Personality Development of your child | Basic Rules for parents of an Adolescent - India Parenting Tips - To deal with common parenting issues

Monday, August 6, 2018

Personality Development of your child | Basic Rules for parents of an Adolescent

Like every parent, I was very keen to know how to develop a right personality for my kids that can make them strong, independent and confident individuals having a charismatic personality and positive attitudes. So I started doing my own research to find out how to foster personality development for children.

My article today would talk in depth about personality development of children across various stages and our role as a parent in assisting our kids to develop and grow in their full potential.
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Personality Development of your child | Basic Rules for parents of an Adolescent

Before we begin our discussion I would like to recall the words of Joseph Smith who had beautifully stated that the minds and the spirits that God has sent us down to this world has the full capacity of ‘enlargement.' (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, sel. Joseph Fielding Smith [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Company, 1938], p. 354). God helps our children to grow in their true potential. In addition to this, the devil, Satan cannot tempt children until they reach the stage of an adolescent. This means that parents have a very crucial role to play to help develop the true personality of their children to their full capacity of enlargement. With their constant effort, hard work, alertness and prompt actions they can make a huge difference in fostering and developing the personality of their kids.

Another great psychoanalyst, a doctor that I had found interesting was Sigmund Freud who spoke about the five stages of development for children namely the oral stage, the anal stage, the latency stage, and the genital stage. Erickson's psycho-social theory gave more light to this concept as he had included adolescent stage as well which is a very crucial stage of personality development for the children. While Freud's psycho-sexual theory was more of biological factors influencing personality development, Erikson's theory widened the scope by adding environmental as well as social factors influencing children's development.

After reading and understanding all the above ideas and keeping the various theories in mind, I decided to add my thoughts and understanding through my practical experiences.

For understanding purpose, I have divided children of various age group into stages as given below:

Stage 1 - Birth till the age of 3 (Infancy)

Traits and basic characteristics: 

Children at this stage enjoy being loved and cuddled. They also like actions and things in motion. For example, carrying them or hugging them or playing with them and so on.


This is a very crucial level for the child as trust and confidence develop at this stage. The child sees the world through the mother. They tend to absorb everything that they see around with their senses as well as movements.

Your Role as a Parent: 

Be patient when handling your child when he or she is moody or cranky. They do not know how to streamline their emotions into actions.

Ensure that you provide lots of affection and love for your child which is actually reassuring the child helping him to be more self-confident and optimistic.

Remember that at this stage he or she has a limited span for attention and he or she would only like things that grab his or her attention. So do not force him or her to like something or do something. Let him or her have the choice to like or dislike. That would develop his independent thinking.

In order to develop his or her creative and linguistic skills to read our short stories which have more pictures and illustrations than words.

It is also a good idea to play small games like Peek-a-boo, repetition and memory games, card games and so on.

Ensure that you have rules for every activity to plan to play with the child and a learning outcome. However, do not try to teach or explain to your child about rules. At this stage, he or she won't understand about rules if you try to explain them.

Stage 2 – Age 3 to 7 years

Traits and basic characteristics: 

There are certain basic traits for children at this stage. Sometimes it might be difficult to handle children at this stage. They try to use their own judgments and start taking actions accordingly. Disagreements might be common. When others talk he or she might try to interrupt but might find it difficult to continue with one activity for a long time.

Children sometimes become unwilling to share with others or follow any rules and regulations. However, they like to listen to stories which are short, full of illustrations and adjectives.

At this stage, children try to develop independent thought like perhaps not willing to accept your help when you know he or she might need your help to complete a particular task or activity. It could be a drawing or any other task that involves hand and eye coordination and other motor skills.


As your child gets exposure to the outside world, he needs to feel more secure within his family.

Further, it is important to ensure that he or she gets enough space and skills to do tasks independently.

Every child at this stage thinks that the world around him and she is exactly the same way as he or she thinks it to be. He or she hardly cares about other possibilities. Keeping many thought and ideas for a long time in their head is an impossible task for them. Hence what he or she does is to look for other interesting ideas or actions. He or she lacks focus at this stage. And it is absolutely okay.

Your Role as a Parent: 

Give simple activities to the children at this stage. Example holding a book or reciting a rhyme together or even singing a song.

Involve him or her in your daily household activities. They are a part of his or her life skills development. It could be making a sandwich or folding clothes or keeping things at their proper places. The child enjoys working with things of daily needs and feels confident in the process of doing kinds of stuff for the family. He or she would feel to be equally important and a responsible member of the family.

