Is your child’s development on track? That’s one important question all parents go through. Children go through many unique periods of development as they grow from infants to young adults. Child development stages is a term used to outline significant periods in the human development timeline. During each of these child development stages, multiple changes take place in their brain.
Developmental psychologists study child development in various ways, such as by observing the child’s environment. It also consists of experiments to understand how they see the world and their ability to think abstractly. Parents must remember that child development stages are crucial to understand and comprehend your child’s growth properly.
Our main aim in this post is to help every parent understand what is happening in their toddler’s brain and body during each child development stage. It ensures they can provide the necessary support, encouragement, and structure.
Different Child Development Stages
Infant (0 to 12 months old)
The infant stage is one of the vital child development stages. The main goal during this time is the growth and physical maturation of the baby. Parents can do it by establishing an intimate relationship with the baby and close family. A child should be loved and cared for at this stage and allowed to explore their surroundings.
Toddler (12 to 30 months old)
The toddler stage is one of the unavoidable child development stages mainly focused on developing social skills, independence, and physical abilities such as walking and talking. At this stage, children should be allowed to explore their surroundings by themselves. But don’t forget to always keep them under supervision because of safety reasons.
This child development stage is critical because of its twofold task. On one hand, it facilitates growth in physical size and mental capacity; on the other hand, this age period lays the foundations for child development in later years. In this stage, children become more independent and learn how to do tasks themselves. They start being able to communicate their needs verbally or through gestures. The child begins showing signs of independence, like getting dressed without help.
Preschooler/Child (18 to 36 months old)
Being a preschooler is all about learning new things, such as speaking and reading. During this time of child development stage, they should be given opportunities to try out various activities suitable for their age.
The child tends to get more control and command over their body movements, speech, emotions, and thinking. Some of the things your child can smoothly do by this age include drawing, tossing a ball overhand, skipping, bouncing and dressing themselves.
School-Age Child (36+months up until puberty)
The school-age is the time when your child will be spending more of their free time with other children. It is essential to let them try out different activities, such as sports and clubs suitable for their age group. This stage is about understanding who the child is, their relationships, and what they can do to make themselves happy. In this stage, a child is learning who they are in relation to society at large and the kind of future job they want in future.
The first half of this stage includes early childhood from birth up until around eight years old. The second half of this stage includes adolescence, from around 12 to 18 years of age.
The child is now young adulthood and starting to form their own identity. For many adolescents, this includes a more in-depth exploration of spirituality. They may also be exploring recreational drugs or alcohol during this stage, so parents should be on the lookout for any changes in child behaviour.
Role of Parents During Child Developmental Stages
Parents are responsible for different child development stages right from the time they’re born until adulthood. This includes providing them with nourishment and care, as well as helping to shape their personality. Parents also play an important role during childhood, adolescence and old age stages of child psychology.
During these various stages in a child’s life, parents are most influential. Parents should be aware of any significant changes in behaviour and dole out age-appropriate discipline methods such as timeouts. Parents are the child’s first and most important teachers, that nurture them with care and love. Changes such as puberty or when a child starts talking may require more close attention from parents.
The various child development stages are complicated processes, and these can be overwhelming for parents to keep up with what their kids should be doing at each stage. For example, you might want to know how parent-child interactions affect your child’s brain development or how play has an impact on cognitive skills like memory and problem-solving ability. You might also want to understand what kind of activities your child might enjoy and which ones are too advanced for them.
The best thing you can do as a parent is to learn about different child development stages so you know when something needs attention or if things just seem off. It takes time but understanding where your child may be in their life will make life easier for both you and the kids.