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The Doing Stage
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DOING (Visited the first time round between 6-18mths)

The young child is beginning to get out and explore the world – fingers are into everything – and everything goes into his mouth! He becomes fascinated with colours, textures, tastes and smells. Opportunities and encouragements to use his senses are provided through eg play activities. These then help him satisfy his need for stimulus as he receives affirmations such as ‘You can use all of your senses when you explore’ and ‘You can be interested in everything’.

Too many restrictions and admonishments as he tries to do so might lead to frustration and, in some instances it might mean that he internalises the messages ‘Don’t be active’/‘Don’t do’.

Older children and young people who, for example, are often off-task, fiddling and/or interfering with other people’s belongings may benefit from revisiting the Doing stage and ‘hearing’ some of the associated affirmations.

Children and young people are good at being able to adapt to different environments. For a child who lacks the experience of strong boundaries and clear expectations outside of school, they will, with time, benefit from and respond appropriately to adults in the school setting who are seeking to do so.
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Developmental Task Affirmations for the Being Stage Helpful adult/carer behaviours Indicators of possible need to revisit this stage
  • To use all senses to explore the environment
  • To develop sensory awareness using all senses
  • To start to learn that there are options and that not all problems
  • To develop initiative.
  • To signal needs; to trust others and self.
  • To continue to form secure attachments with parents and/or care-givers.
  • To get help in times of distress
  • To continue learning earlier tasks.
  • You can use all of your senses when you explore
  • You can explore and experiment and we will support and protect you
  • You can be interested in everything
  • We like you when you are active and when you are quiet
  • We like to watch you grow and learn
  • You can know what you know
  • You can do things as many times as you need to

  • Provide a safe environment and protection from harm
  • Provide nurturing touch and encouragement
  • Say ‘yes’ more than ‘no’
  • Offer a variety of sensory experiences
  • Listen to the child, especially is s/he is struggling to express something
  • Feedback observations of behaviour and model new language
  • Respond when child initiates activity
  • Difficulties in settling
  • Lack of concentration
  • High risk-taking behaviour
  • Getting into prohibited places
Need help understanding the table above
The developmental tasks are the jobs the child/young person needs to begin to get under their belt in order to optimise their growth. This is facilitated by the adults around him/her providing permissions via the affirmations. These tend to be communicated primarily non-verbally, examples of which are given in the ‘Helpful adult/carer behaviours’ column.

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