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1.2 Well-adjusted children

Here are the most common characteristics describing well-adjusted, school age children. You can use the list to see how any child is doing, compared to other children the same age. You also can consider what the effects of maltreatment would be for a child in these areas.

While thinking about the list, understand maltreatment doesn’t affect every child the same way. It may cause problems in some areas and not in others. Overall, though, maltreated children don’t get along as well as other children. Fortunately, when they are in safe, nurturing homes where their well-being is a priority, maltreated children can get past their adjustment problems. It takes time, love, qualified help, and a lot of patience. Still, they most always can handle the challenge of getting up-and-over the worst of times in their young lives.

After each item, write a sentence or two about what you think the effects of maltreatment might be in that area.

A well-adjusted, school age child:

•           Is in good health and not often ill.

•           Is energetic and interested in what is going on in his world.

•           Is usually relaxed and comfortable with himself.

•           Is self-confident in most situations.

•           Eats regularly in normal amounts.

•           Stays away from alcohol or other drugs.

•           Is well-behaved most of the time.

•           Manages his anger and temper responsibly.

•           Feels successful most of the time.

•           Is responsible and dependable most of the time.

•           Deals well with most day-to-day stresses and pressures.

•           Makes and keeps friends his age.

•           Has friends who are reasonably well-behaved and who do well in school.

•           Finishes homework and other assignments on time.

•           Is involved in school activities and projects.

•           Talks with appropriate adults about his activities, friends, and problems.

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