Beginners Guide for New Parents
“A taste of things to come”
Awareness of child development
From birth to adulthood children are all developing. They develop at different rates but all follow the same basic pattern. Physical development starts from the head, and works down the body to the arms and finally the legs. Communication develops from crying to recognizable words and then intelligent conversation. Emotionally children are reliant on their primary caregiver until they develop an awareness of themselves and are able to socialize and function independently. These various strands of development are not made in isolation or sequentially. Development is concurrent and holistic, therefore any deficiency in one area can affect the development in other areas. -------------------------------------------------
Pattern of child development
| 1.1 a
Infant0 – 12 months
| A newborn lies curled up in the fetal position, unable to raise head.Movements are instinctive such as reactions to sound or closing eyes in bright light.3 months can turn head to look at objects.6 months child begins to hold up head, keeping it steady for increased periods. Learns to grasp and hold objects, then moves them from one hand to the other at will.Next can pull body to a sitting position and stay upright when aided.9 months is able to sit unaided. Releases toys by dropping. Uses pincer grip to pick up items. Holds feeding bottle.12 months as the baby gains more body control it can roll and crawl.
| Early years1 – 3 years
| The gross motor skills are developed as the child starts to stand with support.This progresses to standing alone for a couple of seconds.Can walk holding one hand for support.Can walk unaided, run and jump as she develops full control of her limbs. Finer motor skills are developed such as the pincer grip to pick up small objects.Is able to hold a spoon to feed themselves.Learns to hold a crayon to scribble and then draw shapes with.Talks well in sentences, clear enough to be understood.
| Childhood4 – 7 years
| Learns to eat independently using a knife and fork.Motor skills are developed to the point where a child can walk backwards.They can now walk placing heel to toe and balance themselves on a narrow beam.Manual dexterity now allows them to catch a ball, build structures, and draw shapes.Dress and undress with assistance, then alone.Take turns in play with friends and plays cooperatively.Could be frightened of things like spiders and ghosts.Knows their left from right and how many fingers they have.
| Puberty8 – 12 years
| Hormonal changes are responsible for a growth spurt at this time.Gain muscles, but can still appear to lack coordination.Develop large and fine motor skills for use in sports and hobbies.Activity increases and may want to spend more time with peers rather than parents.Noticeable body changes take place, girls develop breasts and boys’ voices change.The growth of underarm and pubic hair is normal at this time.Another indicator of this stage is the development of Acne.Pre teens begin to notice the opposite sex, but prefer to stick with their own gender.
| Adolescence13 – 16 years
| Their own identity emerges in musical taste and clothes.Teenagers frequently have close friendships with their peers.Are often concerned about how they look and what others think of them.Physical changes continue as puberty is ongoing or completed.Children become more independent but still seek advice and guidance from parents.Teens are aware of the opposite sex and may be going out with them.Preoccupied by their own sexualityConflict and a lowered opinion of parents emerge as teenager tries to mature.
| Young Adult17 – 19 years
| More stable emotionally.Not so concerned about body once puberty ends.Develops clear sexual identity.By the end of this stage both girls and boys will have reached physical maturity.
Communication and intellectual development
| 1.1 b
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