|When Your Child is 6 to 12||John M. Drescher|
This little book discusses a most intriguing time of childhood called middle childhood -- those years when a child is ages six to twelve. We could call this period "the missing age of childhood," because these years are too seldom researched or written about. Yet these are prime years for particular preparation for adolescence and adulthood. Here is the great age of imitation when the child wants so much to be like parents and others whom the child admires, when the child will go to almost any extent to be like those who are the child's heroes. Children at this age seek to excel in areas for which they have received compliments and try to please persons whom they admire.
While all stages of child development are significant, middle childhood is especially crucial in the development of the inner life, which prepares the child for the rest of life. Here the foundations are laid for the teen years. And since the middle years pass so rapidly and with relative ease because the child loves to please, parents are inclined to miss the nurturing and preparation so essential during the years six through twelve.
The author gives primary emphasis to children's moral and emotional development. He touches very little on their physical development.
Children have a primary need to be loved by their parents. But, in child-rearing, love is not the only prerequisite for parenthood. Understanding is a second great requirement. The child needs a love which carries a special kind of insight into the child's world, which feeds the child's spirit. This love should give the child the inner strength to build firm and healthy concepts about self and about life itself. In addition, the child needs the kind of moral guidance which gives the child a sense of responsibility and reverence, in order to make right decisions and to respect other people.
Table of Contents 1. Parents' Last Great Opportunity Holding Your Child Spending Time With Your Child Instilling Values Reading to Your Child Teaching the Facts of Sex 2. Characteristics of Middle Childhood A Latency Period The Need for Affection The Child's Emotional Growth The Need for Encouragement Active and Noisy A Sense of Industry and Competence The Smart Age The Need to Belong The Need to Discuss Ideas and Do Things Together A Love of Adventure The Need for Rules 3. Guided by Imitation The Age of Imitation The Power of Example Model, Don't Order A Sense of Selfhood Identity Adequacy Worth 4. Development of the Conscience Conscience Takes Shape Developing a Strong Conscience What About Rules Now? Proper Motivation for Obedience The Goal Spiritual Dimensions Three Parables 5. Development of Dependability Encourage the Child's Own Resourcefulness Trust with Small Projects Early Catching Their Parents' Spirit Point Out a Child's Dependability Regular Chores Shared Experiences Beware of Unreasonable Demands Organized Groups Can Help The Place of Praise Give the Child a Choice 6. The Demise of Childhood Let Children Be Children Unreal and Hurtful Pressure at Other Places Why All the Pressure? Reaching for a Remedy Examine Family ValuesWe've been overrun with child-rearing manuals for infants. We've been swamped with advice for relating to teens. But little has been offered to parents whose children are in middle childhood!
These are, observes Drescher, years of primarily happy companionship between children and parents. No longer as dependent as a preschooler and not yet as independent as a teenager, the child between ages 6 and 12 is a malleable being, inclined to imitate his or her parents, looking for the safety of parental love.
The relative ease of this age may lead parents to believe that their job as parents is nearly done. Not so, asserts Drescher. "While all stages of child development are significant, middle childhood is especially crucial in the development of the inner life which prepares the child for the rest of life."
Drescher's book is a call to enjoy these years, but to not mistake their importance by neglecting the child who seems happy and content. Drescher inspires and never intimidates. He delivers his advice with compassion and care.
96 pages. Paperback. Good Books
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