Every new parent wants to understand their child’s early stages of development, but how much do new parents actually know about them? To help parents understand the stages of their child’s growth, the Gesell Institute of Child Development did a large-scale study on child behavior in relation to typical growth patterns. The following guide can help parents better raise their child during their formative years.
1 year old: Sense of security
Infants up to 1 year old experience difficulties daily. Parents should spend as much time with them as possible and be patient with them. This nurtures trust and happiness in their infant child.
2 years old: Sense of humor
At this age, parents ought to develop the child’s sense of humor to nurture a pleasant personality so that when others laugh, they will also laugh. Parents should pay attention to the development of the child’s interests and add humor to their life. A good sense of humor can relieve some of the child’s distress, while at the same time, mold the child for a lifetime.
3 years old: Creativity
A child’s creativity starts to bud when they are 3 years old. In the right environment, it inspires and develops their potential. To encourage the child to create stories, draw, or even play with clay is a great way to develop creativity. Additionally, allowing the child to plant flowers, raise small animals, and take them on little excursions can also develop their creativity.
4 years old: Language and expressiveness
A 4-year-old child is very talkative, but be careful not to point out or laugh at the child’s mistakes when they speak, or the child might grow to fear saying the wrong thing; they may even stutter or simply refused to speak. Parents can re-state what the child had said correctly, but avoid emphasizing the child’s mistakes. At this age, the child also asks questions. They can ask “why” a hundred thousand times. This is can be because they are eager to learn new things, just for fun, or they may be expressing their refusal to obey. The most important thing is, when they are seeking knowledge, try to satisfy them.
5 years old: Relationship with parents
A 5-year-old can control their behavior, as well as act cordially. During this stage of growth, the child loves their mother the most, and they want to make their mother happy. A mother’s words to them are the golden rules. Praises from their mother are very important to them. If their mother does not respond immediately, they can get angry. At this time, a mother’s response should be quick.
6 years old: Conflicts
At the age of 6, there can be a lot of conflicts between the child and mother. While at the age of 5 the mother is the center of their world, by the age of 6, the child becomes the center of their own world. As the child becomes more independent, they are ready to break from establishment and start to create their own independent “kingdom.” On one hand, the child needs their mother and cannot do without her love and acceptance, but on the other hand, they long for independence and often push away their mother, thus making both their own and their mother’s life difficult. The father’s involvement often helps to harmonize the situation.
7 years old: Abstract thinking
At the age of 7, abstract thinking begins to develop. The development of abstract thinking lets the child see the similarities and differences between things. For example, they can understand that a change in the shape of a container does not change the quantity of the objects inside.
8 years old: Thinking becomes more active
When the child is 8 years old, they start to think of a lot of questions. Thinking and language fully develop, the ability to discern increases, as does the ability to use simple logic to draw conclusions. The 8-year-old child becomes increasingly keen to think. It is an important change in reasoning skills.
Remember, it is natural for a child to increase their own abilities. Do not expect your child to toe their parents’ ideas. Of course, the rates of growth are different, as every child has their own individuality. Not every child at the same age will be the same. To educate a child based on their current abilities is most important.
Translated by: Chua BC