8 Essential Stages In Your Child's Life That Every Parent Needs To Know
No parent wants their child yelling, “I hate you!” to his or her face... but what if we told you that was normal when they’re a teenager, because of the hormonal stages and stress they are going through?
What if we told you that knowing the critical stages in your child’s life can ease the pain of figuring out why your relationship is not bearing the fruits of your effort?
The following are the key eight periods in a child’s life that every parent should watch out for:
Via The Today Show
Newborn- 3 Months
Crying at this stage is the best way the baby communicates its needs. There will be nights where you cannot sleep because all your baby can do is cry out different ways that its either hungry or thirsty, needs attention, feels discomfort in some way, or is restless and needs to be held. The more you are around your baby, the more you can decipher which type of cry signifies which need.
Experts say, however, that sometimes your child can cry without any reason but wanting to be comforted. Sometimes, all your baby wants is to be comforted with touch and words— that they can feel loved, safe, and confident in their trust of you. Newborn babies can sense emotion in your voice, so even if you’re saying words they don’t understand, it’s the inflection and tone that stays with them, soothes them or comforts them. It’s recommended that babies are held in your arms and rocked, are talked to face-to-face and are sung to.
This stage is particularly exciting because you’ll find your baby enchanted by the world around him or her. This is the stage when objects come to life and their eyes can make out shapes and colors. At this stage, your baby will start to coo, laugh, grumble, make sounds and squeal. As a parent, you can help this stage be even more exciting by encouraging your baby to laugh through peek-a-boo or funny, silly faces.
This stage is very significant because mothers especially will notice how their baby’s clinging and attentions-seeking behavior is geared solely towards them. Babies at this stage can have anxiety when their mom leaves the room or when they interact with strangers. It can be unsettling and hard to bear when your baby screams and cries and thrashes just because you leave the room, so it’s important that leading up to this stage and during this stage, mothers prepare their baby by leaving the room/play area every so often so the child gets used to the idea that their mother will leave, but always comes back.
Parents should be aware that at this stage, a child is prone to temper tantrums, moody fits and inability to share toys or belongings with other children. Though this may be the case, it’s still important to have your child interact and play with others so they start learning these skills. Be sure to discipline your children at this stage so you avoid their becoming spoiled but don’t resort to yelling or violence.
Three-year-olds throw less temper tantrums but become more particular about what they like, don’t like and what they are afraid of— whether it’s the monster under the bed or the sound of thunder. At this stage, it’s important to support your children, tell them how proud you are of them and let them be as independent as you possibly can.
When children are four years old, they happen to get into more squabbles and fights (especially with siblings) and can even threaten to run away. On the other hand, they are more curious about the world and how they can navigate their way through it. Again, enforcing independence and supporting them through critical thinking and decision-making is the best measure to take.
Children of five years are much more respectful and careful about their manners. At this stage, they try behaving like adults and believe that their thoughts are just as wise as their parents Five-year-olds are much more responsible, but can act out of things don’t go their way, as they think they know best. It’s important to teach your children at this stage that they can still be wrong and must listen to their parents. On the same note, it’s important to reward them and compliment their good behavior.
Parents at this stage should know that their children’s top priorities are friends, peers and opinions of the group they’re in at large. Your children might start wearing or saying certain things just to fit in. They enjoy group activities and can even begin feeling romantic towards others their age. It’s important to still continue disciplining your children at this age, and making sure they respect you but look up to you. Best way to do that is by spending as much quality time together as you can, and be not just a strict parent, but a friend they can confide in.
This is the stage where a lot of children can submit to peer pressure because the need to fit in has only increased. Romantic relationships/feelings are definitely percolating at this point— so it’s important for your children to be able to talk to you and feel safe in sharing their feelings so you can be there as a system of support. If your child feels too restricted by your parenting or like you are only there to discipline them, they will tend to keep secrets and make bad choices. Be sure to serve as both their friend and parent and be kind and supportive of their feelings, but also teach them how to stand on their own and not fall to pressure of fitting in to the point that it hurts their identity.