Monday, July 30, 2012

Monday: Have Kids? Plan to? READ THIS.

Personally, when I think back upon my years in childhood, I am often surprised at the way I used to understand things. I distinctly remember telling a lie to my friend when I was younger, but not realizing the at the time that it was a lie at all. Only in retrospect did this puzzle me. Too often, it is easy to erroneously believe that children see the world the way that we do.
They don't.
Make your own parenting and your children's lives better by understanding their world through their eyes, not your own.

Use this handy guide to help you figure things out.

PS: Not meant to tell you how to discipline or raise your kids- I just think it is helpful to better understand where your kids are coming from.
Stage Name
Cognitive Ability

Sensorimotor Stage
* No concept of time
* Understanding of the world based upon senses (no reasoning)
* Touch, smell, sight, sound and taste incredibly important
* Expose your infant to many different, healthy experiences
* Cannot understand life from someone else’s point of view
* Can DO an action but cannot THINK the action through (i.e., can crawl, but doesn’t understanding the different steps in order to crawl)

Pre-operational Stage
* Begins to see the world through pictures in their mind
* Can now THINK an action through (i.e., can imagine sticks making a play-house and then use sticks to make a play-house)
* Have difficulty understanding difference between imagination and reality (if they imagine a scary monster, that monster can be as real as if it had walked through the door)
* Cannot think as well using logic; does much better reasoning through pictures than with words

Concrete Operational Stage
* Can now think logically (i.e., If I push my brother over, it will hurt him and he will be upset)
* Logic limited to what can be seen/done (i.e., understands pushing brother over, but can’t imagine the steps in an algebraic equation)
* Able to classify objects (i.e., “This is BAD. Things like this are BAD. This is GOOD. Things like this are all GOOD.)
* Understands some of others’ feelings
* Can see a little from another’s point of view
12- Adulthood
Formal Operational Stage
* Can reason more abstractly
* Has stronger ability to understand another’s point of view
* Does not need a picture/visual stimulus to understand how something works (i.e., doesn’t necessarily need a diagram; can understand description words on their own)


* Starts to envision “a perfect world” (i.e., can understand what an ideal circumstance would be, even if it is not possible)
* Can understand better how their actions can change their future course in life

Why is it important? If you, as a parent, understand where your child is coming from, you can better address their needs!
*If you try to tell a four-year-old a list of consequences for a specific action, they will not understand your logic. They'll know you are upset, but not truly understand why. A better approach would be to draw out a picture visually. You could draw a picture: The street, a car, and a sad face. Show them, using a picture, that if they go out in the street, a car could hit them, and they would be sad. Because they cannot think very rationally, a picture would make more sense to them

*When your child reaches 7 or 8, you know that they have a concept of 'good' and 'bad'. Because of that, you can ask them what 'good' and 'bad' things are in their eyes, and be understanding, and not using some kind of punishment that they view as completely bad

*When your child is 13, you'll know that "Don't go there, it's bad!" will not be nearly as effective as "If you go there, this is the consequence; in a perfect world, you don't want that consequence, so stay away from there"
As always, kids and teens are CRAZY! Best of luck to you as you figure out how to be the best mom/dad ever~!  You might be surprised that the kind of discipline you use might be way over (or under) your child's understanding and be less effective. Just remember, if you know how your comments and actions are understood by your child, you will have a better chance at solid, understandable discipline.

*Stages based on Piaget's Theory of Cognitive Development

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