Being a parent is not the easiest thing in the world, but there are ways to make it even just a little bit easier. While it may sound crazy, one of the ways you can make it easier is by expecting the major stages of their lives and what that involves for you as a parent and them as your child.
Throughout your child’s development, certain stages are going to be different than the last. Each part of their development is crucial, but when you are unequipped with the understanding of what is happening, these stages can be frustrating and even confusing. Thankfully, the internet and parenting experts have us covered with the various stages and what they mean. While no two children are exactly alike, there may be some variances. So, take what is useful and leave the rest.
Newborn to 3 months
During the first three months, your baby is only able to communicate through cries. Because of that, you will need to pay attention to their facial movements, the differences in their cries, and any other indicators of their emotional state and what it relates to. The most important thing is that you need to comfort them, show them that they are loved, and help them feel securely attached to you. Experts recommend singing to them and soothing them with your voice.
In the 4-6 month phase, your baby will learn to make other sounds to express themselves. Their development is based on feedback, so during this time, it’s especially important to interact with them and encourage them to be responsive. Even though they cannot talk, talk to them. Respond to their laughs, coos, and gurgles.
Between the 7-12 month mark is when your baby will start to prefer mommy over everyone. When you leave, they will recognize this and try to cling to you, which is why it’s important to assure them when you leave and comfort them when you will return.
At this point, your little one will be more social, but they still won’t be at the point in their development in which they can share or truly express themselves. During this phase, temper tantrums will be common, so you will need to find a way to discipline without hitting or yelling.
When your child is at this stage in their development, their social skills will begin to get better. They will want to interact with people and children as much as possible, and it’s good to encourage this by taking them around other kids. During this time, they may also begin to express fears or concerns over monsters and other things, so it’s good to comfort them and let them know they are safe.
At 4-5, your child will be beginning to understand rules. They might not understand right and wrong, though, just yet, but they are beginning to understand cause and effect. During this time, it’s helpful to encourage them to make decisions of their own and to engage their curiosity about the world.
During this time, your child will develop real friendships and become more self-aware. In turn, they will likely start to feel competitive. Throughout this time, it’s helpful to teach them how to respectfully interact with others, and how to participate in groups and teams.