Session 1 Getting to Know Your Child: Ages & Stages
Children grow leaps and bounds in the first five years and it is important to understand where children are developmentally for many reasons.
- Learning the ages and stages of child development will help you understand what you can expect of your child now and in the near future. Knowing what to expect and how to provide children what they need in each stage can help reduce some of the stress associated with parenting.
- If you are monitoring what is expected of children at different ages and stages, any delays can be brought to the attention of your child's physician much sooner. Since early intervention services are most effective the earlier they are started, catching delays sooner will help your child see the greatest growth.
- Knowing how your child learns during each stage can help you learn about which type of stimulating learning experiences to offer your child in order to promote the most learning and growth.
- Being aware of what your child is capable of understanding and what they are learning can help you guide behavior in a way that is sensitive to their current level of understanding and respond in the most effective way to incidents of misbehavior.
|I do come with instructions (sort of)|
A summary of ages and stages:
Infants and 1 year old children learn by touching and tasting everything. As mobility increases with crawling and walking the more they are able to explore. During this stage you can help your child learn by keeping them safe while they explore.
2 year old children learn how to get results through their actions, studying cause and effect. They begin to feel because they can make things happen. Help your child develop safe power within limits. Allow them to learn through their actions but say "no" when needed and teaching some basic rules.
3 year old children begin developing an imagination and is more interested in spending time with other children. Pretending and make believe experiences will help them sort out the difference between reality and fantasy. Allow your child plenty of opportunities to spend time with other children and learn to share.
4 year old children are curious and begin to ask "Why?" and their interests expand exponentially. They are more ready to take risks and move faster. Help your child learn about safe risks and answer all the the "Why?" questions.
5 year old children are discovering their world. They are becoming more independent and are better able to control their behavior since they are developing improved self-regulation. Support and encourage your child's developing interests. Help them work through social challenges rather than jumping in and rescuing.
Children learn best through play. Be sure at each stage of development you give them plenty of time to explore their world in the way that interests them at the moment. You can be there to keep them safe and support learning by showing interest, answering any questions and playing along if they extend an invitation.
For more detailed information on child development milestones visit:
Center for Disease Control Milestones page
Center for Disease Control Positive Parenting Tips page
Children's Home Society Development Stages Wheel