Child Development Milestones and Parenting Tips7 min read
It isn’t surprising to note that children’s growth, needs, and challenges change quickly over the years. And along with that, your parenting concerns develop simultaneously.
Undoubtedly, you might feel like you know your children like the back of your hand as a parent. Let’s take some instances to understand this thing better. Suppose your child makes an excuse to eat a certain dish. Then there are high chances that you already know the reason behind it. You very well know about the dishes they prefer. Not only this, but you are also aware of their dislikes and where they gobble up. You understand their facial expressions when they’re sad, and also about the exclamatory faces they make when they’re ecstatic. In simple words, these little humans mean the world to you and probably you’re closest to them in the entire world.
However, you might have noticed several changes in them as they grow up. Everybody goes through various phases in their lives —including kids—They are constantly changing and developing new emotions, preferences, fears, thoughts, emotions and whatnot! Therefore, it becomes very important for you to know your children well, you need to keep a check on their behavioral patterns from time to time.
We have tried to summarise the guide based on five parameters of age groups
- Toddlers (1-2 years)
- Preschoolers (3-5 years)
- School-age kids (6-9 years)
- Tweens (10-12 years)
- Teens (13-18 years)
This is the very first stage that we’ll talk about. 1 and 2-year-old children develop at a rapid pace physically, emotionally as well as cognitively.
Apart from the fact mentioned above, they also tend to develop new language skills. And as a result, they’re better able to communicate their wants and needs.
Young children are quite impatient and they don’t hesitate to show their displeasure towards the things around them.
You might take into account their temper tantrums. But mind that this is quite common as your child isn’t yet able to verbalize or express their feelings in terms of words or opinions.
During this stage, child-proofing your home is a must. This is because toddlers are quick to climb on furniture or get into other activities that could pose danger. They’re curious and they love to explore and this is a fact!
You must take all the appropriate safety precautions, and it also becomes very important to ensure that your toddler is eating a healthy diet and getting plenty of sleep.
You’ll see some major social and emotional growth, once your toddler enters the stage of a preschooler. Obviously, physical growth walks hand in hand!
It might prove to be a lot of fun once your kid starts going to preschool. In case your kid is the “big kid”, it can help them to feel like a responsible big sibling
As preschoolers love to wear adults down, consistent discipline is key to this stage. You might have observed your kid whining or asking “why?” for the 100th time. Mind that kids are good at getting their way. By God’s grace, they’re also a lot of fun at this age.
It is easy to understand the fact that with their changing bodies, their diets and sleep habits are more important than ever. Therefore it becomes your prime duty to teach them how to begin caring for themselves.
In general, if they seem to be eager to learn how to dress on their own, it is a positive sign of them growing up in the right manner. It is good that they are insisting on doing as much as they can independently.
3. School-Age Kids
You’ll see some amazing progress in terms of learning once your kid enters the schooling age.
School-age kids are seen to flourish socially much faster than other stages. It is common to observe the development of stronger friendships and also new interests and hobbies.
However, sometimes you may also hear a little more resistance from your child when you tell them to do a particular task. For instance, when you tell them to complete their homework or clean their room.
Discipline for school-age kids isn’t only about the negative ones. But it should include both positive and negative consequences.
It is very important to offer positive reinforcement for good behavior, too. If you praise them for trying hard or reward them for doing chores, it will leave a positive impact on their mental health.
At the same time, keeping your school-age child healthy can be a great challenge.
Moreover, it’s an appropriate time to teach your child the importance of caring for their own body.
This is a stage where your kid is no longer a little kid, but also not a teenager. Tweens encompass a wider range of development than any other possible stage.
Scientifically, it is seen that girls at this age mature faster than boys. Many of them begin to enter puberty and observe bodily changes. While the others deal with the new body image issues that start to crop up.
While in the case of boys, it is usually observed that their puberty begins a little later. It is quite obvious to observe them being proud of their changing bodies and developing muscles.
You must accept the fact that along with shifting hormones often comes mood swings and a shift in behavior. It is quite normal for your kids to spend time with friends over family.
You shouldn’t worry as this type of behavior is developmentally appropriate. This is because your child is beginning to form their own identity, separate from you. All you need to do is give them time, space and attention at the same time.
Nevertheless, technology is one of the most important aspects of a tween’s life. You must set up clear instructions that will keep your child safe on a smartphone or when using the internet.
It is very important to take care of your child’s nutritional needs as well as a solid nine to 12 hours of sleep.
You might be wondering where the time went, once your child becomes a teenager. The early years go by fast. Isn’t it? And now it feels like you’ve only got a few more years to prepare your teen for the real world.
You might have noticed a lot of emotional maturity in your teen that too in a matter of a few short years. Over time, they’ll gain better control over their emotions and, somewhere in their mid-teens, become less moody.
If you genuinely wish to teach your child about the teen discipline concept, then it becomes very important to involve rewards for good behavior and consequences for bad behavior.
Make your teen’s privileges contingent on their behavior. If they are responsible for chores and homework, you’ll know they can handle more.
It might be possible that your teen may have a fair amount of skills, but there is a high chance that their social and emotional skills will need some fine tuning. It is the right time for you to teach your kids about new problem-solving strategies.
A 17 or 18-year-old child will likely seek out your opinion. But you can’t expect your 14-year-old to ask for your advice, right? At such a tender age, you might hear things such as “Mommy/daddy, you have no idea what we’re going through.” But you need not worry, maturity will change that.
Apart from the points mentioned above, don’t forget about the safety aspect as well. Such issues in the teen years revolve mostly around risk-taking.
At the same time, it becomes very important to buckle your own seatbelt. These years can prove to be much more complicated for you than your children. But worry not! This phase isn’t going to stay for a long time. Once your kid accepts the changes around himself/herself, s/he will probably adopt them and love accordingly.