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At Better Balance Counselling, we recognise that parenting comes with HUGE pros and cons. And sometimes it’s difficult to decide what the course of action is for you child when faced with a problematic situation or behaviour.

Areas of concern for parents differ depending on their child and their situation; but can involve anything from behavioural issues, problems with emotion regulation and social interaction, development delays, problems regarding self esteem and bullying, as well as significant changes within the child’s life such as loss or separation.

We offer a supportive environment, in which you can voice your concerns about your parenting situation and your children. We recognise that there are so many varying dynamics within each family situation, we are here to listen to YOUR situation, and cooperatively decide which course of action is best you and YOUR child(ren).

Whether it be implementing some behavioural change interventions, informing you about some parenting skills or communication skills, or just allowing you a moment to offload what’s going on, we are here to help so that your interactions with your child(ren) can improve.

Contact us now.

 

 

 

 

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Stages of Child Development: which stage is your child in?
(based on ‘The Secret of Happy Children: A Guide for New Parents, Steve Biddulph, 1984)

  • This is the point where a child learns how their interactions can affect their environment. E.g if they cry; does someone come immediately? Are they left to self settle? Or just unheard?  This is when a child begins to educate themself about their world; tasting, touching, grabbing, and learning what sort of responses these explorations have.
  • Children become mobile during this stage, and so things like child-proofing need to be taken account. Toddlers can be especially tiring, because of their exploratory nature, but it’s important that they’re free of demands to perform e.g. toilet training, being well behaved and so forth, so that their own personality can develop.
  • This is when a child begins to use reasoning, so justifying situations can become easier. Part of this is called the ‘terrible twos’ phase where boundaries are set, which will constantly be set. Research has repeatedly proven that realistic boundaries  are essential for a child’s development. At this stage, the child may also switch back from being independent to dependent in seconds, it’s about letting the child know you are there, but also allowing them the space to explore their environment themself. Socially, children move from playing alongside other children to playing with them. And linguistically, words generally start flowing around this stage; along with always loved “why?”.
  • Children are sponges throughout their lives, but at this stage in particularly, they start to test out behaviours with others and can hold discussions about more appropriate behaviour (best phrased positively “please pick up your car”, rather than”stop being so untidy”). It’s important not to tease or diciule the child at this age as they can easily withdraw. Fantasy becomes more apparent in a child’s play, and their imagination can take leaps as they test out scenarios during play that they have witnessed in others; e.g. parents, television, movies. This is why superhero play and the like are so popular at this stage.
  • A child’s knowledge of ‘the way things work’ and the ‘rules of life’ is used to navigate their way through school, friends and life in general. Parents can help with these ‘rules’ by being firm on the important ones, but negotiating and compromising the negotiable ones. This way, the child learns some independence, as well as compromising skills. Challenging and arguing with the child can actually be useful, if done in a gentle, interested way so that they can refine their thinking abilities and better understand other’s needs. It’s important for parents to also have their own interests now, so that they don’t become ‘helicopter’ parents who are too involved within their children’s lives. This is the practice stage for adult life, so interests and energies outside the family increase, but it’s important that a supportive and consistent base occurs at home.
  •  The teenage years have much to be said about them, but generally at this stage the child takes steps towards independence, and then steps back to the safety of being a child. They might be reasonable one moment and rebellious and argumentative the next. All part of the pleasure of being a parent, enjoying each moment for what it is, and learning that each stage is just the child experimenting with who they are, and what they are to become.