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Understanding child development: What to expect at different ages

Razumevanje otrokovega razvoja: Kaj pričakovati v različnih starostnih obdobjih

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Child development is an incredible journey full of rapid changes and key milestones. Each age period brings new challenges and joys, both for children and parents. We’ve explored what parents can expect at different ages and how they can support their children through these key stages of development.

Baby (0 – 1 year)

In the first year of a child’s life, incredible changes take place. From the first helpless moments to the moment when the child starts to sit, crawl, maybe even walk and say the first words. Physical development is quickly followed by cognitive and social-emotional development. Parents can support their child’s development by providing a safe and stimulating environment with lots of tenderness and care.

Toddler (1 – 3 years)

This stage, also known as the “terrible twos”, is a time of great independence. Babies start walking, running, climbing and talking – sometimes all at once! The challenge for parents is to support this independence while providing a safe environment. It is also important that children begin to learn about emotions, empathy and the rules of social behavior.

Preschool child (3 – 5 years)

In the preschool age, children prepare to enter school. This is a period of rapid cognitive development when children become more curious and begin to understand the world around them. During this time, parents can help their children develop skills such as counting, recognizing shapes and colors, reading and writing. At the same time, this is also a period for developing social skills such as sharing, waiting one’s turn and resolving conflicts.

A child in the early school period (5 – 12 years)

During this period, children learn how to be students. They master reading, writing, math and other academic skills. Their social development also continues as they learn to form deeper friendships, face peer pressure and develop a more complex understanding of the world around them. Parents can help by setting realistic expectations, providing support with schoolwork, and helping to develop healthy self-esteem.

Teenager (13 – 19 years)

Adolescence is a turning point when children enter puberty, become more independent and begin to develop as individuals to a greater extent. This is a time of searching for identity, testing boundaries and finding your place in the world. Parents can help by providing a safe environment for self-expression, supporting their interests, helping them manage stress and pressure, and providing guidance and counseling when needed.

Understanding a child’s developmental stages is critical to successful parenting. Each stage brings its own challenges and opportunities for growth, both for children and parents. However, it is important to remember that these milestones are only general guidelines – each child develops at their own unique pace. The most important thing is that parents support, encourage and love their children through all stages of their growing up.

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