Developmental Irritation Points

Irritation Points

Did you know at each age and stage there are “irritation points?

Did you know that an infant between the ages of eight and twelve months will begin to intensely explore their parents’ faces?  In this process, they may pull hair, pinch, stick their fingers in your nose, grab your earrings or beard, and even bite you.

Did you know that in the second year of life, a child can enter a stage of complete negativism? They must have their way, whatever the cost, which can prompt a tantrum. They may dash into the street and pull things off the shelves, regardless of your warnings. You may hear, “mine,” “my daddy,” or “me do it.”

Did you know that a preschooler’s key developmental task is to acquire power and identity?  The simplest event or routine may trigger total rebellion. Your child may be bossy one minute and completely shy the next. Whining increases at this age. They begin to swear and say elimination words (“doo doo head,” “poo-poo brain,” etc.).

Did you know that school aged children 6 – 11 years will focus intensely on their peers and form relationships based on perceived similarity? Despite their age, they will need endless reminders. They are more likely at this age to feel unjustly treated. They may even bend the truth.

Did you know teens may want to spend more time with friends? Did you know they may enter yet another stage of impulsivity? Did you know that they will become more argumentative with you?


Your response to all these irritation points is key. All these irritation points serve a healthy purpose. Even though these behaviors may be annoying, they are crucial to your child’s development. Being able to distinguish between what is problematic and what is normal truly involves understanding all the stages in child development.

Understanding your child’s development is one of the most important things you can do as a parent.  It is important to know each stage in development so that you can support your child needs and not expect too much or too little.  The challenge with general information about development is that it doesn’t show the entire picture.  You will find differences and similarities in children and some information you receive will hit home and some will not apply, that is normal.  Allow this article to guide you in your parenting journey.


These two articles will examine typical behavior at each age in a child’s life. At times, you may find your child’s behavior annoying and/or challenging. Conflict is typically an indicator that growth is happening. Your response to the conflict can either yield constructive, growth-enhancing effects or destructive, deadening effects that trap you and your child in endless power struggles. As parents we have to know that conflict will always arise when raising children and that this conflict serves a purpose. It is completely normal and an indicator that growth is happening. It may sound crazy, but it is true!

Reach Out

If you still have questions or concerns for you child, do not hesitate to reach out to your teachers or our iTeam staff. We are here to support you and your family.

About the Author:
Ms. Crystal Lindquist is a Master Social Worker and a member of the DGM iTeam.