Things to Remember About Child Development
In order to better understand Junior Girl Scouts, the leaders should learn some key information about child development. Understanding childhood development will help leaders to provide a fun and safe environment where the girls can Discover, Connect, and Take Action.
- A girl’s chronological age may not be the same as her developmental age. Just because a girl is a certain age does not necessarily mean that she has fully developed physically and mentally for her age. This means the leader needs to pay closer attention to abilities and skills rather than age.
- All girls have their own timetables and develop at different rates. As the girls develop they will do so at different speeds. This means that some girls may mature faster than other girls in the troop. The leaders need to make sure activities are challenging but not too easy or difficult.
- There are specific patterns of behaviors, skills, and emotions for stages of development in addition to the physical ones. Childhood development is both physical and mental. Girls are developing motor skills as well as social skills.
- Developmental rate does not equate with intelligence. Leaders should not measure a girl’s intelligence by their development. Instead leaders should embrace every girl’s strengths and provide her with the tools and opportunities to grow.
- Program activities should fit the child’s developmental pre-dispositions, rather than making the child fit the program. The leader needs to make sure that activities are developmentally appropriate, making them challenging yet exciting. If an activity is too easy or too difficult for the girls it should be modified or an alternative should be found.