The Four Stages Of Development

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Development has been defined as "the bringing out of all that is potentially contained within." And whether your daughter is two, twelve, or twenty, what is contained within her ranges from wonderful to, at times, pretty nasty.

This is normal.

And it is completely normal to feel, at times, like someone has stolen the daughter you enjoyed five minutes ago and replaced her with a fire-breathing dragon with the same eyes.

In those moments you ask yourself, "What's going on?" Part One answers that question. In this section, we look at the specifics of development. We examine what is going on in a girl's life physically, emotionally, and spiritually in each of four developmental stages. We also talk about what we, as adults, can offer her at every stage.

Stage 1: The Discovery Years — Birth to Five

In the Discovery Years, girls awaken to the world around them. They discover themselves as separate from their parents, and, in essence, they crawl, toddle, and walk away from you and toward their own identities.

Stage 2: The Adventurous Years — Six to Eleven

The Adventurous Years are filled with school, friends, and activities. Girls stretch their limits as they try new things and begin to learn what it means to succeed and to fail.

Stage 3: The Narcissistic Years — Twelve to Fifteen

These are the "me" years. The world of your daughter in her Narcissistic Years revolves around herself. Her thoughts are consumed by how she looks, what other people think about how she looks, and what other people think of her in general.

Stage 4: The Autonomous Years — Sixteen to Nineteen

In these years, girls take greater responsibility for and control of their lives. And they are able to find their own voices—what they are passionate about, who they choose to be in a relationship with, how they want to spend their time, and who God truly is creating them to be.

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