Child Development Helps Your Writing

Hey guys!

I switched majors, which means I’m taking child development classes. Here’s a few random things I’ve learned in class that might interest you guys when it comes to writing:

Kids have the muscles required to be potty trained around 18-36 months of age. They also need to be emotionally and cognitively ready for potty training. A big sign that a child is ready for potty training is their expressed desire to stop wearing a diaper.

How to use this in your writing: If someone has a baby sister who is a year old, diaper changes should be required. This can be worked into a story as needed. More importantly this one year old sister should not be capable of using the toilet alone yet. Conversely, unless a child has developmental delays, a four-year-old should not be wandering around in a diaper.

Children are able to overcome child abuse, especially if there is at least one caring adult in their lives. When a child recognizes abuse is wrong, develops high self-esteem, marries a caring partner, and has other positive relationships, this child is more likely to be able to overcome child abuse. On another note, children who are abused often internalize problems, have low self-esteem, have emotion recognition deficits, and can develop dissociative identities in extreme cases. These children are also more likely to commit suicide.

How to use this in your writing: Use all the ingredients I listed, or none of them. Child abuse is a fairly common problem though, so if it comes up in your writing, these are my suggestions to helping a character overcome child abuse, for those writers who write about child abuse without having actually experienced it. It’s also important to keep in mind that people all react to different situations differently, so it’s okay for a character to display some of the characteristics listed above, all of them, or even none of them. Again, these are just suggestions.

By about age 3 children who develop normally are typically able to string sentences together such as “I can’t eat that.” Usually, first sentences come about a year after the first words and two-word phrases are uttered. Whenever young children speak they often have a tendency to pause or repeat a syllable several times.

How to use this in your writing: Don’t underestimate a child’s ability to speak. The best advice for writing younger children is to spend some time around them. If that’s not possible, look up videos or ask someone who’s a mom. Strongly consider a child’s age before writing his or her dialogue. For example, a typically developed 4-year-old will probably not say “Doggy out,” he or she would be more likely to say something like “The dog went out.”

Hope these tips helped and there’s more where they came from. Best of luck to you guys! Please remember I’m not an expert and this isn’t a guide that someone has to absolutely stick to or else they’re a bad writer.

Lots of love,
Jelsa <3

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