Edited by Jill Wright,
As I was out for my morning walk today I was overtaken by several youngsters on scooters and skateboards. They were on their way to school, and they were clearly happy with the prospect.
It's a scene that must be duplicated many thousands of times every morning, all over Melbourne. Child psychologists love to see that sort of thing, because it generally indicates that children aren't having problems at school.
Parents can pick up a lot of clues about a child's wellbeing and development from simple observations like that. Are they their usual bouncy selves when they head off in the morning, or do they drag their feet or claim to be ill?
Are they happy to talk about their day at school or do they clam up? Do they talk about their school friends? Do they bring them home?
Picking up on those clues is an essential skill of parenting. But sometimes it can be hard to find out just what is going on with your child, and that's where skilled child psychologists can be a tremendous help.
A psychological assessment can show up all sorts of things: what a child can do well and what is hard for them, for instance. The results can often help with planning programs for school and for home, and may provide some invaluable ideas for improving a child's abilities and peace of mind ... not just the child's, but often the parents' as well.