I was doing some searching on the net this morning and came across a program on child development from a Dr. Bruce Perry from Baylor Medical school. I'm guessing someone here sees the importance of why I mentioned what school he is with
This is what Dr. Perry suggests is normal development for someone between the ages of 6-12.
Between the time when children enter school and the time they reach adolescence is called middle childhood. This is about 6 to 12 years of age. Children's worlds are expanding from close family ties to outward relationships with friends, teachers, coaches, care-givers, and others outside the family.
Social and emotional development
During middle childhood (ages about 6-12) there are several characteristics that bug us as parents but that are very clear-cut with children.
* What do kids do that bug adults?
* What are fun things that kids age 6-12 like?
* What is important to kids age 6-12?
* What is the best way to talk to or relate to kids age 6-12?
* Powerful changes - accumulating knowledge
* Learning differentiation of sex roles
* Learning to take another person's point of view
* Impulsivity - "I don't know why I did it"
* Perceive themselves as defined through appearance, possessions, activities
* Mental changes which may be more stressful than physical changes
* Concrete thinkers
* Can grasp symbols and classify things
* Games with rules
* Rules are the basis for social exchange
* Challenges should be designed to practice rules
* Competitive vs cooperative activities
* Question authority and see adults are not always perfect
* Idolize sports stars, music stars, boy and girl friends
* Fragile sense of self
*(You may want to make this next section an overhead of bulleted items)
* There are signs of growing independence. Children are becoming so "worldly" they typically test their growing knowledge with back talk and rebellion.
* Common fears include the unknown, failure, death, family problems, and non-acceptance.
* Friends may live in the same neighborhood and are most commonly same sex peers. Children have on the average five best friends and at least one "enemy" who often changes from day to day.
* Children act nurturing and commanding with younger children but follow and depend on older children.
* Children are beginning to see the point of view of others more clearly.
* Children define themselves in terms of their appearance, possessions, or activities
* There are fewer angry outbursts and more ability to endure frustration while accepting delays of getting things they "want."
* Children often resolve conflict through peer judges who accept or reject their actions.
* Children are self-conscious and feel as if everyone notices even small differences (new hair cut, facial hair, a hug in public from a parent)
* Tattling is a common way to attract adult attention in the early years of middle childhood.
* Inner control is being formed and practiced each time decisions are made
* Around age 6-8, children may still be afraid of monsters and the dark, while these are replaced later by fears of school or disaster and confusion over social relationships.
* To win, lead, or to be first is valued. Children try to be the boss and are unhappy if they lose.
* Children often are attached to adults (teacher, club leader, caregiver) other than their parents and will quote their new "hero," or try to please him or her for their attention.
* Early in middle childhood "good" and "bad " days are defined as what is approved or disapproved by the family.
* Children's feelings get hurt easily. There are mood swings and often they don't know how to accept personal failure.
* Children can begin to think about their own behavior and see consequences for actions. In the early stages of concrete thinking, they can group things together that belong together (for instance babies, fathers, mothers, aunts are all family members). As children near adolescence, they master sequencing and ordering which are needed for math skills.
* Children begin to read and write early in middle childhood and should be skillful in reading and writing by the end of middle childhood.
* They can think through their actions and trace back events that happened to explain situations, such as why they were late to school.
* Children learn best if they are active while they are learning. For example, children will learn traffic safety by moving cars, blocks and toy figures rather than sitting and listening to an adult explain the rules.
* Six to 8 year olds can rarely sit for longer than 15-20 minutes for an activity. Attention span gets longer with age.
* Toward the beginning of middle childhood, children may begin projects but finish few. Allow them to explore new materials. Nearing adolescence, children will focus more on completion.
* Teachers set the conditions for social interactions to occur in schools. Understand children need to experience various friendships while building esteem.
* Children can talk through problems to solve them. This requires more adult time and more sustained attention by children.
* Children can focus attention and take time to search for needed information.
* They can develop a plan to meet a goal.
* There is greater memory capability because many routines (brushing teeth, tying shoes, bathing, etc.) are automatic now.
* Self-image as a "worker" emerges. If encouraged, this is positive in later development of career choices.
* Many children want to find a way to earn money.
Well, I see how I missed out on a lot of what's considered normal for these years. Plus, I see how in some ways I was severely stunted in development headed into these years. other than that things are looking very warm and fuzzy.
The most obvious places I see where I was not close to being in the "normal" areas would be regarding seeing the consequences of my behavior and in being able to talk through problems. I recall once getting caught shoplifting one Sunday afteroon when I was somewhere around 7 or 8 years-old . At the time our telephone wa disconnected so there was no way for the store to contact my parents. So they sent me home with a note that I was supposed to give them and have my parents contact the store. I "lost" the note on the way home and nothing was ever said about it. Poof! It never happened. This set a very disturbing trend not only of me repeatedly testing the limits, going well past accetable societal limits, and learning more often than not that the rules that seemed to apply to others were not applicable toward me. I got away with a lot, a stunning lot, from very early until well into my adult years. This is something that has been slowly changing over the past ten years, but the lesson I learned definitely made an impact on some part of my mind.
Of course during this years my parents were teaching me strange ways of looking at the world. When the family finances were getting in desperate shape my Father's standard reaction to try and buy a new car so they could get a cash back deal. He was pretty unsuccessful in convincing my Mother to go along with this but I remember going with him on several test drives of new cars. I suppose the whole incident with him with the gun in the bathroom taught me a lot about testing the norms of society and coming out smellling not too bad. His refusing to pay child support with any kind of consistency and my Mother's ineffective response to all this was a teacher as well. Then they were my siblings in their drugs, sneaking out of the house in the middle of the night to go hitchhiking around the town, and God knows what all else some of them may have been doing. I guess finding a healty teacher in this environment was too much for me to accomplish.
I definitely learned from my parents that you don't talk about problems, you go out of your way to avoid them. My dad was unemployed for almost two years in the aftermath of my sister's death. I'm told he would sleep on the coutch all day with the drapes pulled so the bill collectors wouldn't know he was home. In recent years its become increasingly clear my Mother's main concern was her own fear of what people would think if they knew the truth about this family. She has told me she was raised to believe a family should take care of their own problems and not ask for help. Fine and good up to the point where it becomes obvious to all concerned that this is not happening. My cousin talks about how our entire family has a long history of covering things up to make them appear okay until the next elephant falls through the roof. oh well, looking at all this does help me see in terms of some developmental issues what I should have been getting during this period and pretty obviously wasn't getting. Now maybe I can do some of the exercises and other things to begin looking at how I might bring these stages into my life.