Childhood Health

Behaviour
Raising school-age children can be an amazing experience.  Watching them try out new activities, cheering for them at athletic events and rewarding their accomplishments are some of the highlights of parenthood.  However, achieving success is often preceded with frustration and sometimes learning to accept one’s weaknesses. This is the time for children to start learning how to embrace their weaknesses and develop their strengths.

While toddlers and preschoolers need constant supervision, children between 6 to 12 years old become gradually prepared to be independent.  However, learning to make the right choices and exercise self-discipline does not come naturally for many. Parents need to be able to impart a moral code that the child gradually adopts.

As children struggle with these important tasks, parents must be able to provide compliments and encouragements for their accomplishments. At the same time parents must also allow them to experience the consequences of their behavior to help them learn from their own mistakes.


Development
There is no doubt that for most families, the teen years present a challenge for both parents and children.

Middle School is not fondly remembered by most who attend.  It is often fraught with scary body changes, bullying by peers and a new surge for independence.  This leads to passive-aggressive behaviours, self-consciousness, self-doubt and/or over-confidence and of course, moodiness.

High School is usually better for most.  It is a time to really begin defining ones self and realistically contemplating the future.  Skill developments are accelerated to prepare for college or job training programs.  Talents are perfected. Social skills are honed and relationships take on more of a serious nature.  Peer pressure is at its peak and in today’s teenage society, there are more tempting sidetracks than ever.

During adolescence, kids need their parents the most. Research shows that a positive family environment includes fun family activities; open parent-child communication and the encouragement to participate in positive extracurricular and community activities. This way, teens are able to navigate these years relatively with ease.