The Toddler Stage
The toddler phase is so important because they absorb so much in such a short time, their learning ability is keen, and they change so fast. You can see this for yourself. In just three years kids learn to speak, walk, and even manipulate us. But these skills barely scratch the surface.
From the "Facts for Life" Website
“A child's brain develops rapidly during the first five years of life, especially the first three years. It is a time of rapid cognitive, linguistic, social, emotional and motor development. For example, a child learns many words starting at around 15–18 months. Rapid language learning continues into the preschool years.
The child's brain grows as she or he sees, feels, tastes, smells and hears. Each time the child uses one of the senses, a neural connection is made in the child's brain. New experiences repeated many times help make new connections, which shape the way the child thinks, feels, behaves and learns now and in the future.
A close relationship between the child and the caregiver is the best way to nourish the child's growing brain. When a caregiver plays with and sings, speaks, reads or tells a story to the child and nurtures her or him with healthy food, love and affection, the child's brain grows. Being healthy, interacting with caregivers and living in a safe and clean environment can make a big difference in a child's growth, development and future potential.”
But then there are the Teens
The teen phase is so important because the consequences of mistakes can be so dire! Teens are half-adult and half-child with an ever changing and developing brains. “After infancy, the brain's most dramatic growth spurt occurs in adolescence, and that growth means things get a little muddled in a teen mind.”
It can be tough dealing with teens because they are bigger, louder and can cause more damage. Therefore, it helps to get to know them better. An article that attempts to do this is, “10 Facts Every Parent Should Know about Their Teen's Brain”. It is an insightful article from "LiveScience" and just one of many that can help you understand what’s going on inside the head of your teen child.
What your children learned as toddlers can have a tremendous impact on how they handle their teen years. But even if you did the best you could at the time, with all the knowledge you could gather, you will still have struggles with your teen children. The only question is the frequency and magnitude of any issues and how well you compromise on workable solutions. But there should never be compromise with safety!
Don’t give up on your teen children! They can be very challenging but you can get through it. Be like a Boy Scout and “Be Prepared”. You will survive if you just focus on the big picture and not fret over every little incident. After all, it is likely that you were no angel when you were a teen either. It’s just your turn in the barrel.