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Fostering Developmental Milestones in Your Child

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The first 18 years of your child's life is sure to be her most influential and developmental. Check out these basic milestones for children through the years, and find tips on how to nurture growth.

Click on an item in the set below to see more info.

Birth to 2 Years: What You'll Notice

Cognitive: Distinguishes faces. Communicates by crying, babbling, using gestures and expressions, and constructing simple sentences. Imitates gestures. Remembers people and objects out of sight.

Social-Emotional: Forms bonds with caregivers. Uses words to name people, things, and needs. Plays side by side with peers.

Birth to 2 Years: How to Foster Growth

Provide culturally sensitive care for the child. Understand that children's communication styles are unconsciously influenced by the parents and the culture. Learn which language(s) are spoken at home.

2 to 6 Years: What You'll Notice

Cognitive: Knows colors, numbers, and letters. Plays pretend with peers. Recalls stories and events.

Social-Emotional: Emerging understanding of gender. Starts to understand that others have knowledge and beliefs. Feels sympathy for people in trouble.

2 to 6 Years: How to Foster Growth

Provide many opportunities for pretend play. Communicate behavior expectations. Read to children often. Encourage exploration. Provide sensory-rich activities.

6 to 10 Years: What You'll Notice

Cognitive: Emerging skills in writing, reading, math, and other subjects. Can reason logically with aid of concrete objects.

Social-Emotional: Follows rules in games. Understands moral behavior. Compares self to others. Responsible for chores. Desires to play with peers, especially of same gender.

6 to 10 Years: How to Foster Growth

Remediate difficulties in basic skills before they develop into major delays. Guide successful interactions with peers. Encourage children to learn new skills and try new challenges.

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10 to 14 Years: What You'll Notice

Cognitive: Developing ability to think and reason.

Social-Emotional: Establishes more peer relationships. Develops sexual interest as puberty starts. Occasionally feels moodiness.

10 to 14 Years: How to Foster Growth

Model effective study strategies. Provide struggling students with extra academic help. Encourage participation in sports and recreation. Hold adolescents accountable for actions.

14 to 18 Years: What You'll Notice

Cognitive: Considers possible careers. Studies certain academic subjects in-depth.

Social-Emotional: Questions existing rules and societal norms. Dates for romance. Learns to drive.

14 to 18 Years: How to Foster Growth

Respect all adolescents. Allow students to choose subjects of study. Hold students to high academic standards. Encourage involvement in extracurricular activities, volunteering and service learning.

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