We must first define what a milestone is before exploring its importance in child development. A milestone is a point, (usually a distance in time), at which a child moves toward some specific goal. Any significant change in a child’s life can be noted and considered a milestone. Children, by nature, tend to develop in patterns and this type of planning helps us to follow a specific path as we develop our child.
It’s important to note that most children reach all of their developmental milestones at one time or another. Some children take longer than others, but all children share a common set of milestones. These milestones help us to evaluate and to track the child’s progress.
Written Down To Make It Easier
The child development goals are quite often quite simple, but they are usually written down to make it easier to follow your child’s progress. For instance, at one time we defined a child as having reached potty training. Now we know that is a common term meaning the child has mastered the ability to go to the bathroom. It is also helpful to include other milestones along the way so that parents and other caregivers know how quickly your child is developing.
A child development plan should have a specific time frame for each milestone as well as a range. This is important so that you will know what to expect next. For instance, you may notice that after one year the child has successfully learned how to sit on the toilet by themselves. That is a great achievement and you would want to celebrate. However, if you wait four years and the child falls behind again, you will need to make another change in the child development plan. This is the same for any other growth milestone you set for your child.
See A Steady Progression
Having a plan with a timeline and a range will help keep you and your family on track. In addition, you can also see where you are with your child development goals. When you look at your child development goals over time you will be able to see a steady progression.
You will be able to see exactly where you are with your child’s education. If there are areas that need improvement you can make those improvements immediately. You should also create a child development chart so you and your child can see where you are. These charts will have different colors that represent each stage of your child’s development.
Think The Milestone Should Have Occurred
At the top of the chart you can write down the child’s name and at the bottom you can write in the dates that you think the milestone should have occurred. This way you and your child can see at a glance where your child is and where they are expected to be at a particular point in time.
You can use your child development timeline to motivate yourself as well. For instance, if you are feeling frustrated or angry about a particular part of your child’s development you can remind yourself that it is just another milestone. The important thing is not to get discouraged about it. Every child goes through things a little differently. It is important to remember that children are different and sometimes things that make them angry or frustrated can actually be signs that they are doing well.
Your child development timeline should include both the big and small milestones. No two children are the same. Kids vary in how quickly and what seems like they are developing. So you should be patient and keep your eye on your child’s progress as you watch for the big and small milestones.