As children develop from infants to teens to adults they go through a series of developmental stages that are important to all aspects of their personhood including physical, intellectual, emotional and social. The proper role of the parent is to provide encouragement, support and access to activities that enable the child to master key developmental tasks.
A parent is their child’s first teacher and should remain their best teacher throughout life. Functioning as a coach, the parent exposes a child to age appropriate challenges to encourage development as well as to experiences that allows the child to explore on their own and learn from interacting with their environment. Child Development specialists have learned that from birth children are goal directed to experiment and learn from each experience.
Child Development experts have taken the concept of scaffolding from the building trades. Just as scaffolding is put up to support the structure of the building as it is being built and gradually taken down as the building is able to stand on its own, a parent needs to provide the necessary support for a child to allow them to safely and productively explore and learn from their environment. As the child matures and develops mastery the scaffolding is removed or changed to allow the child to become more independent. If the child is not quite ready, the support is reinstated and then gradually withdrawn once again.
The information here provides parents with the knowledge and guidelines and tools to provide the support, guidance and learning experiences necessary for their child to grow and develop according to his/her unique developmental blueprint.