Parents often worry about whether their child is developing appropriately, especially when they see him/her lagging behind compared to kids of his/her own age. Development begins at birth and it continues all through early adulthood. However, each child develops at his own pace. That is why some children learn to walk and talk early on, whereas others take a bit more time. While it is normal for you to worry, there’s no reason to panic. Understanding the primary stages of child development is thus crucial for parents. Here are three of the most important developmental stages that you need to know about:
During physical development, you will notice changes in your child’s growth and function of the body. Over the course of months and years, you will notice age-appropriate physical characteristics that will indicate proper development. For instance, from the time of birth till the age of 2, your little one will adjust to the experiences of his/her surroundings. Detecting growth abnormalities at this stage gives you better treatment options. To make sure everything is on the right track, you can check your child’s muscle development, eye movements and auditory responses. See if your child is able to hear sounds and respond to changes in scenery and lighting.
Cognitive development bridges the gap between physical and mental growth, and it can be monitored. You need to start by comparing your kid’s behavior to the expected abilities for his/her age group. For example, kids of the age of 3 to 5 are able to comprehend and store simple information. This allows them to remember numbers, alphabets and colors. This is also the stage where kids get acquainted to the concept of rules of his/her parents and environment. For example, your child will understand why he/she should not eat crayons, and why he/she should not touch something that is hot. Proper cognitive development allows children to behave and function properly in their environment.
Psychological development begins in early childhood. Your child’s world views will start taking shape from infancy. At each stage, you will notice some characteristic attributes in your child that will indicate proper development. Same goes for psychological development. For instance, from the ages of 6 to 12, school going children have more opportunity to socialize outside of their families. That is why kids need to be able to manage their emotional responses in an acceptable manner. During this stage, your child will ask a lot of important questions with the hope of receiving detailed answers. New social experiences may bring feelings of anxiety and insecurity, which will affect their self-esteem. That is why it is crucial that you provide the support they need at this stage.
If you have questions about your child’s development, or if you notice any worrisome signs in his/her growth or behavior, consult your doctor. Oftentimes medical issues cause developmental problems. If you want to acquire more specific details about the major milestones your little one will achieve in the coming years, it would be better to speak with an expert.