Toddler Years (1-3)
At one year old, your child’s development will begin increasing rapidly. They will call you by name, improve their vocabulary, walk around while holding onto furniture, start climbing, feed themselves and so much more. Between 12 and 24 months, your toddler will also begin to transition from breast milk or formula to regular milk from a bottle or sippy cup. Remember to enjoy and participate in their development. However, we also understand a toddler is not the easiest person to live with – saying “no” is more common than saying “yes,” throwing toys occurs more often than picking them up and sharing becomes a challenge. Minimize unfavorable behavior by childproofing the environment, keeping a logical daily routine and doing your best to anticipate when they’re tired, hungry or not feeling well.
Don’t let the “Terrible Twos” worry you. For most toddlers, these months are when they have more control over their language skills and watch your activities intently, with the hopes of helping out in any way they can. Two-year olds are explorers and no area of your home is safe. Put forth the extra effort to securing household cleaning products and medications. Of course, terrible behavior is inevitable because children at this age want it both ways and have trouble making up their minds. Despite the challenges you’ll face, take time to appreciate the little things. The physical, emotional, and intellectual growth of your child in this stage is remarkable and the year will be over before you know it.
Three-year olds have meaningful social skills, begin to form friendships and become more cooperative. They can better express themselves, ask “why?” all the time and have vivid imaginations. At this age, your toddler will have much better motor skills, be better at using the potty and may be ready for a toddler bed. Three-year olds feed off their environments so it’s important to continually provide positive reinforcement and fuel their curiosity.
Preschool Years (3-4)
Preschoolers have a greater sense of independence, from using the restroom and picking out their own clothes to taking care of others. They will also begin forming respect for authority and have a heightened sense of coordination. This is a wonderful stage because they’re enthusiastic, fun, imaginative and oftentimes, hard to keep up with!
At this stage, family time is very important to help your child establish their identity. Meals together are a great start, but be aware that your child may be hesitant to try new foods. Your preschooler is learning quickly and will pick up new shapes, colors, figures and objects. They will continually make you proud with how knowledgeable they’re becoming.
Elementary Years (5-11)
Our elementary years contribute to some of our fondest childhood memories and recalling your time in school is a great way to connect with your child as they begin their own educational journey. Five-year olds are very imaginative and will ask questions about anything and everything. Through your child’s elementary years, their logic and problem-solving skills will develop. This is also a time in their lives when you may discover a particular learning disability, which is important to address as soon as possible.
Important life and social skills are developed during the elementary years. Your child’s daily activities become more independent and any chores they have will teach responsibility. They will also have the opportunity to learn about practice and teamwork through music and sports. An increase in academic and social activities will help your child learn valuable time-management skills.