Podcast #2:

An understanding of child development is so important, because it can completely change the way you parent your child.

Don’t miss the “face painting” story! 🙂 

Listen here:  https://drbarbarasorrels.com/podcast/Episode%20Two%20-%209_30_17.mp3

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Here’s our printable 1-page Nurture NotesPrintable notes from Podcast #2 – Dr. Barbara Sorrels

Child Development

  1. What does an understanding of childhood development give you as a parent?
  • Children are not just miniature adults! They don’t think or act like adults. So we need different expectations. 
  • Children are born unfinished. The only part of the brain that is mostly complete at birth is the brain stem. They do things for reasons that are not obvious to the adult. 
  • The same behavior at different stages communicates different things, and warrants different responses. For example: sharing or meltdowns.
  • When you hook young children up to measure brain waves , the readings  look like the brain waves of an adult on a psychedelic drug! 


Sometimes parents misinterpret a child’s immature behavior as something that needs to be disciplined because they don’t understand that it is a developmental incapacity, or a developmental phase that needs to be better understood.

Examples of a developmental incapacity

    1. The two year old who doesn’t share
    2. Meltdowns can be caused by fatigue, hunger and over stimulation—developmental incapacity to self regulate
    3. We want kids to be “independent” way before they are developmentally ready (sleep through the night, self soothe, etc.)
    4. Don’t confuse “responsible” with “independent

Examples of behavior that is the result of maturation of a child

    1. The 9-month old baby throwing a toy off the tray of the high chair probably just shows they don’t grasp the concept of “object permanence”
    2. Two-year-old saying “no” shows the birth of the autonomous self and is not necessarily rebellion
    3. The four year old potty talk shows they notice the power of words to shock
    4. Five year old who tells stories shows the realization that they can have a thought that other people don’t know
  1. Many parents feel that one of their primary roles as is to discipline their children.  What might discipline look like when you take child development into consideration? 
  • I would agree that one of the primary roles of a parent is to discipline—but in the context of guidance, coaching, emotional support or teaching a new skill—not punishment!
  • Baby throwing a toy: get the plastic links that can attach to the high chair
  • Ignore the “no” and give two “yes”s
  • Potty talk: ignore. Those are not good words—
  • The five year old who tells lies. Not necessarily a moral issue, depending on age and development.
  1. How do we come alongside our children and guide and teach them rather than punish?
  • Focus on the relationship
  • What does my child need? I have to adjust and set the child up for success. Is the tantrum about a legitimate unmet need?
  • A fear-based approach to parenting results in heavy-handed punishment. 
  • Keep it playful
  • Appropriate expectations for the particular age of the child
  • Be in control without being controlling
  • Behaviors that require a consequence

Understanding ages and stages is crucial to parenting. Misunderstanding ages and stages will lead to bad decisions. Keep it playful!

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