"Stages of Growth!"
Updated: Oct 17, 2019
A lesson for KIDS ages 6-11. My body will go through the 3 stages of growth created by God.
Just like a caterpillar becomes a beautiful butterfly- my body grows and changes too through the process of puberty. It is all a part of God’s beautiful and purposeful design.
“...everything reaches perfection by passing through three ordered stages of growth: the formation stage, the growth stage and the completion stage.” - Sun Myung Moon
“Always remember you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, smarter than you think and twice as beautiful as you’ve ever imagined.” -Dr. Seuss
“but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.” -1 Corinthians 13:10-12
MEASURING TAPE: Measure the height of each member in your family. Notice how much you’ve all grown!
MOM & DAD'S CHILDHOOD PHOTOS: Mom & Dad share photos from their youth including baby photos, childhood, teens and wedding! Share memories and notice how you grew over time. Discuss noticeable changes in your face and body and how your talents, interests, and abilities also changed at different stages of life! Compare parents’ baby photos to baby photos of your child!
Believe it or not, we (mom & dad) were once little just like you! Can you believe it? Once upon a time, we were kids too! Even your grandparents were once young. God designed different stages in our lives for us to experience and learn different things. As we get older- we grow and our body changes and starts to grow up from a child’s body to that of a teenager and then young adult.
Watch this video together and read the script to your child.
WATCH VIDEO: "Stages of Growth" by School of Love
Have you ever heard of metamorphosis? What can you tell me about the life cycle of a butterfly?
The butterfly grows through 3 different stages. First it’s a caterpillar (formation), then it builds its chrysalis (growth) and grows into a beautiful butterfly (completion). We humans also go through these 3 stages with our own bodies too! (Optional: There is also the pre-stage of when the caterpillar begins as an egg. We also have a pre-stage before we are born which is when we’re created through the egg from our mom and sperm from our dad and we’re growing and developing inside our mom’s belly.)
When we are born- we’re a sweet little baby (formation). Then we grow and grow and grow! We learn to crawl, walk, run, dance, play soccer. We grow taller and weigh more. Then our bodies go through a process called puberty where natural changes begin to happen to us- like when the caterpillar is inside of the chrysalis (growth). After puberty is complete, our bodies have grown up and changed into that of a young man or young woman. Physically our body has at that point reached perfection and we stop growing taller. (completion) Wow. Isn’t that amazing? As you’ve already experienced the formation stage of growing from a baby into a child, let’s talk some more about the “growth” stage- which you are beginning to enter (or have entered or will enter soon).
When you observe a caterpillar building its chrysalis- does it look easy? Sometimes it might be difficult when you are going through puberty. Your body will change and you might be surprised or confused. That’s why we’re talking about it together now. So you can know what to expect and begin to get familiar with the types of changes your body will go through one day. Puberty is a physical process that happens in your body usually beginning between the ages of 8-13 for girls and 9-14 for boys.
What kinds of changes do you think your body will go through? Let your child respond and then discuss the following together. Depending on your child’s age and maturity- you can choose how in depth to go with the following developments. For older children you may speak deeply about both boys and girls’ changes. For younger children, you may want to focus in more on their sex and touch on the changes of the opposite. It is good for them to be aware of both as they will naturally notice those changes in their peers anyway. For a more detailed explanation on puberty- see the upcoming “Youth” lesson on puberty.
Boys: Grow taller, more muscular, get a deeper voice, possibly get acne, grow hair in new places like: on your face, armpits, legs, your bottom and pubic area and your penis grows larger as well. You may also begin to have a funny smell called body odor aka B.O. This is all a part of becoming a man and you’ll use deodorant to keep smelling fresh.
Girls: Grow taller and more curvy. Their hips begin to enlarge (making room for future baby), breasts develop (to feed milk to a future baby) and hair grows in new places like: like your legs, armpits, pubic hair. It is during this time that girls start having their menstrual cycle or period.
Girls: Menstrual Cycle- Although it will be new and strange at first, don’t be afraid. Girls will begin to bleed once a month for a few days out of their vagina. This is all a part of your body preparing to carry a baby one day- once a month your body will begin to release an egg through the process of your period. During your menstrual cycle you may experience cramping, mood swings or tiredness. Don’t worry this is normal. There are many things you can do to help ease this. Making sure you excercise, eat well and drinks lots of fluids. You will wear a sanitary napkin aka pad to help keep yourself clean. You’ll get used to it pretty quickly and it’ll become a normal part of life.
