Much has been written about children’s development and the ages they should be acquiring certain skills and abilities. But what happens to parents when their kids hit these milestones? How are they affected?
First 5 LA’s Ready. Set. Grow! Family Guide Ready to Learn summer issue covered behaviors a child will show on the path to kindergarten. Best Start decided to take an unscientific look at what parents might expect when their child hits age-appropriate targets for behavior.
Age 1: Child knows name; becomes familiar with books and being read to; understands simple questions and facial expressions; says first word.
Parents make it their mission to get their child to repeat his or her first word with family and friends. They also make strange facial expressions and sounds to get a reaction from their child.
Age 2: Child answers simple questions; scribbles with crayons; enjoys being read to; communicates simple needs, like hunger, pain and thirst.
Parents re-discover their love for crayons and old Dr. Seuss books. They speak “baby talk” and words like “boo boo” and “owie” enter their everyday vocabulary.
Age 3: Child knows full name, age, and gender; understands and follows directions; can dress alone; eats independently; uses words to express emotion.
Parents understand what their child is saying, but no one else can. High chairs and floors need a scrub down following mealtimes.
Age 4: Child “reads” favorite books by memory; is aware that letters make sounds; shares and takes turns.
Parents grow tired of reading the same children’s book again and again. They talk to their kids about the importance of sharing, but can’t explain why they don’t want to lend their car to a neighbor.
Age 5: Child writes own name; listens without interrupting; recognizes several letters and numbers 1 through 10.
Parents realize their “babies” are growing up quickly, become nervous at the thought of kindergarten, and wonder, “Where did the time go?”
Just as every child develops at his or her own pace, parents will also react differently to these milestones. The key for parents is to relax — and enjoy the ride.