What Are The Stages Of Childhood?
Updated December 11, 2018
Reviewer Deborah Horton
The most difficult part of parenting for some is figuring out where their child lies in the stages of development and what they should be doing to help them grow and learn. The childhood age range for development can be confusing, and there are plenty of stages that your child will go through as they continue to grow. If you are a new parent and you want to stay on top of your child's development, here is an article that discusses each of the stages of childhood and what to expect during each stage of your child's life.
- Newborn (Birth To One Month)
The initial stages of childhood begin once a child leaves the womb. During this stage of a child's development, a child begins to react to external stimuli such as touch and sound, can discern objects that are close to his/her vision, can recognize specific smells, and starts to communicate their needs using facial expressions and cries.
- Infancy (One To Twelve Months)
A child is considered to be in the infant stages of development between the age of one month and one year. During infancy, a child begins to develop more complex responses to the world around them. Some of the most notable developments include an infant's ability to control the way that their head moves, their ability to sit up without the support of their parent, and their ability to recognize and respond to their name.
They will also start making babbling sounds, which typically occurs between the ages of six and nine months. At around the nine-month mark or up to around the twelve-month mark, an infant will begin to be able to crawl and stand up on their own as well as grasp objects with their hands.
- Toddler (One Year To Three Years)
The toddler stage is similar to the adolescent stage in the way that children are beginning to learn more about the world around them as well as their bodies. Although a toddler will still not be quite adjusted to their bodies, a toddler is quite advanced in their movements, and they can do things such as walk on their own, jump around, climb on things, follow directions, construct simple sentences, and do creative activities. They will also begin to like ritualistic behaviors such as bedtime routines since these activities help to provide comfort.
- Preschool (Three To Five Years)
The preschool stage of a child's development is only an advanced form of the toddler stage. In the preschool stage, children start to improve their motor skills as well as their vocabulary and conversational skills. Although you shouldn't expect them to have complete control over all aspects of their life, a child will begin to be able to do basic things such as dress themselves and go to the bathroom on their own.
- School-Age (Six To Twelve Years)
The school-age portion of a child's life is when they start turning into a more mature version of themselves. A child going through the school-age stage will start developing secondary sex characteristics typical of their gender, will be more focused on creating friendships with children of the same gender, and will have a better grasp on the motor skills that they developed in the previous stages. Their conversational skills will also begin to improve as they attend school and learn more about the world around them.
- Adolescent (Thirteen To Eighteen Years)
Adolescence is a period of major and sometimes confusing or difficult change. Throughout the adolescent years, a child will begin to develop sexually and will start experiencing feelings towards members of the opposite or same sex. Individuality is a major theme during these years, and you may notice your child is starting to develop their personality as well as form their thoughts and opinions.
As they continue to grow older, they will focus more on their friends and relationships and will focus less on their family to develop their independent lifestyle. It is not always a difficult time, but adolescents are faced with a lot of pressure and can always use support while they are going through this stage of their life.
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