Both: All of these changes during puberty are initiated by a chemical in your body called “hormones”. Hormones not only affect changes in our body. But also affect the way we think and feel. We may begin to have new thoughts and feelings towards someone of the opposite sex. Where we used to see them as our silly friend and we’re suddenly drawn to them in a different way where we develop a crush and suddenly think of them as cute. This is all natural and a part of God’s design. (Remember that in this point of your life you still want to focus on building friendships with everyone. Though some kids at school may begin to have boyfriends or girlfriends, this is something worth waiting for and we’ll talk more about that at the next lesson!)
Growth is all a natural process created by God, our Heavenly Parent. Know that mom and dad also went through these changes when we were young. Going through this process allows us to one day be able to experience a special love when you get blessed in marriage and be able to create and have a child someday.
What did the caterpillar look like after all that difficulty? The butterfly looked beautiful and it was able to fly. Puberty will also change your body and though it might be difficult, you will also become even more beautiful through this special process of growth- both in body and spirit.
This lesson already included a lot of discussion throughout the lesson! Use these questions to dig deeper or stimulate additional ongoing conversations:
How are you feeling right now? Do you have any questions?
Why do you think God created stages of growth? What would it be like if we were babies forever or if we were born already as adults!?
Is there anything that makes you nervous about growing up? What are you excited about?
What changes has your body already gone through so far since you were born?
We learned a lot about our body growing and changing. How does our mind, heart and spirit grow and learn new things over time?
Just like a caterpillar turns into a most beautiful butterfly- you are growing and changing every day! So it's important to take good care of our body (eating healthy, exercising, getting sleep and washing up). As well as our mind (learning in school, studying, learning new talents and skillsets. Our heart (loving others, forgiving, learning to be a good brother/sister to my friends). My spirit (studying God’s Words, praying, meditating, learning from my parents, going to church). It is important to remember that you are precious and your body is a temple of God.
Thank you, God, for creating us both beautifully and mysteriously. Thank you for having a plan for our bodies and a way for them to grow and mature into healthy young men and women. I ask for your hand to be present in (name of child) life as he/she experiences puberty. Please grant him/her the wisdom and courage to be bold in protecting his/her body and heart through this time. Please help my son or daughter to feel your love and feel beautiful in who you made them to be. Thank you for your love and care each and every day.
Use these activities together with your child over the next month to create ongoing conversations. Click on the blue links:
Small Talk- Growing Up Kids share about being a kid vs. being a grownup! by CBC Kids
Am I Normal Girls & Puberty Great watch for girls! Did you know that all girls develop at different ages? And all of it is perfectly normal by KidsHealth
Puberty, Body Odor and Other Changes for Boys A humorous song video about body odor for boys by AMAZE
100 Kids Tell Us What They Want to Be When They Grow Up by HiHo Kids
Nichole Nordeman - Slow Down Lyric Video about kids growing up by Nichole Nordeman
Lonestar - Let Them Be Little- Lyric Video by Bob Marshall
Miley Cyrus- Butterfly Fly Away by albadunoon
ALL ABOUT ME: Create a “all about me” collage including favorite photos, magazine cut outs, drawings of things that make your child who they are at this stage in their life.
PICTURE COLLAGE: Using drawings or photos, make a growth timeline of your child with a picture of each year of life: birth, toddler, kindergarten, 1st, 2nd… Revisit fun memories and notice together how much your child has grown in both their body changes and also abilities and new found talents!
BUTTERFLY CRAFT: Glue green pom poms on a clothespin to create a caterpillar. Then create wings out of tissue paper to see it transform into a butterfly.
SUPERHERO: Create a superhero craft, like turning a handprint into a superhero, and talk about growing up big and strong to help others.
LETTER TO FUTURE SELF: Write a letter to yourself in the future when you start hitting puberty. Tell yourself it’ll be okay and that this is all a part of God’s beautiful design and process of growing up. Parents can store it away for the future when the child may need that reassurance.
FAMILY TREE- Reminiscence and look through photos from your family tree. Notice the similarities and differences from generation to generation. Share stories, memories and notice how people changed as they grew up!
CATERPILLAR- Find a caterpillar and watch in your own home go through the stages of metamorphosis!