go to and get a Chart of “Normal Development.” Most charts are essentially the same. They are broken down into age groups and explore educational goals for learning. There are also some important emotional and social skills associated with the educational system required of students that are also discussed. By getting this listing, a parent can make an educated guess as to the progress their child is making toward what is considered “Normal Development.” Needless to say, sometimes the skills a child learns at school is not followed up on at home because the structure they are provided at school is also not consistent with the home atmosphere. As a teacher, I cannot tell you how many times a parent would come into the parent-teacher conference and beg me to tell their son or daughter to behave at home. Parenting skill training is available through various social service agencies and can assist in the development of parental skill building necessary to help a child grow cognitively, emotionally and socially fit. Some of the classes can be obtained for no or low cost. Most of society would prefer that a parent admit when they need help and seek it instead of having a horrific accident occur to the child before they admit they needed help! If raised properly, a child’s social skills by the time he or she is at age six include: the ability to choose their own friends, play simple table games, become involved in group activity, help others make decisions by offering on-topic suggestions including helping others make team assignments, and practice fair play. The parent who is unaware may believe, because their child of six has all this ability, that child can be left alone to fend for themselves. They hand them a key for the pool, a baseball or basketball and head for the T.V. Many children left on their own, called "latch key kids", have gotten into trouble or killed due to lack of supervision. It is not uncommon for children to drown unsupervised. It is also not uncommon for a child to be killed by someone backing out of their driveway. These accidents are easily avoidable with adult supervision.

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