Do Children Develop at Different Paces?
Yes. Perhaps you’re worried about your child being left behind. However, it’s impossible to predict and tell exactly when your child will learn a given skill. Thankfully, there are developmental milestones that give you a general idea of what to expect of your child as he/she grows older.
Progress differs among children of the same age
Developmental delays of weeks and months are normal. A child only moves forward to the next stage of development only if he/she is ready. It’s even possible that your child will skip a step and directly move onto the next milestone. For example, there are children who just simply started walking and skipped crawling altogether.
In other words, children indeed learn and develop at their own pace. If you’re worried about your child being left behind, keep in mind that he/she should be ready first before moving onto the next stage or milestone. Although there will be delays, what’s important is that you ensure continual progress and that your child acquires new skills as months go by. Here, the focus should also be on progress and not just on specific outcomes at specific dates.
What to expect
To give you a general idea about progress and developmental milestones, here’s a rough guideline for you.
From birth to two months, babies automatically grasp nearby objects as well as follow moving objects with their eyes. At three months, babies start to move their arms and legs well. At six months, babies now often play with their hands and reach for nearby objects. At eight to 12 months, they can now sit without much support and they attempt to stand even for a moment. They might also start to say a few words such as ‘mama’ and shout at times to get your attention.
At one year onwards, they now have an expanded range of physical and cognitive ability. They will start to walk, climb and run. They’ll also start to cooperate with other children during playtime. They also become more expressive of how they feel (especially when they’re upset).
At three to five years, children can now dress themselves with minimal assistance. They also start demonstrating their independence by rejecting some food and activities. They’re now also able to form sentences and tell stories.
Note that it’s only a guideline. What matters is that there’s progress and your child is always in a supportive and encouraging environment, whether at home or at the early learning centre. This is crucial in his/her early years as this is the period when rapid brain development occurs.