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Resources > How Children Develop

How Children Develop

Positive parenting comes from understanding what kids need.

While no two children are the same, all children go through the same stages of development. Parents who know the kinds of behaviour they can expect from their children will have an easier job dealing with them, and will be able to tailor their encouragement or discipline. This kind of knowledge gives parents the tools they need to calmly deal with situations when they arise.

Parents have a responsibility to ensure their child’s welfare.

Parents need to provide for their children and support their development, providing what they need for safe, healthy living. Basic needs include food, shelter, clothing and hygiene, and safety from abuse or injury at home and in the community.

Kids also need to feel like they belong. Consistent, loving care and a positive environment helps teach children they can depend on their parents. These things also help kids develop self-esteem. Children who are engaged in family and community learn that they are valued and wanted.

When can a child be left unattended?

There is no specific age at which a child can be left unattended. The Child and Family Services Act states parents of children under the age of 16 must ensure the child is responsibly cared for. This includes ensuring children are properly supervised.

It’s up to parents to determine if their teenager is responsible enough to provide a safe environment for another child as a babysitter. Some children begin babysitting as young as 12 years old, but not all children are ready to do so at this age. Consideration should be given as to whether the babysitter has taken a certified babysitting course.

The ultimate responsibility to provide adequate and appropriate care of a child under the age of 16 rests with the child’s parents or primary caregiver. FCSLLG has no specific age limits and is required to investigate legitimate concerns for lack of supervision until the child is 16 years of age.

The Health Unit has more information on child development and parenting.