Childhood development stages
When you found out you were pregnant, one of the first things you probably did was get hold of a book or magazine that told you everything that was happening to your baby, week by week.
Once the baby was born, it was a different book, telling you when your baby should start to smile, roll over, eat solid foods. As they grew, your health visitor plotted their growth on a chart and asked you if they could pass little blocks between their hands and how many words they can say now.
Each stage is exciting but can also feel like a test of you and your baby’s abilities and achievements. Then before you know it, they are at school and you are faced with reading levels and spelling tests.
At each childhood development stages, you try your best to make sure that your child is progressing as you feel they should, but the difficulty is that, if you assume your child will do everything by the book, you might be surprised and even worried if and when they don’t.
It can even be tempting to compare your child with others: your child is on reading level 2 while their neighbour is on level 3, but your child is swimming 50 metres while others in their class are only swimming ten.
One thing I have learned is that childhood development stages are marathons, not a sprints. Every child is different and will go through their own phases of development in their own way. While one may be obsessed with learning to read, another may be more interested in doing jigsaws or learning to play music. Then in three months’ time, it will all change again!
What’s important is that they are happy to learn and eager explore, and one of the greatest gifts we can give our children is the freedom to take on new experiences at their own pace, instead of feeling under pressure to perform.
Time enough for that once we reach GCSEs…!
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