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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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