Developmental Needs

Developmental needs differ depending on the age of the children. A Parenting Plan needs to be updated as it addresses the changing needs of the children. At all ages parents need to do whatever it takes to reduce their conflict.

Birth - 3 years

  • The foundations of basic trust are formed as children develop initial attachment(s). This process is followed by one of individuation and separation as well as assertion. Children in this age group thrive in an atmosphere of predictability and routine
  • A Parenting Plan needs to ensure that both homes have a similar routine and structure regardless of the individual parent’s parenting style Preschoolers (3 - 5 years)
  • Children continue to build on the foundation block of the first three years expanding their skills in language, relationships and feelings.
  • Discipline, routine and structure need to be predictable and consistent in parent’s homes.

School - Aged Children (6 - 12 years)

  • Children’s peers become important as their world expands they begin to refine their social skills.
  • This is a time of rules and children become aware of fairness.
  • A Parenting Plan needs to ensure that there is communication between the parents and the children are not torn between the parents and are not made part of parental issues.

Adolescents (13 - 20 years)

  • Adolescent will develop their own identity as they develop independence from the family.
  • Peer relationships continue to be important.
  • Ideas and values stabilise.
  • A Parenting Plan needs to consider the wishes of the adolescent.

Young adults (20-25 years)

  • This is a time when more intimate relationships may be formed.