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Characteristics of a Child Coping With Immaturity

by Martha Holden, studioD

Children mature at different rates; a child can exhibit maturity in school but be immature at home. Signs of immaturity are identifiable and can help you understand your child more. Spending time with your child will help you identify immature behavior. Addressing immaturity at an early age helps your child adopt good behavior and develop socially, physically, emotionally and intellectually.

Emotional Immaturity

Children with emotional immaturity overreact. Your child may throw a tantrum every time you are about to punish him or when you are busy attending to someone else. The child may also exhibit understanding of a situation and then act inappropriately immediately after. Address the situation immediately by warning the child that a repeat of the same is punishable and ask the child to apologize. This helps the child learn acceptable and non-acceptable behavior.

Social Immaturity

Social settings trigger different behavior in children. Your child may be uncomfortable and result to withdrawal or become loud and hyperactive to attract attention. He may also demand extra attention from you or the teacher while in school. Such behavior indicates social immaturity. Children act immaturely due to lack of discipline or boredom. Instilling discipline and exposing children to different social settings from a young age helps them develop socially. Ensure that you child is busy, especially in social settings with adults.


You can assess your child’s maturity by her reaction to various situations. In cases where you question her behavior, she might act helpless or pretend not to remember that particular incident. The child might also lie or throw a tantrum if you question him, especially if you try to administer punishment. Such immature behavior needs your attention to help the child grow. You can set strict rules that state acceptable behavior and continually reinforce them. Additionally, understanding your child will help you identify different reactions as either immaturity or a lag in development and address the behavior appropriately.


Immature behavior is common in children, and you correct it as the child grows. However, some behavior may be a sign of a deeper problem. The child may also behave immaturely to get your attention and communicate to you. The way you treat your child may also trigger immature behavior. You should always encourage children to take responsibility to help them mature. Affectionate parenting that insists on discipline will also help you differentiate immaturity and other issues that may affect your child and trigger similar behavior.

About the Author

Martha Holden began writing professionally in 2002. She has contributed articles on food, weddings, travel, human resources/management and parenting to numerous publications. Holden holds a Bachelor of Science in psychology from the University of Houston.

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