Developmental Trends: Accomplishments and Diversity at Different Age Levels
Birth through adolescence are formative years where you will see your child learn and grow quickly. Here is a list of typical physical, cognitive and social-emotional milestones from birth through adolescence to help you know what to expect at each life stage. Also included are expert suggestions you can implement to help your child succeed at each developmental stage.
What you Might Observe
- Motor skills including rolling over, sitting, crawling, standing, walking
- Growing ability to reach, grab, manipulate, and release objects
- Rudimentary self-feeding by the end of infancy
- Rapid brain growth
- Ability to distinguish among different faces
- Rapid growth in communication, including crying, using gestures and facial expressions, synchronizing attention with caregivers, babbling, forming one-word sentences, constructing multiple-word sentences
- Ability to imitate simple gestures with a model present, moving to complex imitation of actions and patterns from memory
- Growing ability to remember people and things out of sight
- Formation of close bonds with responsive and affectionate caregivers
- Use of words to name people, things, needs, and desires
- Playing side by side with peers but also interacting at times
- Increasing awareness of ownership and boundaries of self (“Me!” “Mine!”)
- Developing sense of power and will (“No!”)
- Considerable diversity exists in age when, and in manner in which, babies develop motor skills.
- Self-feeding and self-help skills emerge later when families encourage children to rely on others for meeting basic needs.
- Children’s temperaments and physical abilities affect their exploration of the environment.
- In unsafe environments, families may limit children’s exploration.
- Some young children learn two or three languages, especially when knowing more than one language is valued by caregivers.
- Ability to pretend is displayed early by some children and later by others.
- Nonverbal communication varies with culture. For instance, a child may be discouraged from making eye contact with an elder as a sign of respect.
- Children who have few experiences with peers may appear tentative, detached, or aggressive.
- Infants and toddlers who spend time in multiage settings interact differently than do those accustomed to same-age groups.
- Some children are encouraged by families to share possessions, and others are encouraged to respect individual rights of property.
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