Child Development Stages
From birth until about the age of 18, children develop intellectually, socially, emotionally and linguistically. In each stage of child development, there is a different rate of growth for each category. When parents understand the stages of development, it can benefit not only them, but the child as well. Some stages are tough on parents. Many parents have no idea why their 3 month old baby won’t stop crying, or why their 2 year old has so many temper tantrums. This can be very frustrating for everyone involved. Here is some basic information about what is going on with in each state of child development.
Child Development Birth – 2 Years
Each and every child is different, and while the child is being exposed to language, social situations, and learning, the most important thing at this stage is bonding. The emotional bond between the child and the parents, as well as grandparents and siblings is of the utmost importance at stage of child development. It is this bond that will be the basis for every stage to follow. Learning about your child’s individuality, and helping the child to learn to trust is the primary goal for this stage. Children will usually learn walk and begin to talk during this time, so it is a huge intellectual time for them.
Ages 2 – 5
During this child development stage, children begin to realize that they are separate from their parents. This concept is totally new to them, and they explore every avenue of the experience. They begin to exert their independence, and along with frequently saying “no”, they need to learn to accept “no”. Temper tantrums are frequent, so the continuation of the bonding that began in infancy must continue. There is also great intellectual growth during this time. They begin to speak more clearly, and form thoughts and concepts. Their morals are also formed during this stage.
Ages 6 – 12
Building the moral code is crucial during this child development stage. Children are in school by this time, and their social contacts and interactions increase. They are learning at a rapid pace. The most important job for the parents at this time is to coach and support. Those first drawings, or won races should make both the parent and child beam with pride. At the same time, children must learn that they cannot excel at everything, and that is okay as long as they work hard at the attempt. Allowing them to experience friendship, along with some guidance, can set the pace for future relationships for the child.
Ages 13 – 18
This can be a very challenging time. Adolescence is a time where children are in a hurry to grow up, and parents must slow them down. Although the teenagers think they know everything, they are still learning. There is a pull between peer pressure and parents at this child development stage. Teenagers still need guidance with both love and authority expressed. Family activities should be routine at this stage. It is now, if ever, that children need their parents love. Accepting that they are finding their own identity, as well as guiding them in the right direction is imperative.
While there are certain facts about each child development stage, children should never be compared with others. Each child is unique, and has a unique personality. Regardless of their learning ability, children with strong bonds with their parent or parents seem to make the transition into adulthood much easier. Cherish each child development stage. Yes, even the terrible two’s and the teenage years. All of the stages culminate to create a unique and individual adult.By Gyula Szabo