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Life's difficult changes
Symptoms of transitional difficulty
Advice that has worked for generations
Talking to kids and teens about sexuality
Dealing with divorce over the holidays
Talking to children when a military parent is deploying
Print Life's Difficult Changes Parenting Guide (PDF, 22K)
Early Adolescent Sexual Risk Behavior: What Can Parents Do?
As children grow, they face many changes. Some are normal biological or physical changes in development, such as the "terrible twos," losing a tooth, fear of the dark, menstruation and puberty.
Other changes are imposed on children: the death of a friend or relative, moving to a new home or school, enduring a physical illness or injury, and divorce. Children need a consistent, nurturing and caring environment to successfully negotiate these changes and challenges.
Most parents have a good understanding of what constitutes normal child development. They know that bed-wetting is not serious at age 2 but can be at age 13. Temper tantrums that are tolerated in a toddler are unacceptable in an older child.
Becoming a parent is a developmental change of its own. Especially for first-time parents, there are many challenges, worries and fears, with too few guideposts.
Emotional problems are a normal and healthy part of a child's development. Dealing with these problems can be an opportunity for parents to learn about themselves and their children.
All children do not respond alike, even in similar situations, so parents with more than one child might be in for surprises. Parents must make adjustments in their responses to each child's individual temperament and personality.
Books, magazines, tapes, courses and support groups are available for guidance. We recommend that you use them, as well as your own parents, relatives and family doctor.
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