The children at this stage do not reason things out as adults do. Hence do not over expect things from them. They still see the world as it seems to be. So be careful not to judge them for their actions and behaviors.

Stage 3 - Age 7 to 12 years.

Traits and basic characteristics: 

Children at this stage prefer the company of their same sex. Mostly boys appear to be less open to display of emotions and affections as they feel shy and embarrassed. Some become more aggressive while others try to shy away from limelight lacking self-confidence. Girls, on the other hand, are more receptive, successful and easy to handle than boys.

Independent thinking becomes the rule of the time. They try to defy all rules and try to reason out or question them. Children at this stage do not like to take instructions and orders.


Although boys and girls react to affections and emotions differently at this stage, they both need what is called parental love and affection.

Some children might need help to develop and maintain social skills and relations. Here it is important to state that girls in this field does much better than boys who often seem to be confused lacking self-confidence.

As children at this stage start discovering things around more minutely with rules and understanding, it is important that they are made to understand the practical applications of rules and its importance in day to day life. This is what we call basic life skills training which starts from home.

Your Role as a Parent: 

As discussed children at this stage react little differently as they are about to reach their pre-teen age. What I can advise out of my experience is to maintain a perfect balance between concern and control. Instead of hovering around them like helicopter parents, take a step back and let them know you are always there whenever and wherever they need you. Just the feeling that you give your child that you are always there waiting for their call when they need gives a lot of support and strength to them to march ahead amongst all hurdles in life.
Read more about Helicopter Parenting.

Stage 4 - Age 11 years and above till adolescent

Traits and basic characteristics: 

This is a very interesting yet challenging phase for children that parents often get bewildered by how to handle their kids. Lacking responsibility is common. While boys become clumsy, lazy little awkward, the girls, on the other hand, become little self-obsessed, silly and selfish to accept everything and anything on her terms and conditions.

Children at this stage enjoy physical activities like sports, dancing, going out for a brisk walk or jog. However, they do not like to be dictated or dominated. All they need and want is to be independent and respected as an independent young adolescent.

Children of this age group are very eager about understanding their newly developed physical and emotional developments. Hence prone to jump into entering new relationships which sometimes gives them joy beyond limits while at times gives them immense pain and suffering.

They try to build their own philosophy of life and how they deal with people. They also try to develop an understanding of the principle or reason behind the rules.


As there is a sudden change for the children at this stage of emotional and physical development and growth they find it little awkward about themselves and difficult to handle things that are happening faster than they are actually capable to pace up with it.

Socially the children feel awkward how to handle people and relationship. An example you might like to introduce your pre-teen or teen son to your best friend while he feels it absolutely awkward and embarrassed even when you call him by his pet name. He might just say hello and quickly escape to his room excusing himself.

Children are often a victim of a bully like cyber bully or harassment and might need your help even though they may not openly accept help. Constant reassurance and support from parents play a very important role as children often feel very insecure and uncertain and do not know how to handle social norms.

Your Role as a Parent: 

This is one stage of your child's life that he or she needs you very badly to support and help to move ahead with confidence and happiness.

Hence, I have decided to add some basic rules for parents to follow:
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Personality Development of your child | Basic Rules for parents of an Adolescent

Rule 1: Stop and Avoid argument. Children at this stage often rebel. They reject anything or everything that makes them feel suffocated and dominated. So please do not argue with your children or let your children enter into any kinds of arguments or confrontations. Disagreements can be common but it can always be handed in different ways.

Rule 2: Patient yet assertive. Patience is the key to any successful relationship and aiding to develop a true personality. Do not expect outcomes instantly. Give time for understanding and yet never give up to stress on your points. He or she should also understand that a rule is a rule that needs to be followed when it comes from parents particularly.

Example: You son wants to go out for a night out friend party. You do not approve him going out for the whole night yet you want him to have fun and enjoy with his friends. Here instead of arguing or reasoning with him about why you do not like him to go for the whole night, you can set one agreement. While you allow him to go for the party, you let him know that you would pick him up at a certain acceptable time.

Rule 3: Be friendly and open with your kids: Ensure that you become your child's best buddy and you are open to any discussion with him or her. It could be about their new crush, sex, electronic cigarette called vape or might be anything weird or different. Let your child know that you are open to listening to him or her and your love would always be unconditional for him or her no matter what.

This confidence, trust, understanding, unconditional support yet understanding that there are certain rules to be followed, certain manners to be observed would give your child a holistic growth to truly develop his or her personality to the fullest. These are the basic pillars of personality development for your children.

Happy Parenting!

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