Every child is unique and grows up with his inner qualities and abilities. So, keep your expectations realistic, just guide them in their development journey as in all seven stages.
1. Birth to Six Months:
Birth is the stage of self emancipation and to feel millions of new sensations. Newborn can only communicate by crying. Your child loses the security of his mother’s body and feels helpless even his hands are surprising him as he will take time to learn about his small body and his surroundings. At this stage he needs your 100% help in terms of checking his nappy either clean or not, his sleeping timings, his body temperature, Is he hungry or not? Etc. Give him full attention as you can and if he still disturbed then do visit to child specialist.
2. Six to Eighteen Months:
This stage is your child’s “doing” stage. Your child is going to explore the world around him by looking, touching, licking and listening but they also wants you around themselves to feel safe. They may become curious about things and starts distracting them, they may create fuss; wants to feed themselves, show tantrums but don’t get panic. You may help him by diverting his mind towards other healthy activity, by providing safe environment, love and nurturing them, avoid criticizing, encourage what they wants to do and don’t expect them to understand things they’re not ready for.
3. Eighteen Months to Three Years:
This stage is their “thinking stage”. They will be able to follow or refusing simple commands and will be starting to think for themselves. They may want to make their own choice in wearing and eating, wants to play with other children, enjoy stories and expand their knowledge of speech and movement. You may help them by making simple and clear commands, make time table for them, encourage their independence in eating and dressing, and answer their questions even they ask the same again and again as with your child starts to learn.
4. Three to Six Years:
They will play in fantasy world and create imaginary fellows, ask more questions; “how”, “why”, “when”. They will try out different identities, practice social skills, set up power struggles and watch the power dynamics in family relations. You may help encouraging them in new world of school, talk about their feelings so they can learn to express and connect their feelings and thoughts, cheer their imagination but help them to separate fantasy and reality.
5. Challenging Behaviors:
There may be some behaviors that you want to change but remember young children can get confuse by change, help them and if they do mistake than don’t punish. Your child needs to hear that it is the behavior that you don’t like, not them. Make clear rules that violence isn’t tolerable in your family but before that adult should follow this rule too, monitor their TV programs, reward them when they speak truth, even if it was something you didn’t want to hear.
6. Six to Twelve Years:
Your child needs to learn about confines and why they need them. Your child will be learning to listen to get the information they need and learning to classify the difference between needs and wants. They will be testing the family values and learning that there can be both disagreement and love in your family as well as in schools. Give them lots of love and protection, help them in the skills they learn, set clear confines but keep some space between what is negotiable and what is not, and let them experience consequences in a safe and protected environment.
Now they begin to develop from their childhood to adulthood. They will start a shift from following your rules to recognizing their own values, feelings and thinking. In this stage arguments can increase quickly and can create lot of tension in house. Remember that at whatever age your teen is, they still need your love and understanding so stay calm, even they deliberately try to anger you, give them the opportunity to participate in any discussion, don’t put let them down or make fun of.