Child Development, Infant development

Stages, articles on child development. Parents Resources for toddlers

Children development occurs differently from child to child, .i e  at different rates. If your child is a little ahead or a little behind at a certain age this is also normal.

Stages of development in children :

4 years

Physical development
Can climb a ladder; walks up and down stairs with ease.

General child behaviour
Fully toilet trained; can almost dress and undress self; eats with fork and spoon; washes and dries hands.

Language
Engages in coherent conversation; gives name, age and address; understands time.

Typical personality
Uses imagination to try out new things; increasingly self sufficient; lively; can share—not always successfully.

Common normal ‘problems’
Noisy and assertive; wilful; makes up stories; explores, wanders; shows off, swears.

5 years

Physical development
Runs quite well; right or left handedness now fairly clear.

General behaviour
Dresses and undresses without aid; washes and dries face and hands; plays constructively; draws recognisable humans and houses; elaborate make believe group play.

Language
Speaks fluently; counts objects up to about 20.

Typical personality
Serious minded; practical; cooperative; learning to share; thrives on praise.

Common normal ‘problems’
Tells fanciful tales (using imagination); swears; may still suck thumb.

6 years

Physical development
More skillful with hands; may be able to ride a bicycle; starts to lose first teeth and acquire permanent molars.

General behaviour
Casual and careless in washing and dressing; draws pictures with some supporting detail; knows left hand from right hand.

Language
Begins to read and prints letters and simple words; reads and writes numbers; adds and subtracts single digit numbers.

Typical personality
Excitable, impulsive and changeable; may seem rude or aggressive.

Common normal ‘problems’
Mild sex play; exhibitionism in toilet; fearful—sounds, ghosts, being lost; slow to follow instructions; wants to be first and to have the most; boasts.

7 years

Physical development
Shows some elementary skill in bat and ball games, skipping, hopscotch; can to learn to swim or to play musical instrument.

General behaviour
Shows increased awareness and understanding of the world around; polite and anxious to impress.

Language
Reads simple words and sentences; prints large and small letters; adds within 20 and subtracts within 10.

Typical personality
Quiet and thoughtful; shows sense of responsibility.

Common normal ‘problems’
Forgets instructions; “Nobody loves me”; jealous of older siblings getting more privileges; sex play but occurring less often.

8 years

Physical development
Physical play very lively; sporting skills develop markedly.

General behaviour
Bathes, dresses, sleeps and eats well; talks to strangers; takes part in team sports; drawings show some proportion and perspective.

Language
Reads with understanding; learns running writing; starts to add and subtract two or three digit numbers and multiply and divide single digit numbers.

Typical personality
Self reliant, sociable and outgoing; active; may be critical of others; popularity and success are very important outside the family; aware of own failures.

Common normal ‘problems’
Failure hard to cope with; tempted to cheat; does not finish tasks and may cry if failure is mentioned.

9 years

Physical development
Adept with hands and fingers; special skills such as in sport and music become evident.

General behaviour
Well behaved; perseveres in work or play; self sufficient and may enjoy being alone.

Language
Masters basic techniques of reading, writing, adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing; reads stories and writes brief letters to relatives.

Typical personality
Sensible; self motivated; may be shy in social situations; may talk about sex information with friends; interested in body organs and functions; less afraid of dark; not afraid of water.

Common normal ‘problems’
Worried and anxious; has physical complaints such as stomach aches and headaches when has to do disliked tasks; rebels against authority; sex swearing beginning; perseveres with tasks.

10 years

Physical development
Has natural command of basic physical skills such as dressing, feeding, ball games and bike riding.

General behavior
Quite the little adult—able to shop alone, go to school camps; asks about social issues.

Language
Reads well; does long multiplication and long division by one digit numbers; writes stories up to about a page in length.

Typical personality
Cool, calm and collected; generally a peaceful age; accepts parent’s word as law.

Common normal ‘problems’
Interest in smutty jokes; name calling and may physically fight with siblings.

11—12 Years

Physical development
Early adolescence; rapid physical change with the development of pubic hair, breasts in girls, pimples and gawkiness.

General behaviour
Develops strong sexual feelings; concern with own identity and values; wants to be listened to and taken seriously; experiments and takes risks; questions parents’ values.

Language
Continues developing language and numerical skills.

Typical personality
Impulsive; strong emotions; large mood swings; self conscious; relates strongly to age mates; less dependent on family; wants more privacy.

Common normal ‘problems’
Takes risks; rebellious; over sensitive about appearance; over optimistic; confident; unrealistic; preoccupation with sexual matters; doesn’t want to join in family activities.