Developing Life Skills

As childhood is a time of rapid development, Holmbeck, Greenley, and Franks (2003) consider kour therapeutic subjects to be developmental "moving targets." Not only do the developmental stages change rapidly, but there is a wide variation within each of those stages. Take any two children of the same age and you are likely to see marked differences in their developmental levels, cog-nitively, educationally, behaviorally, emotionally, physically, and socially. There are so many life skills children need to acquire that they are likely to develop some well and some not so well. Although one child might be performing well at school, he might be withdrawn and isolated in a social sense. Another may have an extensive range of quality friendships but be behind in academic achievement.

In just ten stories I cannot cover the multitude of developmental skills a child needs to acquire for a healthy, functional maturity, but, hopefully, these tales will provide a basis on which to build your own stories to help the children with whom you are working. They address—at times with humor—questions like, What do you do when faced with a moral dilemma? How do you learn to live with rules you may not like, manage when terrible things happen, make decisions, or take responsibility for your actions?

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