You watch your child with other children the same age. Red flags go up. While everyone displays some immaturity at some time or another -- your child consistently operates at a younger level.
Some parents would wring their hands and cop a "woe is me" type of attitude, thinking that this is just the way it is. How sad.
But we think that YOU are like us -- YOU want to know the why of it. YOU want to know WHAT to do about it so that this child doesn't stay stuck there. Right?
So, you would roll up your sleeves and get to work. You would become the detective and uncover the rocks to find out why your child is immature. Then, you would want to know how to increase the maturity.
The first question to pursue is: what are potential root causes for immaturity?
Here are a few we know about:
1. sequential processing may be low
2. perhaps reflexes have not integrated well
3. maybe the child did not crawl and creep long enough
4. too many ear infections or fluid or wax in the ears
Let's pick them apart a little.
Sequential processing. Short term memory. How many pieces a child can grab and run with. Some things affected by sequential processing are:
- following directions
- social skills
- including maturity level
- putting the pieces together for reading
Reflexes. When we are babies in utero we develop certain reflexes. When we are born some of those reflexes are to integrate with other reflexes. As we grow, this integration process continues. Some children get stuck in that development and certain reflexes retain and do not integrate. Some symptoms of retained reflexes are: allergies, anxiety, speech issues, no sense of danger, poor balance, challenged in sports, constantly making noises, car sickness, clumsiness, academic struggles and there are more.
Cross Pattern Crawl and Creep. Believe it or not how long and in what fashion a baby did their crawling and creeping matters in the development of a child. It is a critical developmental step that builds a strong foundation on which the rest of development is built.
Ears. Too many ear infections or large amounts of fluid or wax in a child's years can seriously affect his maturity level. However long the ears were affected -- could be the amount of time the child's development was stunted. And so if your child had blocked ear flow for several months -- he or she may be delayed several months. If it was several years -- the delay may be longer.
You may be wondering: "sequential processing, retained reflexes, how a baby crawls, and blocked ears can really make a child immature?" You betcha.
The good news is: THERE IS A "WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT" PIECE FOR ALL OF THESE CONCERNS.
We do not have to accept that once a struggle has been detected in our child, that it has to be a life sentence. Are you a hands-on parent? If so, you will be happy to know that there are specific things YOU can do right there at home to help your children move to the next level of his or her development.
Tom and Julie Meekins