A Parent's Guide to Child Development

As your children get older and develop, you'll probably encounter many surprising situations along the way. However, there are certain milestones and events that happen at the various stages of child development you can expect and be ready for. Keep reading to learn more.

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Child Development Information for Parents

General Development

In younger-aged children, numerous common developments occur. Many of these developments are physical or intellectual. Some children will have certain changes and growth sooner or later than others, but on average, most children will develop around the same time. As children get older, most of the development you'll see still falls into average age ranges.

Physical Development

Physical development is not just about looks and growth spurts. It's also about physical activity and ability. At the ages of two to four, there are certain activities you can expect your child to do.

Two Years Old: Runs, marches and feeds him or herself.

Three Years Old: Washes face and hands, skips and uses scissors.

Four Years Old: Ties shoes, writes easy alphabet letters, dresses him or herself and can balance.

Intellectual Development

Intellectual development refers to the way children begin to understand the world around them and make decisions based on that understanding. When they're young, children often don't have the ability to reason and draw conclusions like adults. One of the most popular descriptions of this type of development was created by Jean Piaget, called Piaget's Stages of Cognitive Development. Some of the highlights are listed below.

Sensory Motor (0-24 months): Children begin to learn different ways of getting what they desire. In addition, they start to realize that various behaviors can lead to unwanted results.

Preoperational (2-7 years): During the early part of this period, children are speaking more, but a lot of what they say is focused on their needs and desires. As they reach the later end of this range, they begin speaking less about themselves and more about others. They may also struggle with understanding the intellectual depth of right and wrong actions. Therefore, they do or don't do things based on what they are told, not because they understand the reasoning.

Concrete Operational (7-12 years): This is the period where logical thought begins to form. Kids are able to solve problems by thinking about them, but their thinking is still more concrete. Their thinking continues to expand beyond themselves.

Formal Operational (12 years +): During this final stage, abstract thinking based on logic is established. Individuals think about the society at large rather than their individual worlds.

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