Children’s Development – What is ‘Normalisation’ and ‘Deviations’?

Children’s Development – What is ‘Normalisation’ and ‘Deviations’?

‘Normalisation’ is a fancy term coined by Dr Maria Montessori which essentially means ‘when the child’s development is proceeding normally’. What does normalisation look like? It looks like, when a child is able to concentrate, make productive choices, displays interests and loves to work/play, they are interested in their reality and the world around them – overall a calm, happy, centred child. 

A child that is not ‘normalised’ may have interruptions in development or learning. Typically a child that is not ‘normalised’ will display disordered behaviours known as ‘deviations’ from normal behavior. 

Disclaimer: In this course we are not referring to medical or developmental conditions which may require formal diagnosis and intervention including Autism Spectrum Disorder, Attention Hyperactivity Disorder, Oppositional Defiance Disorder, Pathological Demand Avoidance  just to name a few, rather, a lower level deviation characterised by behavioural issues. 

You can help your child to stay on track by:

  • Reducing exposure to technology and monitoring screen time.
  • Encouraging heaps of unstructured outside free play time.
  • Having easy access for your child to be able to toilet themselves, prepare their own snacks and clean up (boosting opportunities for independence, which in turn reduces conflict which creates tantrums). These topics are covered in my Peaceful and Aligned Parenting course.
  • Having less clutter in the house (for example keeping toys on low shelves instead of toy boxes which can be easily dumped out and is then overwhelming to clean).
  • Not interrupting your child when they are concentrating on something unless absolutely necessary (keep your acknowledgement or praise till the end!) – building concentration is a priceless life skill!

Deviations may present in a number of ways as each child is different but some cautionary red flags are:

  • Creation of an imaginary world to alleviate their boredom (more than just age appropriate pretend play) and often needing to be constantly entertained by an adult.
  • Consistent displays of defiance, messiness and fighting.  
  • Withdrawing into a fantasy world they have created, which in turn stops them from responding to their environment. 
  • Meeting obstacles with resistance, violence or aggression, also tending to be noisy, disobedient, destructive and possessive.
  • Meeting obstacles in a submissive way being passive, crying, clingy and frightened, also tending to be easily bored and will try to get others to do things for them. 

If you notice some of these red flags appearing, don’t panic. The solutions to these deviations are usually simple, for example through providing more one on one connected time, improving the living environment, diet and exercise plus implementing the suggestions above. In some cases intervention by a childhood psychologist, occupational therapist or paediatrician is required so it may be best to speak to your GP if your intuition is guiding you to do so.

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